Imagine looking at a picture of a beautiful house with an updated kitchen, new carpet, paint, floors, and best of all, at a very low price. You jump into the car with your real estate agent by your side and you check it out. When you arrive, the beautiful house in pristine condition you saw pictured on the MLS listing has been replaced by something quite different. What you see is an ugly house with dingy walls, stained carpets, vandalized kitchen and not a shred of copper to be found in the place. Believe it or not, it’s the same house pictured in the MLS, except that the house in the MLS has been “virtually staged.”
Virtual staging started off as a way to add furniture to a photograph of an empty house, but now it’s evolved into virtual repairs and remodeling to “simulate” what the house would look like if the remodeling was done. The agent is basically lying to you by misrepresenting the house in it’s current condition. While I’m okay with the type of virtual staging that adds digital furniture to a picture of an empty house, since the furnishings aren’t included in the purchase of the house anyway, I’m not okay with agents misrepresenting the current condition of the house. I think this is a violation of proper disclosure and I think the practice should be stopped.
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