Virtual Staging vs. Real Staging what would work for you?

The topic of staging is becoming increasingly important in the real estate market as it allows homeowners to present their homes in the best possible light to potential buyers.

One of the critical aspects of home staging is creating a balanced and uncluttered living space. This appeals to a broader range of real estate buyers and creates a pleasant and inviting atmosphere for homeowners to spend time in.

george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

Table of Contents

In this post, you will learn:

  • The definition and critical differences between virtual home staging and home staging
  • The pros and cons of each option
  • The impact of virtual staging and home staging on potential buyers
  • How to determine which option is the best fit for their property
  • Tips for preparing for both virtual staging and home staging
  • How to decide which one to use for your property
  • The importance of hiring a professional for virtual or home staging

By the end of this post, you will have a clear understanding and be able to decide which option is best including getting a coupon for 1 virtual staging photos for free.

Let’s iron out the truth.

Real estate agents and homeowners need to talk to each other; often, if your agent is mediocre, they will indeed lack advanced marketing strategy as virtual staging solutions. Either party wants a quick sale and a top dollar and there is nothing wrong with that.

The trick is to showcase your home as the only one on the market.

What is and when Home Staging first originated?

The concept of home styling has been around for over a century, dating back to the end of the Victorian era.

The idea is to create a home that fits the needs and dreams of the family for whom it is built. By focusing on this concept, we can create a home that appeals to the lifestyle and aspirations of potential buyers.

The traditional home styling approach

Virtual staging vs. Real staging

However, we no longer live in the Victorian era, and it’s not just the inside of your home that matters.

Potential buyers will often have the first impression of your home through internet photos. That’s why ensuring your images are high-quality and showcase your home’s best features is essential.

Thanks to the revolution of PropTech today, home sellers can decide between virtual staging and home staging companies.

Good real estate agents will recommend using the two services along with virtual tours and real estate videos to increase the amount of retention and engagement.

The traditional staging option

In the first part of the post section, we’ll look at the two-week time-frame example and two different options for staging a home.
Want it or not to make the home presentable? You must use some styling, even if you have to DIY it.

What are the top things you need to do?

If you have just two weeks to get your home ready to sell?

Did you know that “Home staging” does not have a specific Latin translation, as it is a modern concept in real estate?
However, it can be translated as “praeparare domum pro venditione” which means “preparing a house for sale.”

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Staged homes do not happen by coincidence. There is a lot that goes behind preparing a home for open house and showings and the the staging design process is key. Staging services are worth every penny, but they must be done correctly.

Do cluttered homes sell?

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to selling a home is that cluttered homes sell just as well as uncluttered homes.

However, the reality is that a messy house can turn off potential buyers and make it more challenging to deal with.

Here’s a closer look at how clutter can impact home sales and why it’s important to declutter and depersonalize your home before putting it on the market.

Clutter makes even your living room feel smaller.

First, it’s essential to understand that clutter can make a home feel smaller and more cramped.

Potential buyers may need help envisioning themselves living in the space and may also be put off by the amount of work it will take to declutter the home.

Additionally, clutter can make it difficult for buyers to see the true potential of a home and its best features.

Clutter makes homes look unclean.

Another clutter issue is that it can make a home feel unclean and uninviting.

This can be especially true if the chaos includes dirty dishes, overflowing trash cans, or other unsanitary items.

This can make it difficult for buyers to see themselves living in the space and make it more challenging to sell the home.

Clutter traditionally prevents buyers from imagining.

Clutter can make it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.

In addition, personal items such as family photos or collections can make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves in the space, and they may be put off by the thought of having to remove these items.

In conclusion, clutter can significantly impact the chances of selling a home, so it’s vital to declutter and depersonalize your home before putting it on the market.

By creating a balanced and uncluttered living space, you can appeal to a broader range of buyers and make your home more likely to sell quickly and at the best possible price.

