Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties Real Estate. Tips for home buyers, home sellers by Gita Bantwal,Realtor at Re/Max Centre Realtors.: December 2018

Deceptive or Compelling? Virtual Staging

Virtual staging examplesI recently wrote a blog post on virtual staging. I was prompted to write the article after having a string of vacant listings. 

Unfortunately, marketing a vacant home can present some challenges. Vancant room after vacant room, especially when they have no defining features tend to run into each other and all look the same. 

This leaves us with web appeal lacking and marketing materials missing some sizzle.  How do you tell the differnece between the living room and the bedrooms?  How big is the room? 

Furniture defines the room and gives scale to a room, as well as can create some visual interest.

So on my last vacant listing, I decided to virtually stage some key areas of the home.  It certainly helped when it cam time to prepare marketing materials.  I virtually staged the living room, the dining room, the two bedrooms and the office.

Lastly I fully disclosed that the photographs were virtually staged and was used to give an idea of use and space, but upon arrival the house would be vacant.

Is Virtual Staging Deceptive?

There are some in the industry that feel virtual staging is deceptive.

So is virtual staging manipulating the buyer?  My first thought is we are selling space, we arent selling furniture.  I am not adding or taking anything away anything that would be included in the sale of the home.  Really, a home that is physically and beautifully decorated definitely creates appeal for many buyers.  It gives them an idea of what the space could look like.  But yet, the decor is not included in the sale.

Or what about new construction, the photos of a staged model home thats been sold but the model home photos continued to be marketed with the staged photos.

I am certainly not talking about altering what actually exists that is included in the sale.  Removing property defects, altering bad views, etc...  Or some services offer greening the lawn.  Which I do have a problem with because the sale includes the lawn. 

Is Virtual Staging Enhancing Your Vacant Listings?

As listing agents we have a fiduciary resonsibility to our sellers to act in their best interest.  Isn't presenting your clients home in the best light in their best interest?  I personally did my own virtual staging with Visual Stager at $15 a shot.  YOu can also send in photos to be virtually staged to different services for between $30 and $60 a shot..... very short money that I believe provided big results.

Virtual staging creates appeal, gives a sense of use and helps provide scale.  Being able to virtually stage the home allowed me to provide some appealling top notch marketing that would have been a little difficult if I was dealing with vacant photos.

To take it one step farther, in the MLS listing I did present both the vacant photos as well as the virtually staged photos. 

I believe next time I will take it one step farther and add visualization on the bottom of the staged photos to make it ultra clear.

The Results

The seller was very pleased, I received great feedback from buyers and agents all except one.  And the home was quickly put under agreement.  Buyers at the open house understood the house would be vacant and commented they liked the staged photos.

So the one.... one agent complained the house was vacant and he seemed quite disgruntled.  But, I clearly noted the home was vacant and the furnished shots were virtually staged in SEVERAL places.  He didn't read the listing.

So what do you think of Virtual Staging as an agent?

Other Resources:

When you read about events please check the year for the event as some people find information a year later and think it is for that year. . The posts remain online even after the event.

Gita Bantwal is a Realtor with RE/MAX Centre Realtors in Bucks County, a Northern suburb of Philadelphia. You can view 1000s of listings on her web site


She can be reached at 215-343-8200x124 or direct 215-275-8491 or via email


 Gita specializes in Active adult communities and is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. She holds the ABR designation (Accredited Buyers Representative) and specializes in selling to first time buyers as well as move up buyers.Gita also hold the CRS designation , Certified Residential Specialist and the CDPE designation as well. Information about real estate market is deemed to be correct but is subject to errors and omissions and should be verified independently.. Opinion expressed by me or others  in my post and comments is not to be construed to be  legal advice.I am licensed in Pa. Check real estate laws in your state as they may be different than in Pa.



Comment balloon 21 commentsGita Bantwal • December 14 2018 12:51PM
Deceptive or Compelling? Virtual Staging
I recently wrote a blog post on virtual staging I was prompted to write the article after having a string of vacant listings. Unfortunately, marketing a vacant home can present some challenges. Vancant room after vacant room, especially when… more
Holiday event Bucks County. at Mercer Museum December 11, 2018 7 to 9…
Annual holiday open house will be held at Mercer museum in Doylestown Pa on tuesday December 11, 2018 from 7 pm to 9 pm. Free admission. There will be live musical peformances. You can visit with Santa in the historic Log House.. Go to www. mecer.. more
Achieving balance between personal and business life.
I am thankful for my job. One of the reasons I love being a real estate agent is because I can have a flexible schedule. However in order to be successful we have to work long hours and most of us work seven days a week. Most of the home buyers in… more
Happy Hanukkah from Bucks County to all my Jewish friends
Wishing you peace, love and joy during Hanukkah and throughout the New Year. Warm wishes for a Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year. If you live in Bucks county here are two events that you can attend. Bucks county Justice centre at 100 N Main Street… more
Selling Your Home? Should You be Leery of Accepting an Offer from…
Attention Home sellers This great post will help you understand FHA loans. I have helped many sellers sell their homes to buyers who had FHA loans and all of them closed without problems. A good agent can guide you Selling Your Home?.. more
Get a title search, get a title search, get a title search
Attention home buyers. Read this post and learn why you should get a title search when you buy a house. I almost typed that in all caps like I was yelling at you. If you buy property and get a loan you will have a title search. However, for a cash… more
Fridays in December
There are many holidays that are celebrated on the same day of the month each year but there are also holidays that are observed on dates that are based on day of the week eg Memorial day, Labor day There are many fun holidays in December First… more
Do you have a Dog or a Cat Do you agree with this statement?
I do not have any pets but when we were growing up we had a dog. I have never had a cat so I do not know much about cats. The other day I was reading the carrier pigeon and I saw the following, A dog has a master A cat has a staff. I do not know… more