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Virtually Staging Vacant Real Estate: Inexpensive Alternative or Just Cheap and Tacky?



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By : Mark Hostetler    99 or more times read
In real estate these days it is customary that a home is staged when it goes on the market, either by a professional stager, by the realtor, or by the home owner. However, due to the combination of falling home prices and the sometimes prohibitive costs of hiring a professional stager and renting furniture to occupy space in an otherwise empty home, some owners are turning to the option of having their vacant homes virtually staged.

Many prospective buyers have a hard time visualizing how furnishings will work in an empty space, so vacant homes tend to not sell as readily as furnished ones. While it is no secret that having your vacant home staged can increase the amount of interest shown to your home by prospective buyers, is staging your house virtually the best option?

Traditional staging in a vacant home involves having a professional come and arranging rented furniture to help best show off your home's assets. Staging this way can cost between two and five thousand dollars for the first three months depending on the stager and the amount and quality of furnishings rented.

The benefit of traditional staging is that not only do the pictures in your online listing look fabulous, but when prospective buyers physically come to your home they can see how furniture can look in each room. The downside of this type of staging is definitely the price tag that comes along with the service; however, it is generally accepted that the sale of a staged home will translate into a higher bid than an unstaged one. By this rationale, staging is an investment.

Virtual staging can be a low cost alternative for home owners who can't afford the higher cost of traditional staging. Pictures are taken of the vacant rooms and sent to the stager who Photoshops in images of furnishings and decorating elements. In theory, this creates the pictures of a staged home without actually physically moving any furniture into the home, saving the costs of renting and moving furniture.

The idea of virtual staging seems like a fabulous option; the cost of having four rooms of your home virtually staged is usually around $250 which is a far cry from the price of traditional staging. However, before you take the plunge and hire a virtual stager, do your homework. Look at their portfolio of previous work to see what kind of quality they can create. Many Photoshopped listing photos that you can find online are veritable Frankenstein's monsters while others are at the worst just very obvious Photoshopped jobs. What you want in a finished product is something that isn't obvious and has furnishings that complement the home in colour and style.

As with any work you have done, it is always in your best interest to research before you buy any services. Make sure that what you will be getting is what you want and worth your money. Poorly staged homes, either traditionally or virtually, will not sell like a well staged one.
WelcomeHomeNevada.com provides a professional guide for Las Vegas Nevada Real Estate. For excellent agent services in the Las Vegas area, contact Mark Hostetler, your Summerlin Real Estate agent.

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