We know tons of home staging tips, and are budget friendly staging company!

The Importance of Cleaning and Repairing Your Home Before Selling

This may seem daunting, but it’s crucial for making an excellent first impression on potential buyers and increasing the chances of selling your home quickly and at the best possible price.

First of all, it’s essential to understand that a clean home is more appealing to potential buyers.

Staging tip: This means thoroughly cleaning every room, including the kitchen and bathrooms, to ensure they are spotless. This will create a more inviting space in which buyers can envision themselves.

It’s vital to ensure that your home is in good repair before putting it on the market. It means making necessary repairs, such as fixing leaky faucets or patching wall holes.

It will not only make your home more appealing to potential buyers, but it will also help to avoid any potential issues during the home inspection process.

Another important aspect of cleaning and repairing your home is to stage it in a way that showcases its best features.

This includes arranging furniture and décor to create a sense of flow and balance and showcasing the best features of your home, such as natural light, high ceilings, or fireplaces.

Budget for traditional home staging?

To explain this better, let’s add this in the context of the following example:

A young family looking to sell their first home and purchase a larger one to accommodate their growing family.

They have decided to go down the traditional real estate route and inquire about two professional home stagers.

There are few things needed before engaging with a professional staging agency.

Determine the budget: Budgeting means determining the amount of money you are willing to invest in this service and its sub-services.

This will depend on a number of factors, such as the size of your home, the condition of your home, and the current real estate market.

A general rule of thumb is that home staging agency charge 1-2% of your home’s value for their services, although some agencies may charge a bit more for their top-tier services or quick expedition.

For example, if you are selling your 2,000 sq.ft five-bedroom $475,000 house, staging costs will come in the range of $631 to $2,312, depending on the size and furniture needs of the home.

On average, home staging costs around $1,500 but can range anywhere from $600 to $4,000.

This number is dependent on many factors including the size of the home, the furniture and decor that needs to be rented, and the location of the home.

In addition to the above, most stagers have a minimum staging charge. On top of that account for monthly instalments if you are renting on a monthly basis (~ $1000 – $2,500).

Identify your needs: Once you have determined roughly a budget, it is important to identify your specific needs.

This includes determining which rooms of your home need to be staged, what type of furniture and decor you need to rent, and what repairs or renovations need to be made. Your stager should provide you with a home staging report after the first initial consultation.

The report typically includes a detailed assessment of the property’s current condition and any areas of concern, as well as a list of recommended changes and improvements.

These may include things like decluttering, rearranging furniture, and making repairs or updates to the property. The report may also include suggestions for color schemes and decor, as well as recommendations for how to best highlight the property’s key selling points.

The goal of a staging report is to provide a clear and actionable plan for how to prepare a property for sale, in order to maximize its appeal to potential buyers and increase its chances of selling quickly and at a good price.

Research staging websites: Research different staging firms in your area to find one that fits within your budget and meets your needs. Be sure to read reviews and ask for references before making a decision.
You can read this blog post to learn how to maximise your home staging budget.

FYI: stagers are most busy during the spring and summer months into October and November. This is because the real estate market is typically more active during this time, with more buyers looking for homes.

Rent or purchase furniture and decor: Once you have selected a stager, you will need to rent or purchase furniture and decor. They will offer you suggestions based on your home’s needs.

home staging on a budget
Home Staging On a Budget by TALLBOX

Prepare for the staging process: Preparing the home for the staging process means decluttering and depersonalizing your home yourself (if you aim to save some money).

This means removing any unnecessary items and personal items, such as family photos, from your home. This will create a more neutral and inviting space that appeals to a broader range of buyers.

Additionally, make sure to clean and repair any issues in your home to ensure that it is in the best condition possible for staging.

Factor in additional costs: Be sure to factor in any additional costs that may arise during the staging process, such as the cost of moving and storing your personal items, cleaning and repairs, and any other furniture or decor that may be needed.

