Professional home staging of vacant properties can inspire buyers and boost the perceived value of the listing. Without furnishings, buyers find it difficult to imagine themselves living there or to understand the room’s size and intended use. Agents should take advantage of virtual staging if professional staging is not in the seller’s marketing budget or is too inconvenient. Staging generally costs 1 percent to 3 percent of the asking price, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, virtual staging can be done for as little as $75 per photo; and agents need only highlight a few critical rooms without spending much money. Still, some agents worry that when buyers view the home in person and discover it is vacant, they may feel like they were deceived. There also are ethical concerns, as virtual staging does not portray reality. Experts recommend that virtual staging not be used to camouflage a home’s flaws, and agents should include both virtually staged and unstaged photos. They also should hire a professional real estate photographer, review virtual staging samples on the photographer’s website before purchasing the photos, and explain to the photographer exactly what they want to avoid delays. | Read More