Virtual staging is the new trend in selling houses. With the majority of real estate listings moving online, it’s essential to have great virtual staging as part of your push to sell your property. Homebuyers are looking for it. We show the two best options on the market, as well as an honorable mention
The 2 Best Virtual Staging Sofware: SELL YOUR HOME FASTER AND EASIER
If you’re in the market to sell your house, or you’re thinking about it, you’re probably dreading the “staging” part of the process. If your house is up for sale, you definitely want to do everything possible to ensure that potential buyers can see themselves living in your property. However, this can be challenging for a variety of reasons.
The traditional way to “stage” a house is to literally change the entire appearance of it to look “generic” and clean. After all, while you might adore the vintage orange of your basement, plenty of people will run the other way. While paint is a cosmetic issue, the wrong colors can send a buyer running. Also, having lots of clutter is a sure way to turn off many people.
However, it can be difficult to actually live in a staged house for any period of time. Staging often requires people moving a lot of your belongings into expensive storage, and it requires keeping the house neat as a pin for a long period of time.
This is where virtual staging software comes in. Virtual staging has changed the entire look and feel of selling houses. Many things have gone digital in the modern age: staging hasn’t escaped the trend.
What Is Virtual Staging Software?
As implied above, virtual staging software allows technology to put your house online in as perfect condition as possible. Basically, imaging is used to create a virtual rendition of your home so that online browsers can “walk” through it.
If you’ve ever seen a property with a “360 degree” view that allowed you to rotate the picture so you could imagine yourself in the space, then you have seen virtual staging software.
Virtual staging software has a number of useful applications. Users can go through and change the paint color of walls or digitally remove furniture to make the room look more neutral. If the house is already empty, furniture and accessories can be digitally added so that the viewer gets a clear idea of how the room can be used. This is particularly useful in odd spaces, such as rooms with sloping walls or lofts. Looking at an empty room on the internet can be disorienting since the viewer has no way of knowing scale. Virtual staging software can help with this.
Virtual staging software is also useful for landlords, as they can create virtual displays of apartments and use them over and over again when they experience vacancies. Particularly in apartment buildings where all of the “one bedroom” apartments look the same, having a virtually staged apartment can save a lot of time.
Virtual staging absolutely works, which is why Realtors all across the nation are jumping on the trend. It’s averaged that having a virtually staged photo can up web traffic to a certain listing by at least 30%, when compared to a listing that just has pictures of empty rooms.
What Virtual Staging Software Is Right For Me?
There are plenty of options when it comes to virtual staging software. The real question is: do you want to do it yourself or pay somebody else to do it for you?
There are benefits to both approaches. Obviously, doing it yourself is going to be the cheapest possible option, and you may find the process enjoyable.
The benefits to having somebody else do it for you also are immense. For example, many professionals who work with virtual staging software have architecture degrees or otherwise have been working with the software for a long time. Getting a realistically staged virtual environment can be a bit challenging—if your angles are slightly off, it’s going to be very noticeable to a potential buyer/renter, and you don’t want them to think that you’re trying to sell them a funhouse.
Of course, the downside to having someone else do it is that it’ll be considerably more expensive. It just depends on what your budget and turnaround time is, and if you think you’d be able to do it yourself well or not. (You may want to have a modicum of existing artistic talent if you wish to DIY.)
Basically, before you can really get into picking your virtual staging software, you’re going to have to figure out which one is right for you.
Since the needs of the DIY crowd and the needs of the outsourcing crowd are different, we have gone with two different types of virtual staging software—one that is best for DIY, and the other which is better left for experienced users.
The Best Virtual Staging Software All-Inclusive Service: Spotless
Spotless is a wonderful all-inclusive virtual staging software that has jaws dropping across the world for its combination of cost-efficiency and overall excellence. This company is headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine.
Spotless offers incredible turnaround time: most orders are complete within 3-5 business days. All of the people involved with the design process have architecture degrees, so it’s probably no surprise that the realism offered here is pretty incredible. In tests, many people haven’t been able to tell the difference between photos of actual staged interiors and those of virtually staged interiors designed by Spotless.
Additionally, they offer a very generous revisions policy. Within the first 30 days of purchase, Spotless will do an unlimited number of revisions on your photos. So you can definitely have everything tweaked to your liking and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with a virtually designed interior that you find awkward or displeasing. They also will do furniture replacement along with furniture addition, so it doesn’t matter if your interior still has furniture or not; the crew at Spotless can work their magic.
