Virtual staging is a highly popular tool in the real estate industry that has revolutionized the way properties are presented and marketed. It is known for its ability to ignite the imagination, cost-effectiveness, and capacity to establish emotional connections with potential buyers. Apply Design has made virtual staging accessible to everyone by providing photo-quality rendering capabilities at a low cost. With this tool, anyone can achieve stunning results without the need for design skills. However, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make while using virtual staging. In this blog, I will discuss the five common mistakes I have observed and provide tips on avoiding them.
One of the most common complaints about virtual staging is that the furniture used in the virtual stage would not be practical in real life. While it may be tempting to use a large piece of furniture like a sectional in a small space and scale it to fit, to create the illusion of a larger space, I strongly advise against it. Not only does it compromise the quality of the virtual stage, but it also risks misrepresenting the property. When virtually staging a property, it is important to consider the proportion of the furniture in the room. The furniture must be scaled according to the room's actual dimensions and in proportion to one another.
To ensure that your virtual staging project is successful, it's crucial to start by defining the right proportions. The first piece of furniture you place should be properly scaled. With the Apply Designs measurement tool, you can set the room scale by defining real-world measurements. To do this, select "Measurement" under "Room Scale" in the Tool Bar and define the ceiling height of your image. This will help you scale the furniture according to the actual dimensions of the room and ensure that they are in proportion to each other.
When you're virtually staging a property, the living room is usually the first room to tackle. To get started, it's important to define a focal point and arrange the furniture around it. The focal point can be anything from a fireplace, a TV, a console, or a beautiful view.
One arrangement that works well in most living rooms is to place the sofa facing the entrance to the room, with two chairs opposite it to balance the space. This not only opens up the room but also draws attention to the main asset of the room, giving you the most pleasing view of the sofa.
Make sure that the area rug is lying in the same direction as the sofa, centered on the focal point and the sofa. This will give your living room a cohesive and inviting look.
If you have an open floor plan living room, dining room, and kitchen, it's best to avoid pushing all the furniture against the walls. Instead, you can use furniture to create boundaries and walls. For example, you can place your sofa as a natural line between the living area and dining space. To emphasize the divide, you can push a bookcase or side table up against the back of the sofa. This will help you to make the most of your space and create a clear division between different areas of the room.
When it comes to virtual staging, proper sizing and placement of art is key. Artwork should complement its surroundings and not overpower them. One of the biggest mistakes is choosing artwork with dimensions that clash with the furniture proportions. To achieve the right scaling, a good rule of thumb is to choose artwork that covers two-thirds to three-quarters of the available wall space. For instance, art above a sofa or bed should be two-thirds the size of the sofa or headboard and positioned 2"-5" apart.
The center of the artwork should fall around eye-level height, which is approximately 57"-60" high. Typically, it should fall about 6"-10" above the back of the sofa. The artwork should be visually connected to the furniture, not floating high above it.
Using area rugs in virtual staging is a brilliant idea, as they help potential buyers visualize the possibilities of a room by defining different areas and bringing together furniture and decor. However, it's crucial to select a rug that fits the size and layout of your furniture. Although there's a lot to say about area rug usage, here are a few tips to start with.
When arranging the furniture in the living room, it is recommended to choose a rug that is large enough to fit the front legs of all the furniture in the main grouping. The furniture should then be placed at the center of the rug to create a sense of equilibrium. Additionally, the edges of the rug should not block any walkways.
Here are some specifics on how to position a rug under a queen-sized bed. An 8x10 rug is a popular choice for larger spaces. You should place the rug about a quarter of the way down from the head of the bed. This will allow you to have some space for a bench or an ottoman at the foot of the bed. It is important to use area rugs strategically, just like furniture, as the wrong color, size, or placement can clutter the space or detract from its highlights.
When advertising a property for sale, it is essential to be honest and transparent about the property's condition. Nowadays, many people buy properties sight unseen and virtual staging plays a crucial role in presenting the property. However, it is important not to make any alterations that could be misleading or misrepresent the property. All attachments that are part of the property should be left in place, paint colors should not be changed, built-in fixtures like appliances or ceiling fans should not be added, and flooring should not be altered. For example, replacing old and stained carpet with hardwood would be considered a "Virtual Renovation" and should only be used to show a prospective buyer what a space might look like, and it should not be used in the MLS listing. By maintaining transparency and avoiding misrepresentation, you can ensure that the buyer's expectations match the reality, leading to a smoother and more successful sale.
When it comes to virtual staging, transparency is key. The listing agent should make it clear in the MLS listing that the images have been virtually staged. At Apply Design, we offer a feature that allows the user to add a custom or "virtually staged" watermark on the final rendered image during the export process. To effectively market a virtually staged listing online, it's recommended to start with the virtually staged image and then immediately follow it with the original vacant image of the same room. It's essential to display all the images of a room before moving on to another area of the house. Please check your local and state RMLS regulations, as some areas require a specific RMLS “virtually staged” watermark before posting.
Virtual staging can be an incredibly useful tool, but it's vital to use it effectively. It's important to avoid common mistakes, such as inaccurate scaling, ignoring furniture placement basics, improper art placement, inaccurate use of rugs, and misrepresenting the property. By paying attention to these aspects, you can create a more attractive and realistic virtual representation of a property, which can help it sell faster and at a higher price.
Amy Lang, the owner of Bridge City Staging LLC, trained with the Staging Studio to receive her Master Level Staging Design Professional certification. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bowling Green State University specializing in Graphic Design.
Bridge City Staging LLC is a local Oregon based Virtual Home Staging company serving the Portland metro area.
Amy is a power user of Apply Design, advices Apply Design regularly and curated most of the furniture bundles in the application.