Consider the value of staging: It is important to remember that the cost of traditional home staging is an investment in the sale of your home.

Therefore, a well-staged home can increase the value of your home and help it sell more quickly, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Now imagine the staging costs after all of this.

Undoubtedly, professional home staging brings many benefits, but it comes at a higher cost and time, too.

Virtual Staging companies

If the traditional staging sounds too expensive and intimidating, instead, try Tallbox’s virtual staging services.

Virtually staged properties get the same attention as traditionally staged ones.
All you need to do is to follow a few steps and rules and ask your real estate professional.

We offer Virtual Staging at £47 / $58 and £60 / $73 per photo depending on the condition of each space

How does it work?

  • you take photos of your space with our photo-guide
  • send the photos to us
  • we do the staging in a related to home style
  • staging comes out 
  • the listing goes live

In this articles we’ve explained what do you need to know before you hire a virtual staging provider.

Tips and recommendations for preparing your house for virtual staging

  • Simplify and neutralize: One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for virtual staging is to simplify and neutralize. This means removing any unnecessary items and personal items, such as family photos, from your home. This will speed up the delivery of your project, as the company’s photo editors will save time removing things that shouldn’t be on your photos.
  • Maintain cleanliness and make repairs: Another critical aspect of preparing your home for digital staging is ensuring it is clean and in good repair. Although this is not necessary, but a recommended step.

    According to real estate laws almost every country on the planet. Virtual staging designers can’t change structural elements, fix things that aren’t fixed or remove walls. In other words, they can’t create deceptive staging’s.

    This means thoroughly cleaning every room and making necessary repairs, such as fixing leaky faucets or patching wall holes. If you don’t have budget to address these issues, you can leave them and ask your stagers to their best to integrate everything.

    Keep in mind that if you request such changes, listing your property with misleading photos may lead to problems with the law, and it is not advised.

We’ve explained how to spot deceptive virtual staging projects in this post.

  • Obtain high-quality photographs: To make the most of digital staging, obtaining high-quality photographs of your home is essential. This includes taking photos from different angles in good lighting conditions to showcase your home’s best features and staged furniture.
  • Utilize multiple virtual staging services: Once you have your photographs, you can use different virtual staging service to add furniture, decor, and other elements to your photos. You can stage furnished, vacant and even outdated spaces. This will help to create a complete image of your home’s potential.
  • Create an inviting atmosphere: Finally, if you hold an open house event, ensure the virtual staging prints are distributed and available in every room. Virtual staging is an excellent way to showcase the potential of a home.

    Still, it’s essential to ensure that your future buyers know the property’s existing condition precisely. Always use before and after staged photos for your marketing and listing materials.

No budget for home makeovers? We have a virtual renovation service

Key Takeaway: Selling real estate with this service is undoubtedly very affordable and accessible. However, even if you don’t have time to declutter and get rid of everything, the advantage of the virtual staging method with TALLBOX is that we can remove everything from your photos to a high degree of photorealism.

Budget and benefits of virtual staging

Within the context of a young family looking to sell their first 2,000 sq. ft house and move on to a larger property.

Budgeting for virtual staging

One of the main advantages of budgeting for virtual staging is its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional staging. With digital staging, sellers can save money on furniture rental, moving expenses, and other costs associated with conventional staging.

On average, virtual staging prices can range from under $60 per photo for vacant space.

Still, it’s important to note that costs can vary depending on factors such as the property size and the staging project’s complexity.

Benefits of virtual staging

In addition to being more cost-effective, virtual staging may offer various other benefits. One of the main advantages is flexibility in terms of furniture and decor choices.

With virtual staging, sellers can showcase a property’s potential with various styles and designs. At TALLBOX, we typically advise the best style for any given property, depending on the target group of clients.

Because of that, digital staging allows a broader audience outreach, making it easier for buyers to envision themselves living in the property. Virtual staging can also be helpful for properties that are vacant or in need of repairs.

