Ever browse real estate listing photos and see a couch or credenza you love—and wished you could buy it? It’s now possible, thanks to a new trend in listing photos that allows you to shop for homes and home furnishings all at once.
Many real estate listing photos are currently enhanced with virtual staging. That’s where brokerages take lackluster listing photos and digitally add furnishings or artwork to show the property in the best light. Thanks to CGI-style 3D modeling, these additions do a convincing job of looking as if they’re really in the room, without the back-breaking work of lugging everything in (and out again, later on).
Now, the luxury real estate broker Sotheby’s has taken things one step farther. By partnering with Perigold, Wayfair’s luxury furnishing line, and with roOomy, the virtual-staging technology platform, Sotheby’s agents can virtually stage their listing pics with anything in the Perigold inventory. If people viewing these pics spot a lamp or loveseat they adore, they can now click on the item to purchase it directly.
Here’s a look at what these listings photos look like, below.
Now all you have to do is click on that white dot, and it will take you to more information about the piece, such as its price, its specs, and how to buy it. Pretty cool, right?
Click on “Visit their website,” and it’s all yours.
The benefits of virtual staging for home sellers
If you’re getting ready to list your own home, you’re probably aware of the difference home staging can make. In fact, according the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 77% of agents polled said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, while one-third of agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered by up to 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.
Yet home staging can be expensive, largely due to the labor of moving furnishings into your home. As a general rule of thumb, the average cost for most stagers is between $300 and $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per staged room.
Virtual staging, however, can be far more budget-friendly—sometimes even free.
“Typically, there is no cost” for virtual staging, says John Passerini, global VP for interactive marketing for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. He does add that this often depends on the agreement that the agent has with the seller.
Currently, all Sotheby’s International Realty agents have access to the “Curate by Sotheby’s” augmented reality app, which means there are more than 50,000 potential users, says Passerini. And while only a handful of listings so far are taking advantage of this new shop-the-room function, Passerini expects that the number will grow as more agents embrace the app, and more home sellers hear about it.
Rebecca Ginns, general manage at Perigold, outlined the benefits of the partnership.
“Through this relationship, consumers and real estate agents alike will discover how fine furniture and décor—some of which were previously only available to industry professionals—can truly elevate a room and captivate even the most discerning clientele,” she writes in a press release. “Regardless of the style of home, having the right furnishings can be one of the most powerful tools when creating a space that leaves a favorable impression.”
Benefits for home buyers
While the benefits to home sellers are clear, buyers benefit, too. If they spot something they really want to own themselves, they don’t have to beg the sellers to leave it with the house.
However, when the furnishings are virtual, there is sometimes confusion among buyers. They may fall for the real estate photos online, only to visit the home and find the rooms empty, or worse, filled with outdated decor, like wall-to-wall carpet or oak kitchen cabinets.
Passerini says Sotheby’s tries to avoid this problem by being clear upfront that the virtual staging isn’t what buyers should expect when they walk through the door.
“We try to be as transparent as possible, and require a watermark on the photo to indicate the room was virtual-staged,” Passerini says. “It’s clear that what users are seeing is augmented and virtual.”
After all, all these home buyers have to do is purchase what’s in those listing photos to bring their virtual dream home to life!
To see an example of these virtual stagings, visit Sothebysrealty.com.
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Source: Housing Trends Feed