As more and more realtors are offering virtual staging, we have to ask: is it worth it? And how does it compare to traditional staging?
The National Association of Realtors found that 77 percent of buyers’ agents believe that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves in a home. Over 38 percent of sellers’ agents stage all their clients’ homes as part of the listing process. As the benefits of staging became more recognized by industry professionals, stagers began to develop an alternative to traditional staging methods.
To decide whether or not you should stage your home virtually, you have to know how it works and how it compares to traditional staging.
What is Virtual Staging?
Similarly to traditional staging, virtually staging is used to highlight a home’s best features in hopes of making the listing more appealing to buyers. The difference is that virtual staging is only effective when leaving a first impression for online buyers.
“I have always explained to my sellers that buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time” describes Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager.
As the name implies, virtual staging is done electronically. No real furniture, plants, chandeliers, or painting are involved in the virtual staging process. Professional virtual stagers use listing photos and insert new décor to show how the potential for a room.
When Would I Use Virtually Staging?
For certain homes, traditional staging is still the preferred method of staging. However, virtually staging can hugely benefit homes such as:
- Vacant Homes
- Homes with unfavorable décor
- Listings occupied by tenants, which gives the homeowner less control over the home’s visual appearance
Reasons to Virtually Stage
Virtual staging is usually a lot cheaper than traditional staging is. Here’s a quick glimpse at what you’re looking at:
- Virtual staging costs somewhere between $39 and $199 per room, depending on the contractor you use, your location and the amount of space you need staged.
- Traditional staging can cost several hundred dollars per month, depending on the stager you use, how much furniture you need to rent, your location and the number of rooms you need staged.
Price isn’t the only sticking point, though. Each method has its own pros and cons that you’ll have to consider, particularly if you’re trying to sell an empty house.
When to Stick with Traditional Staging
The biggest drawback, of course, is the fact that because the home is only staged virtually when potential buyers show up they may be underwhelmed compared to the experience they had when they found the home online. While this may not be an issue for younger buyers, this could present problems with older audiences.
Being able to see the home fully furnished is also the main benefit of traditional staging. It allows prospective buyers to walk into a home and picture themselves living there without any of the guesswork of what kind of furniture they may need to purchase and where to place it. If you have the ability to physically stage the home, this will attract both online and in-person buyers.
Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to make sure your home looks ready to sell before it’s listed. First impressions are often a deciding factor for buyers and staging is a powerful tool to create a strong impression and sell your home quicker.