Virtual staging and digital retouching are common techniques used in real estate photography. Most Realtor associations do allow the use of these enhancement techniques (check with your local Realtor association for more info), but if you overdo it, they can go from pretty to misleading very quickly.
As a rule of thumb, you can make make your images look better, but they cannot cover up material defects to real property: missing shingles, cracks in the walls or floors, house color, etc.
Most virtual staging just looks fake. The sample images virtual stagers show you are taken under optimal conditions, something that is very unlikely to happen in the real world.
But not all virtual staging is bad, some companies use some very high end and expensive designers and software to create scenes that look real. It takes a lot of time to master these virtual staging programs, and the people that know how to do this are not cheap.
Just remember that you get what you pay for!
Most good images that you see of homes are not a single image but a composite of three or more pictures. By combining images the photographer is able to overcome the limitations of the camera and make images look great.
You can read more about prepping your home for a photoshoot How To Stage Your Home.
It has to look like it does in real life
In conclusion, your photos have to look like the property does in real life. Not only do the rules say that you cannot do misleading images, but if another realtor or buyer drives all the way out to see your property and it looks nothing like actual product, you will have a very unhappy person and your reputation will
“What can I say? I love taking photos of houses.”
Based in Orlando Florida, Jose is a real estate photographer specializing in vacation homes, working for realtors and property managers to make their properties look great.