The Virtual Ticket to Selling Your Home


Homeowners desperate to sell are turning to a new tool -- and finding "virtual" success.

"When a buyer walks in, they want to feel like it's a true home and they want to connect with that home," said Maribeth Peters, senior vice president of Allie Beth Allman & Associates in Dallas.

How do you make sure that chemistry happens? You stage it -- not physically, but virtually.

Peters uses Obeo, a company that stages homes using 3-D images. The seller picks between several furniture collections and can add plants and accessories.

It allows her to show before-and-after pictures of a 4,000-square-foot-home Dallas' Briarwood neighborhood. It has new construction but also has old-school charm.

"It's a family home but also fantastic for entertaining," Peters said.

But it's also empty.

So Peters, who knows that buyers start looking online, had the house's dining room, living room and master bedroom virtually staged with furniture. The home's owner, Ron Fancher was amazed.

"I said, 'Wow!' It was beautiful," he said.

Peters said the process is also much cheaper than actual staging.

"It's a fraction of the cost," she said. "Virtual staging is about $99 a room, approximately. We did three rooms for this house, so it's roughly $300 dollars. To actually stage with that amount of furniture brought in, it would be anywhere from $3,000 to possibly $4,000 and a multimonth lease."

Most companies that do virtual staging require high-quality photographs of the home. The typical turnaround is three days.

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