6 Ways To Make Your Listing Pop!

6 Ways To Make Your Listing Pop! 

If you’re looking into ways to upgrade your home, you might have run across many ideas that involve a lot of work with minimal payoff. Keeping that in mind, it’s crucial to ensure that any money you invest into a house will come back to you once it’s listed. Still, it’s a good idea to put some time and effort into fixing up certain aspects that are sure to capture a potential buyer’s attention. We’ve compiled a list of six ways to make your house stand out to people in search of the perfect home (and one fantastic way to visualize it for a very low price).

  1. Walls
  2. Flooring
  3. Fixtures & Doorknobs
  4. Fireplace
  5. Curtains & Blinds
  6. The Perfect Photograph



Accent walls are trendy but can be incredibly dull and plain if you aren’t careful. Minimalism is winding down, and the muted tones you see everywhere no longer capture buyers’ attention. Instead of painting a wall a single color just a bit off from the original, consider using peel and stick wallpaper or shiplap. There are many options available on the market, and you can do it yourself or hire a professional. This is one sure way to bring attention to the size of a room and the potential of that space. The best part is whoever stages your home, whether you go the traditional staging route or choose virtual staging, they can create a gorgeous contrast with carefully selected items that give your house an extra unique appeal. 


#2. Flooring

Scuffed wooden flooring, dirty grout, and well-worn carpet are a sure-fire way to turn people off when flicking through the listing of your home. Before you list, you should consider taking the time to resurface flooring, replace tile, or have your carpet treated. If you find it’s beyond an uplift, you might need to go all out and consider redoing the floors completely. Never forget that you’ll be getting into negotiations at some point, and unless people can at least visualize the potential of your home, you’ll be forced to lower the asking price. These touch ups are a good investment. Be sure that your flooring isn’t made from any of the more hazardous materials that were popular several decades ago. Not only will this impact you, but it can also put a damper on a potential sale. Fresh flooring will make a huge difference when people stack your home against the rest of their property options list.


#3.  Fixtures and Doorknobs

One straightforward way to give your home a facelift and bring it into the most recent decade is to switch out the fixtures. Fixture trends have changed tremendously over the past several years, and someone can easily date your home by the fixtures within. You want a nice clean look that provides some of the more updated options on the market, such as one-tap kitchen faucets or even a touchless system. As for doorknobs, these easily get worn down over time, and some fall into ill repair. Replacing them and ensuring that everything matches will help a lot. The front door can also be brought into the most recent century by installing a smart lock. Yes, this is a relatively pricey upgrade, but people want to feel secure in their new home, and this is a great way to exemplify the peace and security your home will bring. 


Another quick upgrade is the kitchen and bathroom cabinet hardware. This is an easy fix that will show buyers how perfect your home is for them! Even if it’s just subconscious, everyone touches and looks at the hardware in a house. Having new hardware is a must. 

#4. Fireplace

Having a fireplace is wonderful, but you want to ensure it’s a boon to your buyers. Many fireplaces look shabby or old and out of place. Since it’s usually the focus of the living room, you want to pay careful attention to how it presents. This means possibly replacing the mantelpiece and the facade, as well as having it professionally cleaned. The fireplace should also be surrounded by an accent wall with carefully orchestrated items that feel cozy and warm. It’s already the focus, be sure it shines. If you choose a virtual staging, you can even have your photos exemplify the perfect fire within. The ideal listing is all about capturing the attention of unrealized desires. 


#5. Curtains and Blinds

Natural light draws the eye, and the curtains and blinds within your home will undoubtedly come under scrutiny. Sprucing up a room with fresh and airy curtains or fancy blinds is a great way to showcase the natural light available. Don’t let all this hard work and money go to waste by blocking off the windows, though. Leave whatever you choose open to create a brighter space and exemplify the surroundings. If you go the curtain route, be sure they set off the accent wall color, whether they contrast or match. With the proper staging, these window covers will do a lot more than you think. 


#6. The Perfect Photograph

There’s no point in doing all this work if the photos on the listing don’t capture it in the best light. Once you’ve put the hard work in, it’s time to stage your home! You can offset a lot of the money you spent upgrading, by choosing to virtually stage and ensure that all the money you spent gets the careful attention it deserves. A virtual stager is both an interior decorator and photo editor in one, and they know how to take your upgrades and use them for maximum benefit. They can also do a few of these upgrades for you virtually, to show you first what a renovation will look like before you do it. While they can’t change your front door knob into a smart lock, they can certainly give your floors an extra shine or help you decide between which tile you’ll use in your bathroom. They can even show you the difference between choosing shiplap and wallpaper. A virtual stager can help with every part of the process, from brainstorming ideas to helping you visualize to giving potential buyers a peek into their future home. 


Now that you know what to focus on, it’s time to get started. We wish you all the best on your home selling journey, wherever it may take you. 




Tel: (203) 293-8765

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Six Ways to Use Virtual Staging After Buying Your Home / Before A Remodel

Six Ways to Use Virtual Staging After Buying Your Home / Before A Remodel

When we talk about staging a home, the image that comes to mind is emptying your home and having a swarm of people redesign your living space, so your listing looks amazing in online photographs. Thankfully, with the use of technology and some brilliant interior designers, virtual staging has made this process so much simpler at a fraction of the cost. Instead of storing all your furniture and upending your life, a virtual stager uses the photographs you provide and redesigns your house using editing software. This means no heavy lifting for you and a lot more control over the design elements. 

All that is wonderful, and I highly recommend it, but it’s time to think outside the box. Virtual stagers offer more than you think! If you’ve already purchased your home or are considering a remodel instead of moving, virtual staging can be your greatest tool. Here are six ways you can use virtual staging beyond the listing process! 


#1: Paint it! 

If you are like me, you bought your home with the intention of adding a little personal flair to each room. You’ve spent hours scouring paint apps, trying to visualize the result of changing those beige walls to something with a bit more flavor. Sadly, those apps you’ve used aren’t giving you an accurate result, which can be very frustrating, especially if you plan to paint each room yourself. 

Hiring a virtual stager can help show you the different options before you ever set foot in a paint store. Not only do you get to see the result without lifting a finger, but with their interior design background, they can offer advice on complementary colors and matching furniture. It’s a win/win any way you look at it. Even better, you won’t need to waste any money on paint samples that you’ll have to cover up later! 


