Steps to stage a house with virtual staging as a homeowner?

virtual staging homeowners

As up-to-date, the internet is overwhelmed with old and repeated hints on staging homes for sale and lots of descriptions of what is home staging and how it works. I searched a lot, and I couldn’t find a guide on How to stage a house with virtual staging.

When a homeowner decides to sell a house or apartment, the chance this person to search for tips or tricks on the internet for home staging or virtual staging is high.

So let’s answer the question I asked: Steps to stage a house with virtual staging as a homeowner?

Virtual staging or digital staging is very similar to a physical home staging with two main differences.

First. It is done entirely digitally (on a computer).

Second. It’s good cheap in comparison to the physical home staging.

Homeowners can virtually stage their property for sale either by hiring a virtual staging expert to perform this or through the use of a virtual staging software (the DIY method). It takes a lot of skills including spacial understanding or a least an excellent taste and experience on interior design and decoration.

There are a few other positive sides, which I will list below in this reading. Keep reading to discover…

  • How a homeowner can benefit by using virtual staging
  • How complicated virtual staging is 
  • How good are Do It Yourself virtual staging software
  • How to make the best choice for virtual staging
  • How to protect yourself from “the best virtual staging companies.”
  • And many more.

Are virtual staggers, a real staggers?

Almost any staging designer or person can call themselves a virtual home stager, and even a high percentage of homeowners can virtually stage their property for sale.

Yes, got it right!
Almost any staging designer can become a virtual home stagger, and even someone who has got a proper eye for design and sense for space can become one. However, the reason not all homeowners are doing their virtual staging is simple; it’s not their job to learn new software and deal with one time tasks.

Like every other business, some companies are doing only virtual staging, and some active home staggers offer different tiers of services where virtual staging is one of them.
Although not all home staggers believe in the digital adaptation of a property as it’s new service that sometimes may be perceived as deceiving if not done right.

In this video, a home stagger goes on facebook live to prove that virtual staging is not as good as physical home staging:

 

At the first part, the virtual staging images are not with the best quality (which the stagger makes a point that she is showing the top of top quality). A single company can't be a prove for a whole industry standard.

The reality is none of the staging options will satisfy all of the buyers nor the sellers if no appropriate steps are taken because none of the furniture is staying with the home after the purchase.

More on this, you can read here, I explain why Virtual Staging is an excellent strategy when done right. How and When to use Virtual Staging [homeowners guide]

How can a homeowner benefit from using virtual staging?

Benefits of using this innovative strategy are a lot, but they do come with some specifics.

One of the ways is by hiring a virtual staging expert or company to perform this or through the method of DIY with the use of a virtual staging software. 

This is the time where I have to mention that both techniques can drive very different results.

Virtual Staging Software

After nearly 4 hours of research online, I found a handful company with their software solutions.

virtual-staging-software

The cheapest option comes at 15$ per photo, where the answer is drag and drops limited 3D models to your photos.

Trough the DIY virtual staging method, great results will be hard to be achieved however with a right eye, sense of space and idea behind how the stuff works, homeowners can do themselves, decent images for a little cost.

Most of the websites have a HELP and FAQ page where is explained, how you should be working with the software and how to make the photos to import into the software.

If you decided to go along this route, here is a video that (Do-it-yourself Virtual Staging Software) is proving what can be achieved in a no-time.

My advice on this would be to take the time and check how much you value your property. A quick and almost no investment marketing might not bring the highest results.

Virtual Staging Companies

You should expect favourable results and plenty of benefits when hiring a staging company. Of course, that comes with some caveats that should be taken into account.

Not all virtual staging companies provide quality and valuable work.
Because of how the 3D software industry works, 3D photoreal results that some systems are capable of allows companies to work on that field without genuine designers or staggers behind.
In this case, they shouldn't call themselves virtual staggers but visualizers.

There are plenty of tutorials on youtube: how to virtually stage a room


and almost anyone with free time will be able to learn the software on how to manipulate images and 3D models within an image. This won't make that person a better designer or stagger.

Hiring such a company or person might not be the best value for your money despite the photos looking awesome when staged.

You have come so far into How to stage a house with virtual staging as a homeowner, and I assume you have real intention to stage your property, and you want to learn more.

Selling real estate these days, in most countries, it's not the same anymore as it was ten years ago.
Having a wooden sign "for sale by owner" apparently won't be quite a complete strategy.
I won't be going through the whole strategy. In this read, I will cover the virtual staging part.

What to look for when hiring a virtual staging company?

Prepare yourself with a selling strategy

Before approaching a company for staging being (physical or virtual), make sure you have a plan.
Having the idea to sell your property for a high price is not a plan, but a dream, which may not become a reality, if not some steps are taken in advance.

1

Step 1 - Be smart

Go online and find real estate platforms for selling and buying a property.

2

Step 2 - Go deep

Look for your postcode or area, gather some information on how many, what types and condition are the properties selling at the moment.

3

Step 3 - Compare

Download some of the property listings which are most similar to yours.

4

Step 4 - Act immediately

Contact a surveyor or property expert to evaluate your property.

After these four steps, probably you should have already a price figure for your property. It's crucial, to be honest in your judgment, no matter how much you want to sell for top dollar.

In a slow or bustling real-estate market, homeowners should take extra steps to make a good sale. Buyers can tell when sellers are taking one step beyond to make a good impression.
This creates an instant connection between sellers and buyers. Home staging became a successful 20 years ago as a way to increase a home's selling price and decrease selling time. That idea hasn't been changed 20 years later.

Contact a virtual staging company or expert (8 steps)

This stage of your journey should start with a little research again. Do not go to the first found website on the internet. Take the time and pick a few digital staggers.

