Photographic evidence used to be as close to the truth as you were ever going to get. What you see is what you get. Computers and technology have changed that for both the better and worse. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about painting your lawn green for curb appeal (update coming soon). An article in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses virtual staging: adding furniture to the vacant listing pictures.
These are a before and after picture on Virtual Staging Solutions website, one of the companies cited in the article:
I confirmed with RMLS that the picture on the right violates RMLS rule 3.7 which states, in part, “The photographs are to be submitted without any added text or graphics…” The article does not specifically mention whether the modified photos are being used or not being used in MLS photos elsewhere. They could be used in other marketing materials in our area.
They really aren’t any different than an architectural rendering of proposed new construction but is the expectation different in an existing home? I like the idea of showing what a room may look like but am also concerned that a buyer might feel duped when they walk through the door. Some of the agents in the article disclose the photos are enhanced, others do not.