A 2020 study by the National Association of Realtors found that 82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Whether you’re starting a real estate business or have been selling homes for a while, there’s a clear and increasing benefit to professionally staging your clients’ homes.
But in this day and age, physically staging a home can be tough. With the pandemic, almost every industry shifted away from on-location visits toward more virtual alternatives — and real estate was no exception. That's why something known as virtual staging is becoming increasingly popular — on top of the fact that it's often cheaper and faster than its conventional counterpart.
Here, we'll take a closer look at what virtual staging is, how much it typically costs, whether it's worth your consideration, and some of the best resources you can leverage for it.
Virtual staging is a home staging process where a graphic editor is used to create a simulated, typically photorealistic interior design in a living space. It's often a more cost-effective, lower-touch, remote alternative to conventional staging for real estate professionals, photographers, and interior decorators.
As I mentioned, virtual staging is typically more cost-effective than conventional staging — but how much can you really save? And is it worth the investment?
How much does virtual staging cost?
The price of virtual staging varies from service to service. It also rests on how many rooms you need staged, the amount of space you're looking to cover, and the turnaround time you need for the images.
By and large, the cost of virtual staging hovers between $30 and $150 per photo — but some contractors might charge considerably more for their services, and others might charge less.
Is virtual staging worth it?
The short answer? Probably. Physical staging is often considerably more expensive than its virtual alternative. HomeAdvisor estimates it can cost as much as $1,458 per month to furnish and stage the average home.
With virtual staging, you're putting a lot of stock in the fact that your potential buyers will find you online and base a significant portion of their decision on the impression that initial virtual exposure gives them.
Still, as I just touched on and you'll see below, there are several services that can suit almost any budget. If you're selling your home, virtual staging can't really hurt your efforts — so it might be worth taking a chance on.
Virtual Home Staging Software
Price: 4 photos/$300; 5 photos/$375; 6 photos/$450; 7 photos/$525; 8 Photos/$600
Virtual Staging Solutions offers turnaround time of one to two business days, and rush service is available for an additional fee. You’ll also receive two free revisions and "happiness guaranteed" or your money back. Submit photos of each room, choose a style from their pre-designed furniture options, and your designer will do the rest.
Virtual Staging Solutions also offers remodeling and restyling virtual staging in which they change flooring, walls, cabinets, and more. They’ll also remove existing furniture and virtually stage with new options. Need virtual construction help? They’ve got you covered there, too.
Price: $32/photo (No volume discounts available)
BoxBrownie promises to increase buyer interest, help you sell properties 75% faster, bring in a higher sales price (up to 85% higher), and help you stage a home at a fraction of the cost of non-virtual staging. Give them your photos and 48 hours, and they’ll do the rest.
For additional fees, BoxBrownie also offers image enhancement, day-to-dusk image retouching, floor plan redraws, renders, copywriting, and 360-degree services.
Price: Prepaid credits (10 credits to stage one photo): $15.00/10 credits; $59/50 credits; $99/100 credits; $269/300 credits; $399/500 credits; $699/1000 credits; White Label Lite Plan, $10/month paid yearly or $15/month; White Label Standard, $20/month paid yearly or $30/month
VisualStager is a do-it-yourself virtual home staging software that lets you do the styling. Upload your room photos, erase existing furniture, select from over 4,000 furniture items, and simply drag and stage your photos. Once finished, you can share staged photos as JPGs or on the cloud as a flarelet.
4. VHT Studios
Price: To see rates for Silver Series, Gold Series, and Platinum Series plans, enter your zip code here
VHT offers similar services as those listed above. Staging, painting, decluttering, redecorating, and virtual twilight are all available. And they promise to help you sell your home 32% faster, with their photos and expertise.
5. VRX Staging
Upload photos under 6MB, and VRX will return them by the very next business day before 5:00 PM CST, Monday through Friday. You’ll receive one free revision per photo and only pay $5.00 per revision per photo after that. Want them to take the photos for you? They can do that too, if you’re located in the United States.
