Staging Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value

Simply put, home staging is the process of decluttering and decorating a home to prepare it for real estate photography, inspection, and open houses. Preparing your home this way influences how potential buyers see a home by helping them visualize how the space can be used.

Impact on potential buyers

It’s difficult to imagine living in a space when the home in question is filled with furniture. Home staging provides a clean slate for potential buyers to visualize how they would occupy the place. This ability to imagine is vital to forming an emotional connection, which can be the deciding factor in a sale.

What needs to be kept in mind when home staging?

When it comes time to sell your home, you want to ensure that you put your best foot forward. This means cleaning and decluttering, but it also means staging your home to make it appealing to buyers. Here are some things to keep in mind when staging your home.

1. Thoroughly cleaning the house is essential. Then declutter and depersonalize your space to make it feel spacious and neutral!

2. Make necessary repairs and cosmetic improvements before staging. This might include painting the house’s main rooms using a popular neutral color!

3. Use strategic placement of furniture and newer accessories to create an inviting atmosphere.

4. Keep in mind the target market – what would appeal to them most? 

5. Don’t overspend on staging – many affordable options are available.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, follow these staging tips to help it sell faster and for a higher price. Home staging is one of the essential steps in preparing your property for sale – it can make or break your chances of success. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be well on attracting more homebuyers!

Don & Cyndi Shurts, Miami Valley Dream Homes

Why is virtual staging important to the future of real estate?

Virtual staging is a game-changing technology that transforms the way we present properties. It has numerous benefits, including cost savings, enhanced customization, better time efficiency, easier communication, and less physical labor. It has become the most effective way to showcase a property’s full potential and one of the most useful tools in real estate marketing to help sell properties more quickly and efficiently.

As virtual staging technology evolves, it will become even more widely adopted in the real estate industry. The potential is enormous, as new technologies such as augmented reality, 3D models, artificial intelligence, and more will provide further advancements in quality and realism. Virtual staging is not just a trend but the future. Having an online presence is more important than ever, as humans desire virtual options to complete tasks that were traditionally completed in person.

Corban De La Vega, Decor Matters

What part does declutter play in home staging?

Declutter is essential in home staging because it helps to create an open and airy feeling in a space. It also makes the area look cleaner and more organized. Potential home buyers can better visualize the room and how they could use it. Finally, decluttering can help to make a small space appear larger.

Chad Barnsdale, Unfinished Man

Why is scent important for staging?

The scent is essential when staging a home because people tend to remember something better when associating it with a good smell. The opposite can also be valid for a foul scent. A house with a bad smell will be negatively associated with that scent. When staging a home, it’s crucial to professionally steam clean the carpets, which can trap bad odors, especially if the homeowner has pets.

Tyler, Felix Homes

Why is lighting important when home staging?

Lighting is a significant factor when staging a home because it can help you sell quickly for maximum profit or leave your listing stuck on the market for months! The proper lighting can breathe life into a space and transform that room into a selling point, while poor lighting can make rooms appear smaller and less inviting. Remember that light can create the illusion of space, so use it wisely when home staging. Consumers expect to see professional photos online with good lighting in today’s market. If photographs appear dark or uninviting, consumers might scroll right past your listing and never come to see the house!

Ty Fischer,

What’s the difference between home staging and decoration?

It can be tough to tell the difference between home staging and home decoration. After all, they both involve making your home look its best, right?

Not quite.

Home staging is about preparing your home for sale, while home decoration is all about making your home look comfortable and stylish for your enjoyment.

The first big difference between home staging and decoration is who it is for. As we mentioned, home staging is about preparing your home for sale.

Everything from the furniture arrangement to the paint colors should be chosen to make your home as appealing as possible to buyers.

On the other hand, home decoration is about making your home look more comfortable and stylish for your enjoyment.

Andrea Worley, Complete Protection

What is your best advice for DIY home staging?

When it comes to DIY home staging, you can always start with a deep cleaning of the entire house and a ruthless decluttering of your personal items. Removing any item that looks worn out or dated is important – even other overly personal items in good condition can rub people the wrong way. They want to envision their stuff in the home, not your stuff. Store the things you want to keep in boxes or tubs out of sight. You can add some colorful new accessories such as cushions, curtains, or rugs. The brighter colors will give people a pleasant feeling when they enter the room, but don’t go too bright. Tidy and declutter cupboards and any other cabinet or area that must be opened, as buyers may look inside all of those places. Put a vase of flowers in each staged room and add a few houseplants to bring in a natural feel. This will also add some more color. Add some scented candles or diffusers to make it smell wonderful, especially in the bedroom. Remember that the golden rule is: less is more.

Kalen Bruce, Money Mini Blog

What’s the difference between home staging and interior design?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked about home staging. People often think they need to hire a professional designer to stage their homes, but this isn’t necessarily true. While having a thorough grasp of Interior Design principles and knowing how to apply them can be helpful while staging a home, it’s not required. Home staging is its own unique process with its own set of guidelines.

A Professional Home Stager’s work is to maximize a home’s appeal without making it too specific. A home for sale must attract buyers, and while a good stager will research the most likely buyer demographic and stage accordingly, the final space needs to appeal to an array of different people, whereas interior design/decorating appeals to the individual homeowner.

We’re not saying that staging is devoid of personality, but a good home stager will know how to add interest and character without styling too “specifically” and putting themselves on a box that will limit the potential pool of buyers.

-Luis G. Santiago, Maison de Campagne

Why is sensory stimulation important when home staging?

95% of purchasing decisions are made on how we feel, which is part of our subconsciousness,  

To impress homebuyers with your home staging, you must create sensory appeal to provoke the right emotions.  

We have five senses, smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste.   Smell and taste are closely linked due to nerves in your nose near the taste buds on your tongue.  You can give a sense of taste by providing the right scents.  For example, the smell of brewing coffee will have buyers recalling the taste of it.  

Ensure every room appeals to all the senses appropriately.  For example, you’ll want your kitchen to smell freshly baked bread or brewed coffee, but you won’t like these smells in your bedroom or bathroom.  

Consider what you’d want to see, hear, and feel when you walk through all the rooms of a home for sale.  For example, what lighting, scents, and sounds do you like in bedrooms and living areas?  Once you have your answer set out to create ‘the stage’ in your home so that when you have a home viewing, your prospective homebuyers’ subconsciousness is screaming, “buy this house”!

Donna, Property Talk

How do you stage a house while occupied?

There are a few factors to consider when you are staging occupied homes. Not only do you have to stage the house according to your target buyers’ preferences and aspirational lifestyle, but you also have to consider the home sellers’ lifestyle. 

It is challenging for home sellers to live in a staged home and maintain the staging while they live there, especially if they already find styling their home challenging. The key to successfully staging an occupied home is communicating with your sellers, making it easier for them to manage to live in a staged home, and maintaining the staging throughout the entire sale period. 

I recommend having checklists and detailed instructions with visual examples of what the staging should look like during the sale. For example, they have photographs and step-by-step instructions on how to remake the beds every time they get the home ready for showing. This way, the homeowners can manage the maintenance themselves even if the buyers show up last minute.

-Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more School of Home Staging

ROI of home staging 

Outside of a home inspection, staging your home helps maximize your return on investment. Assuming you hire a professional home staging company, you might pay around 1% of your sale price if you hire a professional home staging company. The ROI can include offers of 5 to 15% over the asking price. Non-staged homes risk not selling, resulting in a reduction in price that can equal anywhere from 5 to 20 times more than staging would have cost.  

Can rental staging lead to higher rent?

For higher-end rental properties, doing some staging will almost certainly help you to achieve a higher price point and help you to attract the type of tenants you want in your property. But first, you should know your target audience and the demographic of the suburb in which your property is located. It’s key to helping decide whether or not staging your property will bring you a higher rental price.

Suppose your property is in a low-income area, and the rental price you’ll be able to achieve is low. In that case, staging may not be a valuable option since prospective tenants can’t afford to pay more than a low weekly rental price, no matter how great the property looks. It won’t be a helpful spend of money that way.

Isabelle de Braux, Soho

Real Estate Photography

Property descriptions give the prospective buyer the details, but photography is what really catches the attention. A well-lit photograph can highlight a home’s features, engaging the buyer’s imagination. Real estate photography can be seen as an extension of home staging since it’s meant to show a home in the best way.

What would be your best advice for real estate photography?

When capturing real estate spaces, you’ll produce a much more desirable image if you follow two important tips:

  1. Shoot Level:

Walking around in space feels normal. Placing a camera in front of our eyes and pointing it down to capture the area. This method produces an image that doesn’t maintain the structural integrity of the space, as the vertical walls/windows/door frames will be slanted. Instead, shooting with the camera pointing parallel to the ground is beneficial. This will result in all vertical walls/windows/door frames being truly vertical, which is more pleasing to look at.

  1.  Shoot at “Eye Level” to the Space:

A successful real estate image should make you feel like you are “in” the space. To accomplish this, the camera must be at “eye level” with the area. For example, if you are shooting a living room, dining room, or bedroom, the camera will likely be just above waist height as all the furniture is lower than the ground. When shooting a taller space, the camera will likely benefit from being about shoulder height. Matching the camera height to the size of the space creates an image that feels natural and inviting.

Lance Selgo, Tips for Real Estate Photography

How do I choose the right photographer for a property photoshoot?

In today’s internet era, it is easy to find photographers in most fields. Be sure to review their work in the field you are interested in (architecture, real estate, event spaces, restaurants, and so on). Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. You don’t want somebody that will be late for the photo shoot or will not deliver the finished photos in a reasonable amount of time.

Regardless of the price of your property or type of business, you need great marketing, and for that, you will need great photography. Once your space is photo ready, it is just a matter of finding a good photographer to capture and accentuate all its best qualities.

Sacha Griffin, See it 360

Furniture Rental

Unless your furniture is in perfect condition, it’s likely to have scratches, stains, dents, or other signs of use. In a home staging, this furniture would be removed. A professional staging company may provide replacement furniture, but furniture rental is a good choice if you are planning to stage your own home, furniture rental is a good choice. This way, you have the furniture for just long enough to make a sale without having to move it after.

Virtual Staging

Virtual staging is geared toward online real estate shoppers. Physical staging can seem cost-prohibitive, so virtual staging offers a cheaper option. Rather than paying approximately 1% of your sale price for physical staging, you can expect to pay between $20 to $25 per image. This way, you save thousands of dollars while still engaging potential buyers.

What are the benefits of virtual furniture staging?

  •  It helps attract buyers: The first goal for any real estate agent is to get the buyer to preview your listing. 97% of buyers say photos are important when deciding whether to preview the home. A beautifully virtually staged home can increase buyers’ odds of seeing the house in person. 
  • Better visualization of an empty room: Virtual staging gives buyers a better visualization of an otherwise empty space and can attract buyers who might otherwise pass over the empty listing.
  • Make a property more marketable: A beautiful room with furniture and decor spreads warmth and looks more attractive. This makes the property more marketable as it helps buyers imagine living in the home.
  • Cost-efficient, unlike real furniture staging: Virtual staging is highly cost-effective as compared to traditional staging. You don’t have to hire a company and spend thousands of dollars setting up the home with expensive furniture to make the rooms attractive. Virtual staging can be done at a fraction of the cost.
  • Get your design style customized: You can modify the furnishings to match your likely audience’s style and preference.
  • Saves time and effort: Real estate agents can save a lot of time using virtual staging. When you virtually stage a home, you have to photograph the vacant rooms and send the images to a virtual staging company. The virtually staged images are delivered back to you within 24 to 48 hours.

Rahul Agrawal, Styldod

What is virtual staging?

