83% of buyer's agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to “visualize” the property as their future home, according to the National Association of Realtors' 2019 Profile of Home Staging. Additionally, 44% say that staging a home increases the dollar value offered, and 53% say it decreases the amount of time the home is on the market.
While you may be sold on the value of staging your home for its upcoming sale, you may hesitate because of the expense of hiring a professional stager. Since stagers generally charge $300 to $600 for the initial consultation, plus $500 to $600 per month per room, this can all add up quickly and make you think twice.
Thanks to technology, you may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. The newest thing in marketing your home, "virtual staging" is a technology that allows you to digitally stage it using just a photo of an empty room. Think of it like expertly photoshopping furniture into your home. Results are stunning and barely recognizable as being altered, plus the service is provided for just $35 to $110 per photo — this means you can focus on key rooms like the living room, or do the entire home for a one-time fee.
While virtual staging can be a low-cost alternative to traditional staging, keep in mind that the best practice is to note that the images were virtually staged and provide the real photo in the listing as well. Buyers may be turned off or feel misled if you don't make this clear and they walk into your open house expecting to see your virtually-staged home. Virtual staging doesn't mean you're off the hook — it's still important to declutter and clean prior to your open house for the best chance of a sale for the highest price.
Here are some of the best solutions for virtually staging your home.
VRX Staging is one of the most cost-conscious options for virtual staging and offers super quick turn-around, but not at the sacrifice of quality. They process your photo by the next business day and offer additional add-ons like furniture removal ($20 extra per image), paint color change ($15 extra per image), and blue sky or green grass enhancement ($15 extra per image).
Outdoor staging is also offered, since the exterior of your home can often be just as important as the inside. Since the possibilities are endless with this virtual staging company, it is a good time to remind you to always note photos that are virtually staged when marketing your home.
Cost: $35 per photo
Delivery Time: Next business day
Edits: 1 free
Virtual Staging Solutions
Virtual Staging Solutions offers lots of hands-on collaboration between your real estate agent and virtual stagers. While other companies only offer limited revisions, with Virtual Staging Solutions, your agent can mix and match furniture, change colors, and remove pieces. This ensures the person actually selling the home has a lot of say in how it is staged.
This virtual stager also offers virtual remodeling, or furniture removal and replacement ($159 per image) and even has a product that creates a virtual home from just an existing floor plan ($299 with a 14-day turnaround). This helps sell new construction, build-outs, or renovations to home buyers.
Cost: $75 per photo
Delivery Time: 1-2 business days; rush service for additional fee
Edits: 2 free
PadStyler can be an especially effective tool if your home is in need of fixing up. Padstyler can cover items like cabinets, tile and other decor. By providing a potential buyer with a bit of inspiration, you may be able to help them through certain cosmetic defects of the property.
Plus, a big bonus is that the offer unlimited revisions. Rather than have their clients select certain aesthetics prior to design, they use their design skills and best practices to virtually stage the home. Then, the companies allow the client to multiple edits afterward. Other additional services include virtual landscaping and 3D floor plans
Cost: $79 per photo; $59 per photo if 8 or more
Delivery Time: 2 days or less
BoxBrownie offers everything from typical virtual staging to 360 degree images. Their model consists of more options for add-on pricing than other stagers, including an extra $4 fee for edits like image enhancement, furniture removal, and day to dusk lighting. Other edits like brightness, contrast and tone fixes are just $1.60.
Cost: $32 per photo; $64 for 360 degree staging
Delivery Time: 1-2 business days
RoOomy takes an even more tech-savvy approach to virtual staging. The whole process can take place through an iOS app. You submit your listing images and choose from six aesthetic styles. After you approve your photos, you can then add to any listing. Plus, they have the added functionality of making rooms shoppable. While not super useful for a home sale, it brings an added cool factor to your listing.
Cost: $109 per photo; Four for $415; Six for $589; Nine for $835
Delivery Time: 2 Days
Edits: Check with RoOomy
If you're looking to sell your home, connect with a Clever Partner Agent. They are top-rated real estate agents who are experts in their local markets and know the best way to show your home for optimal return. They can help you determine if virtual staging, traditional staging, or a combination of both is right for you based on your home and area.
Plus, they come from major brands and regional brokerages, offer the same full service as other agents, and work for a flat fee of $3,000 or 1% if your home sells for more than $350,000.