Real House, Remote Furnishings in Bellaire

Even the home staging is staged in this Bellaire listing. Vacant when shown locally, the home’s online profile features several fully furnished, clutter-free rooms. A virtual staging service enhanced photos with an overlay of furniture and accessories from its library of actual decorative components. Thus, the family room just off the kitchen appears in its empty natural state (just above) and its tasteful-but-tame cyber-enhanced version (top). Other life-like rooms created with planted furnishings, such as the combo living and dining room, breakfast nook, and master bedroom, are described as such in the listing for the 4-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home.


Among the (real) amenities in the home, however, are hardwood floors, an elevator, and stainless commercial-style kitchen appliances, including a 6-burner gas range. The master bedroom has newly replaced real carpet. There’s an extra room off the family room with a purpose left up to the future owners: study? cloistered dining room? media room? No virtual suggestions were included from the photo enhancers at Virtually Staging Properties. (And sorry, the company doesn’t sell real versions of the furnishings it plants in pix of its clients’ empty properties.)

The kitchen, as-is, with real appliances and high-end finishes.

The family room, unaltered, overlooks a landscaped yard (real).

The dual sink layout is not a mirror trick.

The non-enhanced closet has adjustable shelving.

Slate patio. Real. Landscaping? Ditto.

Located on a 5,000-sq.-ft. lot that’s 2 blocks west of the West Loop, the unfurnished home’s $750,000 asking price is a recent reduction from the initial listing of $775,000 a month ago. Is this the first home in Houston to employ virtual home staging? It’s likely not the last.

10 Comment

  • That’s actually a really good idea…

  • The possibilities of this remind me of the old car ads in which the passengers were drawn to somewhat smaller scale than the cars, thus making three across seating in a car with running boards look spacious.

  • No that’s just wrong. A RE listing is not the place for artistic license!

  • Certainly a lot cheaper than staging the entire house. I think I will give this a try for a few rooms in the house that I am going to list soon.

  • Doesn’t the HAR website have some rules against this kind of deception?

  • How is this deception? It simply lets the buyer view the possibilities. Some people can’t visualize that stuff on their own

  • Good idea, people could see a vacant room and then the same room with virtual furniture side-by-side.

  • I don’t see it as deception.

    I can see it would be an asset to interest buyers with no imagination of their own.

    I’d rather see a vacant room than a lived in or staged room but that’s just me.

    If a realtor uses this means, perhaps there should be a disclaimer in the listing.

  • Altering photographs is deception if it is not highlighted and disclosed. How about, for anything more than a simple crop, something like: “Photographs have been edited by the seller, and may or may not represent the actual appearance or condition of the offered property”?

    Then a potential buyer can make up his or her own mind.

  • It’s one thing if the improvement or the dirt that the house is sitting on is digitally altered. But to complain about fraud or deception because virtual furniture is placed in listing photographs is ridiculous. This virtual furniture is no different than photographing a fully furnished home and then emptying the contents, or paying a professional stager to come in and jazz up the place. You are buying the house, not the furniture, virtual or otherwise.