Virtual Staging 2021: The Ultimate Guide for Real Estate Agents and Homeowners
The Virtual staging technique has rocked the real estate selling market, especially the last year from the start of the pandemics. It helped real estate agents and individuals present the real estate they were selling in the best way possible. And the trend keeps on winning. Eager to find out why?
Let’s start from the basics. First we need to make sure that you have all the information you need to understand what virtual staging really is, how does it work, and why it is the better option when compared to traditional staging a home for a quick sale. We have a lot of ground to cover, so here we go.
For starters, virtual staging is an advanced technological advancement that makes the entire process of selling a home much cheaper and much more effective. Yes, you read that right. Cheaper than traditional staging, yet highly effective and quick results. Intrigued?
So, what are the reasons why so many sellers and estate agents rely on this virtual staging?
First and foremost, virtual staging can be used as a digital marketing tool that helps both agents and home owners make a sales contract in no time. There is a study by Realtor which shows that more than 90% of people who look for their next home start online. And once they are online, they rely on visuals as a source of inspiration. They look through virtually staged rooms, houses, apartments, etc, and then they make their choice whether to contact the owners for more detailed information about the property in question. If they don’t like what they see, the chances are they won’t make that call.
Hence, why risk it at all? If you are searching for buyers – hire a virtual staging agency, and let them do their magic. Your space will be off the market in no time. And one of the best parts about it all? It is far cheaper than the other alternatives. This takes us to the next reason we need to discuss.
Prices. Traditional home staging needs expensive and trendy furniture pieces in order to achieve the goal of fast sale. All this can be worth the trouble and fund at the end. Your sale can lead to a return of investment, but you still need to make that initial investment. And it can be really costly and difficult to achieve if you are in need of staging an older home for sale.
Contrary to this, when you hire experts to virtually stage the place you sell, you will spend only a few hundred dollars. The cost for staging a home by using this type of technology is much lower, and the photos experts create are realistic and they showcase the best angles and features of each room individually. Quicker sales, lower costs, and most importantly – happy customers.
You can meet the needs of customers easily when you use digital staging. The design elements you can include are limitless. The interior can be rustic, elegant, minimalistic… whatever you feel will make the quickest and most lucrative sale. If you are contacted by customers and you know their wishes specifically – you can tell the agency that you need a space decorated in a specific style. They will do it, and your potential buyers will appreciate the effort, for sure. They will start picturing themselves living there, they can have a visual representation of their future home. The rest is easy. Once potential buyers are satisfied with the virtually staged images, they are one step closer to making a sales contract.
And remember, while all this is happening, your home stays intact. You can continue living there without disturbing your piece. All the while your home is on the market, your real space stays the same and as functional as before. This is a reason more to consider virtual staging as your selling tool. No furniture reorganization, no moving people all around you at all times. No haste at all. It is all online, virtual, and far from disturbing your comfort and everyday life.
Virtual Staging Is Convenient for Real Estate Agents Too
If you are on the other side of the sale, if you are a real estate agent – virtual staging is the best option for you as well. You might as well know by now how time-consuming and labor-intensive traditional home staging can really be. If you are in luck and have more than one home to stage… traditional staging can go over your budget and cost you a small fortune. Virtual home staging on the other hand can provide a cost-effective way to maximize the value of a property for sale just by hiring a proper agency and allowing them to use technology as a tool. And in a matter of days, you can present to your buyers a home like the ones they see in movies.
Instead of physical staging and spending thousands, today many agents trust virtual staging to do the trick for less money. Why did we put an accent on today? With the pandemic and everything, having an online way to get things done is as helpful as it gets. You won’t have to meet homeowners that often, you won’t have to show the property in person, and you get to stay safe and still get your job done the right way. Everyone is virtually connected. Buyers search their home online, agents post the home online, and sellers approve the image ideas again, online. The meets and greets in person are down to a minimum.
The Main Types of Virtual Staging Services
Virtual staging works wonders for staging or renovating entire homes, separate rooms, for exterior transformation, and also for office sale or rent. Here are more details that will help you understand what each service offers.
#1. Virtual Staging for Empty Spaces
Virtual staging experts have the knowledge and expertise to turn an empty space into a stylish home that people can see themselves living in the future. They use advanced tech tools that place furniture pieces in the photos of the empty room. Moreover, staging an older home for sale will be far easier with virtual staging. Besides that, they complete the entire design by adding décor, wall art, and plants. You can ask for a specific design or décor style – they can make almost anything happen!
Just make sure that the agency you go for is reputable and trustworthy. You don’t want to end up with unrealistic photos that can only drive the potential buyers away. Instead, go for experts that create photorealistic quality images that can sweep buyers off the floor. They are so good, that when you compare traditionally and virtually staged homes on pictures – there is literally no difference. Expect maybe better furniture pieces when it comes to the virtually designed one. It is more affordable, right?
#2. Virtual Twilight
There are many people who are fascinated by the light we see at sunset or sunrise. The time when light and darkness are intertwined and we can witness an amazing product by nature. Kind of pinkish and purple. All in all, a relaxing and luxurious sight. That is why many homeowners want to use that light to showcase the exterior of the home they sell. Many experts in the field of virtual staging use this light to accentuate the beauty of the exterior home staging images. And it works for many. Buyers never seem to skip fast through images that reflect that peaceful light.
