Some Listings Are Getting a Virtual Renovation

September 15, 2014

Real estate agencies are using virtual staging to paint the picture of a home’s potential, hoping that doing so will attract more buyers to the home.

"We want to make sure that we reach everyone with and without vision, and this gives us an ability to really reach all of those," Matthew Leone of Halstead Property told CNBC. Leone’s listing, a $7 million townhouse in Manhattan’s West Village, is mostly a blank slate in the middle of one the city’s highest-price neighborhoods. He hired an architect to offer up images of the potential of the property, demonstrating what it might look like to renovate the kitchen, upgrade the windows, add fine furnishings, or even tear down some of the walls. The home was originally listed with photos in its current state but it failed to drive traffic. Since the "virtual renovation," web traffic has soared 30 percent, Leone says.

Some real estate professionals may not be tweaking the home virtually, but they may offer up more visuals online to help buyers decided if it could be the right home for them. RP Miller Realty Group launched a virtual open house last week for a $10 million listing on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Reba Miller, the real estate agent for the property, says the online walk-through makes house hunters feel as if they're really there. “You can see the imperfections as well as the perfections. It really provides a top-level guide to the next step of whether the consumer should visit or consider an actual offer perhaps pending a viewing."

Source: “Forget Baking Cookies, REALTORS® Turn to Virtual Renovations,” CNBC (Sept. 12, 2014)