gray sofa against a purple wall - virtual real estate staging

Virtual Real Estate Staging: Choosing the Best Virtual Staging Software

As a real estate agent, maximizing your home listings yields more successful sales and fatter commissions. Virtual staging software is an effective tool for making a house seem more attractive to buyers without the need for complicated staging setups. With so many virtual staging tools on the market, how do you choose which works best for you?

In this blog post, we’ll break down what you need to consider when selecting a virtual staging software that meets all your needs as an agent and enables you to take full advantage of modern technology in today’s competitive market.

What Is Virtual Real Estate Staging?

Virtual staging is the process of creating a simulated, photorealistic living space in order to market a home. 

The virtual staging process starts with actual photos of the interior of a home. Then, using virtual staging software (or a virtual staging app), furnishings and decor are removed or added to help potential buyers imagine design possibilities for the room. 

There are two virtual staging solutions. 

You can hire a virtual staging service to complete the process for you. These services employ professional designers trained in how to stage a home virtually. There is typically a cost per photo – ranging between $35 and $120 for each image. 

Or, you can purchase DIY virtual staging software – and create the images yourself.

Virtual Staging vs. Real Staging

You may be a seasoned agent questioning whether you should continue hiring professional stagers for your clients’ homes. Here’s a comparison of virtu

1. Cost

While traditional staging involves renting or purchasing furniture, decor, and hiring professional stagers, virtual staging typically incurs lower costs. Real staging expenses can quickly add up, including rental, transportation, and stager fees.  

In contrast, virtual staging software offers affordable pricing plans, sometimes on a per-photo basis, making it a budget-friendly option for agents looking to showcase properties without breaking the bank.

2. Turnaround Time

Real staging requires coordination with staging professionals and furniture rental companies, which can lead to longer turnaround times, especially in high-demand markets. Virtual staging, on the other hand, offers faster results since it involves digitally manipulating existing photos.  

Depending on whether you’re opting to use a virtual staging service or digitally staging the photos yourself, you can have finalized staged photos back within days, if not hours. Digital staging enables you to market properties much more efficiently and effectively.  

3. Convenience

Traditional staging involves scheduling appointments, coordinating deliveries, and overseeing the setup process. This can be time-consuming and logistically challenging. Virtual staging, however, eliminates the need for a physical setup, allowing you to stage properties remotely with just a few clicks.  

This convenience makes it much easier to manage multiple listings simultaneously and adapt to changing market conditions without the hassle of traditional staging logistics.

4. Flexibility

Real staging is limited by the availability of furniture and decor items, as well as the physical constraints of the property. Virtual staging offers unlimited flexibility. You can experiment with different layouts, styles, and designs to showcase the full potential of the space – without the logistics of bringing in and swapping out furniture.  

You can also easily customize virtual staging to cater to specific target demographics and highlight unique selling points, maximizing the property’s appeal to potential buyers.

Top 7 Benefits of Virtual Staging for Real Estate Agents

 Are you intrigued by virtual staging? Here are some more benefits of virtual staging images. 

1. Captures the interest of buyers

Virtual staging enhances listing photos with appealing furnishings and decor, attracting the attention of prospective buyers and encouraging them to explore the property further.

2. Saves a significant amount of time

By eliminating the need for physical staging setup and coordination, virtual staging streamlines the listing process, allowing agents to market properties more efficiently and focus on closing deals. 

3. Eliminates worry that furniture and decor may be damaged

Unlike real staging, virtual staging does not involve handling or transporting furniture, reducing the risk of property damage and minimizing agent liability.

4. Speeds sales

Virtual staging facilitates faster sales by helping buyers visualize the potential of a property. Enabling them to envision themselves living in the space can help drive them to make an offer on the property more quickly.  

5. Saves money

Virtual staging is a cost-effective alternative to traditional staging, offering affordable pricing plans and eliminating expenses associated with furniture rentals and professional stagers. 

6. Showcases the full potential and intended use of a space

Virtual staging allows agents to showcase the different design possibilities and highlight key features of a property. This ultimately helps buyers envision how they can personalize the space to best suit their lifestyle and preferences. 

7. Shows unlimited design options

With virtual staging, agents have access to an extensive library of furniture and decor. This enables them to create customized staging solutions tailored to each property and demographic, maximizing its appeal to potential buyers. 

How to Choose the Best Virtual Staging Software for Real Estate Agents

If you pride yourself on being technologically savvy, and you chose to become a real estate agent because you love home design, you might consider learning how to do virtual staging with home staging software. 

Here are some tips for selecting virtual staging software for your real estate business.

1. Choose a product designed for real estate agents.

As you search online for the best virtual staging software, narrow your scope to products made for real estate agents instead of those made specifically for designers. 

As cool as interior design software looks, products like Homestyler are not designed with speed in mind. Some interior design tools allow you to edit with such precision that you might find yourself spending so much time trying to edit the textures of a sofa or throw pillow that you don’t complete some of your essential business tasks.

2. Look for an “erase” option.

Your starting image may be an empty room – if your client has already moved to their new home. Or, your photos may include your client’s furniture and decor, which you might want to replace with updated items that better showcase the room. 

Ensure your DIY software has an “erase” feature that will remove existing furniture, decor, and the “stuff of life” with a simple click.

3. Use tools that allow you to edit 360-degree images.

In hot markets, it’s not uncommon for buyers to make purchases based entirely on virtual tours. Make sure your buyers have the best information by providing 360-degree photos. 

Some virtual staging software allows users to upload 360-degree images for editing. The results may be more impressive than an in-person showing!

4. Consider the furniture and decor library.

One of the reasons to use virtual staging is to help buyers visualize the design possibilities for a property. In addition, adding attractive items to the space will do a lot to sell the home. 

Use virtual staging tools that offer an extensive library of images. Most staging blogs encourage using neutral decor that is the perfect size for the space. You don’t want buyers to be distracted by the design pieces. 

Check the pricing structure before investing time and money in a tool. 

Some DIY virtual staging tools charge a per photo price. However, the rate goes down the more you buy.

2 DIY Virtual Staging Tools to Consider

There are a lot of articles about DIY virtual design tools. However, two are designed with a real estate agent in mind: Virtual Stager and Apply Design. Both allow you to remove existing belongings from a room. Also, both tools have extensive libraries of furniture and decor, which you can edit to create the perfect size and color for your space. And unlike professional virtual staging companies, Virtual Stager and Apply Design are affordable options. 

Consider the Ethics of Too Much Editing

Some tools may allow you to change the color of a wall or the stain on your client’s kitchen cabinets. Others may allow you to add plants or trees in the front yard. But you need to ask yourself – are these virtual renovations ethical? 

Yes, a buyer could easily paint a room without too much expense. But where do you draw the line when it comes to virtual renovations? 

Is it okay to remove a mural from a nursery wall to help potential clients view the space as an office? Is it all right to make a patchy lawn look lush by editing exterior photos? 

Here are three considerations when virtually staging a home: 

  • Avoid editing permanent fixtures. 
  • Avoid making changes that would affect the value of the home. 
  • Disclose that the images were altered.

Colibri Real Estate (formerly Real Estate Express) is known for offering high-quality real estate educational tools that help students earn, keep, and upgrade their real estate licenses. However, Colibri Real Estate does much more than that. We also offer continuing education courses that will give you a competitive edge in the industry. Our instructors have a lot of industry experience, and they are excited to share their wealth of knowledge with you. 

Learn more about staging and marketing by enrolling in one of Colibri Real Estate’s state-approved real estate CE courses