As real estate agents, our top goal is to find leads and turn those leads into new clients. The more potentials we can put into our sales pipeline, the better our chances of gaining clients. Once we do gain clients, though, we must work to sell their homes.
Although there are different strategies, one of the best strategies is to virtually stage homes for sale. Home staging has become an art form. Virtual home staging is often the way to go because you don’t sacrifice the art and it won’t cost you nearly as much.
All you need is software. We’ll publish a blog about software down the road. For now, check out 5 things that you should absolutely do when virtually staging a home. Then, once those 5 things are burned into your brain, consider 5 things that you shouldn’t do when virtually staging a home.
Top 5 Real Estate Virtual Staging “Dos”
1. Think about the entire room
Let’s say that you find the perfect image of a couch on whatever virtual staging software you’re using. So, you drop the couch into the living room. Then, you find what you think is the perfect coffee table. You drop that into the room.
Perfect couch and perfect coffee table. What could go wrong? For starters, do the coffee table and couch create an aesthetically pleasing room? Or, are both just aesthetically pleasing on their own?
If whatever you put into your room only exists as a beautiful piece on its own, what’s the point? You must consider the entire room before deciding on the exact pieces of furniture. Staging is about the full effect of a room, not just a specific piece.
2. When in doubt, go with white with splashes of color
The fantastic blue couch might look great when you first see it, but, maybe, it doesn’t work with the full black coffee table and that stark red loveseat isn’t doing you any favors either.
What to do in this situation? How about white? White won’t offend anyone. Not only that, it’s pleasing to the eye if instead of just a full on white couch, as an example, splashes of color help it out. You can also add flowers to contrast something like a white couch as well as throw pillows to really bring the entire look together.
In the bathroom, you might not be able to use white as much. Still, be careful about what color you choose. Colors affect moods. So, be sure you’re not going to put anyone in a bad mood with your color pallet.
3. Put yourself in the viewers’ shoes
If you don’t think like a viewer, how will you know the staging work you’ve done will have the desired effect?
Take a step back and think like a viewer. Viewers, potential home buyers, will look at your virtual staging and consider how they might roam through the home. It’s not just about creating a pretty picture. It’s about putting the viewer into the home as if you had staged it in real life.
That’s the key. The feeling a potential buyer might get roaming inside the home in real life must translate through your virtual staging. It’s not easy. But, if you take a moment to think like a viewer, you can accomplish it.
4. Think about what you’d like to see
Consider what you’d like to see if you were a potential buyer. If you’re a real estate agent who owns your own home, did you view a staged home? Have you ever walked into a staged home? If so, what did you think? How did it make you feel?
We’re you critical about how the real estate agent staged the home? Also, there’s nothing wrong with borrowing from a peer. Ask their opinion if you trust them. Better yet, see how they’ve staged the homes they’ve sold.
5. Have fun and create that lived in moment
If you concentrate too hard on making everything perfect, there’s no way your virtually staged home will have the live-in feel. Unless your selling a model home, you want to make sure that viewers see themselves living inside the home for sale.
They must imagine what it would be like to sit on the couch, sleep in the bed, wash up in the bathroom, and cook in the kitchen. Have fun while your putting together your virtually staged home for sale and more than likely everything will seem natural.
Top 5 Real Estate Virtual Staging “Don’ts”
1. Go overboard
This goes without saying, but before skipping over #1 and moving to #2 consider how easy it is to go overboard. So many great images exist pretty much with every staging software that real estate agents could easily get out of control.
If you’re not virtually staging Kim Kardashian’s home, don’t make it look like Kim lives there. Don’t ever forget the lived-in feel. Home buyers will most likely purchase the residence to live in it. Definitely make it clean looking, but don’t go overboard with the flash.
2. Overthink things
Overthinking things can lead to a stodgy virtually staged home. You must think about how the entire room looks, but you can’t worry about every single detail. If you do, you could end up taking a week to get your virtually staged home up, which means you’re wasting time trying to get the virtual version of your home for sale together while you could be working to sell it.
3. Forget to get someone else’s opinion before going live
Don’t go live, don’t publish, until you’ve gotten someone else’s opinion. Just like any art, you need someone to critically consider your work before publishing. Take their criticism with a grain of salt, though.
Just because someone has an opinion, it doesn’t mean that you must go with it. Always criticize the criticism even if you do it internally.
4. Get too cute
Cute is okay, but you can get too cute. Remember, whomever sees your virtually staged home will probably want to live in it. Cuteness can be a turn off if it’s too much.
5. Try to make things look overly sleek
The flip side of cute is sleek. Sleek can be nice. But, it’s not always a good idea. First, this is a virtually staged home. If it looks like a show room for the furniture, that will turn off potential home buyers. Second, sleek is often expensive. Remember, the images you put into your virtually staged home are just images. Third, sleek often is overly effective. What we mean by that is that sleek gives the impression that it’s the only way to outfit a home.
Make sure your virtually staged home doesn’t look too sleek. Sleek is good. Too sleek will turn off home buyers.
Home staging is a real art form. It takes practice to get it right. Luckily, any real estate agent can purchase a piece of software and virtually stage homes for sale. By following the above list of what you should and shouldn’t do when virtually staging a home, you can make sure the homes you virtually stage catch the watchful eyes of potential home buyers.