At Storeys, we look at a lot of listings. (We have literal categories of them.)

But since the advent of COVID-19, the number of listings featuring virtual staging has grown exponentially -- with good reason. The pandemic has continued to place restrictions on the economy, industries in general, and on individual comings and goings. Which has rendered the purpose of setting the stage for an open house in Ontario right now closer to the realm of pointless than productive.

Of course, the motivation behind staging a home isn't simply for those walking through with their own two feet, but as much for those taking their own two eyes for a stroll through a listing's photography. Hence, the rapid rise of virtual staging -- not only can you now put any piece of furniture in any room, but no one's going to walk through said room only to notice that the Montauk sofa is, in fact, slightly too close to the refurbished Eames chair and, despite best efforts by all involved, the custom stained-glass window continues to let a cool breeze slip through.

But I digress. After all, the word 'fail' is in the title of this article, so let's focus on one of our favourite mistakes. We can leave all the successes and advantages of virtual staging for another day.

First things first, it's not important to know for what listing this failure of the technological age took place. (The shame is in the doing, not in the whodunnit.)

However, a few things worth noting about this listing's virtual staging, which only serve to make its mistake more memorable, are as follows:

  • The Toronto house sold for $7,100,000

    • As with photography and staging in general, one might expect a higher level of attention, quality, and detail to be given to such a luxurious listing

  • The virtual staging done throughout the rest of the house is well done and without mistake

    • The TV has foiled you!

Ok, enough preamble, it's time to tune in. In the multi-million dollar living room of an upscale Toronto home for sale in the fall of 2020 someone thought this was the appropriate TV to place above the fireplace:

1 cheltenham avenue toronto c4933235 6 1024x682

Now look, we're all for placeholders. (Just look at this sentence for example.) But we draw the line at anachronisms. Which leads to the obvious question: Why is this TV even an option one can select for virtual staging? Are there just hundreds of homes outfitted with 1970s TVs that need to appear as authentic as possible when they hit the virtual market? What greater conspiracy is really taking place here?

As if this misguided throwback hadn't done enough damage -- literally taking the 'new' out of new build -- the virtual stager behind this retro ruin wasn't quite done yet. Behold, the same living room, with the exact same virtual staging, but sans '70s tube:

1 cheltenham avenue toronto c4933235 8 1024x682

What's this? Had our (anti)hero found their mistake and suddenly decided to toss it aside, like a worn down Farah Fawcett poster that had seen too much wall time to remain cool any longer?

Sadly, dear reader, this is not quite yet the end of our saga.

From the ashes of virtual staging, a greater victor emerges. Time returns to the present century, and for one brief and final flash, we get to see the living room take its proper moment in the 2020 sun:

virtual staging

We breathe easy now. The 1970s recede. Order has been restored.

A $7M house smiles comfortably somewhere in Lawrence Park.

Real Estate News