#2: Redesign your flooring!

Whether your house is brand new or passed down for generations, redoing the floors is always high on the list of upgrades. Some people want to add carpet, while others are looking at hardwood and tile. This is a costly endeavor, and you want to get it right the first time. A virtual stager can show you the different options available and how they look in your home, not just on a well-lit showroom floor. 

With so many materials and colors on the market, there’s no reason to close your eyes and try to visualize or order samples that show you what a square foot of floor space will look like. Simply call upon the experts and ask them for a few virtual samples of the entire room. You’ll quickly be able to tell if the tile you are considering will clash with your cabinetry or if hardwood will bring your home that classic look you’re aiming for. An excellent virtual stager will spend time getting to know you and researching the type of look you want. With thousands of hours spent viewing house after house to create online listings, they’ve seen it all, and their knowledge is invaluable. 


#3: Remodel a room (or five)!

Curious what your kitchen would look like with an island counter or a new backsplash? Considering turning your bathroom into a wonderland with a claw foot tub? Maybe you have even looked into removing a wall or installing a recessed ceiling to add that wow factor. Virtual staging can do all of that and more. You can redesign your entire living space over and over again before you settle on an idea! 

This is such a crucial part of the design process, and even the best construction companies rely on you to know what you want. Virtual stagers have entire libraries of remodels and various home aesthetics for you to choose from before calling that construction company for an estimate. This is something you want to take advantage of so you aren’t wasting time and money. 


#4: Interior Design

Even if the bare bones of your home are perfect, it can be hard to choose furniture and accessories that vibe with your lifestyle. Hiring an interior designer can get expensive, and the average family can’t afford this luxury. A virtual stager, though, is a fraction of the cost. You can see the different furniture styles in your rooms and find out which colors add that subtle cohesiveness that takes your living space to the next level. 

Interior design is all about aesthetics, and the right virtual stager will be ready and willing to design each room to your specifications. Once you have the photos in hand, you can take as long as you like transforming your house, piece by piece! If you’re working on a budget, this can make a huge difference in your ability to create the perfect space. 


#5: Design the perfect nursery! 

New parents spend months agonizing over creating the perfect nursery for their children. If you’re expecting, you already have enough stress on your plate. Take that Pinterest board and pass it to a virtual designer. They can help you decide the best layout and color schemes, all while staying true to your desires. They can even show you the natural light angles from the windows and what the room will look like in the light of day and the dark of night. 

Editing software has come a long way, and you can take advantage of this while knowing your design is in good hands. Trust me, you need all the help you can get, but it also feels good to be part of the process. A virtual stager will work with you to create the perfect room for your tiny human. 


#6: Upgrade your yard! 

Virtual staging isn’t just about the interior, as an expert will have landscaping knowledge as well. Whether you’re considering building a pergola, adding a deck, installing a pool, or just redesigning your walkway, a virtual stager will be able to show you the finished result before you ever get started. This can be a huge help once you hire the professionals to get the job done. Having a photo in hand to show them precisely what you want means you are way more likely to be pleased with the outcome. 

Even if all you are doing is laying sod, it can be nice to see what your yard would look like after all that hard work. It can help you visualize and keep you working towards your goal!


Take Advantage of Virtual Staging Today!

Now that you know what virtual staging can offer, it’s time to find the perfect professional. Your chosen virtual stager should be willing to talk to you over the phone and take all of your ideas and requests into consideration. Feel free to be as detailed as possible!




written by Lotus 3D Staging


Call us: (203) 293-8765


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After_Example_Virtually_Staged_Living Room_by_Lotus_3D_Staging
Blog, Virtual Staging

5 Important Do’s and Don’ts of Virtual Staging

5 Important Do’s and Don’ts of Virtual Staging

After_Example_Virtually_Staged_Living Room_by_Lotus_3D_Staging

Above photo of lotus 3d staging- virtual staging

In today’s age, when everything from dating to working is virtual, one part of life is slowly embracing the trend: real estate. Potential home buyers have been turning to the internet for nearly 15 years as they search database after database of homes for sale before ever stepping foot out of the door. It makes sense, right? They can interact with a listing and see the location, amount of space, street view, schools, and photos of the property without hiring a real estate agent before they’re truly ready to buy. This has cut down astronomically on the ancillary costs and risks, like taking time off work to view multiple homes, the hefty gas bill to get there, and potentially having to buy a home sight unseen. 


It’s rather brilliant, to be honest, but it wasn’t until recently that the average home seller began to truly benefit from this virtual movement. True, sellers have had an easier time getting their home out there and letting people know it’s available, but everything else has remained the same, including the costs of staging and selling a home. Thankfully, the virtual revolution is here, and home sellers will be pleased to know that they can cut the cost of staging by as much as 90%. How? By virtually staging a home! 


Virtual staging is shining the light on the endless possibilities a home has to offer and can truly take your home from the maybe list to the “must-see.” However, just like any type of image alteration, it has to be done right, or you risk the potential buyer clicking past your house before giving it a thorough look. Let’s go over the five “do’s and don’ts” of virtual staging so you can rest assured you’re getting the best virtual home staging possible. 



Do #1: Outline your expectations in writing. 

Virtual staging is an online process, which means some things can get lost in translation. Yes, most professional stagers will be able to take a blank slate and make it a true beauty without input, but if you have a vision, share it. This is your home that you’re selling, and no one knows it better than you. By starting on the right foot with clear expectations, the final product will be exactly what you want. This includes the rooms you wish to fully stage or simply enhance and the overall feel of the home. 


Do #2: Send a reference photo.

Many virtual stagers have an online library you can peruse. Take advantage of this by informing the stager which of their photos you like the most. If you send a magazine photo, you might find that the result doesn’t match if they don’t have the furniture in their library. 


By using their photos as a reference, you can ensure your virtual staging will look natural. Keep in mind that some types of furniture don’t translate well online, and the professional stager has to work with the angles of the photos of your home that you’ve provided. Do yourself a favor and choose contemporary furniture over traditional, so the result looks as authentic as possible. 


Do #3: The more details, the better. 

