How Much Does Virtual Staging Cost

In this modern day and age, everyone is going digital. Not only is the internet the most preferred way to shop and connect, it is now the perfect place to tour a home and purchase one virtually – all without needing to leave the house!

Virtual staging is an affordable, convenient, and easy way to market your home to multiple kinds of potential buyers. There are many benefits to it, many advantages it has over the traditional staging, and a lot of wiggle room for improvement based on your prospective buyer’s specific preferences.

Considering virtual staging for your listing photos? We have broken down all there is to know about what it is, how to set it up, and how much a virtual staging service costs today.

What Is Virtual Home Staging?

Virtual home staging is a quick, affordable, and digital version to traditional home staging. Similar to the latter, virtual home staging is the method of decorating an empty property in order to highlight its best features and maximize the qualities that would make it most attractive to potential buyers. The only difference is that virtual staging is all done via computer.

Since there is no need to invest in real furniture, appliances, rugs, paint colors, plants, and all that jazz, the possibilities are endless. It saves home sellers and real estate agents time and money when it comes to preparing the home for more buyers as this method allows a fast and seamless updating of elements in order to target multiple individuals, with just one empty room

Imagine being able to produce more than one floor plan designed to fit needs and preferences of varying markets, all with one property and no heavy lifting. This promotes multiple offers, higher bids, increased sale price, and a faster turnover of homes.

Furthermore, interior designers can greatly benefit from this method as well since they can envision their plans in a proper scale without bringing in purchased goods just yet. Virtual staging is the future as it is not only selling endless possibilities but it helps in showcasing a space’s full potential, no matter what that may mean to the eye of the beholder.

How Does Virtual Home Staging Work?

For homes that are either empty, partially furnished, cluttered, or antiquated, virtual staging can help bring it new life with digitally enhanced images of furniture, décor, accessories and the like.

It will showcase how the many different spaces of the home can potentially look like once it has been restored and furnished. You may even change the wall colors, flooring, and other elements as you please in order to cater to varying markets.

By creating a promising and positive first impression on prospective buyers, the listing will be easier to sell and at higher prices. All it takes is showing them the attainable potential that the space has and allowing them to envision it being a worthwhile investment.

Traditional Home Staging vs. Virtual Home Staging Costs

Studies by the National Association of Realtors show that 82% of buyers find it easier to visualize living in the spaces if they have been staged – either traditionally or virtually. This proves that staging can directly improve the performance of a listing and add value to the home.

Main Differences

With traditional staging, you need to have connections with suppliers, stagers, and designers to bring in the physical furniture, decors, plants, and other important elements to the property itself. They will then intricately rearrange everything to highlight the property’s best features. This also means that your photos will depend on a lot more schedules and uncontrollable factors such as stagers’ free time, supply issues, delivery periods, and more.

With virtual staging, all of those concerns and more are completely covered. Digitally enhanced spaces are ready for print and publishing in only a fraction of the time and cost it would take to set things up physically. You will no longer have to wait on multiple people to get the ball rolling.

What’s even better is that you can update and change up the space as you please, leaving you with multiple staged photos to choose from that can each cater to differing preferences of an ever-growing real estate industry.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Staging

Traditional staging has been around for decades. While it definitely has proven to have its advantages, it also has a few downsides.

Pros of Traditional Staging

  • Real-life perspective. The moment the buyer enters the home, they get a real-life feel and experience of the place, giving them the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the property and envision their future there.
  • Fully-furnished. True to life furniture allows buyers to touch and get a good sense of the space. It gives them a better picture of the open areas and how they can tweak it to their liking.
  • Highlights the size. With traditional staging, potential buyers can better estimate the size of the space and have each area look larger compared to viewing from a screen.
  • Makes an impression. By giving prospective buyers the opportunity to experience the space first hand, you make a lasting impression that will have them wanting to come back and purchase.

