What is Virtual Staging in Real Estate? Everything You Need to Know

a house staged for a sale

Virtual home staging has been here for a long time, but in the post-COVID-19 era, most real estate agents feel that virtual staging’s prominence will continue to rise. Virtual staging has been called “a bait and switch,” “catfishing,” “false advertising,” and even “unethical” by some.

But every real estate agent realizes that vacant properties take longer to sell. This is because most buyers can’t imagine themselves living in an empty home. So staging a home virtually can help it sell faster. It enables potential buyers to see the full potential of a home, which can encourage them to make a good offer.

In fact, according to the Association Of Realtors, 90% of homebuyers find a property online, and 97% consider the images on Zillow or Opendoor to be the most helpful element.

Keep reading to learn what is virtual staging in real estate and whether it’s worth it.

What is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging is a technique that allows users to take digital shots of rooms and then add couches, carpet, and some other items to them. This allows clients to envision how an unfurnished home will look when finished and styled properly. Staging a home virtually is a common technique among real estate agents trying to sell a property on the market.

Virtual staging can also be used to change the color of the walls, improve kitchen appliances, and modify the flooring to illustrate how the house might look after renovations. Virtual staging helps buyers see the potential of a property and also helps them develop a better emotional connection to the rooms.

How Does Virtual Staging Work?

an unfurnished kitchen lounge interior in a property

First, you need to take digital images of the property and add these to a virtual staging company website. Then, the architects will virtually add seats, dining arrangements, mattresses, artwork, and other furnishings (depending on your instructions) to give life to the property.

The provider then sends you the images through email, allowing you to put the photographs on your website or on the Multiple Listing Service. Most companies offer a payment-by-image service, or a bulk price when you purchase a certain number of images.

As expected, the costs per image vary depending on how much virtual staging you want to have. According to Stucco, virtual staging can cost between $19 to $75 per image.

Is Virtual Staging Worth It?

Traditional home staging is far more expensive than virtual staging. The latter costs between $2,000 and $3,000 to set up real estate, and between $500 and $1,000 a month in additional rental fees for furniture and decorative items.

Depending on the provider and the number of images purchased, digitally staging real estate costs between $200 and $400, on average. This is a small price to pay when you consider how quickly a property can sell due to virtual staging.

Do Homebuyers Like Virtually-Staged Properties?

a kitchen dining room with pendant lights, hanging lights, and spotlights

It appears that both sellers and buyers have adopted virtual staging. However, it’s important that realtors state that the home has been practically staged on your company’s website as well as the MLS listing site. This avoids disappointment from prospective buyers when they visit the property.

Generally, most buyers consider virtual staging favorable. It helps them visualize the potential of an empty property, which can encourage them to book a showing and even make an offer.

However, some people will always prefer a more authentic, homely look and feel when viewing a property (both online and in-person). Provided you choose a good virtual staging company, it’s possible that most buyers won’t even notice the difference between what’s real and what’s not.


Some virtual staging designers will never be able to reproduce the pleasure of entering a place and letting their creative juices flow. The tactile experience can’t be replicated through digital approaches. However, virtual staging can be an excellent way to drive homebuyers to view a property listing online and book a showing in person.

Are you selling a house or new development in Philadelphia, New Jersey, or San Diego? Brotherly Love Real Estate are your local property experts. We buy houses as is fast for a fair cash offer. We can take properties off your hands in as little as 21 days.

To learn more about what we do and how we can help you sell a property or new development fast, contact us online or give our expert team a call today at (215) 769-9875.