Virtual Staging: An Innovative Way to Attract Buyers
After you’ve decided to sell your home, there’s a lot of things running through your head. Choosing a selling agent, finding a new home, movers, cleaners, finding a new school for your kids, figuring out what to do with your pets during the moving process - it can get overwhelming.
In the midst of this whirlwind of tasks, figuring out how to stage your home can sometimes get overlooked and forgotten about. However, a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 33 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased its’ value by one to five percent when compared to similar homes in the same area that weren’t staged. Not only that but 39 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly decreased the time it spent on the market.
What is Virtual Staging?
When you’re deciding on how to stage your home, you have two options: virtual staging and traditional staging. The main difference between the two methods is that while the latter will see your home filled with real furniture you have rented for the purposes of staging for potential buyers to feel more at home, virtual staging will do this digitally and will thus only exist online and in photographs. Potential buyers will still be showing up to tour an empty or otherwise non-staged home if you elect to go the virtual staging route.
Benefits of Virtual Staging
Virtual staging has a number of benefits but the biggest is of course price. While staging a condo the old fashioned way costs an average of $2500 per month, virtual staging typically costs between $39 to $199 per room. What’s more is that this fee is a one time cost as you don’t have to pay for renting furniture. As the average home for sale in 2018 stays on market between 34 to 53 days, this means that virtual staging could save sellers several thousands of dollars.
Another pro of virtual staging is that gives sellers the opportunity to create a strong first impression with potential buyers. As Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager says, this is important because “buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time.”
Traditional Staging Still Has Benefits
The biggest drawback, of course, is the fact that because the home is only staged virtually when potential buyers show up they may be underwhelmed compared to the experience they had when they found the home online. While this may not be an issue for younger buyers, this could present problems with older audiences.
Being able to see the home fully furnished is also the main benefit of traditional staging. It allows prospective buyers to walk into a home and picture themselves living there without any of the guesswork of what kind of furniture they may need to purchase and where to place it.
Tips for Virtual Staging
If you choose to stage your home virtually, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember to provide potential buyers with photos of the empty rooms as well as their virtually staged counterparts. This will help to show buyers that the home they’re thinking of touring not staged in person so that they are not confused when entering the home.
Also be sure to hire a professional photographer to take the photos of your home that will be staged. The results will be underwhelming if a staging company has to insert furniture and decor into a dimly lit, poorly framed picture that was captured on an iPhone. Finally, don’t overdo the furniture and decor. Just because it isn’t real doesn’t mean you can’t go overboard.
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