Cons of Traditional Staging

  • Can be costly. Physical home staging involves a few more people and elements that could cost money. Especially if your listing does not sell fast, the longer the bills will pile up.
  • Can be an inconvenience. Stagers and designers will most likely need to bring in elements to the listing, which may or may not be necessary for keeps. This means having to move your current furniture around (if any) and would pose an inconvenience if the listing is still in use. It may also be rather bothersome to move things in and out of the property as this takes up time.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Staging

Virtual staging was created as a modern day alternative to the traditional staging for many reasons. However, even all seemingly great things can have a few repercussions.

Pros of Virtual Staging

  • Highlights the best features. It does not matter if your listing is a vacant home, semi-furnished, cluttered or out of style – virtual staging can digitally transform every corner of the space and highlight its best features and make a lasting impression on your potential buyers.
  • More affordable. Virtually staged spaces are generally the more cost-effective method when compared to conventional staging since it involves less team members, no professional stagers, logistics, materials, and so on.
  • Highly flexible. Because virtual staging is all (or mostly) digitally enhanced, the possibilities are endless. You can turn one space into multiple kinds of rooms, with various styles and vibes, each targeting a different market. It also allows you to showcase one room’s potential in more than one way.
  • Very convenient. There is no need to do any heavy lifting in the actual property. Whether the listing is occupied or not, nothing needs to be rearranged, brought in, taken out, or even touched!
  • Saves a lot of time. Virtually staging a room cuts your work hours by a lot as everything can be done from the edge of your computer seat and by the tip of your fingers.

Cons of Virtual Staging

  • Has the possibility of being tedious. Should the listing be cluttered or filled with furniture, a team of designers can either digitally remove those or the team who takes professional photos of the space have to manually set them aside. Either method you choose, it can pose a tedious task for the team members involved.
  • Furniture and other elements are not real. Should your potential buyers schedule a visit to the actual property, all of the high quality designs they have viewed online will not be true to life. However, a real estate agent can also bring a copy along during the visit.

What Kinds of Homes are Best Suited for Virtual Staging?

Did you know that staged homes have been known to sell almost 82% faster than properties that are vacant? While virtual staging is versatile and can be useful for most homes, there are some types of properties that can truly reap the benefits the most, including:

Empty or vacant properties. Listings that are absolutely bare have the most potential to benefit from virtually staged photos because you are working with a blank canvas. There is no need to digitally erase elements or move things around, the designer can simply start making the changes and adding in the necessary items.

Spaces with old or outdated furniture. It can be costly to rent out modern looking furniture. Virtually staged homes with outdated furniture can give your property the aesthetic boost it needs to get noticed by prospective buyers.

Homes with tenants. If the property was designed to house tenants, it is advisable to have photos of the empty spaces in handy. That way, when the property will be listed again, you will no longer have to worry about having little to no control of how the spaces currently look.

3 Most Common Virtual Staging Mistakes To Avoid

Yes, virtually staging a listing is meant to bring ideas to life and feed the imagination. However, there is a line you cross and mistakes you can easily avoid. Our top 3 no-goes in virtually staging a property are:

Misleading potential buyers. All potential buyers must be fully aware that the photos presented to them are staged rooms. In fact, they may even be shown multiple styles of the same room. However, they should also be given a copy of the empty space or current state of the room in order to manage their expectations should they opt to do an in-person visit during open houses or purchase the property.

Going crazy with the photo enhancement. All of the virtual furniture, décor, appliances, and other elements should be carefully crafted to make the property look its best. While you may feel the urge to squeeze in as much as you can, sometimes it is best to leave in empty spaces and let the room breathe otherwise it will look too overdone and not at all appealing to the eye.

Forcing to go virtual. Sometimes, the property is perfectly fine on its own, or at best just needs minor additions. Otherwise, completely staging a room that was good to begin with will just cost money, time, energy, and other resources.

