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RISMEDIA, September 17, 2009—When Atlanta Realtor and professional home stager Krisztina Bell took her substantial experience from staging hundreds of vacant homes and went “virtual,” she became a leader in what has quickly grown to be a national trend in a tough real estate market. Virtually Staging Properties, the business Bell and her husband, Jay, founded has been featured for its work in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, Real Estate Business and California Realtor, as home owners and real estate professionals turn to the new process of virtual staging as one the most cost-effective measures to help sell vacant homes. This new technique generates strong buyer traffic, at a fraction of the cost of traditional home staging, long recognized as one of the most effective means of marketing a property. 

Virtually Staging Properties uses its patent-pending process to transform vacant listing photos into professionally-designed interiors using a proprietary library of attractive furnishings, accessories and artwork. The resulting images are almost indistinguishable from traditionally decorated rooms, with a realism and authenticity unmatched by other virtual techniques. 

For an investment of as little as $225, the seller or agent can have their “empty box” listing photos transformed into a warm and inviting on-line home. Photos can be placed at the property so that when buyers arrive, the “staged” photographs provide the needed vision and inspiration. 

“With 87 percent of buyers using the Internet to search for their next home, vacant homes are at a distinct disadvantage,” says Jay Bell. “Nearly all are uninspiring, with each one looking just like the next one, and the next one after that. A vacant property needs to stand out for some reason other than having the lowest price,” he explains. 

Virtual staging ensures that buyers immediately recognize the rooms pictured, remember the property among the hundreds they preview on-line, envision themselves living in the home and, most importantly, want to go visit the property. In accordance with sound business ethics, Virtually Staging Properties does not utilize its design service to hide flaws or misrepresent the subject property. Further, the company requires its customers to inform potential buyers that the property has been virtually staged. The service is available in packages of three to five staged photographs, with prices ranging from $225 to $325. 

Agents and homeowners around the country have used Virtually Staging Properties to drive buyer traffic to their vacant properties. According to Kelley Hughes-Liao, an Illinois Coldwell Banker agent, “We had a beautifully renovated but vacant condo that didn’t show well on the Internet – our largest target market. I needed the extra edge to drive buyer traffic into the home, and this did the trick. My property sold quickly. Lots of folks were stunned – including other agents.” 

Nancy Campbell, VP of Sales for a Texas-based home builder used the service to virtually stage their model home. “The home really pops now,” she says. “We love the results and I know from past experience our showings will really take off.” 

“While there will always be strong demand for traditional home staging, this virtual technique is an affordable solution for cash-strapped sellers who want to turn listing views into real buyer traffic,” explains Krisztina Bell. “It’s a perfect example of how new technology can help sell homes, even in today’s difficult market.” 

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