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Sellers and agents are turning to staging photos to help homes make a good impression online– without investing in rented furniture and accessories. After three months on the market, the vacant Minneapolis condo not only hadn’t sold, it wasn’t even generating many showings. So agent David Abele of Lakes Sotheby’s decided to hire a staging expert, who transformed the space by adding stylish furniture, a flat-screen TV, artwork and accent pieces. When the condo sold — less than a week later — the stager didn’t need a U-Haul to remove rented furnishings because they weren’t real — they were digital.
Staging homes to give them a style boost before putting them on the market became the norm during real estate’s boom years. But now, after several years of declining home values, many owners are reluctant to pay for pricey new decorating or to rent furniture just to try to sell.
“People are now selling at a loss, and when you’re in that situation, you think twice about investing money in staging,” said Ilaria Barion, the Chicago-based staging expert who digitally decorated Abele’s condo.
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