Always have the Realtor state that the pictures are virtually Staged
You always want your realtor to be upfront with potential clients. There is nothing worse than a client walking into a room and being immediately disappointed. You could lose them before they even get past the front door if they walk into an empty room. Virtual staging is meant to help the client visualize the potential of the home. It is always best to either state in the description that photos were virtually staged or have the staged photos stamped with the designer’s logo stating, “virtually staged by…”. Another way to show that the rooms have been virtually staged is to add a photo of the empty room and immediately have a photo of the staged room. This will allow the client to see that the home is empty, but this is what it “could” look like.
Never add ceiling lights, wall fixtures or appliances.
This should go without saying, but this is a huge no no. It is one thing to add decorations so the client can visualize what the room looks like, but quite another to add items that the client may believe they are getting when they buy the house. This is a misrepresentation of the property. This can cause problems even if the realtor adds into the MLS description that the lights/appliances are not included. It is best to leave something empty, like a space for the refrigerator, rather than add a model. Most people see the pictures first and if they see a fabulous chandelier, they will most likely think that it is physically in the home. Instead try a floor lamp which will not only add light it also adds height to your room.
Never block windows
Eyes are said to be the window to one’s soul. Then windows are the gateway to the soul of a room. They not only bring in light and are aesthetically pleasing, they also draw your attention when you enter a room. The light from a window opens the space and a room without windows can feel confined. One should never put large furniture or anything that blocks a large part of a window, that includes couches, media consoles, plants, etc. This can be tricky based on the room layout but can be achieved in creative ways. Try adding chairs that straddle the window or benches/ottomans that will show off the room without blocking the windows.
Erin Betts | Owner, Erin Betts Interior Decorator
The story of my professional journey and how I got here is not what most people would expect. My love for interior decorating started many years ago in junior high art class in upstate New York, where I was born and raised. My first 3-D rendering of a living room started the bug that I was never able to shake. I have always been artistic and passionate about painting and decorating, but my journey went down a very different professional path. I moved out to Tucson, Arizona when I was a freshman in high school. I graduated from the University of Arizona during the late 90s, and as everyone know this was the boom of the computer industry. Since interior design was not offered at the university, I decided to go into computer engineering. After graduation I worked 20 years at IBM, however during that time I kept up on my creative passions. I would redesign my own home every year, help others decorate their homes and continued to learn new painting techniques. With the amazing support of my husband, Darren, I decided it was time for me to decorate professionally. I took the leap to go down a totally different path and started my own business. I am told time and time again, “I don’t have the time to decorate” or “I wouldn’t even know where to begin”. I COMPLETELY understand!!! I know how life gets in the way and that you would much rather spend time with your family than picking out vases. I also understand the hesitation of decorating your home because of pets or children. A functional home can also be beautiful and affordable. I want to show that home decorating or virtual staging doesn’t have to break the bank, and that you can create a beautiful space even with existing furniture and accessories. I want to help take the burden off my clients, and help them see their home’s potential, express their vision and help them define the meaning of a beautiful home.
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