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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Virtual Home Staging

Written by Posted On Friday, 11 January 2019 02:12
Virtaul Home Staging Virtaul Home Staging

Do you have a Vanilla Shell property but you’re feeling that home buyers are having a hard time imagining how that house or apartment could look like with furniture etc.? And home staging is not an option for you right now for whatever reason?

Technology has created a workaround for you and it’s taking Real Estate by storm!

It’s called Virtual Home Staging, and it’s basically companies that work together with either real estate agents selling a home or home sellers going the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route to create through image manipulation a “vision” for the property. They get the high-resolution pictures of the property and, using applications like AutoCAD and Photoshop, insert beds, sofas, lamps, rugs and other furniture to compose this virtual home staging.

We’ve mentioned how Virtual Reality was going to be one of the top Real Estate Trends for 2019, and here we are. Virtual home staging is a reality with several companies providing this service. Some even promote deliveries of their work within 36 hours!

But you ask: how good is it? What are the possibilities here? What are the pros and cons?

Let’s talk about that.

 

Benefits of Virtual Staging


Time is definitely a big pro. The classic home staging will hardly take 36 hours from conception to execution due to a lot of factors. Especially if you consider that it will still need the photographer to go there and take pictures and edit them. You have to coordinate the home seller’s and or the real estate agent’s schedule, with the home stager’s schedule, and then the photographer’s schedule. With virtual home staging, it’s, at least, one person less in the equation. And that adds up when it comes to listing the home.

Pricing can be a “pro” too, especially when we’re talking about luxury virtual staging. It won’t cost more to virtually insert a $50,000 Fendi Casa dining table than it will to virtually insert a $140 IKEA dining table. Luxury Home Staging is expensive because of the furniture involved  –its insurance etc. – and the prestige and access the home stager needs to have so that such high-end brands lend their expensive furniture. And luxury is very easy to go bad, look cheesy and cheap, if you don’t have that access, making the whole property look bad because of it. That’s one of the reasons why the Vanilla Box Real Estate Trend has taken Luxury Residences by force; it’s better to leave it blank so that people can imagine their own idea of luxury than to limit it by having cheap furniture.

But maybe the biggest benefit of this new idea is the fact that you suddenly have a lot of options. Sometimes, despite a real estate agent’s best efforts to target its audience and brief the home stager, the direction given (or the execution performed) does not hook home buyers like expected, and one gets to think “Hmmm, if instead of Victorian we’d gone with Modern, I bet the home would sit less time on the market and would eventually be sold for more”. Truth be told, this is something really difficult to be measured, but the fact of the matter is that now, with the advent of virtual home staging, it will become less difficult to empirically measure that. A real estate agent could hire a company to do several different home staging options in the same room, giving all audiences a look to their taste. And, then, the real estate agent could run the stats of how many inquiries each decor style got, which eventually sold and for how much etc.
This use of virtual reality is not contained within the home. You can go outside the house and virtually “build” a pool, a whole backyard or any other big real-life project to improve curb appeal improve curb appeal. If you’d actually try to do those in order to sell your house for more, it would be a little overkill, as it would take a lot of time and money on your end and sometimes it wouldn’t even be necessary. Isn’t it nicer to just have it done in the picture, where the sky is the limit as to the materials etc.? Moreover, the benefits of a virtual home staging go beyond creating something where previously there was nothing. It can also work backward by getting existing pictures of a home staged property – whether by a professional with new stuff or by the home seller with existing furniture of the home – and removing what doesn’t work and highlighting what does work. That comes in handy when the owner wants to sell the furniture with it to spike the price a bit but doesn’t mind if people dispose of it afterward and the real estate agent thinks it’s too cluttered and making things harder for home buyers to fall in love.

Disadvantages of a Virtual Staging


The “cons” in all of this? Well, the only one we can think of is “misunderstandings”. But this is very simple to deal with. It’s important to make it clear in your communication that those are computer-generated images based on the actual property. Not only for that specific reason but also for the “wow effect”, it’s a nice idea to always have side-by-side the original photo of the vanilla shell property with the virtual reality one. You cannot have the potential home buyer appearing for a showing and being surprised because the home doesn’t look like it was advertised. You must remember that, in the end, if first impressions matters, that’s all there is to virtual home staging: having a listing with all the best possibilities to hook the home buyer, and then, from there on, build a relationship with her and eventually sell the home. You still sell the home and not the pictures. They are there just to show how awesome the potential of that house.

What’s even more exciting about this virtual reality thing is knowing that it won’t stop there. If we can already have such a quality level of image manipulation, pretty soon we’ll be seeing this technology applied to moving images - that is: video. Or even interactive video! Can you imagine how cool it would be to get a virtual tour to a house and you choose (on the go) the sort of decoration you will have with the home? So, to be ahead of the race, there is no doubt that every real estate agent that’s building a real estate team should definitely have by their side a company or a professional able to perform virtual home staging on the properties you list. Learn how to sell this service too. You can charge both the home seller with a package of X “scenarios” and the home buyer with a custom made one prior to closing, should the scenarios given don’t entice them and they don’t have the imagination to do it by themselves with a visit.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a fleeting trend or is it here to stay? Would you use it? Are you already googling companies to do it? Have you already used it? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments!

 

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Theresa Hus

THERESA HUS, CONTENT WRITER AT REALESTATEAGENT.COM

Theresa Hus is a member of the content team at The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory ® producing countless informative and trendy real estate articles monthly for RealEstateAgent.com and its many outlets.

Real Estate with a twist; that's how one could define Theresa's writing. With 16 years of experience in the industry, Theresa is all about coming up with topics that go beyond the basic real estate agent advice and home buyers/home sellers "how to" articles you see around. Her main goal with her writing is providing not only information that will make readers lives easier when dealing with real estate, but a good time through a fresh, fun and insightful read. While the site is called RealEstateAgent.com, Theresa likes to keep away from generic real estate agent content; her articles are all about thinking outside the box, stepping in the consumer's shoes, and warning readers of things they might've never thought of. Sometimes they're quirky and very specific - like an article questioning if you would live in a haunted house if the price was right - sometimes they just contemplate issues that no one bothers to talk about but are very important to a lot of people, like articles regarding the pros and cons of living near a highway or real estate agents specialized in homes for the disabled.

To do that in a responsible way, Theresa is constantly talking with the many nationwide real estate agents registered on The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory ®, researching the newest real estate niches, trends, and overall best practices.

Specific areas/topics that Theresa is able and willing to share her expertise and knowledge on include:

·         Real Estate Entertainment News

·         Trending Markets Around the United States

·         Advice Columns for Home Buyers or Home Sellers

·         Articles on How to Add Value to Your Home without Breaking the Bank

 

To contact Theresa, please email Theresa@realestateagent.com.

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