Step 1. Send them an e-mail and ask for their know-how and workflow. By the answer, you should be able to sift two.

It is essential to not fall just for a few photo-real photos because they alone can't do the job.

Step 2. Arrange a phone call with both companies.
During the phone conversation, explain your idea and what are your discoveries, this will help them to provide you with the best answer (costs, time and strategy*).

Step 3. As they do they have highly trained interior designers or staggers

  • *Some companies provide more than just photo editing services. Especially if your property falls into the category above average to luxury.

Step 4. Ask for quotes
If one of the companies provide better value for the price, your choice should be clear.

Step 5. Send them the photos.
Yes, you have to provide them with photos for the staging, probably this part you could outsource to a photographer too, but if you are tight on a budget, you can do it yourself.

There are specific guidelines that have to be followed when taking photos.

  • Exposure - taking five exposures for each photo from - 2 to 0 and up to +2
  • Most of the cameras should be able to do that.
  • Angles - slightly off the corner of a room – 1/3 of a wall. Getting as much of empty floor space as possible and one or two walls without doors or openings (if possible).
  • Floors and Ceilings - Ideally we should see at least two times as much floor as the ceiling at least 50/50
  • Doors - Open doors to near 180 deg. (the viewer has to be able to see what is behind the door)
  • Tripod in use (if possible)
  • All photos in horizontal landscape mode (tiff format or raw)
  • Lots of photos - It's easier to cancel the ones we don't need that going back to the property to redo some shots.
  • Using a wide lens but not a fish-eye lens.
  • All photos provided without any post-production (straight from the camera)

Step 6. How many photos are you looking to edit?

Of course, it's good to have staged as many as possible photos (more profit for the virtual staging company), but this is not always the case. Some properties do not need 20 images staged. This is where your property research and strategy should be getting in place.

Knowing the right amount of staging photos, description of the listing, location, potential buyers etc. are essential pieces of information which you should take care yourself or by outsourcing it to a company or expert.

Step 7. Is there a floor plan for the house?

This is one of the questions you will receive or be asked from any staging company. There are multiple online floorplan options, like for example:

virtual staging floorplan

Room Sketcher where you can draw your floor-plan, save it and send it. This will be useful not only to the virtual staging company but to your buyers as well.

Again if you are tight on budget or don't have the time to mess around, you could get a few measurements by hand on a sheet of paper and send those to the company.

Furthermore, if you did not want to bother with measurements, drawing and other stuff, you could completely pass that step with the measures. The information built-in into the photos should be enough for the staging company to extract close to real dimensions for their work.

Step 8. What design style has to be implemented?

Most of the virtual staging companies should be ready with an idea of what design style will work best for your images. Additionally, if you have chosen a design style, you could provide them with it, and it's their work to provide with an expert opinion if this will work or will be against your sale.

Virtual home staging for homeowners - the strategy

The virtual home staging for homeowners is NOT only adapting furniture and decors digitally. It could cost you a lot of the price of your property if simple tasks are not performed in the real world.

  • cleaning and the removal of necessary personal items
  • backyard de-cluttering
  • repainting/re-plastering if walls with more than minor wear and tear are
  • in some cases, even doors or other fixtures might be changed

You will find most of the 3D staging companies saying that you don't need to do anything in the real world. I have to break up that marketing nonsense.
This is one of the reasons I mentioned above, virtual staging for homeowners is an entire strategy, not solely digitally edited photos of a real estate.

More on virtual home staging strategy here.

So far, if you like this read, please share it with your friends, it will help us to produce more quality content.

Selling real estate these days, in most countries, it's not the same anymore as it was ten years ago. 
Having a wooden sign "for sale by owner" apparently won't be quite a complete strategy. 

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Now you know, the virtual home staging can involve some financial investment apart from the costs of the images.

Despite that costs with virtual staging companies will be way more low in comparison to hiring a home staging company to stage your property with real furniture.

Best Virtual Home staging advice

If you are willing to give everything for your property to sell for a better price, you should consider doing both staging options; virtual and physical staging at the same time.

With the physical staging, you will have a presence at your property, and you won't have to back your strategy and put more work into as if using only virtual staging.
With the virtual staging, you will show to prospective buyers different types of layouts or furniture arrangement where they can have in future if they negotiate a contract with you.

This is by far the best of both worlds that will sell your property 100% for less time and top price.

Key points on Steps to stage a house with virtual staging as a homeowner?

  • Know your limits and work out your strategy
  • Get an expert opinion (surveyor or property expert)
  • Give your self a real time frame and spend some time researching the local market
  • Virtual Staging can cost you quite a lot of the property price if done by not expert
  • Work out a budget for your property marketing
  • Make a research and see which suits you best : DIY virtual staging or virtual staging done by experts
  • Prior contacting a company, get done all photos of the property
  • Prior contacting a company, be ready with your floor-plan (recommended)
  • Be positive and prepare yourself for a small investment
  • When selling a property as a home-owner via virtual staging / home staging always ask for an advice

Have more questions about Virtual staging?

I am happy to provide you with free guidance and advice?

George Nicola

After a ten+ years working in high-end design and real estate business as an independent expert, I realised that we are missing a critical part. We were not providing enough value to the real estate consumers. Not every consumer would have the opportunity to see the potential and be patient to wait for months to see the result or close the sale of his/her estate. Almost nobody provides such pieces of advice. Here is why I developed a unique approach to helping first time sellers and buyers to keep up with their focus and avoid costly mistakes. It took me more than three years of research, trial and error to find the right ingredients for a successful strategy.

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