Is Virtual Staging Worth It?

virtually staged eating area

Is virtual staging worth the cost?

Virtual staging is an alternative to traditional home staging using 3d virtual staging software to place furniture and items into a digital image instead of physical items in an actual room. This virtual staging image is used in marketing the home online and in listing brochures.

The practice of virtual staging is helpful in the home selling process because it visually depicts the potential of a home so that buyers can imagine themselves living in the spaces. Beautifully depicted rooms increase interest in a home among many more buyers leading to multiple offers, higher bids for the property and higher selling price, according to the National Association of Realtors. It may also help in selling the home fast, which saves the homeowner time and money.

Greater interest and higher offers make virtual staging worth the cost, which is significantly below the cost of physically staging a home. Because virtual staging is done digitally, virtually staged photos are available in a quicker turnaround time than physical

Is virtual staging worth it for the real estate agent?

Agents have the responsibility to present their properties in their best possible light in order to sell the home quickly, for a good price, and in so doing, to build a good reputation.

Listing a home and not taking care to make sure that each space has a defined function and looks attractive shows lack of diligence by the agent. When people interview agents to potentially list their property, they will research the agents’ current online listing. An agent may get a call for an interview or may not, depending on how their listings appear online. Listing photos are usually the first exposure people have to an agent, and first impressions do matter. The quality of listing photos not only helps sell houses, but it helps sell the reputation of an agent.

It’s hard to imagine that a potential buyer would find this room appealing in terms of space or function. If the homeowner can’t declutter and organize the space and define it as a home office or children’s craft room, then virtually staging the space is the best option.

Since listing photos are the responsibility of the agent, agents should use a quality virtual home staging service, not the cheapest, but the one that delivers the best value for the money. Professional photographs are no longer optional in some markets. Cheap virtual room renderings will not help a sale, and may hurt it. Virtually staged photos have become a cost of doing business. Fortunately, professional virtual staging is less expensive than traditional staging.

Is it worth it for the homeowner?

If you are selling your home by owner, then your listing photos will be a significant portion of your overall marketing strategy. Putting your listing on a national real estate search engine, such as Zillow, will expose it to many more potential buyers than local print advertising or even a sign in your front yard.

You want, and need, people to fall in love with your home from the photos and listing description. Unless your home is professionally decorated in neutral colors that will appeal to your target market (and honestly, very few are), then virtually staged photos may be the
answer to getting more interest in your property and booking an in-person showing.

Homeowners who have a real estate agent who furnishes virtual staging photos for their listings are fortunate. As a property owner, you want your home to be sold quickly and for a good price, and virtual staging helps in that endeavor.

And while virtual staging should not (ethically) fix any problems your home may have, it can certainly accentuate the positive features of your home that make it valuable to your target buyer.


Price comparison virtual staging vs. traditional staging – Is Staging Worth the Cost?

Traditional staging is priced by the room and how much furniture or how many accessory pieces are rented and for how long. There is also a design fee that is sometimes added as well. The pricing policy varies by staging company. For one or two pieces, rental can
be as low as $200 for a sofa and a coffee table for one month. This may or may not include delivery charges.

On the high end, you could spend several thousand dollars per month to completely furnish a 3 bedroom house that also includes a living room, dining room and family room or basement rec room. Home stagers may quote a fixed price based on the square footage of your home and will include the design, delivery, and all furnishings in that number.

The furniture will be new or unused, will be neutral in color and style, and will appeal to the largest pool of potential buyers for your home. The staging company may ask you to move out, or not use the furniture because it will be used again in the future by another seller and it needs to look clean and inviting. Be sure to factor in the costs of moving out and finding a place to stay if you are not allowed to use staging furnishings.

DIY staging is also an option for homeowners. Furniture can be rented from furniture rental companies. Be mindful that these companies typically want a minimum rental period of a month and the furniture selection may be limited.

Virtual staging costs vary depending on the quality of 3d renderings, the design talent of the virtual designer and how quickly the renderings need to be completed for a listing.

The better, meaning more realistic, the virtual staged photographs, the higher the price for each photo. That being said, a good staged photo can cost as little as $50 for 7 day delivery and as much as $350 for a very real looking image with 3 day delivery. The most important thing to remember when paying for virtual staging services is to get the most realistic virtual listing photos you can get for your budget, even if it means getting fewer images than you would like. You may have to sacrifice a quick turnaround time for a better photo editing and virtual furniture.

With the growth and refinement of these virtual staging solutions, listings can show prospective buyers the right vision of a home – not as it is, but what it could be. Buyers who have trouble envisioning themselves in a home can now see how that home can work for them and their family.

Traditional staging gets more expensive the longer the physically staged home is on the market. With virtual staging, once the cost of virtual staging several photos is paid, those photos may be used for the duration of time the home is on the market.

Real estate agents can supplement the virtually staged photos with actual printed photos of the staged room for display in the home. This helps buyers connect the image they saw online with the empty room they are now standing in. Done properly, there is no deception in this practice and if the buyer has been advised that the photos they saw online were virtually staged, there should be no disappointment on the buyer’s part.