The Short Answer
In the words of real estate expert Barbara Corcoran, “Presentation is everything in real estate.” This rings true today, and staging homes has been one of the clearest representations of this in the world of real estate transactions. As we move further into the digital era, virtual staging has become a widely used tool for selling homes without having to stage them in the traditional method.
This has given rise to virtual staging software that has made it possible to stage homes online and present a future version of the property that can allow potential buyers to envision the property’s potential. Virtual staging software can be a game changer for those who are marketing properties online, with a target audience who are tech savvy and looking for a quick way to view a property.
Top 3 Picks
As we move more into the digital realm, there are a host of virtual staging services available, which you can see via a quick online search. It may be tough to choose the one that is best for your needs, so let’s consider some of the most recommended virtual staging software options. The top 3 virtual staging platforms that we would recommend are:
BoxBrownie is a versatile virtual staging platform offering users a 48-hour turnaround time for virtual staging photos done by their team of editing professionals.
- VHT Studios
As a subsidiary of Matterport, VHT Studios offer a diverse range of virtual staging services from paint colors, to decluttering and everything in between.
- VRX Staging
VRX Staging incorporates augmented reality (AR) into their offerings which is a significant benefit for those looking for a real-time staging option.
Best Paid Virtual Staging Software And Apps
When it comes to virtual staging software, there are various factors that need to be considered, to choose the software that suits your needs best. Each platform has its pros and cons, and both paid and free software exists. When it comes to paid virtual staging software, there are 5 platforms that stand out from the rest. Here are 5 of the most popular paid virtual staging platforms and an overview of each.
BoxBrownie is a versatile virtual staging platform that offers a range of services beyond virtual staging, including image enhancement, virtual renovation, 3D floor plans, and more. One of the biggest drawcards that BoxBrownie offers their customers is a 48-hour turnaround time for virtual staging, which is done by the platform’s team of editing professionals. For real estate agents and investors, this can be a great benefit to enable a quicker listing process.
BoxBrownie’s pay-as-you-go service is particularly appealing to those who don’t want to commit to an entire subscription. The platform also offers unlimited changes to virtually staged images at no cost, provided the request is made within 2 months of the original design. This is particularly useful for those who need changes to their virtual staging if, for example, there is a need to show different uses of the home or rooms.
For an extra cost, BoxBrownie provides a range of additional services, including image enhancement, day-to-dusk image retouching, floor plan redraws, renders, copywriting, and 360-degree services.
Pricing: Starts at $24 per image with no subscription required
2. Visual Stager
Visual stager is a unique virtual staging platform that sets itself apart from other platforms by allowing users to stage photos themselves and download the virtually staged image instantly. Users can upload a photo, if need be, the platform will remove any existing furniture, from there the user can select from over 5000 virtual furniture items and simply drag and drop these onto the mage to stage it.
Visual stager does not need to be downloaded, it works in the browser and provides the option to download images in JPG format. Visual Stager also offers users the chance to create a single property website, called a Flare, for prospective home buyers to view photos of the house, either staged or empty.
Visual Stager has different pricing options for different users (brokers, white label resellers, agents). Prepaid credits are used to stage photos, and users can prepay $15, $59, $99, $269, $399 or $699. Virtual staging photos are charged at $15 each, so these prepaid credits allow users to use 10 credits to stage a standard photo, with an unlimited number of staging items.
Pricing: $15 per photo, with credits sold in bundles starting at $15 for 10 credits
3. VHT Studios
VHT Studios is a subsidiary of Matterport, a widely used platform for 3D space capture. The platform has a wide range of services for real estate agents and brokerages, from photography to drone footage, matterport 3D tours, and virtual services which include staging.
VHT Studios offer 5 virtual staging options to help users transform spaces. These are:
- Staging: Users can choose from the platform’s curated collection of virtual furniture and décor options to furnish and decorate a home online.
- Paint: Users can virtually change the color of any flat surface in an image, remove wallpaper and more.
- Declutter: This option allows users to remove any clutter from a room, while leaving the major furnishings in tact. A great option to remove mess from countertops, bookshelves and other areas of the home.
- Redecorate: This option allows users to remove existing furniture and redecorate entirely, including changing the wall colors and flooring.
- Twilight: This option allows users to change the lighting of photos, to make virtual staging photos look as if they have been taken at dusk. This gives users the chance to show a home in different lighting and capture the benefits of twilight.
Pricing: Starting at $79 per photo
4. Real Tour Vision
Real Tour Vision is a prominent platform in the virtual tour and real estate marketing industry, offering a range of services that include professional software, virtual tours, aerial drone services, national photo services and more. The platform has been virtually staging homes since 2015 and has been providing real estate photography software since 1999.
