Are you allowed to virtually stage listing photos in the MLS? The short answer is yes, but there are some things to note.

Sometimes buyers have a difficult time picturing what their belongings will look like in a vacant home. Virtually staging a vacant property can help to draw attention and traffic to the listing and can provide a realistic picture of what the home will look like when it’s furnished.

But what’s allowed and what’s not? Adding furniture to a room is fine, as is adding an accent paint color on the wall. But adding a fireplace or other architectural detail that the property doesn’t actually contain is not allowed.

What about virtually staging the outside? Same concept, you can add patio furniture to the backyard, but you cannot add a swimming pool or tack on a garage that’s not there. You could also use photoshop to remove something from the outside such as the unsightly trash cans at the end of the driveway. But removing a tree would be deceptive and is not allowed.

If you choose to denote that a property is virtually staged with a watermark make sure it is ARMLS approved.

Watch our Rules Online Course to learn more about what’s allowed and what’s not in the MLS.