#3. Office Staging
We have mentioned already about how important a home staging can be in order to make a quick sale. Well, the same goes for commercial spaces too. If you have an office space that you want to sell, you need to show its full potential to customers. Experts will make sure that the final image includes the latest ergonomic office solutions, and that every little detail is carefully placed to look the part.
#4. Virtual Renovation
If you want to see what the home can potentially look like before you even start physically renovating, then you need to try virtual renovation. You can see the end results beforehand, and make any changes while it is still time and the real walls are not down yet. You can do it for yourself, or for the purpose of selling… it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can know whether the changes will meet your expectations or if there is something more that you can do in order to improve it. Experts in this field can change the finishing materials on the walls, the colors, the floors and ceilings. Anything you want to see in a different perspective – they can make it happen.
The Rooms That Benefit Most From Virtual Staging
You may find yourself in doubts about which rooms you need to virtually stage if you want the highest return of investment. You need to know which rooms are most important to customers to see to make a final decision about buying the place. A factor that determines which rooms are seen as worthy of virtual staging is where do family and friends spend more time together. So, it is no surprise that the living room, the master bedroom, and the kitchen are the top three rooms you need to consider when deciding on this dilemma. Start from your own everyday life, and you will most certainly agree that for you too these rooms are most important when buying a new home. Where will you spend quality time entertaining, sleeping and cooking? The answer is pretty clear by now, right?
A Few Staging Tips for the Top Three Rooms in the Home
The Living Room – A Place to Entertain and Have a Laugh
For most potential buyers having a beautifully and properly staged living room can be key to making a final decision to buy. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) confirms that a staggering 86% of buyers claim that if they like how the living room is staged they will consider the place more seriously. If you want to avoid making mistakes, here are a few tips and tricks on how to stage a living room:
- You shouldn’t include any personal items in the image. Buyers are not interested in your personal life. They want to be able to picture themselves living there, and creating their own memories.
- Since you can’t know all the types of buyers that may see the room, it is best to keep the paint tones on the neutral side. Go for colors like beige, cream, white or grey. They have proven to work best for most people.
- And last, but not least – include nature in the décor pieces. Sure, art matters, accessories too – but a large number of buyers like to see greenery included in the design as well. You can’t go wrong with plants or flowers, trust us. Just be careful to not overdo it.
The Master Bedroom – A Place to Relax and Unwind
The second most important room to virtually stage is the master bedroom. And understandably so. Namely, people like to have a room where they can rest from the day, where they can have more intimate moments with their loved one, and a place where they can enjoy a relaxing night with a book and a glass of wine. The reasons why 84% of people (according to NAR) like to see this room before buying are many, but all equally vital. Here are some tips for staging a bedroom for sale.
- The bedroom is a part of the home that can be decorated in various different themes. If you go for one, you need to be aware that you narrow down the target group interested in your home. Not everyone likes rustic or minimal bedroom interior design for their space. That is why, it may be smart to stay away from themes and focus on showing a clean space with lots of storage capacity.
- Just like in the living room, it is not advisable to include personal items.
- And finally, make the room warmer and cozier by making the bed the central piece and including throw pillows and blankets that can add accent colors and texture to the entire space.
The Kitchen – A Place Where Smells Bring People Together
The NAR study mentioned above shows that 68% of buyers do think that the kitchen matters when it comes to room staging. For most of them seeing a decluttered and clean kitchen can be the cherry on top of the cake. Keep on reading for tips on perfectly staging a kitchen for sale.
- Make it bright. Emphasize to the experts of virtual staging that they need to make the space bright and include a lot of natural light when designing the image.
- Don’t use wallpaper designs. Instead, go for bright colored walls that will add to the cleanliness of the room.
- No clutter, no unnecessary plates on the counter, or glasses on the bar. Buyers don’t need to see an image of a kitchen that has been previously used. They need to know about the storage space instead. So, find a way to showcase just that.
- And as for the décor – keep it minimal and in accordance with the setting. You can add a ball of fruit or a set of knives. Keep it with the tone, and the functionality of the room. It is the kitchen, not a drawing room.
How much does virtual staging cost?
The cost of staging a home for sale mainly depends on the agency you hire. It is much cheaper than traditional staging, and it varies somewhere between $39 and $199 per room. The amount depends on how big space is, and also on your location.
How do you do virtual staging?
The homeowner should provide a photograph (it can be done by a professional, or not) and mention if they are interested in any design style in particular. Or if they want specific virtual furniture staging included in the final image. The experts do their job by using top notch technology to create a photorealistic image of your space fully furnished and decorated. And finally, you are ready to impress the potential buyers.
Do realtors pay for virtual staging?
The answer depends on the contract you make. In most cases realtors don’t cover the costs for virtual staging. If they are convinced that the process will increase the value of the property (and with that their commission), they may agree to pay for it. It is negotiable.
Is virtual staging worth it?
Yes. Virtual staging allows potential buyers to imagine how the space could look like, and even emotionally connect with it. They can picture themselves living there, since it is furnished and made liveable.