I recently had my first encounter with the world of virtual staging!
While researching Meridian Idaho homes for a buyer recently, I ran across a listing in MLS that appeared to be unusually attractive and perhaps even underpriced (a rarity in our current market).
It was built by an entry-level builder and the photos represented the home to have slab granite counters, beautiful high-end furnishings, expensive art work on the walls, and extensive mature landscaping.
I also noticed that the status was “Back On Market”, which seemed odd for such an attractive home.
So, I called the listing agent to confirm what I had seen and get more information.
The listing agent told me that her sale had fallen through due to the buyer’s inability to secure financing and that the home was indeed back on the market.
I then commented on how nice the home appeared in the MLS photos.
To my amazement, she replied “oh, it doesn’t really look like that because I used virtual staging”.
Virtual staging is computer-generated photography/videography that creates a false appearance that’s better than reality.
Turns out the home had been a rental, was trashed, and the landscaping was burned up because the sprinkler system wasn’t working.
There was no disclosure of virtual staging in the MLS listing.
If I had relied upon what I saw in the MLS photos, and shown the home, my buyer would’ve been disappointed (and probably angry).
And, I would’ve been furious at wasting both my client’s and my time.
Fortunately, I called the listing agent first and avoided wasting my time.
I’m not a believer of virtual staging.
If it’s undisclosed, it’s blatant misrepresentation.
At best, it’s akin to putting lipstick on a pig.
In the end, a pig is still a pig regardless of how much makeup you apply.
What ever happened to just telling the truth?