Virtual staging elevates the look of vacant spaces

There’s no more starting a home search in a real estate agent’s office or car. Real estate listings are presented to us everywhere online—that’s your first showing. And that makes listing photos more important than ever.

actual MLS photo of a bathroom sink and toilet with a partial roll of toilet paper on the vanity.My heart absolutely breaks for sellers whose listing agent relegates the photography to just a depressing inventory of their home when they could be merchandizing the features and showing it in its very best light. Every day we see dismal photos like this bathroom vanity with a partial roll of toilet paper, unmade beds, terrible lighting, even reflections of the “photographer” (using their phones, believe it or not) in the mirror taking the photo. This is not the way a true professional should be marketing listings, dear friends and neighbors.

Some very savvy agents utilize high-quality professional photography in every listing, regardless of the price point. A $100,000 house is just as important to that owner—and to the eventual new owner as a $1Million house is to another owner.

And in vacant homes, many times I also employ a first-rate company to virtually stage some empty spaces with superior results. The sophisticated technology of virtual staging has transformed our industry. It’s one of the hottest tools surprisingly few agents are using right now.

With about 43% of homebuyers starting their search online, having your home stand out above the competition means your online photos have to be excellent. Remember, that’s your first showing!

Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 87% of buyers found photos very useful.

Vacant spaces can lack the “curb appeal” that motivates buyers to make a personal visit. Empty rooms appear as boxy walls of white (or even worse, depending on the previous owner’s taste).

Drag the arrows ↔ across the images below from some of my recent listings where virtual staging gave vacant rooms dramatic new life.

1901 N Bell, Shawnee, OK front parlor with wood-burning fireplace1901 N Bell, Shawnee, OK front parlor with wood-burning fireplace and virtual staging