select
|

Is virtual staging ethical?

Much has been said about the benefits of “staging” your home when you want to sell in order to make it appear lighter, more spacious and more appealing to prospective buyers.
 
“And there is obviously nothing wrong with dressing up a property to look its best on show day,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group. “Similarly, there is nothing wrong with photographing the best features of a property to use with an online listing.
 
“But with the rapidly increasing use of technology in real estate advertising and househunting, a new phenomenon has entered the market. This is ‘virtual staging’ in which photos of the property are altered or enhanced according to what agents or sellers think will draw the best response from potential buyers.”
 
Some examples, he says, are to electronically excise power lines or cellphone towers from photos showing an otherwise lovely view, or to alter photos so that a dingy kitchen with dark-painted walls looks sunny and bright, or so that a dirty swimming pool looks blue and inviting.
 
“We are seeing these effects and others enabled by photo-editing software more and more, and I am really not sure such practices are ethical. It is regarded as misleading marketing to “doctor” photos of a property for sale when they are placed in print advertising, so why should it be allowed on property websites?”
 
At the very least, says Everitt, the fact that photos with a listing have been altered and are only representative should surely be disclosed – as is the case with the architects’ impressions often used to market off-plan developments.
 
“However, in the absence of any specific regulations regarding virtual staging at present, what we can say with certainty is that it is now more important than ever for homebuyers to view and assess properties themselves before deciding to purchase.
 
“In addition, the growing awareness of the practice is likely to make prospective buyers more choosy about which real estate companies they do business with. Thus we believe that those who are currently using virtual staging will only gain a short-term advantage.”
 
Issued by Chas Everitt International


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 19 Jan 2018
      Extending from Randfontein in the west to Roodepoort in the east and including the towns of Krugersdorp and Magaliesburg, the West Rand has a plethora of property available to residents who choose to make this unique area their home.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      When it comes to financial planning, doing the work to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected emergencies is just as important as ticking off your other goals and New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of the year is also the perfect time to review your various insurance policies.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      No surprises at the first Monetary Policy Committee of 2018, as Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced that the interest rates would stay at their current levels.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city's most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      New year, new goals! If you’ve resolved to purchase your first property in 2018, then this 6-step guide from the Rawson Property Group is a must-read. It will help you navigate and simplify what is often be seen as a confusing process of buying your first home – right from the house-hunt to the house-warming.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      Lightstone lists Blair Atholl as the most expensive suburb with an average house price of R11.2 million, followed by Westcliff (R10.5 million), Dunkeld (R9.3 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million).
    • 17 Jan 2018
      As it currently stands, there are four main ways in which a home can be bought in South Africa, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that deciding in which legal entity to purchase the property is not a decision that should be entered into lightly, as each has its pros and cons.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK