Virtual Staging: The Definitive Guide (2020)

This is the ultimate guide to using virtual staging in 2020.

In this new guide, we will show you:

  • What virtual staging is with examples
  • How it works
  • Virtual staging software and done-for-you service options (pros, cons and costs of each)
  • And much more
We've virtually staged thousands of photos for hundreds of top-producing Realtors®. Some work at large, national brokerages like Compass, Keller Williams, Sotheby's and Century21 and others work at small, local brokerages. This post summarizes what we've learned and what's working today.

Ready? Great, let's get started.

What is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging is an umbrella term for editing and optimizing real estate photos. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Adding renderings of furniture and decor to photos of vacant or furnished properties
  • Adding a blue sky or virtual twilight to photos of a property’s exterior
  • Enhancing photos to correct for over or underexposure
Virtual staging software and the designers that use it have become so incredibly advanced that the virtually staged photos of today are so realistic and beautiful that it can be difficult to tell the difference between virtually staged photos and photos taken of a traditionally property. Here are some examples:



An example of a vacant room virtually staged


An example of a furnished room virtually staged

An example of a photo of a living room that has been enhanced

An example of a dated room that has been virtually renovated

Why Virtual Staging Matters

We like data because it tells a reliable story. Here are four data points that prove why virtual staging matters and explains why it's being embraced:
  1. Home buyers lack imagination - 87% of buyers cannot imagine how an ugly or empty room would look once properly furnished (source: National Association of Realtors®). This is why...
  2. Staging works - staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more money than non-staged homes (source: Realtor.com)
  3. Home buyers primarily rely on digital property photos -  93% of buyers report websites to be the most useful source of info and photos to be the most useful piece of data (source: National Association of Realtors®)
  4. Virtual staging is superior to traditional staging. On average, virtual staging saves $1,450 and 12 days of time in comparison to traditional in-person staging.

How Virtual Staging Works

The virtual staging process is simple. It's a three-step process that uses a property's existing photos:

  1. Take Property Photos - You or your photographer will take photos of the property
  2. Stage Your Photos - This can be done on your own or you can send them to a virtual staging company to have it done for you (more on each option below)
  3. Download Your Virtually Staged Photos - Download them to your device, update the listing on the MLS, share them on social media, etc.

How to Take Photos for Virtual Staging

If you want your virtually staged photos to look as good as possible, keep the three c's in mind: Clean, Camera, Compose. These tips are covered in the video below and this comprehensive article. Share it with your real estate photographer or use it if you're taking the property photos for yourself.

How to Virtually Stage a Property on Stuccco

If you'd like to have Stuccco virtually stage your photos, it's extremely simple. If you have photos of the property, it will take you 2 to 3 minutes to place an order and you'll have your photos virtually staged within 24 to 48 hours, 7 days a week. Watch the video below or visit this article to see how easy it is to place an order. Orders can be placed on this page.

If you enjoyed this article, we think you'll enjoy Stuccco, where you can get any room professionally designed in as little as a day. Learn more below:

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