Contact: (800) 894-7033
Many people have heard about virtual staging for their vacant homes or listings for real estate agents. But still we receive daily calls from people wanting to know the process, what they need to do in preparation and how to use the final product.
So to help with virtual staging questions we came up with a list of questions that we think are important based on our knowledge of the real estate industry. For most virtual staging users the pictures will be used on the MLS – so it is vital to think through the aspects of good honest staging that will improve relationships and not be considered misleading.
1. Do you have real estate agents on staff or consult with realtor® associations knowledgeable in MLS listing standards and practices?
2. What areas of a room do you stage? Does that include things that convey such as flooring materials, landscaping and window treatments?
3. What sort of experience do you have with home staging and how does that translate to virtually staging pictures?
4. Do you offer prescreening of pictures and professional advice to improve photos to be staged?
5. What sort of production do you do, if any, of images before, during and after virtual staging is applied?
7. What are your refund policies should the image be rejected by the MLS or seller?
8. Is your furniture catalogue available online to view prior to ordering?
9. What is your turnaround time for pictures?
10. Do you include consulting on real estate marketing ideas for virtually staged images?
It’s not that questions like: how long have you been in business; where are you located; do you offer volume discounts or agency packages or what software do you use aren’t important? They are, but these questions go deeper giving you an idea if the company is in the business of real estate… or just image enhancement. Because the industry is somewhat new to many people it should be handled carefully when it comes to what to stage?
Question number 2 determines if the staging company understands real estate ethics. If they do stage landscaping, flooring materials and wall colors and window treatments (and you are staging resell homes for the MLS), you may be in for a big surprise with your buyers since these items don’t convey.
A sound virtual staging company will always require you to place a comment in the MLS remarks section about the images being virtually staged. Many will watermark them as well (although that could open up a can of worms with MLS’ that don’t allow ANY use of identity on images or tours.)
In closing, ask these questions to your virtual staging company and have a candid conversation to see if they know about what is going on from the perspective of buyers, sellers, MLS’ and realtors®. This knowledge is more critical than knowing where to place a couch or picture.
Our virtual staging company will turn down many photos initially while coaching clients on photographing for staging. Well taken photos will result in quality virtual staging that is compelling to buyers leading to quality showings.