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Home Staging vs Virtual Staging for Real Estate

Nov 08, 2017

There have been a lot of questions posted recently in our Staging Studio Society Facebook group about virtual staging benefits. Many home stagers have concerns that fake photoshopped virtual staging images will hurt their very real business.

Wish we could show you the virtually-staged images of this home, but pretty sure that would break about 39 copyright laws. What we can do is tell you the story. With budgets tight, the investor opted for ‘Virtual Staging’ instead of the admittedly more expensive home staging.

3 months and over $100,000 in price reductions later (insert poop emoji here!), the builder decided it was time to bring in the Staging Design Professionals®

Some virtual staging of vacant homes can be quite realistic and look beautiful. It can be useful in getting prospective buyers to come and view the property.

Several problems here, though.

First, I can’t say that I have personally seen any of that realistic and beautiful computer-generated work…and I have seen plenty of Virtual Staging images.

Second, any homebuyer is still going to be sorely disappointed when they go to see the home in person. Big. Letdown.


They can put an image on an easel to give an idea of how the room could look, but how much more effective it is to experience first-hand how the space would function.


The purpose of home staging is not just to make a space beautiful, but also to show how it can function. In this case, the benefits of virtual staging missed the boat in several ways.


This outdoor area looked pretty bleak, and I have to admit that the virtually staged image was a big improvement. However, the patio seating area that they showed here would seem absurd to anyone who physically went to the home, as this is actually the driveway, and all of that pretty furniture would be plowed over when you tried to park in the garage.


This is the correct outdoor area to be staged.


There were a number of issues in this home that vacant home staging was able to resolve, where virtual staging couldn’t touch them.


The awkward placement of this toilet is all you have to think about when vacant. Let’s give them something else to talk about! Now, attention is focused on that gorgeous tile work.


Without furniture defining the space, it was difficult to imagine where you would put a dining table.


Staging defined the area and created a natural flow.


The kitchen had a confusing blank spot.

Staging made its purpose clear.


 Aside from the fact that the furniture in the loft picture was out of scale and couldn’t possibly fit into that space, the virtual image displayed on an easel wasn’t enough to draw your attention away from another awkward toilet waiting to greet you at the top of the stairs.


A strategically placed console provided the perfect distraction.


Bottom line, Staging Design Professionals®have great job security! Stagers provide true value to their clients. Try our FREE Design Series to start staging today.

If you want to hire a professional for your next project instead, search our home stager directory to find stagers near you.

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