The possibilities are endless when virtually staging a home. There are very few constraints, and this is your best chance to show the world your home the way you’ve always imagined it could look. Your personal preferences matter during this process. 


Everyone has specific things they do and don’t like, such as color schemes and flowers.  Your virtual stager should take the time to get to know you and align your expectations with what is best for the market. For instance, if you want a sunflower in a blue vase on the table, let them know. As interior designers, they can take this information and design each room around your wishes. 


Let them know what each room is for, as well, whether it be a child’s or a teen’s room, and what vibe you want to see. Is this a high-end property? A country home? This is crucial information. You are buying a product, and you have every right to retain control of the process. You don’t want to purchase a virtual staging and have them miss the mark.


Do #4: Be upfront about having the house virtually staged. 

Once the process is done and you’re ready to list the house, be sure to inform potential buyers that you have used this process. You don’t have to yell it from the rooftops, but it should be clearly stated somewhere within the listing. Often, virtual staging requires fixing blemishes on the walls and other such issues, and false advertising is not okay. Virtual staging exists to show a home’s potential, and so long as you are upfront, you will be fine. 


Do #5: Title your photos. 

As you save the images to your computer, make sure you are marking them clearly. Without the titles, you can easily misplace them within your documents, and the professional you’ve hired won’t retain them for long. It’s up to you to be sure you have saved them where you can find them later and that you know which photos belong with which room. 



Don’t #1: Hire a cheap stager. 

Like any other product, you get what you pay for. This means that if you want quality virtual staging, you need to do your research. Image alterations can be tricky, and you want to ensure you’re using a knowledgeable stager, so you don’t waste time and money. Ask them about their process. Do they sketch it out first? Are they willing to talk with you to get the details? Do they listen well or talk over you? These are essential things to consider when choosing a professional. 


Don’t #2: Do it yourself. 

Yes, you can buy apps to do it yourself, but honestly, unless you’re an interior designer with a photography background, you don’t want to go this route. You need this to look real, or you will regret it. It may seem easy to place the couch within the room on the app, but once you start placing tables, accents, changing wall colors, etc., the overall photo can quickly look jarring. Many people who do it themselves focus wholly on each aspect and can’t figure out where they went wrong in the end. You have one chance to show a potential buyer that your house is the perfect one for them, don’t waste it. 


Don’t #3: Rush the process. 

Give yourself and your stager time to create the best virtual staging possible. Once you’ve submitted your photos, it should take about a week to get the edits back. After this, if you want any revisions, it can take another 48 hours. This means you don’t want to wait until the last minute to hire someone, or you’ll put undue stress on everyone involved. If you give yourself extra time, you will be more comfortable asking for specific edits once you’ve seen the first draft. 


Don’t #4: Pay for a complete virtual staging without a test run. 

Choose one room and speak with a few virtual stagers. This pre-shopping can make all the difference later on. If you hand all your photos over and buy the whole package up front, you might regret it a week later when you get them back. If you take the time to shop around, you’ll find the perfect stager for your home, and you’ll feel good about hiring them. 


Don’t #5: Settle for poor photos or lousy customer service. 

If something looks off when you get your photos back, the virtual stager you’ve chosen isn’t good at their job. There are some fantastic virtual stagers out there, and it’s up to you to read the reviews and follow the advice laid out above to ensure you’ve chosen a great one. Aside from their abilities, you want them to be personable. If you hire someone that is brisk, you won’t be comfortable asking for revisions or edits. Be sure to foster a good working relationship so that you’re comfortable asking for what you want. 


Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of virtual staging, you are ready to get started. Take a deep breath and dive in. You’ve got this!

See our virtual staging page 

Visit our  homepage and look around at what we can do for you.

or go right to our virtual staging page to see more

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Rent vs Mortgage – 5 Cities Compared

Rent vs Mortgage – 5 Cities Compared

At some point in our lives, we’re ready to stop throwing money down the rent rabbit-hole and instead build up our assets by investing in a home and paying a mortgage. The sooner, the better. Every monthly rent payment you make lines the pockets of landlords instead of bolstering your assets. If you have a steady job and some money put aside, consider purchasing a home, as each cent you put towards the principal of a house payment is one cent saved for a later date. Let’s look at five major cities and the rental versus mortgage prices, and whether or not the average restaurant server can afford to own a home on their hourly pay and tips (based on a down payment of 10%).    Minnesota-city-lotus-3d-staging


#1: Los Angeles, California Rent versus Mortgage

Average Rent According to Rent Cafe: $2,450. 

The figure above is nearly double the national average. In a more affluent sector, this price can be upwards of $5,000 or more. Depending on how much money you make (most rental agreements require at least three times the amount of the rent), you’re throwing out at least a third of your income every month for a place to lay your head. On average, someone renting in Los Angeles is losing $29,400 per year towards rental housing. 


Average Mortgage Cost According to Business Insider: $3,048. 


The income needed to attain a home at that mortgage rate is $121,939. If you’re married, this means that each person would need to bring just under $61,000. Mortgage rates include escrow amounts for homeowner’s insurance and property taxes as well. This means for $600 more a month, you’ll be able to stop throwing money down the drain and gain financial stability. 


With such a high cost of living, Los Angeles offers better pay than other cities within the country. One restaurant server working 40 hour weeks, five days a week, makes on average $71,539 before taxes and including tips (averaged at $150 per day). Homeownership isn’t just a dream. With careful planning and a partner, it can be a reality. 


#2: Chicago, Illinois Rent versus Mortgage 

Average Rent According to Rent Cafe: $2,012


While Chicago is marginally less expensive than Los Angeles, it’s still much higher than the national average. It’s easy to find cheaper rent, closer to the $600 range, but these neighborhoods come with high crime and poorly performing schools and rental buildings in desperate need of repair. 


Average Mortgage Cost According to Business Insider: $1,276


The income needed to attain a home at that mortgage rate is $51,031. Remember, if you’re married, that requirement is cut in half per person. This means that even those who rent in rougher neighborhoods can attain a house and begin building their assets up. For many, buying a home could cut their monthly housing payments nearly in half or cost just a modest amount more. 


