How to virtually stage a home?

Staging a home virtually is an important step in the process of selling a property. It involves creating a visual representation that allows prospective buyers to appreciate the potential of the space, and can be done using a combination of techniques:

* Using photographs: Photographs are an essential tool for virtual staging as they allow purchasers to get an accurate impression of the size and layout of a room. Photos should be taken from different angles, at different times of day, and with different lighting setups to ensure maximum visibility of features.

* Utilising 3D modelling: 3D modelling enables viewers to explore a property in more detail than what is possible with traditional photography, providing them with a sense of scale and perspective. This is particularly useful when showing off architectural features or complex floor plans.

* Adding virtual furniture: Virtual furniture adds character and personality to a property by allowing the buyer to imagine how it could look once furnished. Furniture should be chosen carefully to ensure it fits within the style of the home and complements any existing decor.

By following these simple steps, a real estate agent can create an attractive virtual tour of a property which will enable potential buyers to feel connected to the space and make an informed decision about their purchase.

george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

Table of Contents

If you have found this post, it is likely that you are a home owner or solo realtor looking for a low-cost staging solution. Realtors have always staged homes for open houses to increase the likelihood of selling a listing for a better price.

Follow the tips below and that cluttered room is no longer an obstacle.

How to Virtually Stage a Home for Free

Since “to stage a house” refers to arranging furnishings and decor in a strategic manner is vital to showcase a house’s best features when selling.

If you are looking to do it for free, as part of the process, at minimum you should tidy up your possessions or temporarily remove them for the period of the sale.

You could explore two main methods to stage a home for free virtually.

  1. If you’re keen on DIY, you can learn from the tips and advice on our free staging software tutorials and employ various staging techniques to enhance your virtual furnishing and staging process.
  2. Alternatively, Tallbox Design offers a free virtual staging service if you prefer a hands-off approach. The trial comes with one free staged image, and have your home professionally staged at no cost.

is virtual staging worth it?

Virtual staging can be worth it for selling a home faster and for a higher price if done well in buyer and seller markets.

Here are some key considerations on whether virtual staging is worth investing in:

  1. To determine if virtual staging is worth it, consider if the home is vacant or furnished with dated décor.
  2. Virtual staging helps buyers visualize the potential of empty rooms. It can also update spaces with tired furniture or design. If the home fits these situations, virtual staging may help it sell faster and for more money.
  3. The cost of virtual staging versus the potential return.  Professional virtual staging services start around $70 per room. 
  4.  But they could help sell the home for thousands more. If the market is competitive, virtual staging can help a listing stand out.
  5. Make sure the quality of the virtual staging is high. Poor-quality staging looks obvious and hurts more than helps.
  6. Invest in a reputable company that provides realistic renderings tailored to the home. This makes virtual staging worth the investment.

Virtual staging can be worth the cost if the home needs help in visualization, the local market calls for it, and excellent quality renderings can be done. Consider these factors to determine if it makes sense for a specific property.

Can you use virtual staging if you are selling the property with the furniture?

If you want to sell the furniture along with the house, virtual staging can be useful even if selling a furnished property. To potentially enhance a furnished listing with virtual staging:

  • Consider subtle digital updates to modernize dated real furniture’s look, as virtual style changes may improve outdated pieces.
  • Evaluate replacing a few worn physical items virtually, as digital furnishings can downplay items in poor condition.
  • Assess tying together varied existing décor between rooms with virtual additions to create a consistent style.

While empty homes benefit most from full virtual staging, selective digital additions may provide a useful different perspective for buyers of luxury or typical furnished properties.

Just be sure to also showcase photos of the real furnishings. And disclose that any virtual furnishings are not included to avoid issues.

With the right approach, virtual staging can complement real furniture and positively showcase a property.

How to virtually stage a home DIY

The easiest way to virtually stage a home is:

The easiest way to virtually stage a room free is:

  • DIY with virtual staging app at a very low cost

Watch the video below to get a grasp of the idea of how to stage a house for photos virtually:

If this was what you were looking for, read the link below where I’ve explained even more in-depth about how virtual staging app works and their pros and cons.

Of if you are still curios to understand more about how to get the best out of your virtually staged home endeavour , continue reading.

How Does Virtual Staging Work?

