Sell your Home with Virtual Staging

staging from the interior in the studio

Given the pandemic, home buyers are increasingly turning to the internet to vet homes before seeing them in person. But while this trend may have intensified due to Covid-19, it didn’t start there. Why see a ton of homes in person when you can filter them by searching online? Prospective buyers, especially millennials, increasingly look toward online photos in their home search. In fact, according to inman.com, 44% of millennials surveyed indicated that they would buy a home solely based on its online photos.

Virtual home staging presents a more affordable alternative to traditional home staging, focusing on drumming up online interest. Today we’ll take a look at how virtual home staging works, what it costs in Portland, and how it can help you sell your home.

How Does Virtual Home Staging Work?

At the most basic level, home staging works by taking photos of rooms in a vacated property and inserting images of staging furniture into those spaces. The virtual staging company should consider your spaces, your style, and your intended price point. A qualified virtual stager will, once they receive the vacant photos, speak with the homeowner and/or agent to get a feel for the homeowner’s needs. Then, they’ll select images from a catalog of staging furniture that fit those needs and integrate these images into the existing vacant photos.

You might ask yourself, why bother with this step? As we’ve noted before, staging statistically helps homes sell faster and at a higher price point. Effective staging helps prospective buyers envision themselves in the home. It’s about striking a balance between de-cluttering a space and helping buyers to imagine that space’s possibilities. Virtual staging comes at a much lower price point (and turn around time) than traditional staging. In an increasingly virtual world, it offers a more attainable option for many sellers.

How Much Does Virtual Staging Cost?

Our latest estimates for traditional staging costs in Portland came in at around $2,000 for a 2,000 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. This included the main living spaces, bathrooms, and the master bedroom. So for the same living situation, how does virtual staging match up to this estimate?

It will depend on what kind of service you use. Large, international companies like Styledod and PadStyler will provide virtual staging services for the cheapest cost – usually around $20 to $40 per image. Local companies (which we recommend – more on this to come) may charge up to $60 per image. So for the same 2,000 square foot scenario (with about 6 rooms staged), you could be looking at as little as $120-$650.

Now, keep in mind that you may want multiple images of the same room from different angles. That could up your cost, though many companies offer a discount for a minimum number of photos. And since most virtual staging companies require vacant photos supplied to them, the cost of professional photos is not included in this estimate. But even at the high end you’re still looking at about a quarter of the cost of traditional staging. And keep in mind that traditional staging will charge you fees averaging 20%-40% of the original quote per month if your home doesn’t sell in the first 30 days. Virtual photos, on the other hand, are a one time cost.

When to Choose Virtual Staging

Of course, virtual staging is an excellent option for anyone who isn’t willing to pay the big bucks. But your options don’t end there. One of the best ways to take advantage of virtual staging is to use it to augment traditional staging.

You might be wondering what that would look like. Well let’s say you only have a certain amount budgeted for staging, and it doesn’t cover all the rooms. You could stage the most important rooms – say the living and dining rooms and master bedroom. But with virtual staging, you can still have all the rooms staged for your online presence. This can be particularly useful for extra rooms and outdoor areas.

Virtual staging can help prospective buyers imagine what to do with an extra room: turn it into a home gym, make it a home office, etc. And traditionally staging outdoor areas here in rainy Portland can get pricey. Due to the exposure of the staging furniture to the elements, staging companies will generally charge more. You could end up paying up to $1,000 just for one outdoor area! Virtually staging an outdoor area will help you save big time, without sacrificing the selling point of your home’s yard, terrace, or patio.

How to Find a Virtual Staging Company

A quick internet search will likely show you the two biggest virtual staging companies, Styledod and PadStyler. These two will also be quick to advertise themselves as the cheapest. But we’d like to give a word of warning: the old adage “you get what you pay for” does apply here.

We recommend sticking with a local company for multiple reasons. First, they have localized knowledge of Portland’s style and aesthetic. In other words, they know what sells. Second, you’ll get a more personalized experience. For example, Bridge City Staging, which does 95% of their business locally here in Portland, offers services from an actual certified master stager, not just someone who knows how to Photoshop. You might pay a little more, but you’re paying for both expertise and personal attention. A company like Bridge City Staging or Refined Listings won’t misrepresent your home either (a practice sometimes employed by larger companies). Instead, they’ll showcase your home’s advantages with integrity.

If you’re still not sure where to start, you’re in luck! As part of our practice, we offer a complimentary interior staging consultation. Consulting with one of our experts will steer you in the right direction to paint your home in the best possible light.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Staging

As with any real estate choice, you’re bound to encounter both pros and cons. The advantages of virtual staging include a lower price point, ease and quick turn around, and versatility (can be used to augment traditional staging). On the other hand, it can never entirely replace traditional staging. Most folks will still want to physically tour a home, especially as the Portland opens back up.

That being said, virtually staging a home in Portland still offers a nice alternative. If you’re looking to make the most out of sell your home, our top 1% sellers agents are here to guide you. Check us out today!

April 5, 2021
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call him direct: 503-714-1111 for Oregon or 360-470-7777 for Washington.

We sell homes for 4.5% max. commission (it is often less, call for details) and pay more to market our clients’ homes so they sell faster and for more. We top it off with cancel anytime contracts for no charge. Our top 1% buyer’s team prioritizes customer service and is full of top-ranked, local industry veterans ready to help you find the home of your dreams.

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