While Los Angeles offers higher pay for the cost of living, Chicago doesn’t have the same rates, but it’s close. A restaurant server working 40 hours per week, five days per week, makes $66,352 before taxes and after tips (averaged at $150 per day). This means the average server which reports all tips on their taxes can afford a nicer than average home on their own. 


#3: New York City, New York Rent versus Mortgage

Average Rent According to Rent Cafe: $3,872


Manhattan, New York, has rent nearly three times higher than the national average, and over 50% of residents rent instead of owning. The good news is that rent in this city is declining, unlike the previous two on our list. The bad news is that finding lower rental prices means severely reducing amenities and safety. 


Average Mortgage Cost According to Business Insider: $2,733


The income needed to attain a home at that mortgage rate is $109,313. A married couple would each need to bring in just under $55,000 each. In this case, buying a home versus renting a home would save more than $12,000 per year. That’s a substantial annual savings that can go towards other expenditures. 


Thankfully, New York offers one of the highest salaries for a server to offset living costs. A server working 40 hours per week, five days a week, earns on average $88,478 before taxes and including tips (valued at $180 per day). While a single server won’t be able to afford a home on the restaurant pay alone, a side gig can quickly bring them above the threshold needed to buy a home in New York City. 


#4: Dallas, Texas Rent versus Mortgage 

Average Rent According to Rent Cafe: $1,338


Dallas is slightly lower than the national average, but rent prices have risen 7% in the past year alone and have been steadily increasing. Neighborhoods such as Arbor Place offer rent as low as $770, but the quality and amenities decrease. 


Average Mortgage Cost According to Business Insider: $1,779


The income needed to attain a home at that mortgage rate is $58,033. Each partner within a marriage would need to bring in just under $30,000 to qualify. Dallas is one of the more affordable cities on our list, and housing is plentiful, so if you’re considering moving from renting to owning, now is the time. 


Dallas also offers amenable income for those living and working in the area. The average restaurant server that works 40 hours a week, five days a week, brings in $72,342 before taxes and after tips (based on the average of $120 in tips per day), meaning that the average server could not only afford a home on their pay alone, but they could join someone in purchasing an additional property and renting it out for extra income. 


#5: Nashville, Tennessee Rent versus Mortgage

Average Rent According to Rent Cafe: $1,502


Nashville falls right along with the national average for rental rates, but the rental market is increasing along the same lines as Dallas, with an uptick of 6% over the past year. While it’s possible to find lower rent within the area, parts of Nashville are heavy tourist attractions and are loud for many hours of the night as bars stay open late. 


Average Mortgage Cost According to Business Insider: $1,254


The income needed to attain a home at that mortgage rate is $51,294. This means that each partner within a marriage would need to bring home just under $26,000 each. Nashville has a booming market and many surrounding cities with easy access and even more affordable housing, meaning if you have a car, you can easily own your own home and stop paying rent while saving $300+ a month on housing expenses. 


Nashville is known for its restaurants and servers that work 40 hours per week, five days a week make on average $76,001 before taxes and after tips (valued at $150 per day). A single server can easily afford their own home in Nashville with enough left over to invest in other avenues. 

For those looking to sell your first home and move into something larger that can accommodate a growing family, please look into our Virtual Staging services. Help a renter buy their first home and pass the dream on! We can save you money on the staging process, and we pride ourselves on speaking directly with every customer to ensure our services meet your needs.

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Tips For Home Sellers

Tips For Home Sellers

With housing market prices currently skyrocketing due to low inventory and cash offers on nearly every home, now is an excellent time to put your house up for sale. Use these 15 tips to cash in on this phenomenon and get the maximum asking price with minimal overhead costs associated with home selling while alleviating the stresses that can occur. 


1.) Research comparisons to ensure the best asking price. 

You probably heard the term “comps” many times as a buyer while purchasing the home you currently own, but it’s just as important for sellers to understand comparable prices. Look at what other houses in your neighborhood with similar square footage and acreage are going for, and you’ll have a good idea of how to price your home. Remember, you’ll want an asking price to be slightly higher than the price you’re aiming for so the buyer will feel as if they received a deal on the home, but not so high as to land your house outside of search parameters and miss out on potential buyers. 


2.) If you’ve decided to hire an agent, make sure your realtor is independent of the buyer. 

While it seems unethical, it’s quite common for realtors to represent both parties and get the commission from both sides. This can simplify things, but it makes the bargaining process obsolete and results in your home selling for less than it could have. Real estate agents are very savvy and know the tactics needed to get you the optimal amount out of the deal, so long as they have someone to bargain with. 


3.) Present a clean home. 

As soon as you’ve decided to start the selling process, begin cleaning your home. Start by standing in the doorway of each room and viewing it with unbiased eyes. Here’s a list of things you should pay careful attention to, as buyers will notice things you might not think of. 


  1. Baseboards
  2. Showers, toilets, and sinks
  3. Windows
  4. Ceilings
  5. Laundry room
  6. Entryway
  7. Garage 
  8. Kitchen appliances
  9. Walls
  10. Stairs and banisters 
  11. Carpet, tile grout, and hardwood floors
  12. Closets and pantries


Be sure you’re using the appropriate cleaners for each surface and consider renting a carpet cleaner or having it professionally cleaned. If your walls are too dirty to create a pristine look, try to budget in a paint job in the bedrooms and living room, at the very least. 


4.) Appropriate unused rooms into typical desires. 

If you have a room that doesn’t get much use, turn it into a nursery, gym, or home office. Doing this will give the buyer ideas of what they can use it for and leave a good impression. Leaving a room empty or full of storage items can turn many buyers off of the house. 


5.) Optimize storage space. 

One major consideration buyers have when looking at a home is the amount of storage available. Once your closets and pantries are clean, consider boxing up half of each, so the buyer feels extra room is available. This also applies to the garage and basement if you have one. 


6.) Depersonalize your home. 

While your home should be clean and welcoming, buyers want it to feel as if it’s “move in ready.” Consider removing these everyday items to give it a fresh look. 


  1. Family photos 
  2. Crafting supplies
  3. Stacks of books and magazines 
  4. Questionable artwork on the walls
  5. Pet supplies
  6. Toys
  7. Any politically affiliated memorabilia 
  8. Toiletries


Remember that many different people will view your home, and they each have personal beliefs that might clash with yours. It’s essential to present a neutral environment, so the buyers don’t walk away based on conflicting morals. 


