This was my beautiful listing at 2850 Kamaile Place at the top of Wailuku Country Estates. We were under contract and the buyers wanted a quick close. My seller’s had everything packed ready for the final shipment when the buyer backed out. They decided to complete the move — leaving me with a nearly empty house to sell. I did a little light staging immediately. We had good showings and frequent open houses and even went under contract again, but the buyer defaulted again before inspections were done. An empty house, especially a large and spacious one, just doesn’t “comfortable.” Some people can envision their living space but many can’t. We considered having it fully staged, but I suggested that we try Virtual Staging. I only did the five “very empty” rooms but you can see the before and after photos. Let me know what you think!

So this doing the virtual staging was a multi-step process. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Take the empty room photos. Remove everything from room that is not attached. Best photos are done in HDR, especially if you have as much light and bright as this home. I tried to get them myself but then asked my professional photographer husband, Peter Liu, to assist.
  2. Select who to use for virtual staging. I did a test run myself using an iPad app called HomeStyler. It worked pretty well but was pretty time consuming. Here’s the result from that effort.
  3. I searched and found several virtual staging companies. I selected Virtual Staging Solutions. I liked them because they had the most good instructions and support that called me back. The cost was $327 for 5 photos. They have many options. You can browse through the furnishings groups before you buy to make sure you can find something that works.
    3) Upload the photos to the virtual staging site. You want to load full sized photos if you are going to print to poster board like I did. This was very easy. You can add more photos and let the designers pick the best ones. With each photo, you select a furnishings style. You can give instructions on how to place furnishings and describe the room. Submit!
  4. In 3-5 days you’ll get back beautiful staged rooms. If you look close, note that even the lighting is done. If anything needs minor adjustments, they’ll do that. You can put these photos in the MLS.
  5. I decided to create poster board copies of the photos for my Open House’s and showings. I purchased expandable easels through Amazon for $17.97 each. I had the printing done at Costco. Costco was really good prices and quality! I submitted on a Saturday afternoon and they were done by Sunday at 2. I got 3 20×30’s and 2 11×14’s for about $110.

Here’s the virtually staged photo, put on poster board and in the house! I have to say it looks pretty good.

So am I happy? So far yes. People who have seen them think they look great. I’d probably be more specific in my descriptions of the rooms. Virtual staging is a cost-effective alternative to real staging. Buyers can visualize the what the room will look and function like. It isn’t quite as good a real staging but is a great alternative.