Virtual staging is the process of using computer-generated images to furnish vacant properties, but it can also be used for occupied properties. In this case, the existing furniture is digitally replaced by a virtual one. Virtual staging helps save time and money when selling a home, as it eliminates the need to stage the property physically. It can also be used to create realistic mockups of how a space could be furnished, allowing potential buyers to understand better how the property could be used. 

In addition, it also has the benefit of being able to be easily changed or updated if necessary, making it a versatile and adaptable marketing tool for many real estate agents.

Francesca Tosolini, New Interior Solutions

What are the benefits of virtual staging?

Virtual Staging is a method of staging your home that has many advantages over traditional methods. It is simply the easiest way to increase buyer and tenant interest in commercial and residential properties by bringing empty spaces to life with fashionable furniture.

Virtual Staging helps you avoid the costs, time, and labor associated with physically staging a home. It is a fantastic way of helping potential buyers or renters visualize themselves or their families in the house, which helps generate more qualified leads online.

Another significant advantage is that it saves time and means less stress on everyone involved in the sales process. Professional photography can be conducted earlier without waiting for cleaning, furniture, and styling to be carried out. This means the property can go to market sooner, and the seller can find a buyer or tenant faster.

Steven Ungermann, Property Render

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when virtual staging?

For us, it’s our target client and his goal. For real estate professionals who order virtual staging, again, it’s clients and their goals. For example, you might consider bohemian or modern style to get the look younger generation can relate to, and maybe stick closer to traditional for a big family house. Or you can even provide different ideas on how to use the space, options for redevelopment, and so on. 

Real estate professionals have vast experience and know their target audience and potential buyers. In most cases, the most important thing when ordering virtual staging is to use this knowledge and share insights with your virtual staging team.

One of our steady clients, Ashlei De Souza, who is a broker at Serhant and host of Staged show, suggests the following tips to market a listing during the economic downturn:

  • Stage home for needs, not wants
  • Maximize the space to show off the property
  • Create alternate floorplans

Use your expertise and choose a virtual staging vendor you trust to make it all shine!

Oleksandr Lanin, Hasten

Why is visual marketing essential in real estate marketing?

Scientists confirm that the visual cortex processes visuals, enabling us to recall and recognize objects and impacting our decision-making processes. However, not all images are created equal. People are more likely to remember faces, interiors, foreground, and human-scale objects than exteriors, wide-angle vistas, backgrounds, and natural scenes.

There’s a wide variety of multimedia visual content in real estate, including 2D photography, video, infographics, design, 360°, 3D virtual experiences, dollhouse views, floor plans, virtual staging, and drone aerial imaging. It is essential to carefully source images from experienced professional photographers and editors to present the most engaging visual content.

Catering to busy buyers, professionally photographed homes sell 32% faster than other listings, according to VHT. In addition to an accelerated sales process, listings with high-quality photos receive 47% higher asking prices. 

Videos, 360°, and 3D tours have become an industry standard since 77% of homebuyers prefer to take a real estate virtual reality tour before visiting a property. Virtual building tools create detailed floorplans and renderings in the construction planning phase. These virtual tools showcase a property but also serve to better market the services of photographers, marketing, and technology companies.

Jonathan Klein, PropTech Consulting

How can virtual staging help in listings and selling properties?

Whether you just landed a new listing or have had one sitting on the market for a while, virtual staging is a perfect service to utilize during your selling process. It can bring vacant or cluttered rooms to life with unlimited design possibilities through a gallery of interchangeable floors, rugs, furniture, art, wall colors, and more. It allows showcasing a property’s full potential without the cost or time associated with physical staging. Some benefits include:

 1) Cost-Effective- Prices range from $50-100 per room versus traditional staging, which can go into the thousands and beyond.

 2)    Turnaround Time- Virtually staged photos can be edited and delivered in hours and modified as needed.

 3)    Design Choice- You can display rooms in various ways to cater to location and buyer preferences. 

 4)    Home Friendly- Avoids the wear and tear on a home that physical staging brings when moving furniture in and out.

 5)    Less Contact- You can avoid unnecessary contact with movers and focus entirely on selling your home.

While traditional staging carries many benefits for buyers touring a house, with online traffic to listings only increasing, it is now more important than ever to showcase your home online in the best way possible.

Carl Johnson, Realty Plans

Staged homes sell much faster and for more money. Having furniture in a home makes it easier for people to envision living there and helps them get an idea of what the house will look like with furniture.

An empty home looks lonely and uninviting most of the time.

Traditional Staging is expensive. So many realtors prefer virtual Staging because it still gives the buyer a sense of what the home will look like with furniture, and it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional Staging.

The logistics of traditional Staging can also be a challenge. Scheduling the company to get there and set everything up can be challenging if they are already busy. They often run later than expected, which can cause issues for other vendors needing to do things on the property (photographers, inspectors, etc.). So it’s also much easier to do virtual Staging.

Virtual Staging is an excellent way of showing what a vacant property looks like with someone living there at a fraction of the cost of traditional Staging. 

Virtual Staging can also be done very quickly. This helps with listings they need to get onto the MLS as soon as possible.

Rick Farmer, The Listing Edge

Which one is better, virtual or home staging?

Virtual Staging is a relatively new, disruptive technology changing how we view properties for sale or lease in residential spaces. Traditionally, properties were staged by removing all the homeowner’s future and belongings. A staging company would bring in their furniture and decorations so that the properties look more appealing to buyers. This has several downfalls and challenges:

1. Too expensive

Traditional home staging costs anywhere from $3000 and up to stage a small home. With virtual Staging, it can cost as little as $29.99.

2. Logistical Nightmare

Traditional Staging involves movers, storage units, and displacement of the homeowner. Virtual Staging can digitally remove your furnishings and place new ones in their place in a matter of hours without any discomfort to the homeowner.

3. Time-Consuming 

A traditional stager would take a week to stage a home which includes the moving out of furniture and complete Staging of the house after that. Virtual Staging can be ready in a matter of hours, conveniently delivered to you in the form of a downloadable link.

It is obvious why everyone is leaning towards virtual Staging as the industry shifts towards online buying and selling properties.

Snap Houss

Is virtual staging worth it?

It is a great way to list homes for sale to attract potential buyers. It allows you to present several designs and decoration options. You will get high-quality and attractive house images without additional effort.

So, is it worth it?

1. You can save more than 95% of costs compared to traditional staging. You also get ready-made images quickly – often within 24 hours.

2. If you are under construction, you can easily showcase the property before it’s built.

3. You can save money, time, and effort by digitally eliminating unwanted items.

4. 83% of buyers believe virtual staging helps visualize the property’s potential. 

5. You can digitally update any space.

6. You can choose from an extensive furniture and decor items library.

7. It lets you feel how everything is arranged in the house. You can estimate the size of the space, understand what you want to change, examine everything in detail and assess the overall picture. 

One virtual viewing pays off faster for a seller than having people show homes for a few hours. In addition, this is an opportunity to save time and money when choosing future furniture and accessories for the room.

In that way, yes, it’s worth it.

Ira Maksymova , Applet3D

What’s the difference between virtual staging and virtual renovation?

Both these services are a hybrid of a Digital Photograph of the “now” elements and Computer-generated 3D renders of “possible changes.” 

Though both sound similar, there are a few fundamental differences.

Virtually “staged” images help to visualize the change of what “your real estate is” to “what it can be” with new/ different furniture, colors, accessories, and ambiance.

Some examples are placing furniture in a photograph of an empty room or changing the existing furniture, wallpapers, etc., in the photo of the room. An overgrown, unkempt garden can be staged with trees, grass, etc., to make it visually appealing.

Virtually “renovated” images help to showcase a change from what “your real estate is” to “what it will be” after intended structural changes or renovations.

Some examples are what the room will look like if a wall is broken down to create more space and layout changes. A garden under renovation to add a swimming pool can be Computer generated to showcase a completed swimming pool together with deck space, furniture, and ambiance. Change the details of the garden layout, add a deck, change details, etc., in the exterior photographs.

Meera Luthra, Plan-it-All

What’s the relation between virtual staging and virtual tours?

