6 Minute Read | Lauren Maloney
Real estate is an old school business but adopting new technology is having a huge impact on savvy agents’ bank accounts. Don’t get stuck in the past. Here are just a few ways virtual staging technology can make you more money.
1. Pay Less Than for Physical Staging
Real estate agents often use physical or virtual staging to breathe new life into homes or to give the listing an edge on a competitive market. Furnishing the space helps potential buyers visualize their life within the walls. And, bonus points, staged properties sell on average 73% faster than non staged homes.
Downside? Staging isn’t cheap. Professionally staging a home will run you around $2,200/month. At around $99 an image the cost of virtually staging the living room, master bedroom and kitchen, which have been ranked most important to buyers by NAR, is negligible by comparison.
2. Modernize Traditional Design
While you might want to show off your latest hunting trophies or Harley Davidson collectable collection, neutral rooms sell better. Mid-century modern aesthetics have been proven to land the highest sales price. The vintage style utilizes clean lines, open floor plans and walls of glass that attract buyers universally. Actually, one study claims that applying this style to your listing could add 26% to your sales price.
While there are many mid-mod virtual furniture options one of the benefits of using virtual staging over physical stagins is that you can present a variety of styles to potential buyers. With virtual staging you are not married to one particular look and therefore you can easily tailor the presentation of the home according to a particular buyer’s preference.
3. Inspire Different Uses of Rooms
Number of conforming bedrooms can make or break a listing price. If you find yourself short a room, the ideal 3BR/2BA can be accomplished with some creative thinking and a little virtual staging. Before you market a room as a bedroom be sure to familiarize yourself with your local standards. Usually, two egress options (door + window) and a standard ceiling height will qualify the space. But getting a buyer to imagine the space being used in a different way than it is currently presented is the real challenge. Invest in virtual staging to inspire the buyer to find the home they want with the inventory that is currently available.
4. Remove Seasonal Items
Everyone loves the holidays, but nothing screams stale listing like a blow-up Santa in the front yard of a house in July. Save yourself from being the Grinch and use virtual staging to remove seasonal items. This way if your listing is still on the MLS in spring or summer it isn’t vulnerable to low ball offers.
5. Works for Owner-Occupied or Vacant
It’s a dream assignment to sell a clean slate that you can fill with amazing furniture to increase the sales price and decrease days on market. The reality is that most agents are selling owner occupied homes and with that comes owner occupied stuff. Editing the home owner’s belongings to make the home more marketable can be tense to say the least. Save your relationship with the seller and use virtual staging instead to uncover the real home that begs to be uncovered beneath that handmade doily couch cover.
6. Reduce Clutter
No matter how many times you ask your sellers to declutter you will still end up with photos of cosmetic covered bathroom counters or fully stuffed closets. The remedy is virtual staging. Removing piles of shoes in the mudroom eliminating distracting art is one of the simplest, and most financially rewarding, uses for the technology.
7. Show Renovation Options
We all love HGTV. Some listings could use a little Property Brothers magic to show buyers how small improvements, like removing a wall or replacing cabinetry can affect the entire look of the space and validate a listing price. When presenting a virtual renovation agents often add a floor plan and a clear disclosure. Virtual staging should always be used to inspire, not to deceive.
8. Finish Those Unfinished Projects
Many homeowners are ambitious DIYers but fall short on the skills, time or money to complete projects. Virtual staging can be used to finish up abandoned work or to improve entirely neglected spaces, like basements. You can even print the virtually staged image and place it on an easel in the home to keep buyers focused on the potential during showings.
9. Update the Exterior
More than 92% of homeowner’s buying process starts online, but the internet has yet to make curb appeal obsolete. If your hero image shows a patchy lawn or overgrown garden viewers will be less likely to want to learn more about the property. Peeling paint or saggy siding? Even worse. Homes with professional landscaping sell for 26% more than expected. While virtual manipulations of the yard may not have the same effect on price, giving the listing a virtual facelift will entice more prospects to click.
10. Stage the Outdoors
The American Institute of Architects has reported a substantial increase in requests for indoor-outdoor living. Transitional spaces are sought after nationwide and offer an increase in living space with minimal investment. Show buyers your listing’s potential for transitional living with virtual staging. Add furniture, outdoor kitchen appliances, tv’s or fire pits to inspire more comfortable outdoor living.
Professionally marketed properties sell faster and for more money. Utilize modern real estate technology, like virtual staging, and open the minds of prospective buyers to options they might have discounted in the absence of creative visual marketing.