Virtual staging is a process that uses photo editing software to digitally insert furniture, decor and accents into photos of empty rooms. Here’s how it works:

  • A the seller, real estate agent or photographer takes photos of the property following a specific guidance
  • The images are uploaded to a virtual staging company
  • Designers select furniture, decor and props from a product library to visualize each room’s potential
  • The digital items are edited into the room photos to create a realistic staged look
  • The virtually staged photos are delivered to the agent to use in listings
  • Home buyers and sellers can now envision the empty space filled with furnishings
  • Virtual staging is faster and more budget-friendly than physically staging a home
  • It creates attractive listing photos that highlight each room’s possibilities
  • The key is starting with good quality real estate photography to enable believable virtual staging

Virtual staging opens up new possibilities for showcasing vacant homes in their best light and helping them sell faster. This innovative service makes it easy for buyers to picture the possibilities!

5 virtual staging tips to spice up your home furniture & staging

professional virtual staging app
Spice up your home furniture & staging with these five tips

1# Don’t Mislead

All five tips in this article are provided with the help TALLBOX; drawn from their experience and day-to-day client interaction.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room – are virtual staging home makeovers ethical? Absolutely, as long as you:

  • Don’t misrepresent the property, i.e., add or remove elements in the infrastructure. 

Property laws in both the UK, Australia, Canada, US and others have entire chapters on misrepresentation real estate.

Real estate agents must ensure that any visual representations of a property remain accurate and do not deceive potential buyers.

Here’s a list of specific misrepresentation rules regarding photos when virtually staging a room:

1. Altering structural elements: Do not add, remove, or modify any structural aspects of the property in photographs or during virtual staging. This includes walls, windows, doors, load-bearing beams, chimneys, etc.

2. Manipulating room dimensions: Avoid stretching or distorting images to make rooms appear larger than they actually are. This can lead to unrealistic expectations for potential buyers.

3. Changing permanent fixtures: Permanent fixtures such as built-in wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, or appliances should not be altered or removed in the images if they exist in reality.

4. Concealing defects: Do not use photo editing tools to hide known defects such as cracks in walls or ceilings, water stains from leaks, or mold growth on surfaces.

5. Misrepresenting exterior surroundings: Avoid altering outdoor elements like removing power lines overhead, neighboring buildings, or adding landscaping features that don’t exist.

6. Over-enhancing lighting conditions: While adjusting brightness levels is acceptable for showcasing the property better, excessively manipulating light could create an unrealistic representation of natural light within the space.

7. Oversized objects: Virtual staging can include adding furniture and décor to showcase the potential usage of space but avoid using items that may mislead buyers about room sizes (e.g., oversized furniture) or imply features that aren’t part of the property (e.g., high-end appliances).

8. Modifying colors and materials: Refrain from changing wall colors, flooring materials, or other finishes unless you clearly disclose these changes as suggestions for potential renovations/upgrades rather than actual existing condition.

Play Video about misdescription-example

State upfront that you are using virtual staging images and videos to help buyers realize the property’s full potential. You must add a disclaimer that the images and videos are not how the property looks in real life; rather, the images depict how the property can look. 

Whether selling your home through the For Sale by Owner FSBO listing or through a realtor, you must ensure that the virtual staging photographs, animations, and videos are labeled clearly.

In addition, you should ask the agent to ensure the photos are with watermark to ensure that potential buyers are not misled.

2# Identify Your Target Audience

The second most important tip when giving your house a virtual makeover is to consider the target audience. Who are you selling the home to? What are the demographic and psychographic elements that make up your ideal buyer?

The neighborhood, size, type, build, and price point are some factors that tell realtors who are most likely to buy a property.

A 3-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood in close proximity to schools is most likely to be purchased by a family with young children and a mortgage.

On the other end, an open-floor studio apartment in the downtown area is likely preferred by bachelors who want to avoid workplace commutes. 

If you know who is most likely to purchase your home, you will be able to inform your virtual staging, making it practical and worth the money.

What is your house's style

virtually staged room in a Mediterranean style
Virtually staged room in a Mediterranean style / Image by TALLBOX

What is the architectural style of your home? One way to decorate the home is to let the architectural style inspire the décor.

There are more than 100 construction designs, from farmhouses to Spanish villas and modern apartment buildings to Victorian homes. You can choose to complement and even highlight the construction of your property by choosing to decorate it in style. 

Professional staging companies have style counselors for advice. The architecture information you provide them will help them create more cohesive designs.

virtually staged home in contemporary traditional style
Virtually staged home in contemporary traditional style / Image by TALLBOX


Another way to stage a home is by focusing on the style of décor, i.e., modern, contemporary, eclectic, traditional, luxury, boho, minimalist, etc. Think of what your target audience might prefer and stage your home accordingly.

