Agents, consumers voice concern over virtual staging

An increasingly popular practice among real estate professionals and property managers is virtual staging.

This process allows people posting a real estate listing online to digitally alter their property’s photos in order to make it more appealing to potential tenants, reported the Washington Post. Traditionally, staging would occur through actual physical changes to the property, such as photographing it with new furniture or decor.

The concern with virtual staging stems from listing agents who may dramatically alter photographs to hide serious defects that might affect a tenant’s decision to stay in that property – like a crack in the wall or a sagging ceiling, said the Post.

Though it can help gussy up some of the unit’s less attractive aspects, some observers – both real estate agents and clients – fear that virtual staging borders on misrepresentation.

“This is misleading the public,” real estate agent Greg Nino told the Post. “It’s bad for the industry and bad for consumers.”

Professional home staging and real estate photography have become growing industries and are useful tools for property managers to showcase their apartments, according to the New York Times.