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Hire us to do virtual staging, we are budget friendly!

Other Advantages

Other benefits of a professional staging firm include the capacity to stage a property from anywhere, the ability to produce numerous homes simultaneously, and the option to change the staging at any moment.

This makes it an excellent choice for sellers who want to sell their property swiftly and efficiently.

Furthermore, digital staging might be beneficial for properties that are vacant or in need of renovation.

The Power of good photos

Why does staging need a pro-photographer photo?

Professional virtual staging for real estate requires professional photography.
It is a crucial aspect of home staging and can significantly impact a property’s overall presentation and appeal to buyers. High-quality, well-lit, and well-composed photographs can showcase a property’s potential and highlight its best features.

Real estate photography services in the United States range in price from $93 to $300 per session. High-end photography can cost between $800 and $2000.

The average cost of real estate photography in the United Kingdom is £175. Depending on the sort of property photography, prices might range from £90 to £800+

Generally, real estate photographers charge around $100 to $200 per hour.

For a whole-day shoot of a property, you can expect to pay at least $1500 to include digital price.

Hiring a professional photographer can also provide additional benefits, such as expertise in lighting, composition, editing, and digital staging assistance.

Investing in professional photography services can increase a home’s chances of success in the real estate market.

What is the most important thing to you when taking pictures of a home?

The first step is to book a photographer or ask your agent to take photos of all the rooms. Before you appoint them, you must contact your staging company, who will help form the scope and plan for the photo shoot.

Ask your photographer or agent to take as many photos as possible; this will help you decide what needs to be staged and what doesn’t.

It’s crucial to capture each room’s angles so you can select the best ones.

Buyers what to be convinced their travel time is well worth it before they inquire about viewing the house and then offering.

At TALLBOX, our staging team gives you a step-by-step guide on what to do and how.

Virtual Staging by TALLBOX

The first step is to book a photographer or ask your agent to take photos of all the rooms. Before you appoint them, you must contact your staging company, who will help form the scope and plan for the photo shoot.

Then before your photographer arrives, it’s time to go through your property with a fine tooth comb, ensuring every detail is addressed in every room: curtains, rugs, furniture placement, the whole nine yards!

If any items need to be moved around or removed completely, do so before the photoshoot.

In case decluttering is not possible, TALLBOX staging makes it easy; we can confidently deal with digital decluttering and restore all needed details.

Taking Winning Photographs

Professional photography is essential for virtual and traditional staging real estate listings because the photos will attract potential buyers.

A professional photographer will take care of all the details, including taking pictures in the best light, at the right angles, and with the right equipment. Then your realtor will put everything together in your marketing pack.

Avoiding Lawsuits in Virtual Staging for real estate: 6 Tips

However, sellers must be aware of the potential legal risks of virtual staging.

In this part of the post, we will provide few tips on how to avoid real estate lawsuits when digital staging your house.

1. Potential legal risks when using this method

Always disclose what you are using! Virtual staging is ethical marketing method when you are upfront with it.

It’s essential to be aware of the potential legal risks associated with this method. We hear about clients who have used cheap vendors who did use real furniture instead of scaled-down mock-ups that look like toys.

If your sofa is purple, don’t try to sell it as a white couch. Because virtual staging offers the possibility, you don’t want to make potential buyers think you’re trying too hard or pulling off a quick sale by cheating.

Misrepresentation and fraud are just a few potential legal issues arising from not disclosing virtual staging to buyers.
Misrepresenting a property’s condition or features through digital staging can lead to legal trouble.

2. Be Transparent about the Virtual Staging Process

One of the best ways to avoid potential legal issues is to be transparent about the digital home staging process.

This means disclosing to buyers that online home staging has been used on a property. By being upfront about this, buyers can make an informed decision about the property, and potential legal issues can be avoided.

3. Use Only Credible Virtual Staging Companies

Another important tip is only to use credible virtual stagers.