7.) Timing matters

One of the most significant factors in selling your home for an optimal price is the time of year. Homes placed for sale between March and May sell for more than homes in mid-summer and winter, and they sell quickly. Many people begin shopping for homes after the holidays have settled down because they want to move within the year. You’ll miss the mark and have to wait if you list too early, and you’ll miss out on many prospective buyers if you wait too long. 


8.) Consider the color palette. 

You might have personalized the walls of your home by painting them exciting colors or textures. The bright orange dining room you’ve come to love can repel a potential buyer. Repainting your walls in neutral colors will appeal to a wider variety of prospective buyers. 


9.) Assess curb appeal. 

First impressions matter and this is more true for home selling than anything else. There are no second chances. Consider taking care of these matters before you take photos or show your home. If you can not make changes, consider hiring a virtual staging/virtual renovation company (lotus 3d staging) to digitally show in a photo what the changes will look like.

  1. Repaint or pressure wash the exterior of your home.
  2. Trim the front yard and plant welcoming flowers. Make sure there are no weeds or overgrowth. 
  3. Pressure wash the driveway. 
  4. Have only one car parked in the driveway during showings and no vehicles parked during photos. 
  5. Shine up your mailbox and house numbers. 
  6. Make sure the roof is clean and in good repair, and the gutters are empty. 
  7. Make sure all outdoor lighting is dust-free, and the bulbs are in good condition. 
  8. Clean your porch and front door, paying careful attention to the knobs.  


Once you’re done, stand at the mailbox and view your house and property. Look for any other items that you might be able to take care of for a better presentation. 


10.) Photos matter. 

Buyers looking at homes are going to start with an internet search. If a home doesn’t have any photos, they’ll quickly move on to the next. Similarly, if the images don’t look professional and the house looks cluttered or in need of massive repairs, buyers won’t waste their time coming to see the house. Make sure your listing puts your home in the best possible light. If you take the photos yourself, consider hiring a virtual staging company to enhance the photographs for an eye-catching result. 


11.) Use virtual staging to cut down on selling costs. 

Staging your home is a critical aspect of the selling process. A house can spend years on the market simply because it’s empty and buyers don’t feel a connection. By hiring a virtual staging company to help you stage your home, you can cut down on staging costs and have complete control over the finished look. Find a professional virtual stager willing to speak with you on the phone, so there are no miscommunications about your expectations or the process. Interior design specialists run these companies, and they’ll have a lot of advice on what appeals the most to potential buyers. 


12.) View this exchange strictly as a business proposal. 

Selling the home you lived in can be very emotional. In your heart, it’s worth more simply because of the amount of love and appreciation you’ve felt in the environment. By dissociating the selling process from your emotions, you’ll have an easier time selling it and depersonalizing it. Your home is an investment and an asset, so switch your thinking pattern from “my home” to “the house.”

13.) Assess the offers carefully. 

After all your hard work, it can be easy to get excited over the first offer. Playing hardball and assessing each offer can result in a higher selling price. Be sure that the buyer has a pre-approved mortgage lined up and that the bid is legitimate. Many closings have been pushed off for months due to inadequate preparation on the buyer’s end. 


14.)  Research closing cost discounts. 

If you haven’t already, look into closing cost discounts. Educators, nurses, and the military can qualify for discounts on these costs. Also, consider who will pay the closing costs and how negotiable you are. If you have damage to your home that is on the appraisal, you can trade off and pay the closing costs to lower the overall cost for the buyer without having to invest money into fixing a home you won’t be living in anymore. Similarly, you can make closing costs the buyer’s responsibility if you have many offers and are trying to sort through them. 


15.) Plan for the next step

Be prepared to move quickly. Once the closing is over, you no longer own the home, and you’ll need to have your next option lined up and completed. It’s a careful balance, as you don’t want to be paying two mortgages while waiting on your home to sell, but you also might need the funds from the sale to purchase your next home. This is one of the most significant stressors on sellers and buyers alike. By carefully researching and preparing, you can eliminate this issue and time it just right. 

Now that you have information on how to sell your home and cut down costs, it’s time to get started! Before you make a phone call or begin your search, take a walk around your house and start planning what needs to be addressed first. It may seem like a huge list to tackle, but by piecing it out as we have above, you’ll be in your new home with cash in your pocket in no time!


Call Us Anytime with any questions – Lotus 3D Staging (203) 293-8765.

We’re happy to talk with you about an upcoming property you need to sell and how best to do it!

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Blog, Virtual Staging

20 Expert Staging Tips to Make a Small House Look Bigger

20 Expert Staging Tips to Make a Small House Look Bigger

August 16, 2021 by Emily Huddleston

There’s one thing that will always be appealing to prospective buyers – and that is space. This need for space can feel like a major hurdle for those selling a home that’s on the smaller side. But there is good news! While you can’t add to your property’s square footage, you can change the perception of it.  Even the tiniest of homes can be made to appear larger – all it takes is proper staging.

That’s why we’re sharing our favorite home staging techniques to make a small house look bigger and more functional. We reached out to real estate and staging professionals across North America, from Riverside, CA to Kingston, ON. Keep reading for their best tips and tricks that work in small spaces every time.

small kitchen

1. Utilize vertical wall space. A great example would be using a vertical file holder in the entryway or office space to help organize incoming mail, school papers, or office documents. An intentional and yet organized space, especially for small homes, makes a huge impact on the overall feel of the home. – FIB Home Staging & Interior Design

2. Choose furniture and greenery that fits the space. If buyers have to turn sideways or squeeze by furniture they will remember the room feeling too small. It may be better to have two chairs and a small table, instead of having a sofa. Adding greenery or a vase with flowers can brighten up a small space too. You’d be surprised what adding a small inexpensive artificial plant can do. – Design to Sell Staging

3. Avoid dark furniture and dark colors in general. Keep it light and the space will feel expansive. – Studio Shaolin

4. Consider corners. I avoid cluttering the corners and always leave the corners of the room empty. Also, make sure you open your blinds and let natural light in. – Front Porch Properties SC

