REAL Estate Quickie: Virtual Staging?
November 17, 2015
By Kelly Wurth
I am sure all of you are aware of the benefits of traditional home staging, but have you heard the terms “virtual staging” or “e-decorating” and wondered what they are? Well the good news is that they could pose a huge benefit to Realtors, homesellers and homebuyers in the months and years to come. Ari Harkov, a top broker for Halstead Property in New York, states “there is data to show that virtually staged photos on a website bump up the viewing numbers and may convince someone that the property is worth a look.” First let me explain what virtual staging is and then I will explain the benefits.
WHAT IS VIRTUAL STAGING?
Virtual staging is the act of taking a 2D image of an interior room and converting it to a 3D interactive image where actual furniture and décor items can be added. Even wall colors and flooring can be modified. This can be done with images of empty rooms as well as furnished rooms.
How does E-decorating play into all this? E-decorating is the act of decorating this 3D interactive image with an extensive catalog of items that are actually for sale at retail stores such as Crate & Barrel, Wayfair’s Dwell Studio, Birch Lane, BluDot, Design Within Reach, All Modern, and Havertys. This allows for real fabric options to be chosen and an end to the question of will this chair or sofa or table fit comfortably in my new room?
In reality this is an amazing breakthrough for the real estate industry considering 90% of homebuyers cannot see past the ugly blue carpeting your home sellers refuse to upgrade or the wall paper that was in style a decade ago or the worn sofa placed promptly in the middle of the formal living room. Now you and your homebuyer can spend much less money and have the room virtually staged to attract potential qualified buyers.
You may be thinking that this could be unethical and misleading to homebuyers. The best way to handle this is to provide full disclosure by including two photos, one real and one virtually staged.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
I’m hoping you are starting to see what an amazing benefit this could be for Realtors, home sellers and homebuyers. The best news I have yet to tell you about is the price. The price to traditionally stage a home including the cost to lease furniture and décor will run you about 1% of the home’s sale price whereas virtual staging will cost between $59 and $129 per room. This depends on the room size, room details, as well as chosen output requested in order to visualize, share, and interact with the final 3D virtually staged rooms.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
To wrap up let me give you a rundown of the benefits:
1. Fraction of the price of traditional staging.
2. Potential to drive traffic to the property listing and your website.
3. Potential to increase the show rate of the home.
4. Realtors and home sellers no longer have to hassle with the logistics of leasing furniture and possibly losing money on monthly leasing costs.
5. The entire room gets staged including furniture, lighting, tabletop and wall décor, rugs and wall color verses just a couple of pieces of furniture and a lamp in an otherwise empty room because it was too costly to truly stage the entire room or home.
6. Allows homebuyers to see past the current condition of the home and envision fully furnished and decorated rooms.
7. Provides the capability for potential homebuyers to virtually e-decorate the home themselves and then actually purchase the furniture if desired.
8. Easy and cost effective way to stage an empty home.