Professional Home Staging or Virtual Home Staging: Which Option Is Better?

Photo Editing

7 minute read

Over the past few years, home sellers and real estate agents have been using home staging as a powerful marketing tool to attract the attention of prospective home buyers. Home staging allows prospects to visualize their dream homes because of which staged houses are more likely to sell faster than vacated homes that do not have any furniture. Staging an empty house is a kind of an art. Home staging is defined as a process in which an uninhabited residential property is furnished so as to prepare it for sale. It is observed that staged homes attract a higher sale price; however, this involves a heavy investment outlay. Sellers need to make payment to the stager and at the same time bear rental charges for furnishings even if their homes will take time to get sold.

What is Staging?

Here’s an easy to understand staging definition for you: You can define house staging as a type of merchandizing that is aimed to create visual impact and is based on interior design concepts. The main objective of real estate staging is to showcase the property in a positive light without exaggerating or hiding its flaws.

Benefits of Home Staging

  • Home staging promotes faster sales

    One research indicated that homes that were not staged remained unsold for 143 days on an average. When these homes were staged, they got sold in as early as 40 days. Homes that were staged before they were listed got sold in as early as 23 days.

  • It increases sale price

    An NAR report indicates that 58 percent real estate agents believe that staged homes get higher prices.

  • Staging Costs

    How much can you expect to pay from your side as a seller? If you be a stager yourself, how much can you make as a home stager?

Well, this typically varies as per situations. This is mainly because of the fact that staging pricing gets impacted by a number of variables such as the location of the property and whether you need to furnish a property that’s totally vacated. You may be charged on an hourly basis or you may be asked to pay a fixed price. Your service contract should have details about the total charges, duration, and furniture rental charges. For a better idea, you may consider going through home staging price lists.

Professional Home Staging Services or DIY Staging

Staging demands high levels of time, energy, and design knowledge. So you should have a real idea whether you will be able to commit that much of energy and time towards a DIY approach. Additionally, as a layman in this field, you may fail to stage your home in an appropriate manner. You should take house staging tips from experts in order to clear idea about how to stage a house. You can contact fellow home stagers or an experienced visual stager for tips and to know about home staging cost.

On the other hand, when you hire a professional, you can expect quality results that will create a buzz in the market, which would allow you to sell your home faster. You can hire photo editing services to benefit from expert real estate photo editing support. To make sure that you have a budget for your project, you should ask, “How much do you charge for home staging?”.

Major Mistakes Associated with Home Staging

Home Staging is a creative process that involves a huge probability of errors. Even experienced real estate agents make big mistakes and we have listed a few major mistakes along with a few important home staging tips below:

  1. Neglecting to create a property virtual tour

    You should create virtual tours of your property to let your prospects know every minute detail with greater clarity. However, creating virtual tours may prove to be a costly affair and so you may want to look for a number of competent service providers that would provide you with the best rates.

  2. Using Furniture that’s bigger than the available space.

    Home styling has its own rules. Large furniture items are excellent choices for living room spaces and lounges. But these items can consume a lot of spaces especially if they have darker colors. So ideally, small-sized couches with neutral looks should be placed; this would free up some space and make the property look spacious. Choose the sizes properly to ensure that each furniture piece does not dominate over the space. Having the spaces staged by design is the key to ensuring accuracy.

  3. Using Backdated Window Treatments

    Ugly window fittings, wall-paint, and lighting arrangements may make a property appear so outdated. Decorating windows with outdated vertical blinds would give a shabby appeal to the windows. You should note that wonderful window treatments and lighting fixtures are available at reasonable rates. You can choose dark, heavy curtains or white curtains to add a touch of glamour to your windows. You can look through Amazon for cheaper deals.

  4. Not Clicking Pictures in the Pre-staging stage

    After you complete staging a property and taking so much trouble to do it, you may forget why you actually undertook this task. When you complete staging, it would be quite difficult for you to opt for virtual restaging. For instance, you cannot virtually restage a room as a bedroom after you have had decorated it as a home office. So it is a good idea to take photographs of the empty property so that you can perform virtual restaging of the same room in multiple ways.