5. Add an interesting item to each room. This could be a colorful piece of art or a unique piece of furniture. – Asheville Home Staging

6. Place a low bed near a window. Try this simple trick in a small bedroom and more space will appear. Hang a mirror on the opposite wall to reflect the outdoors and create an even larger illusion of space. – Voila Staging & Design

7. Use white or light-colored bedding. This is an inexpensive and easy way to make small spaces feel larger. The same goes for window treatments. White or light curtain panels for privacy, white sheers for semi-privacy, and whenever possible, bare windows. Let the light in and spaces will always feel larger. – Debut Property Home Staging

8. Remove clutter. This is one of the easiest ways to give your home a “ready to buy” feel. Start by removing anything that is wasting space: old magazines or random objects that don’t have a purpose. Even your favorite family photographs should be kept to a minimum. Most houses look cluttered because of the furniture, therefore, it is advisable to get rid of the furniture to give rooms a larger appearance. – Swee An Ng

9. Play with patterns. Adding patterns to a small room creates a whimsical visual distraction making the space feel bigger. There are some great adhesive wallpapers out on the market now. Try doing just the bed wall with a fun pattern or an accent wall in a breakfast nook or dressing room. This will not only make it feel more inviting but also add a visual interest that will distract the room from its size. – En Vue Staging

10. Adding shelving into a small bathroom. This will create storage and easy function, without sacrificing style. Also, raising your bathroom curtain rod up to the ceiling will make the bathroom appear larger to buyers. You want to keep your bathroom light and airy but don’t be afraid to add pops of color. –  Unforgettable Staging

11. Incorporate tempered glass, acrylic, or lucite furnishings. It allows buyers to see more of what the room has to offer and creates a sense of ample open space. Plus it’s quite aesthetically pleasing to the eye which is a big bonus. – Nicole Beale – Owner, Honeycomb Homes AZ

12. Keep scale in mind. One of the goals in staging a home is to make the rooms look as large and inviting as possible. Using furniture that is too big for a room can make it appear cramped, small, and uncomfortable. If the furniture is too small in scale, it can make the room look like it’s furnished with doll furniture. The scale of the furniture must be in proportion to the room. – StandOUT Home Staging

13. Size and color matter. Monochromatic color schemes versus a variety of colors and patterns create a seamless, more spacious look for online photography. Trick the eye by using a small grouping of table accessories with height instead of numerous small items that can look cluttered. Include large modern wall art that demands visual attention. It is the perfect eye candy for creating the illusion of space. – Lifestyle Staging by AM

14. Create moments across each staged space that will resonate feelings. These moments will leave future homeowners with the ability to envision enjoying the special features and character of the property. We create these moments through vignette setups in designated areas.  It may entail staging a sitting area by a window with a coffee cup, an open entertaining room with martini glasses on the ottoman, a reading corner with an open book and reading glasses, a cutting board full of cooking ingredients on the counter, or a breakfast tray on a bed. By creating these special moments, you leave buyers wanting more. – Upstate Roots Design

15. Adding visual depth to the room. You can do this by 1) floating the sofa and accent furniture away from the wall, 2) by providing ample floor and table lamps throughout, 3) adding vertical shelving for smart use of space, and 4) by mixing patterns and textures in your soft fabrics for added dimension. Be sure to avoid small accessories and décor and instead opt for fewer but taller accessories to make the room look and feel grander than what might otherwise meet the eye. – Cozy Corners

16. Try a signature wall of color or a large mural. This can elevate and give a small room a grander perspective. Coordinating these elements, with a large piece of furniture, rather than many smaller items, will ground your room and give a more expansive feel. Decorative items, such as black and white photography (especially a nautical theme) lend a special drama to a small room, while visually expanding its dimensions.  – Lotus 3D Staging

17. If you have a room that is less than updated, make it a feature. Pink and black bathroom, no problem!  Show your buyers why this is an added character, not something that has to be updated. – NOVAS Best Home Staging

18. When it comes to furniture, less is more. A few carefully curated pieces in each room to show the functionality and to provide a pop of color will go far. In communal spaces avoid placing furniture exclusively along walls and instead float it out a bit and create gathering places anchored by area rugs. – LUXE Home Staging

19. Use smaller scale furniture that can have multiple uses. An example would be a dining table that can also function as a desk. Another furniture item that can do double duty is nightstands that work as a dresser and additional storage.  – The Staging & Design Consultant

20. Add a bar height table behind the sofa. One of the quickest ways to gain square footage in the buyer’s mind is to make the kitchen appear bigger. A trick we often use is to put a bar height table coupled with three or four bar stools behind the sofa facing the TV. This eliminates the need for a big table in the kitchen, opens up the space, and offers a great way to watch the big game or a great movie. – Delight In Designs

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The Difficulties and Costs of Staging A Home

The Difficulties and Costs of Staging A Home


Is home staging necessary?


Home staging is a pivotal part of the home selling process. Whether you’re a private seller or a realtor, chances are that you’ve spent time looking into the best ways to get a potential buyer to spend that extra five to ten minutes looking at the space you have available for them while imagining themselves living there. Staging the house is a great way to stand out above the rest.


Home buying has changed dramatically over the past decade, and so, too, has the process of how potential buyers find the perfect home. Before they ever contact a realtor, homebuyers begin their search on apps and websites, clicking through house after house to decide which ones they like, filing away the ones they love, and quickly skipping the ones they don’t. 


It doesn’t take long for someone to decide against a property. The reasons are numerous and often out of your control; maybe it doesn’t have enough bathrooms or perhaps the yard is small, but there’s one guaranteed reason for them to skip to the next with barely a glance: the house either has no photos or the ones there look cluttered and the house looks like it needs a lot of work. This is one thing a home seller has complete control over, and they should use this as an advantage. 


Buyers prefer four things in an online listing when it comes to saving homes that match their criteria. They want the home to:


  • Look clean
  • Be organized
  • Be well taken care of 
  • Be ready to move into


This is why staging a house is so important. A blank slate can be great, but it feels impersonal and unwelcoming. Rooms filled with personal items look messy and small. Your favorite couch might clash with the wall colors, but you’ve gotten so used to it that you don’t even notice. With a bit of planning and a great color scheme, potential buyers have a much easier time imagining their own families lounging in the living room if the house has been staged. 


