In a virtual age where you can Visit houses online and buy a house unseen, why wouldn’t you consider virtual staging to showcase your home to potential buyers? As more home sellers turn to virtual staging, you may be wondering is virtual staging worth it? How does virtual staging differ from conventional staging? And what does the virtual staging cost? We’ll explain everything you need to know to help you determine if virtual staging is the right alternative for you.
What is virtual staging?
Virtual staging, like traditional staging, decorates a property to showcase its best features and qualities to make it more attractive to homebuyers. But as the name suggests, the virtual staging is done with a computer. There is no real furniture, carpet, potted plants or other decorations. Professional virtual stagers digitally add decorative elements to high-resolution photos to show the full potential of an empty space.
Virtual staging vs. traditional staging
According to the National Association of Realtors®, 82 percent of buyers’ agents say the staging makes it easier for buyers to imagine living in a home. As many as 38 percent of seller agents say they stage all of their clients’ homes before listing them. Because the benefits of staging can directly impact listing performance, virtual staging was developed to offer the same benefits to home sellers looking for an alternative to traditional staging.
With this in mind, virtual staging can help sell a house faster and for more money – but only if done right. You still need to hire a professional who knows how to take good listing photos and work with a reputable company with a great portfolio of completed work.
For which houses is virtual staging best suited?
Virtual staging doesn’t work for all homes, and in many cases it does traditional staging may be the better choice. However, it can be a great benefit when done right for the following types of homes:
- Vacant apartments: It can be more cost-effective to have a virtual staging than physically staging an empty apartment.
- Apartments with outdated furniture: Instead of having to rent new furniture, virtual staging can highlight a home with older furniture.
- Properties with tenants: It can be helpful when a homeowner has little control over the appearance of the space.
If you still live in your home and your decor can be staged to make it attractive to potential buyers, virtual staging of the whole house probably isn’t for you. However, you can stage some rooms virtually if you and your agent think it’s the right strategy.
How much does the virtual staging cost?
Virtual staging is usually a lot cheaper than that Cost of staging a house the traditional way. Here’s a quick look at the price difference between the two:
Costs for virtual staging: anywhere from $39 to $199 per room, depending on the contractor you use, your location, and the amount of space that needs to be staged.
Traditional staging costs: between $500 and $600 per room depending on the stage you are using, how much furniture you need to rent, your location and the number of rooms that need to be staged.
However, price is not the only factor to consider. Virtual and traditional staging have pros and cons that you need to weigh, especially if you are trying to sell a vacant home.
Advantages and disadvantages of virtual staging
Virtual staging can be a simple and beneficial alternative to traditional staging while still giving buyers a glimpse of the best features of your home. However, for some home sellers, this may not be the right choice. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to help you decide:
Advantages of virtual staging
- Showcase features: It can help you showcase the best qualities of an empty home.
- Cost efficient: Virtual staging can be less expensive than traditional staging, especially when staging a vacant house.
- Flexibility: When staging an empty house, you can use Virtual Staging to stage any number of rooms or multi-purpose rooms in different ways. For example, stage a guest room as a home office.
- Practical: With the virtual staging, nobody is in your home to rearrange furniture or rearrange your belongings.
- Fast: Virtual staging is much faster than traditional staging and gives you the flexibility to decide how you want your home to look.
Disadvantages of virtual staging
- Can get more expensive: If you opt for virtual staging and your home is filled with furniture, the costs are likely to increase. In this case, you will have to remove furniture to make room for photos.
- Squats can be difficult: If you still live at home, virtual staging can be more difficult unless you have previously blank photos to use.
- Furniture and decoration only exist in virtual space: Make sure the realtors have photos on hand, or access to the staged images, for potential buyers to see when they view your home in person.
Pros and cons of traditional staging
The traditional staging, which has been a successful tactic for decades, does not always require a professional stage manager. However, it requires an eye for detail and the ability to create a space that appeals to the widest possible range of buyers. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of traditional staging:
Advantages of traditional staging
- Real life perspective: Traditional staging gives buyers a real perspective when viewing the home and allows them to see your home as their own.
- Fully furnished: Having real furniture in the space prevents buyers from having to tour an empty home.
- Mark your space: Traditional staging can help make spaces appear larger and allow potential buyers to gauge the size.
- Leaves an impression: Helps make your home stand out in buyers’ memories after they have left
Disadvantages of traditional staging
- Can get expensive: The longer your house is on the market, the longer costs will accrue. Some stagers may require a three-month staging contract minimum, even if your home sells in six weeks.
- Can be uncomfortable: Traditional staging may require staging companies to bring additional furniture or decorations to stage the home. But if space doesn’t require it, you still have to clean and rearrange your home, which can be inconvenient if you still live there.
- May be unnecessary: Depending on how fast homes are selling in your market, staging may not affect the price or sale of your home. However, you may still need Staging at a seller’s market to provide a turnkey experience for potential buyers.
Virtual staging before and after
To decide if virtual is the right option, it’s important to see how it can transform an empty space. Here are some before and after photos so you can see the difference:
Common mistakes in virtual staging
The biggest mistake a seller can make is to hire a virtual staging company that doesn’t get good results. Virtually staged photos should be exceptionally realistic so buyers don’t realize they’re computer-generated unless someone tells them to. If you opt for a virtual staging, be sure to avoid these mistakes:
- Misleading buyers: Failure to provide photos of empty and staged spaces to potential buyers. Buyers can expect the home to look exactly like the photos on the listing, so please provide both.
- Adding Too Much Decor: Choosing a virtual staging that makes the home look worse, not better. As with traditional staging, staged photos require care not to overdo furniture and decorative elements.
- Using virtual staging when it’s unnecessary: Replacing furnishings and decorative elements in photos when they are initially perfectly fine can be a significant waste of time and money.
Can virtual staging help you sell your house?
Virtual staging can be a huge benefit when you are selling a vacant or occupied home, or one with outdated furniture. It allows potential buyers to see your home in its best light and not just as an empty space. Whether you choose virtual or traditional staging, each choice can help sell your house faster and for more money.
Individual results may vary. This is not intended to be a substitute for the services of a licensed real estate agent or a licensed and bonded domestic service provider or appraiser.