I was speaking to a Realtor a few days ago – we were discussing home staging. He asked if we were virtual home stagers or actual home stagers. Virtual home staging uses 3D software to mock up an image. I told him that we are actual home stagers. He said he was relieved to hear that because he despises virtual staging. I asked him why and he said that it's a complete disappointment when he brings buyers into a vacant home when they have seen staged photos online. He said their attitude completely changes and they feel cheated. Buyers have told him they feel like a "bait and switch" has just been pulled on them.
Here in the Boston area and in New England in general, we want things to be authentic. We demand "real". We don't like fake or artificial. When we find a home online, we expect it to look in person as it does online. When expectations are set high, and the client walks into an empty home, they are disappointed and many times upset. Virtual staging may work in California, but it's a hard sell here.
We have also seen contractors make the mistake of posting staged photos from a house they built a while ago to market a house they recently built. The photos can be very dated, and turn buyers away before they even come to the property. We recently consulted on a new construction home in the Boston MetroWest area. It's been sitting on the market for almost 6 months and the traffic has been very low. We looked at the online photos and were surprised to see staged photos of a home with very dated décor, including border wall paper and heavy, formal drapes. No wonder there has been low buyer traffic to the home.
Home staging works best when it's real. When the photos online look great and the home looks the same when the client gets there, their attitude toward the home is positive. For more information about our staging services, visit our home staging page.