Is staging a home expensive?


According to Home Advisor, the price of having your home staged in person by a staging service averages about $1,500 for initial services. Many pay around $2250 to $6000. These prices are for a one-time staging, during which you or your realtor can take photographs of the house before listing it online. Depending on where you live and how large your home is, the price can rise exponentially. To get started, you’ll need a staging consultation to help the company decide what rooms need to be staged and how they should be staged to showcase the benefits of the house while minimizing the shortcomings. These consultations aren’t free and must be scheduled, resulting in time and money spent before your house even hits the market. When you add in the furniture rental and possible extended time on the market you may think of the other options, like virtual staging.


Which rooms should be staged?


Four key rooms within a house should be staged. Potential buyers don’t need to see a staged hallway or office, but they do need to see the possible layout of the home. 


    • Foyers and entrances are the first impressions a buyer’s friends and family will have when they visit, and staging a foyer to make it open and welcoming is essential. 
  • Living rooms are where people will spend most of their time, and a well-laid-out space is vital when drawing in potential buyers. Too much furniture and the room will seem small, clashing colors will make it feel chaotic, and your old DVD collection is going to be a problem. 
  • Kitchens are one of the rooms that buyers are most interested in. Staging furniture isn’t vital here, but having a nice countertop layout that breathes color into the room can make all the difference. 
  • Bathrooms can make or break a deal. Shower curtains and soap add a nice finishing touch to warm potential buyers to the space and draw the eye to the size of the tub and the quality of the fixtures. 


Is in-house staging right for you?


In-house stagings aren’t the only option, and they aren’t even the best option. The upfront costs can be a huge problem, and staging services only have so many furniture options for you to choose from. You can, of course, do it yourself by cleaning up and rearranging your furniture, but that can be daunting, and you might miss a critical feature that experts will be sure to take care of. Staging the home also doesn’t count the cost of photography. Touching up the photos and making sure they have optimal lighting is just as important as the staging process and adds even more to the upfront costs. 


There’s a new option on the rise, and it’s not only economical, but it can also take your home staging to new levels. It combines the process of staging with the process of enhancing photos, and it’s called virtual staging


Virtually staging a home offers many advantages over in-home staging. Virtual staging services give you complete control over the layout and color schemes, and collaborating with a knowledgeable and compassionate provider can make this process easy and quick. They can help you enhance and renovate a space within the span of a few hours, showing potential buyers the possibilities your home offers without all the costs and time associated with actual renovations. Providers of this service are interior design specialists, and the options they offer are endless. Because they aren’t providing tangible furniture, the costs are much more reasonable, too. 


When choosing a virtual home staging provider, you’ll want to ensure they’re a good fit for you. Providers should:


  • Respond quickly to requests
  • Offer consultations and specialized services 
  • Be upfront about their fees
  • Be knowledgeable about the current market
  • Have excellent before and after photos available to peruse
  • Guarantee a unique staging


You don’t want your home to have the same furniture as five other houses potential buyers are looking at. In-home staging is location-centric, meaning that they service a specific area. Buyers tend to look at homes close to each other, and virtual staging can take place from across the country, assuring that home-buyers are seeing unique settings for the house you’re selling. 


If you’re serious about putting your house on the market, virtual staging can have you ready to list within a day or two. The housing market is currently ablaze, and it’s a great time to sell, so find yourself a fantastic virtual staging artist and get ready for offers to flood in!


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Feng Shui

How To Make Sure Your Home Staging Has Feng Shui

Feng Shui

How To Make Sure Your Home Staging Has Feng Shui

While oftentimes people have heard of Feng Shui and have a general sense of what It means. Most people’s knowledge doesn’t go much further than that. Feng Shui originated in China and has moved to the west and places importance on the ability of energy to flow in a home. In short, making sure that a home has a good flow allows for easier usage of the home and the items in it. Allowing for better viewing, as well as living, experience.

Where To Start

When looking into incorporating Feng Shui into your home it can often be tricky where to actually start when it comes to rearranging your home. One of the most commonly overlooked areas is your front entrance. While most homeowners will use the garage as an entrance when they come back from work or running errands. Your guest and potential home buyers will use the front door. Providing an inviting front entrance area sets the tone for the rest of your home. Plants on the walkway up as well as warm inviting colors can provide a sense of peace as well as nature. It’s important to choose the right colors, think earth tones that are warm and make you feel comfortable. The same idea goes for the plants as well. We want to provide soft, rounded leaves with warm flowers, red, yellow, orange, and gold.

The Entryway

Most home buyers know within 10 seconds whether a home is an option for them or not. Providing a strong experience that gives direction and points the eyes in on where to go is important. Most entryways expand into other areas instead of being a designated space in itself. With plenty of options on where to go, providing a path is critical. The usage of rugs are comfortable to walk on as well as appropriate for the space. Runner Rugs are a common choice as they fit hallways and can point guests in the right direction.

At eye level, the use of art that provides a path for the eyes, as well as a story, will help guide home buyers to the most important parts of the home.

The Living Room

While a living room is often used for a place to watch the big game or the newest bachelor/bachelorette during wine night with the girls. It’s also important to make sure that the space is functional and allows users to not feel blocked. Arranging the furniture to point in the main focal point of the room makes guests as well as home buyers feel welcome and understand what the space was intended for.

If you love to host and prepare meals while hosting it would make sense to point the furniture towards the kitchen. Allowing guests a natural path back and forth as well as making them feel, as well as you, a part of the evening.

If you use a living room as more of a communal space with your family. Furniture arrangements that focus on the center of the room allow for natural conversation with everyone.

If you have a much larger space often times the area can be split into multiple seating areas allowing for larger gatherings that can still fill intimate if you need to talk to someone privately.

The living area is one of the most important areas in a home. Knowing your intended use, the size of the space, and creating natural paths for the flow of people as well as conversation will make any homebuyer feel right at home.

Less Is More

While having gadgets out in the kitchen is practical, especially if you juice every day. Removing items that can cause clutter as well as personalize the space is a no-go. We want the homebuyer to feel as if they can create and imagine this space as their own. Photos of your family, while priceless to you, may make the homebuyer feel as if the space is already taken. Removing clutter not only allows more energy to move through the home more easily it allows homebuyers to imagine living in the space more easily.

