Have you ever done a listing consult and walked into a home that was completely empty? Did it lack warmth and creativity compared to a home that had furniture? Have you noticed a difference in potential buyers at showings where the home was well staged vs showing them a home left completely vacant? How was their mood different between the two homes? Did they comment on not being able to see the potential of the space? I think those who are reading this already know the incredible value that staging a home brings to a listing.
However, staging a home is not cheap. On average in Colorado staging a home can cost anywhere from $700 to a whopping $2,000 dollars or more! And while we all know that a well staged home can not only help the buyers better visualize the space it can also drive up offers; sometimes staging a home is just not in the budget. So what can be done?
Virtual staging is the next best option to Physically staging a listing and it is much more affordable.
As compared to physically staging a home, virtually staging a home is a fraction of the price!
Benefits Of Virtually Staging Your Next Listing
There are many benefits to virtually staging your next listing. The first and foremost is Cost. As of the writing of this blog in June of 2023, I charge $50 per image for virtual staging. Even if you book four images, $200 is a far cry from $2000. And it is still far better than $700 compared to the low end cost of physically staging your listing.
Another benefit is the efficiency and ease of virtual staging. When clients book a virtually staged image with me they have no need to book any additional appointments. Thats right, NO additional appointment is needed when adding a virtually staged image to your already booked photo package. Because the image is virtually staged all of the furniture is added in post-production, in other words its done in editing. Making it easier for you to not have to schedule additional appointments like you would if you actually staged the home. This can be nice as you wont have to have increased traffic or access to the home other than just the one photo appointment.
There is no chance of physical damage being done to the home. This can be a big one. Moving furniture in can be in a word cumbersome. Increasing risk for accidents such as damage to walls, scuffed floors or broken glass when moving bigger pieces of furniture around. Hey, we are human and accidents can sometimes happen. Physical damage can add to the cost of physically staging a home. Virtual staging however takes the risk of potential damage away.
Lastly it allows the prospective buyer to see the potential of the home. Buyers have a general understanding of what they want and how they want their future home to look. They know their likes and dislikes. However when being shown a blank canvas as it were their inspiration can be fleeting. I think back to my school days when I needed to write my english papers. I knew what the paper needed to be about. I even knew somewhat of what I wanted to write or I at least understood the message behind what needed to be said. However starting each paper was a nightmare for me as I looked at the blank page as though it were taunting me by being empty. But as I would look at examples of past papers my teachers and professors would show as examples sometimes that would help trigger the creativity I needed to start my own paper. And I think that is a similar situation to what buyers feel when faced with a vacant home. Virtual staging can help give them inspiration and allow them to better see the potential of each space.
Are there any Disadvantages To Staging The Home?
The short and honest answer is yes. While virtually staging is a great option it does not compare to being able to actually stage a space. The biggest disadvantage is that virtually staging mostly helps with online presence only. Potential buyers who view the listing on the MLS or Property website on their phones can easily see the potential of a home through the virtually staged photographs. However when you bring them to the showing where the property is left vacant it can still be hard for them to visualize how the home could look. So to get the most out of your virtually staged images at showings its best to have the images pulled up on your phone or better yet your iPad with bigger screen real estate, to help show the buyers what each room has the potential to look like. While they can't see it physically in person, having that visual reminder of the virtually staged image there to remind them of the potential of a space during a showing makes virtually staging the home worth it!
So Should You Use Virtual Staging On Your Next Listing?
While virtually staging a home can never replace the value of physically staging a home, Virtual staging is a great tool to use when the budget does not allow for physical staging. So if you find yourself needing to save some money on your next listing but still want to show prospective buyers the potential of the space Virtual Staging is a great and affordable option!
If you would like further details on the Pros and Cons of virtually staging a home check out a video we did with our client Matt Thomas of The Altitude Group. We helped him create this video a few years back where he gives his perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of virtual staging. He has been a realtor for a little over a decade now. So if you don't trust this photographers perspective, take it from our great client Matt! Also give him a like and follow on his YouTube channel as he is always posting great videos on the surrounding Denver Market!