  5. Not Understanding Who Your Audience is

    Try to understand what type of people would be interested in your property. The different factors involved in this case are the location and the price of the property. For example, if your target audience includes senior citizens, you should go for traditional home décor. If you have youngsters as your target audience, you should use minimalistic staging styles.

  6. Typifying Bedrooms or Playrooms based on Gender

    It is not a good idea to stage children’s rooms based on gender. For example, a prospect who has two young boys may find it quite difficult to imagine how her sons would fit in a room that features pink walls and girly-type decorations. Children’s bedrooms should be inclusive and should be based on the theme of the rest of the home.

  7. Not Including any Theme for a Room

    Use a definite theme for multi-purpose spaces. You may not choose to stage a space with different types of items to give your customers an idea of how they can use the space. This might create confusions. So you might choose to show how a single room serves a single purpose and then you can show the same room serving a different purpose through virtual staging. Reputed home staging companies pay a lot of attention to this parameter and base their virtual staging services on this prime consideration.

  8. Using False Plants

    It’s better to use real plants instead of artificial plants. In fact, this will save you a few dollars.

Home staging is costly and most homebuyers are not able to afford it. Addressing the loopholes of home staging, today’s smart realtors are increasingly using a more economic option- virtual staging. This is a process in which photo editors use Photoshop to virtually stage furniture and objects of décor in room images. However, real estate businesses need to be honest and they should showcase both ordinary as well as virtually staged photos to their prospects.

Virtual staging is a cost-effective process as you do not need to procure original materials to stage a home physically. Secondly, you can stage a home based on the tastes of your prospects. Use of virtual staging software can get you photorealistic visuals that can capture the attention of your prospects. However, you need to make a choice at this point. You can use free virtual software to check if you can handle it yourself. Would you hire the service of a virtual staging company or you will use the software yourself?

We have highlighted some of the pros and cons of both the approaches to allow you to decide. Let’s read through:

What if you hire a Virtual Home Staging Company?

When you hire a virtual staging company, you will get the opportunity to work with CAD experts and experienced photo retouchers who have access to a huge library of 3D virtual furniture and are Photoshop champions. You will work closely with the team who will be ready to make revisions based on your feedback and will be making sure to adhere to deadlines. You will have experts by your side to deliver custom outcomes.

What if you use Virtual Staging Software yourself?

When you use virtual staging software yourself, you have to spend significant time and energy in order to master it. There’s nothing called ‘best virtual staging software’, as what may be good for you may not be suitable for others and vice versa. If you are looking to use Photoshop, you should seek professional guidance because Photoshop may prove to be really complicated fir beginners. There are certain easy-to-use virtual staging apps as well.

However, the use of virtual staging software is associated with a number of loopholes including:

  • You may find it difficult to use virtual staging software. You may not be able to accommodate furniture properly into the desired spot or in sizing an item properly to make it look good in a piece of space. You aim is to make a virtually staged indoor space appear realistic. However, you may not make too many mistakes when you use a software-as-a-service (SAAS) platform to address your needs.
  • Software crash incidents are quite common. Your software may fail to work smoothly as per your expectations. You may soon end up with a photo that you would not be entirely happy with. You should have an eye for detail and design and so can deliver awe-inspiring outcomes.
  • It might happen that the outcomes you generate lack realism. The furniture that you include may appear truly ‘virtual’ and this will kill the impact of your photos. Creating virtual furniture demands skill and experience and so you should let this task be handled by experts who are using at different types of high-end photo editing software.


With the help of this informative write up, it is easy to understand which option is better for you and your real estate business. Getting professional help is anyways better if you want more exposure and a proper attention span on your real estate listings and a professional virtual staging service provider can help you get there.

So what’s your takeaway at the end of the day? Well, you should hire professionals to do this job for you so that you can build your portfolio with high-quality real estate images.