Virtual Staging When Selling a Home: Everything You Need to Know

Virtual staging is a new and creative way to showcase your property when you're ready to sell. Here's what you need to know about virtual staging, including what it means, the benefits, and the drawbacks.
Written by Rochelle Miller-Hernandez
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
The traditional method of staging a house for sale involves moving in furniture and home decor to create a lifestyle setting. However, with today’s modern technology, virtual staging when selling a home is becoming more common.
In simple terms, virtual staging allows a decorating professional or
real estate agent
to virtually add furnishing, decor, and accents to a room or entire house through digital technology when you decide to
sell your home
If you're considering this approach, here's everything you need to know about virtual staging, presented by
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What does 'virtually staged' mean?

Having a virtually staged home means that you can stage your home for sale without needing to move furniture in and out of the home and physically stage it. Instead, the process is done virtually, with the virtual stager enhancing photos of your home with furniture digitally, rather than in-person.
This can ease the home-selling process, and it may be more appealing to certain buyers, too.

Benefits of virtual staging

Cost and time saving

Bringing furniture and decor into a home can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the space, length of time items are needed, and decorator fees and expenses.
Virtual staging costs only a fraction of this, takes less time, and is more convenient. You also won’t have the cost of repairing any minor cosmetic damage incurred by the moving of furniture in and out of your home, such as scuffs, nail holes and minor dings.

It sells a lifestyle

Virtual staging can sell a lifestyle to your buyers. For example, if you own a downtown condo, you can stage your home to represent the advantages of living in the area.
Centrally located to businesses, restaurants, museums, and other city advantages, your buyer will most likely be a career-centered professional looking for the convenience and fast-paced environment that city life can provide.
Your home can be staged to represent that lifestyle, thus allowing them to envision themselves living in the setting of their dreams.

Better room representation

It can be hard to envision the size of a room and what it can hold, especially a photograph of an empty room. By virtually placing furniture and decor throughout a space, your buyers can envision their own belongings in the same space.
For example, you can put the dimensions of your master bedroom in your listing, but if someone cannot gauge in the terms of measurements, this will be of little help. However, if your bedroom is virtually staged to hold a queen size bed and other furnishing quite comfortably, this will give a potential buyer a better representation of the room.

Drawbacks of virtual staging

Unrealistic expectations

Virtually staging when selling a home can set up a buyer for unrealistic expectations. If a decorator uses staging software to alter a home’s true appearance, this can lead to disappointment for a buyer. This is when preparing a property to be virtually staged is vital.
The photographs of your home provide the backdrop. Before any professional photos are taken, prepare your home by making sure all repairs, touch-ups, decluttering and cleaning are done so your home is truly represented in the images. A decorator should only be virtually adding furniture and decor to the space, not filling in nail holes, covering up stains and so forth with the software.

Buyer deception

Just like some buyers feel virtual staging might set up unrealistic expectations, they also might feel that they are being deceived. This is why it's important to let buyers know right away that virtual staging is being used to represent the home.
Some sellers also have photos of the empty rooms for the buyers to view so they can see the home without staging. This lets them know that only furniture and decor were added. Be upfront and educate them that it is only a tool for them to see the possibilities.

Unnecessary or inconvenient

If your home is not vacant, you may not need to use virtual staging. If your furnishing is up-to-date and well-placed, with only a few changes and decluttering, your home may already be staged to sell, and virtual staging may be a waste of time and money.
Also, if you are still living in your home, it may be inconvenient to clear out a room enough to get the photographs needed to effectively stage with software and technology.
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