Compliance Corner- Virtually Staged Photos




Please note: this article is a snapshot of a message that was posted on the MLS system at some point within the last year.  Things evolve rapidly in our industry, and the information in this article may have changed since it was first published. Compliance Corner articles are not updated after they are published, even if the information contained within has changed.

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Compliance Corner #38

June 1, 2021


Virtually Staged Photos

Virtual staging is a common practice for photos within the MLS and is defined as using photo editing software to create a photo or conceptual rendering of what the interior room(s) and/or interior of the property could look like, if it was staged or lived in.

Photos must always present a true picture of the property.


Permitted Uses of Virtual Staging in the Service:

Modifying photo(s)/rendering(s) to include personal property items not conveyed with the real property is permitted. Permitted personal property modifications include but are not limited to:

  1. Applying digital photos of furniture, mirrors, artwork, plants, etc. into a photo of a room.
  2. Removing existing furniture from a photo and replacing it with digital images of furniture, mirrors, artwork, plants, etc.

Prohibited Uses of Virtual Staging in the Service

  1. No photos of the exterior of the property shall be virtually staged, except for unattached furniture or décor.
  2. No permanent fixtures of the interior or exterior of the property shall be attached, removed, altered or added to photos.
  3. Modifying photo(s)/rendering(s) to include visual elements not within a property owner’s control is strictly prohibited. (example: editing in a view of the gulf/ocean, lighting and/or popular landmarks that are not physically possible from the specified location in the real world.)
  4. Modifying photo(s)/rendering(s) to exclude negative visual elements is strictly prohibited. (example: holes in the wall, exposed wiring, damaged flooring, etc.)
  5. No branding is permitted. The use of people or persons and/or words on any property photograph submitted to the Service is strictly prohibited.
  6. Modifying photo(s) / rendering(s) to distort the dimensions of a room or space is strictly prohibited. (example: placing small furniture to make a room appear larger than it actually is.) All photos must represent a true and accurate picture of all property features and surroundings.


As always, please feel free to contact the Compliance Team for additional information.  Send an email to or call us at 203-750-6000.

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