Cost of Virtual Staging

Virtual staging costs are considerably cheaper when compared to staging a property through traditional methods. Below are rough estimates of both processes:

Virtual staging costs could be anywhere around $19 to $199 per room or space. The price differs based on the contractor you hire, where your location is, and how big the area that needs staging is.

Traditional staging costs would normally be around $500 to $600 per room or space. The price differs based on the stager you use, the quality and quantity of furniture you rent out, your supplier’s prices, cost of logistics, where your location is, and the number and size of rooms that need staging.

How are Virtual Staging Costs Calculated?

Just because virtual staging is generally the more affordable method, that does not mean it lacks in value or quality. The price tag connected to your photos has a hefty process behind it and below, we take you on a step-by-step guide explaining how virtual staging costs are usually calculated and broken down into 4 factors.

Factor 1: Virtual Staging Process

While different firms have their own special process, they are all generally patterned like the following:

  1. Schedule a photo shoot for online listings
  2. Narrow down which photos will be virtually staged spaces
  3. Decide what specific virtual staging services are needed per photo
  4. Choose how exactly you want your property photos to be staged such as the overall design style, types of furniture and décor, or you may also opt to leave it to the designer to decide.
  5. Confirm the project
  6. Receive the chosen staged photos within the firm’s turnaround time.

Six simple steps are all it takes to get your listing virtually staged and ready for the market. Unlike traditional methods, you will no longer need to spend too much time planning, making lists, and transporting things.

Factor 2: Virtual Staging Services

This is generally known as the part where the digitally enhanced elements are added to the photos, however, it is actually more of an umbrella term for a whole range of services in which the designer uses the virtual staging software to its fullest potential. Different virtual staging services can include, but are not limited to:

  • Adding in furniture to a vacant space
  • Adding décor to an empty spot
  • Removing furniture from an area
  • Changing the wall colors
  • Changing the trim colors
  • Changing the colors of the cabinets, shelves, and similar items
  • Changing the flooring
  • Changing the ceiling
  • Changing the color of the doors
  • Changing the landscaping
  • Changing the sky from day to dusk, or by adding clouds and other elements
  • Image enhancement in general

Because there are a lot of services under the umbrella term, it is important to take into account additional fees (if any) for services not included in the base rate.

One example of this is when having to virtually stage homes packed with furniture; there is an additional service of removing the existing ones and replacing them with virtually enhanced elements. This would cost more time and money compared to directly adding in virtual elements to a photo of an empty room.

Factor 3: Virtual Staging Inventory

When we think of the word “inventory”, we consider the stock that physical stores keep in the back. When it comes to virtual staging, it may not make much sense since everything is digital and the items are endless. So what is virtual staging inventory? Allow us to explain.

Some firms or designers utilize pieces that are sold in actual retail stores, and these designs are to-scale which greatly benefits the viewers when envisioning the room and understanding how to gauge each piece. This also allows the potential buyers to place an order for the exact item and have it part of the actual property.

However, not all design companies do this as most utilize digitally rendered elements, which are not necessarily based off true to life items (or at least not true to scale). This is not necessarily a disadvantage since it is possible to find very similar items in physical stores.

Factor 4: Virtual Staging Design Expertise

The cost of virtual staging goes far beyond making the space look aesthetically pleasing. Many people have a knack for putting two and two together to create something pleasing to the eye, but not everyone knows what to consider when going about it. This is where experience and expertise come in handy.

When staging a room, it is important to consider that the multiple furniture replacement, decors, and other elements harmoniously exist with one another, each adding value to the virtual staging work without making it look cluttered. Knowing the ins and outs of the software being used can also guarantee a higher quality output and a faster turnaround, saving everyone time, money, and other resources throughout the project.

Wrap Up

If you are considering the virtual staging cost in your project’s budget, you can be assured that it is the more affordable and quick way to get the job done well. Not only are you able to acquire multiple looks per room within the property, you are able to communicate more efficiently with a wider market, which is something that cannot be easily achieved, and enjoy a quick turnaround time compared to staging photos traditionally.