How to Showcase Your Listings With Photorealistic Virtual Staging
By Hallie Douglass @ Real Estate Daily
August 16, 2018

Staging can be a crucial step if you’re trying to sell your home — especially if your home is empty when it comes time to shoot those listing photos. Unfortunately, staging can also be expensive and, depending on how much furniture-moving it entails, time-consuming. Enter “virtual staging,” a technology that enables real estate agents to stage your home with the click of a mouse.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 77 percent of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in a home. As many as 38 percent of sellers’ agents say that they stage all their clients’ homes before listing. Since the benefits of staging have a direct impact on listing performance, virtual staging was developed to give the same benefits that are looking for an alternative to traditional staging.

To determine whether virtual staging is a viable alternative for you, you have to know what it is and how it compares to traditional home staging.

What is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging, like traditional staging, is decorating a property to showcase its best features and qualities in an effort to make it more attractive to buyers.

“I have always explained to my sellers that buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time” describes Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager in California.

But as the name implies, virtual staging is done with a computer. There’s exactly zero real furniture, area rugs, potted plants or other décor involved. Professional virtual stagers digitally insert decorative elements in high-resolution photos to show empty rooms’ full potential.

What Homes is Virtual Staging Best Suited For?

Virtual staging won’t work for all homes – in many cases, traditional staging is a superior choice. However, it can be a huge benefit if it’s done properly in:

• Vacant homes
• Homes with outdated furniture
• Properties with tenants in them, which leave the homeowner little control over the space’s appearance

If you still occupy your home and you can stage it to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers, whole-house virtual staging isn’t for you. (You can still virtually stage some rooms if you and your agent think it’s appropriate, though.)

Virtual Staging vs. Traditional Staging

Virtual staging is usually a lot cheaper than traditional staging is. Here’s a quick glimpse at what you’re looking at:

• Virtual staging costs somewhere between $39 and $199 per room, depending on the contractor you use, your location and the amount of space you need to be staged.
• Traditional staging can cost several hundred dollars per month, depending on the stager you use, how much furniture you need to rent, your location and the number of rooms you need to be staged.

Price isn’t the only sticking point, though. Each method has its own pros and cons that you’ll have to consider, particularly if you’re trying to sell an empty house.

 

Virtual Staging Service Comparison Table

Price

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From $69-$89 per photo
From $49-$60 per photo
$195 per photo
Realism/Quality

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9/10
Click Here for
Before/After Images
8/10
Click Here for
Before/After Images
9/10
Click Here for
Before/After Images
Revisions Included

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Unlimited – within 30 days of purchase
Unlimited
1 – If no offer in 60 days
Turnaround Time

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3-5 Business Days
2 Business Days
3 Business Days
Reputation

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Good: Used by Compass, Heatherwood, NYT + UK and Australian real estate firms
Good: Used by ReMaxCentury 21, Sotheby’s
Good: Great reviews on Houzz, also used by Berkshire Hathaway, Corcoran, Sotheby’s, Stribling, and Keller Williams
Furniture Replacement?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Staff Designer Qualifications

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All designers have architecture degrees
Interior designers on staff
Owned/managed by Pro stager with ASP and RESA-PRO designations
Money Back Guarantee?

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No
Yes
No
Founded
2013
2008
2005
Size

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Small (8 designers on staff)
Medium (30 designers on staff)
Small (>5 designers on staff)
Customer Service

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Great
Great
Great
Site
SpotlessAgency.com
Padstyler.com
VirtualStagingLLC.com

Sources: Redfin, HGTV, Fit Small Business, Houzz, StagingDiva