By focusing on creating natural paths for energy to flow you’ll allow guests, and homebuyers, the ability to easily navigate your home. Providing a beautiful experience and a welcoming atmosphere that would make anyone feel comfortable.

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CAMERA D7500 2021-06-22



Looking to learn how to shoot your own real estate photos? It’s no secret real estate agents and property managers are always looking to save money and get an edge over the competition. In today’s blog, we will cover the important aspects you’ll need to effectively get professional style property photos from beginning to end. If you’re new to real estate, (maybe you’re a new agent) and have never shot a property before, this article will assist in teaching you some easy to use, easy to comprehend tips and pointers. 

We will not only tell you how to take a perfect shot, we will suggest and recommend the proper equipment to use, settings, prep needed and all those little tips and tricks that give the professionals that important special pro-look. You can do it too!

#1 – What Camera And Photo Gear To Buy



It can be a little overwhelming to take your own great real estate property photos. There are so many options out there on the market, especially if you’re new to this. Finding the camera that best fits your needs can be frustrating (all the directions and manuals and info where do I start?).

This tutorial will start with the highest level of camera and then address how to get great photos with a cell phone camera. That’s right! You can get a great shot using a cell phone camera. If you’re going to get good at this or make an effort to shoot your team’s photos or your own real estate photos and want to buy a great camera, we find that the Nikon D7500 is top notch. The price is around $1000 – $1200 USD and it’s a wonderful option for property photographers. This camera allows for bracketing. We will discuss bracketing further below. 


We advise using the Nikon 10-24mm lens (aka a fish-eye lens) in tandem with the D7500 Camera. It’s an investment but it’s well built and will get the job done at peak professional performance. This lens will capture the most fantastic wide angle shots. When shooting real estate it’s all about the space and the angles in the frame. Remember to not shoot too wide or images in the frame may get improperly distorted. It’s called lens bowing. Our Lotus 3D Staging Image Enhancement service actually fixes lens bowing and color corrects if errors occur which is a nice backup. We have a lot of clients who shoot cell phone photos and simply send us the photos to straighten the angles and color-correct/brighten, turning the photo immediately into a pro looking photo (without spending the camera costs for the Nikon).


Now you have your Nikon D7500 camera and the 10-14mm lens, what about lighting? The NIkon SB-5000 flash will compliment the camera package, give you accurate lighting with proper color. 


We can’t impress upon people enough how important it is to have good lines. A tripod is the best tool and it’s worth it to take the time to set up a tripod. The Manfrotto tripod is top of the line. 

We recommend setting the tripod 4’ to 5’ feet off the ground in height to get the best photo. 


If the Nikon package is not in your budget or is not your preference, let’s take a moment to talk about using a cell phone to shoot real estate. It’s definitely possible to get great shots using a cell phone. Always make sure that your photos are in focus and at least 1MB – 5MB in size when you are sending the jpeg photograph to the virtual stager. If the photos are too small or too blurry then they will not work. Once you get down it’s easy. 

#2 – Camera Settings To Use – Nikon


With so many different settings that can be applied, we’ll focus on what we know to be the best practice and best practical camera settings for real estate photography. The camera setting we suggest is to set your ISO to 100 and set your Aperture to f8. This allows you to capture the best overall image quality. Giving you a crisp, high quality look each time. 


See time stamp 1:57 min into this video.

How to set up auto bracketing. 

Bracketing is what gives photos that professional look. It really takes the photo to the next level. Understanding bracketing can be tough for some to digest. To make it simple, here’s the gist. Bracketing is usually 5 photos taken at different apertures. For example, you set your camera to auto bracketing and the camera will take 5 photos of the same room automatically. Since you have the auto bracketing on, you will get 5 different versions of the photo with different lighting. Then when you put them all together they make a wonderful crisp perfect image with all 5 images blended together. It’s a high level method. Although bracketing is great. It is not necessary to get quality photos that will sell properties effectively. 

#3 – How to Prepare for Photography

Preparing a property for photography is an important step that some people overlook. If you prepare properly you can become a pro at taking your own photos. That way you’ll use virtual services wisely, avoid expensive professional photographer fees and do away with those uber expensive traditional staging costs. Here are some tips to prep for property photography. 

  1. Remove Clutter: Virtual Object or Item Removal is possible however if you can clear a room of unwanted items the better it will be. Clear spray bottles, boxes, garbage, clothes, toys etc.
  2. Straighten blinds or faucets to be even and neat. 
  3. Fix blankets pillows and bedspreads to be nice and tidy
  4. Opening doors and turning on lights will give your image a more spacious vibe. Turn on all the lights (even the smaller ones). Open curtains and open doors. 

#4.) How to Shoot Property Properly

The key to shooting real estate photography is to shoot efficiently and swiftly. Start in one room and then move around the space shooting a number of angles for each room. If you can’t shoot a cramped bathroom try using a wider angle. Remember to shoot the rooms at 4’5-5’ camera height. Many people forget this step. If you take a lot of photos and take them from the right angle and with good lighting then you’ll get better at shooting your own photos. What you don’t want is to have to go back to reshoot, so these tips are handy and will help you. If you are shooting an exterior, try using some foliage in the foreground slightly, giving the image some balance. 

#5.)  How To Get Your Photos Edited at Lotus 3D Staging

We offer 6 services, all catering to your property photos. If you’re new to using virtual services give us a call and we’ll walk you through it. If you practice the listed tips and tricks you’re on your way. Remember to label and title your photos so you can easily find them on your computer or digital device. We invite you to contact us and tell us about any unique needs you may have.

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Lotus 3D Staging Virtual Staging for Real Estate

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Lotus 3D Staging 

Virtual Staging & Photo Editing Services

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Blog, Virtual Staging

What is Virtual Staging?

What Is Virtual Staging? You Tube Video by Lotus 3D Staging

If you wonder what exactly virtual staging is or what it can be, view our short You Tube video from our Lotus 3D Staging you tube channel click title to see video. We specialize in offering High Quality Virtual Staging Services in the US Canada and the globe. If you have a computer and email we are able to work with you to provide stylish home staging virtually.

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