A Virtual Tour is a digital 360° interactive replica of physical space.

Virtual Staging is the concept of adding 3D files (furniture, objects, animations) into a Virtual Tour.

Alex Hitchcock, CAPTUR3D

How does virtual staging influence real estate sales?

Virtual staging influences real estate sales in a very positive way. It allows marketing boosts for any property. You may say that any staging is misleading, but it’s not if used properly. It’s a great way to show off the potential. Even if a current design doesn’t exactly match what you plan to have in your new home, you can ask agents for a virtual staging vendor to tweak it a bit.

As for the material aspects:

Staging decreases days on the market up to 30 times

Unstaged properties stuck on the market often lead to a price reduction that is way more expensive than investing in virtual staging and other marketing.

Staging leads to a better sales price.

High-quality visuals can get you a better starting list price and even help sell for over‐list prices.

So it isn’t about saving the staging money – it is about losing the opportunity to sell faster and ending up with a decreased price. It is an upfront investment to maximize the speed of return on the sale. And it makes a measurable impact on properties for sales. Not to mention that it looks professional and brings happy clients with further referrals.

Maria Batryn, Tantify

Why are sellers choosing virtual staging over traditional home staging? 

Sellers are choosing Virtual Staging over traditional home staging because Virtual Staging is cheaper, faster, and more flexible. With virtual staging, you are no longer limited to the quality and availability of staging furniture in your local market. Virtual stagers can work from anywhere in the world and make your listing pop with fresh furniture and decor that today’s buyers want. Staging a home virtually costs a fraction of traditional home staging because there is no furniture to rent and no movers to hire. Virtual staging is a powerful tool to help buyers see the potential of a property just by looking at the staged photos of the listing. 

CJ Singh, PadStyler

How do you choose a style for virtual staging?

Virtual Staging is a fantastic alternative to staging from time to time. When looking to market, I recommend using Virtual Staging in specific rooms to provide the extra capital to invest into additional marketing, i.e., video, photo, twilight, floorplans, etc., to help increase visibility as potentially increase overall value.

Make sure whomever you choose is qualified and has examples to prove it. You should also ask for opinions on style, lighting, and angles to see if the photographer or company you are dealing with is knowledgeable and willing to collaborate in the creative process. I have seen unmanaged expectations and communication leave a bad taste in both sides. Aside from pricing and the rest, the key differences between Premium and Standard Virtual Staging are the following:

The difference between the two mostly comes down to the realism of the result. The premium staging puts a very strong focus on lighting/shadows to create a product that truly looks as if it is real. Also, the quality of the furniture and selection options is higher. The standard virtual Staging is more for illustrative purposes, showing off the possibilities of the space and helping to kick-start potential buyers’ imagination on how the area could be used. Both are fantastic options and come down to your personal preference and intentions.

Jeremy Blair, LUXL LVL

What part does Photoshop play when virtual staging?

In general, most people that do virtual staging are using a program called 3ds Max, an AutoDesk product, not Photoshop.  3ds is a high-end professional 3D modeling, rendering, and animation software program to create various 3D projects.  It is an expensive program, starting at $225/mo to use or $1785 per year.  And it requires some skill to understand how to use it.  Some online programs can do virtual staging, and we are looking at integrating an automated one that uses AI to build a virtually staged image on the fly.   That will be a 2023 initiative.

Kris Cone, Floor Plan Online

Hire a professional

In home staging, it’s better to hire a professional instead of doing it yourself. No matter how unbiased you try to be, your DIY home staging will reflect your personal style — which may not be what home buyers want to see. A home stager can declutter and decorate your home in a way that will sell it. 

Even further, a real estate professional can usually offer tips on things you can do to increase your chance of a fast sale. In essence, by hiring a professional, you benefit from their physical labor and their knowledge of the sale process.

Selling a house can be a stressful process, but there are always things you can do to make the whole thing much less so. By having your home professionally staged, you increase your chance of a fast sale above the asking price, you also take some of the guesswork off your plate.