There's Nothing Here-Virtual Staging
We've had some recent experiences with 'Virtual Staging'. One agent called us and said her techno-geek clients paid a lot of money to have a virtual stage done on their home because they didn't want to bother with doing a real stage. She said they were enamored with the idea of having a virtual stage done just for the novelty of it. So what went wrong?! It's pretty simple, 97% of home buyers start looking for homes online. And when they walk into a property they get excited about online, and it's empty, they feel not only disappointed, they feel tricked! Staging helps buyers connect with a property...when they walk through they want to see, touch and feel their way through their future home. If what they thought was inside isn't there, they feel confused-not connected. Our agent friend said the feedback she got from agents who showed the virtually staged house were ones of frustration and irritation. Not good!
The last thing you want is for a buyer to feel like they have been duped into looking at a listing; the more honest the sellers and their agents are about the condition of the property the better. No one wants to enter into negotiations to purchase their next home with resentment and suspicion as their companions. At the very least, if you decide to virtually stage your home, make sure the buyers know in advance that's the case by disclosing it in the listing.
Better yet, actually stage the property: it's worth doing so since all the evidence proves you'll get it sold faster and for more money!