Price: Self-service image staging, $15/photo; Full-service virtual staging, $35/photo
Use Real Tour Vision's new furniture removal tool to tackle do-it-yourself virtual staging for a discounted rate, or leave it to the professionals with their full-service virtual staging offer.
Price: $85/1 photo; $150/2 photos; $225/3 photos; $280/4 photos; $325/5 photos; $60/each additional photo
It might be one of the most expensive virtual staging platforms on the market, but Virtually Staging Properties promises it’s also one of the best. Professional home stagers give each photo "unmatched realism" and satisfaction guaranteed.
They distinguish their offering with a full library of the latest trends and professional designers and realtors who know how to emphasize a home’s best features. Turnaround time varies but averages approximately two business days.
Price: $40/photo for vacant room staging; $60/photo for room modeling
With Virtual Staging Lab, you’ll enjoy the advice of skilled professionals with years of staging experience. Each piece of virtual furniture is guaranteed to complements the style of your home, and you’ll start with a free consultation -- no strings attached. They also offer 24/7 support.
Simply upload your photos to their website, complete checkout, and you’ll receive your staged images in two business days or less.
Price: From $119/photo
Selling a luxury home? Consider celebrity home stager Ilaria Barion’s boutique firm. They combine upscale home staging expertise and high-end design for digital staging that’s a cut above the rest.
Choose from virtual staging for an empty home, virtual furniture replacement and cosmetic work, virtual landscaping and outdoor staging, night virtual staging, architectural rendering services, and more.
10. Spotless Agency
Price: Light, $79/photo; Standard, $99/photo; Professional, $199/photo
Send them photographs of your rooms in the biggest size you have in JPEG format (they recommend using a professional photographer for best results). Then, choose an interior design style and provide a floor plan.
Once you’ve submitted that information, Spotless will contact you to discuss next steps. Sotheby’s International Realty, Corcoran Group, and Compass are among their top-billed clients.
Price: From $59/photo
Two-day turnaround, a 100% money-back guarantee, and free revisions are just a few of the perks PadStyler offers. They’ve virtually staged over 50,000 homes and claim these homes sell for an average of 19% higher than others on the market.
Virtual home staging, virtual furniture replacement, virtual kitchen vision, virtual curb appeal, virtual renovation, and 3D floor plan rendering are a few of the features that make them a premium option for sellers.
Virtual Home Staging Apps
Price: Tier One, four virtual stagings for $415.00; Tier Two, six virtual stagings for $589.00; Tier Three, nine virtual stagings for $835.00
Submit listing images and choose your design style. Then approve your virtual staging to add to any listing. It's that easy. Want to make your rooms shoppable? RoOomy makes that easy, too. Their three-dimensional design options make the most of augmented reality, to give listings new potential.
Price: Ultra, $29/month or $299/year; Ultimate, $69/month or $699/year; Enterprise, pricing available upon request
Turn compatible smartphones into a VR camera to capture 360-degree tours of any space, and transform your next listing into an experience.
But first, choose the right plan for your needs. Their basic "Ultra" plan includes up to 15 LiveTours a month, their VR editor and app, AR for your floor plan, custom branding, free workshops, and even discounted hardware.
Housecraft is an augmented reality app that allows you to place fully rendered 3D furniture in living spaces — it's essentially an on-the-fly virtual staging resource that lets you stage in real-time.
Though the application is primarily tailored towards individual consumers, real estate agents can encourage prospective home buyers to use it during on-site tours.
Homestyler is another free virtual staging software, primarily tailored for interior decoration. The mobile application uses augmented reality to let users place 3D-rendered furniture in photographs of rooms. Like Housecraft, this app caters more towards home buyers as opposed to real estate professionals, but it can still be of use to the latter when giving tours.
Trends like virtual staging are always progressing and evolving in the space. If you're looking for a simple, quick, cost-effective way to give your listing a little more edge and personality, look into some of the resources listed above.