Could virtual staging grow in demand as sellers remain hesitant to let people inside their homes? It’s a controversial concept: Some in the staging industry caution that digitally altering property photos to add furniture or change wall colors can be misleading.
Still, others believe virtual staging—a less expensive, hands-free alternative to physically staging a property—is particularly useful during a health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Some professional stagers are adding virtual staging services as a more cost-effective solution for sellers who want to observe social distancing guidelines.
Home stager Krisztina Bell, founder of Virtually Staging Properties in Atlanta, believes virtual staging is a great alternative, particularly for vacant homes. She says it can help buyers visualize the possibilities of an otherwise empty space. Plus, stagers don’t have to physically haul any furnishings into the property. Virtual staging also enables rooms to be presented in multiple ways, such as a bedroom that can be photo-staged as a home office or playroom.
Bell says her firm follows strict guidelines in virtual staging. For example, they won’t change wall colors or cover up any flaws in the photograph. They also prominently label each photo as “virtually staged.” The pictures are a true representation of the space as-is, but with added furnishings and accessories. “It’s better than leaving a spot completely empty, and you don’t have to be inside the property physically to do it,” Bell says.