Virtually staged home in traditional style Image by TALLBOX
Virtually staged home in traditional style / Image by TALLBOX

Many people believe that using expensive furniture and decorations will sell the property more quickly, but that’s not the case. If the target audience cannot visualize themselves living in the space, they are less likely to buy the property.

Therefore, the purpose of virtual staging is not to upscale a building but to show potential buyers that they can make a home in this space. The best way to do it is by using design and décor trends that appeal to their aesthetics. 


Who is going to live on this property, and what are they going to do in it?

If you think a middle-income family with school-going children is most likely to purchase your home, then decorating it in a warm and traditional style might be more appropriate.

For example, use virtual staging to set up a kitchen that looks like the perfect homely place where the family comes together for an excellent dinner every night.

Virtually staged home in British country style
Virtually staged home in British country style / Image by TALLBOX

Similarly, you can stage the bedrooms as gender-specific or a unisex baby nursery. You can choose to decorate the room with a famous cartoon theme, such as Star Wars. Accompanying decor items such as bedsheets, cushions, and wall decorations should match the selected theme.

Lage format canvases with Stormtroopers or the Millennium Falcon will reinforce the room’s purpose. 

On the other hand, if you think a socialite or businessperson will purchase the property, you can choose modern, minimalist, or eclectic design inspirations. Virtual staging can show how the den can be transformed into a modern office. Or perhaps how the life-sized painting or bronze sculpture in the lounge will make it a talking piece for the buyer’s next social event, and so on.

3# Choose the Type of Virtual Staging

Virtually staged photos started as a concept in which designers added furniture and decorations to empty spaces digitally with the same software they use for interior design.

However, it has grown much more prominent. Progressing from simple photographs, virtual staging is now available in multiple formats. 

These are:

  • Photographic Virtual Staging – Still images of staging an empty or furnished space by removing undesired furniture and décor and adding desired furniture and décor.
  • Video Virtual Staging – A video of a property furnished in the desired style. Just like a movie, buyers are able to see the entire home in the mp4 format.
  • Interactive or 360 Virtual Staging – A relatively newer trend in which buyers control and interact with the virtual space to explore every corner of the property. Buyers are able to change the décor, the layout, the furniture, and other elements in the property from a list of given possibilities.
  • Virtual Renovation – A staging service where buyers can see how a space will after the desired renovations have been made.

How Do You Know Your Home Needs a Makeover project? You can find out in Home Makeover Guide.

Virtual Staging Add-Ons

Victorian Terrace Remodeling
Use add-ons with your virtual staging / Image made with midjourney

Along with the types of virtual staging, there are numerous virtual staging add-ons that you can choose. These are: 

  • Luxury Virtual Staging – The virtual staging company with high-end brands for furniture, decorations, and lighting to give a genuinely luxurious first impression. 
  • Animated Virtual Staging – A short (up to 5 seconds) animation showing the makeover details and engaging the buyer.
  • Lifestyle Staging – This combines real estate marketing and virtual reality to create an emotional and immersive experience for the buyer by adding furniture and décor by known brands that appeal to their aesthetics. 
  • Themed Staging – Livening up a property by adding décor that matches a theme, spring, summer, autumn, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more. 
  • Virtual Decluttering – A service that offers to remove clutter from photographs virtually. 
  • Virtual Outdoor Staging – Staging the yards, façade, patio, etc., to improve the outside look of the house. 

Each type of virtual staging differs in cost; the more sophisticated and value-adding it is, the higher its price point. However, just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. Choose a service that is appropriate for the kind of property you are selling, your target audience, and your budget.

If you are into DIY we have entire page how to learn virtual staging software

4# Get It Done by HOME Staging Professionals

You might be tempted to take a dab at virtual staging yourself, but we suggest letting professionals take care of it. Although many downloadable virtual staging software come with online courses and tutorials, you need the practice to perfect the craft. 

According to The Washington Post, 87% of home buyers claim that photographs influence their purchase decisions. Therefore, it is safe to say that pictures make a significant difference in the sale of your house.

If your picture is unrealistic, would it convince a potential buyer to purchase your property? 

Probably not. 

When newbies stage a home virtually, they may be unable to consider the lighting, the color palette, positions, and other factors that make a virtual image look realistic. And if your property’s image looks photoshopped or unrealistic, it will not impress potential buyers. 

At TALLBOX virtual staging is only effective, but the images we make look true to life. Professional virtual stagers with interior design knowledge and expertise work constantly to improving our workflow and design styles.