Additionally, it’s a pretty small staff; there are fewer than 10 people on the roster at Spotless. However, this means that you’ll definitely benefit from the personal touch they offer to their clients. You’ll probably get to know several of the designers working on your photos.
The price is reasonable as well: starting at $69 per photo, it’s far from being the most expensive option on the market where an all-inclusive service is concerned. About the only real negative is that there is no money-back guarantee, but this seems to be the tradeoff for the unlimited revisions offered. (Pretty much all of the competitors had a limit on how many revisions would be done on the pictures before a preset limit is reached.)
Honorable Mention for The Best All-Inclusive Virtual Staging Software: PadStyler
PadStyler is another option to consider if Spotless’ services are still too expensive for your budget. This service comes in at a bit cheaper: you can get your photos for as cheap as $49, which is essentially bargain-basement price.
Additionally, PadStyler is one of the few other companies that offer unlimited revisions on their work. In fact, this is one area where they outshine Spotless: Spotless offers revisions for a 30 day grace period, but PadStyle will revise your photos whenever you want.
So, what’s the downside? The quality of PadStyler’s photos isn’t as high as what you get with Spotless. Many of Spotless’ photos are indistinguishable from real photos (or are at least close enough to fool most people), but many of PadStyler’s images are very clearly computer-generated.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing at the end of the day, though. Of course, you want your photos to look as realistic as possible, but just because the furniture in a virtually staged photo looks digital doesn’t mean it won’t help your listing. Plus, you don’t want to end up tricking people into thinking that the house is in better shape than it is. You can actually end up in legal trouble if the photos shown on the house listing are altered to improve the listing too much.
PadStyler has a host of interior designers on staff, but they don’t have every single employee as an architect the way that Spotless does. It is also a slightly bigger company, with about 30 people on staff. However, the customer service gets great marks overall.
If you are on a tighter budget but still want a professional company in charge of your virtual staging, PadStyler is a great option.
The Best DIY Virtual Staging Software: VisualStager
For those who are ready go to it alone (or at least willing to try), the top pick is definitely VisualStager.
This is an extremely affordable option: you can get photos from VisualStager for as low as $7 per photo. VisualStager is not downloadable software; it’s actually a website where you can design your own virtual photos. Basically, you can upload self-taken photos to the site, and, for an additional fee, have the people who work at VisualStager remove furniture from the photo if you would like. Then you can go through and use their extensive catalogue of stored furniture to create your own virtual mockups.
The biggest advantage to the VirtualStager process is, of course, the price. At a starting rate of $15 per picture, and the cheapest being $7 if you purchase in bulk, you’re not going to get a much cheaper option for virtual staging than this.
There are a few negatives to the DIY approach, though. First, even if you are an experienced realtor, that doesn’t necessarily make you the best architect or designer. It’s one thing to sell a house; it’s quite another to make it look good during staging. Also, many people who aren’t professionals in design and realty may have a bias to decorate things the way that they like, rather than with an eye for what sells. For instance, some people are not very keen on the “paint it white” theme that’s taken the design world by storm recently, but it is very popular. White kitchens and white, sleek, Scandinavian design are all the rage.
Basically, if you’re a person who is a little more country in your decorating preferences or perhaps you prefer bold hues, you might unintentionally sabotage your virtual staging with your own preferences. Sometimes it helps to have an uninvolved design professional do this for you. Plus, even though the furniture offerings that VisualStager has are pretty extensive, if you’re using them on 100s of photos, it’s going to look a little bit less than custom after a while.
You may also have an issue with it being “unrealistic looking.” The relative lack of light customization means you won’t be able to do too much altering of the light inside of the room compared to the angle of light on the furniture you’re taking from the VisualStager repository.
But, again, just because the picture isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that it won’t do the job. This program may be of special interest to people who are trying to sell their own house. While VisualStager won’t be perfect, it will produce a reasonably nice product at the end of the day, and you can’t beat the price.
For those who want to jump into DIY, they’ll also enjoy that VisualStager is very much “point and click,” in that you don’t need to have Photoshop skills or other serious graphic manipulation skills to produce a fine-looking product. If you can place furniture in a dollhouse, you can use VisualStager.
Making the Best of Virtual Staging
Whether you choose to DIY or go for an all-inclusive solution, there’s no denying that virtual staging has become a cornerstone of the modern real-estate market. Most people don’t want the hassle of having to travel to a home they see advertised in a newspaper, without any pictures. It’s a new game, and virtual staging will allow your listing to get to more people faster since virtual staging invites your potential buyer into the property without having to leave their own homes.
All of the above options are wonderful choices to help you make the most of the virtual environment and seal the deal on your property as quickly as possible.