The platform offers customizable staging options, allowing users to tailor virtual staging to match the unique characteristics and style preferences of each property. Real Tour Vision emphasizes realistic virtual staging photos, which means that they produce photorealistic renders that accurately represent the potential of a property.
The Real Tour Vision platform is designed with ease-of-use in mind, so users can easily navigate and virtually stage features to enhance property listings. The incorporation of 3D models puts Real Tour Vision in an innovative space, offering users a creative experience.
Pricing: From $15 per photo
5. VRX Staging
VRX Staging is a leading player in the virtual staging industry, setting itself apart by incorporating augmented reality (AR) to provide an immersive and interactive experience for potential buyers. The platform provides next-day business delivery for all virtual staging orders, and unlimited revisions until the client is happy with the results.
There is one flat rate, with no hidden costs and the platform advertises a 100% money back guarantee. VRX Staging offers virtual staging, virtual twilight, blue sky and green grass, paint color change and furniture removal options. Each of these comes at a different price. The platform also allows users to test each service on their website.
VRX Staging has photo editing experts who will do the virtual tagging for each user, who will receive an email upon completion of the virtual staging where they can immediately download the enhanced image.
Pricing: From $29 per photo for virtual staging
Best Free Virtual Staging Software And Apps
While most virtual staging software platforms require payment, for those who would like to eliminate the virtual staging cost, there are a few platforms that can provide this service at no charge. Here are a few reliable platforms that provide virtual staging software, free of charge.
HomeStyler is a popular virtual staging platform that empowers users to transform spaces digitally, visualize design ideas, and enhance property presentations. HomeStyler is an online interior design platform with virtual staging software that allows interior designers, real estate professionals, brands, homeowners and others to design and visualize a space. HomeStyle is essentially virtual staging worth money, given for free.
Roomle is a dynamic 3D configurator platform which allows for virtual staging using augmented visualization. This sets Roomle apart as the augmented reality (AR) integration, allows users to view their designs in a real-world context through a mobile device. This immersive feature enhances the visualization of virtual staging elements. Roomle supports real-time collaboration which allows users to work on designs with others. While Roomle comes with a virtual staging cost, they also offer the opportunity to do a free trial of their software.
Price: Free trial
HouseCraft is a DIY virtual home staging software application that works in real time and gives users the opportunity to use their phone camera to envision the potential of a room. Using the power of augmented reality, HouseCraft renders 3D furniture and other décor, then allows users the save the design once they have staged a room. This makes HouseCraft well suited to homeowners, and those looking to quickly see what a room would look like with specific staging.
Is Virtual Staging As Effective As Traditional Staging?
The choice between virtual home staging and traditional staging hinges on the property itself, the target audience, and the marketing objectives for the property. Each method should be considered in terms of these variables, along with the pros and cons, and this will determine which option is likely to be more effective.
Virtual home staging is usually best suited to online marketing campaigns, because the visuals can make more of an impact online. For a target audience who is likely to be basing their decision off the online presentation of the property, and not the physical property, virtual staging is a more effective tool. In other words, remote buyers who will be purchasing a property from another city or state, or those who are doing virtual real estate investing.
Virtual staging is well suited to buyers who are tech savvy and appreciate the convenience of exploring properties in the digital realm and making their decisions based off this. Although, some buyers still wish to view the property and experience traditional staging, so using virtual staging only may deter these potential buyers.
Virtual home staging is also suited to buyers who are pressed for time and want to narrow down their options quickly. It provides a visually appealing and efficient way to evaluate properties without the need for in-person visits.
In a nutshell, the choice between virtual home staging and traditional staging hinges on the target audience preferences, what the property suits best and how the property is being marketed. Under the right circumstances therefore, virtual staging worth can be higher in terms of effectiveness than traditional staging. However, there is a place for both, and each method should be considered thoroughly first.
Should You Use Virtual Staging Products When Selling A Home?
Virtual staging software can be immensely useful when it comes to selling a home, however this also depends largely on the audience that the listing has, and the seller’s situation. For example, an investor who is buying a property remotely may prefer to see virtual staging than visiting the property in person. The benefits of virtual staging include:
- Affordable Solution: Virtual staging solutions are cost-effective for those who don’t want to do physical staging or can’t. It eliminates the need for physical furnishings and creates an easy way to stage a home in any way you choose.
- Greater Appeal: Virtual staging allows the seller to create several versions of staging, to appeal to a wider audience. For example, a home can be styled in a minimalist way, to appeal to a more modern buyer, or a traditional style, to appeal to families.
- Quick Turnaround: One of the biggest drawcards for virtual staging is that it can be done quickly, which means that the listing can go up faster and interest can be generated in the property sooner.
Essentially, virtual staging enables you to tell a compelling story about a property, making it more memorable and enticing to potential buyers. However, in some cases physical staging may be required as well, so it’s important to tailor this to your strategy.