We can help you achieve that realistic result. 

tallbox virtual staging

Have a project to stage? We know how to do virtual staging effectively >

Consider the following factors when choosing a professional virtual staging service:

  • Turnaround time – How soon can they give you the images/animations/videos? Experienced companies take between 24 – 48 hours, check beforehand if there are additional charges for fast turnaround. 
  • Variety of services – Does the company offer basic and advanced virtual staging services such as animations, interactive staging, and more? 
  • Selection of digital furniture and décor – Which brands are they working with for digital furnishings and décor? Companies working with a higher number of brands have more options to stage your home according to your preference. 
  • Edits – Does the company offer free revisions? Can you make or suggest changes? Choose companies that allow both. 
  • Customer support – Choose companies that are always happy to provide information and help you after-sales. 

  • Cost – Price is not a marker of quality; choose companies that give you good value for money. 

5# Select the right virtual furnishing

Choosing the right furniture for staging a home can significantly affect how quickly a property sells and its final selling price.

When staging furniture for sale, selecting pieces that enhance the room’s size, functionality, and appeal is critical.

This can be achieved by using furniture of the right size, color, and style that aligns with the property’s overall aesthetic.

Virtual fully furnished rooms are the most cost-effective and efficient solution for property sellers.

Deceiving real estate listing with scaled down furniture
Deceiving real estate listing with scaled down furniture

The virtual furnishing can be tailored to match the aesthetic preferences of the target market, increasing the property’s appeal.

Moreover, studies show that even digitally well-staged and furnished homes often sell faster and for higher prices than empty homes.

PRO TIP: Placing furniture correctly and strategically while staging can make a room look more spacious and appealing. If you’re unsure about staging a room physically or virtually, you may want to hire a professional stager to avoid deceiving real estate practices.

Go Social

The final tip is to market your virtual staging makeover on social media. Although refrain from flooding your profiles with listings, it is an excellent idea to prompt engagement by publishing before/after images and asking followers how they will decorate a space.  

Virtual staging makeovers were birthed for potential buyers browsing for listings online. Therefore, marketing it on social media is an excellent way to increase the likelihood of your property being seen by the right buyer. 

Key Takeaways

Virtual staged photos are a digital solution for real estate experts who want to make their properties look beautiful for online listings and open houses. However, virtual staging is only effective if done right. 

The first right step is to ensure transparency by telling your audience upfront that the imagery is virtually staged, not real. Secondly, you must keep the target audience in mind and decorate the home in a way that appeals to them regarding the use, emotional appeal, and aesthetics. 

Sellers must also choose the appropriate virtual staging type and add-ons to maximize the efficiency of the digital makeover. Most importantly, we recommend that sellers choose professional virtual stagers instead of doing the design themselves to ensure realistic photographs. 

Taking your staging social will allow you to reach a bigger audience and increase the marketability of your property.

do empty homes sell faster

Empty homes do not necessarily sell faster than furnished homes.

To determine if an empty home will sell faster:

Consider if virtual staging can help buyers visualize the property’s potential, do virtual staging to appeal to more buyers.

Factor in the local real estate market conditions, if inventory is low and demand is high empty homes may sell quickly even without staging.

Evaluate the purchase demographics, if targeting first-time homebuyers they may prefer empty to customize.

Assess if unfurnished fits the home style, smaller homes often show better empty for space.

While staging can help empty properties, they do not universally sell faster than furnished listings. 

Consider the individual home and market to determine if an empty or staged home will have an advantage. Utilize virtual staging if needed to showcase potential.

Should you spice up your home furniture & staging with $100 budget?

With a limited budget of $100, here are some tips on sprucing up home furniture and staging:

To decide if refreshing furnishings is worthwhile with $100, consider if the existing items are dated or worn. Minor updates can help freshen tired décor.

  • Focus on key rooms buyers see, like living room, kitchen, master bedroom. Target updates there for maximum impact.
  • Shop discount stores like thrift shops, garage sales or budget retailers for inexpensive accessories. Vintage or repurposed finds add character.
  • Look for small upgrades like throw pillows, area rugs, decorative trays and artwork. Pops of color, patterns and textures help.
  • Style changes like rearranging furniture or switching out lamp shades can refresh for free. Edit and highlight the best pieces.

Alternatively, use the $100 for staging four
virtual staged photos to showcase the home’s potential if the furnishings are dated or worn. This can provide visual impact for buyers and save you the hassle of DIY.