Want proof that professional staging works? In a survey of over 4,200 professionally staged homes, 68% of the staged properties sold for a whopping 9% more money than homes that weren't staged. Staging definitely makes a difference. But while traditional staging and interior design usually come at a high price, there is an almost identical alternative for a fraction of the cost: virtual home staging.
What is virtual staging?
When a designer does virtual staging, they take existing photos of a house and make tweaks to them to give potential buyers an idea of the space's potential. While the reputable brands don't alter anything structurally, they can eliminate clutter, change up the color scheme, and add furnishings to an empty home.
Virtual staging is still relatively new, but it's already rising in popularity. The majority of homes nowadays are found online and 85% of potential homebuyers say that the photos are the most important factor when viewing a home online, according to Virtually Staging Properties. Now, sellers are turning to virtually staged photos to up their curb appeal and sell their home.
Virtual Staging Service vs. Traditional Staging
While both virtual and traditional staging can bring similar results, traditional staging has a few major differences.
With traditional staging, a professional designer will come into your house and give you recommendations for decluttering. Then, your designer will rent out pieces of furniture and art at a daily or monthly rate until your house sells. The house is not only staged for the pictures, but the same furnishings are available for potential buyers to "see in action" during open houses and tours, and the future owner can even purchase these furnishings if they so desire.
The major downside to traditional staging is the cost. At an average of $2,200 per month, staging your home can easily eat into your profit margin on the house.
Staging the home until it sells definitely has other drawbacks as well. If you haven't bought a new home, you have to live among rented furniture while you sell your home. That means you'll need to keep it extra tidy and clean.
How does virtual staging work?
The virtual staging experience begins by taking pictures of your home. You can take a picture of an empty room or simply how it looks at this moment in time. From there, you explain what you are hoping for as a result, and let the experienced designers get to work.
The designers will add virtual furniture and artwork and change up the wall colors, if necessary. This process can be time-consuming, but most virtual staging companies have a great turnaround time.
Benefits of Virtual Staging
Virtual staging certainly takes less time to complete than traditional staging. That's not the only benefit, however. Many companies do such a great job at staging the photos that you actually can't tell the difference between an actual staged room and a virtually staged room.
The cost is also a huge benefit.
Done-for-you virtual staging services range from $50 to $200 per image, so while it's still an investment, the cost is still significantly cheaper than traditional staging. If you'd rather take a more hands-on approach and virtually stage photos yourself, there are DIY virtual staging software services that start at around $32/photo.
Virtual Staging Companies and Software
We would truly be remiss if we didn't dive deep into some virtual staging companies and virtual staging software. Here are a few of the top virtual staging companies.
BoxBrownie offers a whole range of virtual staging services, from item removal to virtual staging itself. They are a done-for-you service, meaning you hand over your pictures and watch the magic unfold.
BoxBrownie's virtual staging services start at $32 per image and their site pledges to increase buyer interest, sell properties faster, and sell properties for a higher price.
Spotless boasts unlimited revisions and furniture placings for prices ranging from $69 to $89 per photo. Users rated Spotless as a 9/10 for realism, which is a big issue with many virtual staging companies. With a turnaround time of three to five days, there seems to be a little downside!
This virtual staging company is top of its class for realism in their photos. They have an entire inventory of furniture and use CAD drawings to help make the images as realistic as possible. Their starting price point is $85 per picture, but they offer discounts on packages.
Real Tour Vision offers done-for-you packages starting at $35 per image while their DIY software ranges from $7 (if you buy 100 at a time) to $15 per image. Rated No. 6 in Hubspot's "11 Best Virtual Staging Services and Software for Real Estate Agents," it's definitely one of those services you've got to check out for yourself.
Virtual Staging Downsides
There aren't a ton of downsides when it comes to virtual staging, but the biggest one happens when potential buyers walk through the house. The images might get them in the door, but the real selling depends on the house and furnishings (or lack thereof).
That's where having a great real estate agent comes in. They'll help keep the picture alive as they discuss the house with potential buyers and paint images of their dream home.
Virtual staging saves you money, and it's not too difficult to figure out that most sellers don't want to spend the money they're saving on a real estate agent—unless that agent is willing to work for a low flat rate and take the sale all the way from those professional images to closing day.
If you're thinking of using a virtual staging company to help sell your house, make sure you do your homework. You want a company that makes the images look natural and realistic—without altering the original house too much. With a contrast of over a thousand dollars in price, using a virtual staging company is the most cost-effective way to spruce up your listing photos.
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Need a great real estate agent to finish the job those stellar photos started? Look no further than Clever. With local real estate experts working for you for a low flat rate, you'll wonder why you didn't call sooner. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.