Hiring a reputable virtual staging firm ensures you will be able to handle your marketing and complaints.

However, using untrusted vendors can lead to potential legal issues such as copyright infringement and fraud.

4. Be Mindful of Property Conditions and Repairs

It’s essential to accurately represent the property’s condition, including any repairs or renovations that may be needed.

Not disclosing necessary repairs or renovations can lead to potential legal issues such as breach of contract and fraud.

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5. Keep Accurate Records and Documentation

Keeping accurate records and documentation of the virtual staging process is essential. This includes contracts with the stager and disclosures to buyers.

Having accurate records and documentation can lead to potential legal issues, such as a lack of evidence in a lawsuit.

6. Laws and Regulations regarding property missrepresentation in your area

Being familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding that service in your area is essential.
Not following these laws and regulations can lead to legal issues such as fines and penalties. Your realtor should advise you on best practices.

DIY real estate marketing

If you’re listing your home for sale as FSBO and DIY staging it, use a virtual home staging professional company. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, there are still ways to take great photos of your home.

By following these simple tips, you can significantly increase the quality of your photos and the chances that potential buyers will be interested in your listing.

Get a decent digital camera, a decent smartphone, and a cheap tripod. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a friend who does.
Remember that most buyers will see your home in an online photo first, so it’s essential to ensure the photos are high quality.

Step 1:

Take another walk-through of your home with your phone first. Pinpoint any areas of clutter, confusion, dirt, or necessary repairs that may detract from the overall look of your home, and snap a few photos of these areas. 

Step 2:

This walk of the home allows you to send the photos to your stager and discuss with them what is needed to be done for the official photoshoot.

Step 3:

Once you have an offer for the types of virtual home staging and amount of photos, it’s time to depersonalize the space, in case you’re looking to save budget.

If you don’t bother to declutter, your staging costs will be slightly higher than if the spaces are mostly clean and vacant.

TIP: Hide at least any valuables such as jewelry, expensive wall prints, art, or statues. You want to avoid uninvited victors, right?

Step 4:

Assume the spaces are partially decluttered. Set up your camera as per the instructions of your stager.

If the camera lens captures something you don’t want in your pictures, whether a personal item or a staged prop, remove it.

This ensures that only your home’s best features are highlighted in your photos and makes prospective buyers more likely to want to see it in person.

CAMERA LENS TIP: A great tip for taking high-impact shots of small rooms is to use a wide-angle lens of 24mm – 18mm or even 16mm.

Do not go below 16mm, as this will distort your photos, and the results won’t be accurate.

This feature will help you show off a room’s angles and create a sense of space and proportion. Even though you don’t have large rooms, a wide-angle lens can make them appear larger.

LIGHTING TIP: Lighting is a critical factor in taking great photographs. The more natural light you have in a room, the better your photos will be—open curtains or shades to let sunlight in.

Bring photography flood lights to simulate soft – diffuse light that bathes every corner, making rooms appear more prominent.

If the space is bright, and you are taking photos during the day, avoid turning on the lights, as most people in their day-to-day life don’t bother to turn on the lights either.

ANGLES TIP: Try shooting from different angles and changing your angle of view as often as necessary to see which gives the most appealing impression of a space while making it look warm and inviting.

Highlight things like the beautiful fireplace, the way light comes in a specific window, and the hand-crafted chandelier. Then make sure those features show up in your photographs.

If you have enough space in your listing, add a few close-ups. Ask your realtor for advice on printing your images, and always choose the highest-quality printing option.

Hire Tallbox to offset home staging costs

The importance of good internet photos must be balanced when it comes to attracting potential buyers.

Potential buyers will often have the first impression of your home through internet photos, and it’s crucial to make sure these photos are high-quality and showcase your home’s best features.

At TALLBOX, we offer several types of home staging depending on the features of the home you are selling.

GET ONE FREE virtual staging image!