5 Benefits of using virtual staging to sell your home
The working-from-home revolution has propelled online activity into a new era as people become increasingly comfortable not having to be ‘in person’ for work meetings to catching up with friends and everything in between.
Digital tools to sell, buy, and rent a home have also become the norm, contributing to better consumer experiences, especially when they are remote to where the property is located.
When it comes to selling your property, knowing that more than 90% of searches start online, it is crucial to find ways to stand out from your competition. Virtual staging can help achieve this, and it offers numerous advantages compared to the costly alternative of hiring furniture for what is a vacant home.
We look at 5 benefits that virtual staging offers to sellers:
1. Virtual staging helps your property stand out
As 90% of searches for property start online, it is crucial to grab the attention of prospective buyers straight off the bat and seize any opportunity for your home to stand out from the crowd.
This is when virtual staging comes into play. "It is the best way to bring a cold vacant home to life easily. It helps to show its full potential", explains Brad Filliponi, Co-Founder of Box Brownie, one of the world's leaders in virtual staging.
Thanks to beautiful images that also give potential buyers room for imagination, your property will increase its chances to make an impression and secure its spot on the list of interested buyers.
2. Help prospective buyers project themselves in the property
Many buyers struggle to project themselves in a home that is empty or not styled to their taste. But virtual staging can help prospective buyers with that so that they can create an emotional connection with the property, crucial for a successful sale.
The process is quite straight-forward. "A client uses vacant (or not) interior photos to fill the property for sale or rent with lifelike digital furniture. The idea is to show how or what the space can be used for. Most buyers find it hard to visualise an empty room and ‘see themselves in it’, so these edits can really become a silent salesman for your property", says Mr Filliponi. Moreover, virtual staging works both on standard or 360 photos for virtual tours.
"The only potential downside of virtual staging is that the styling is not there upon inspection. But at least the seed has been planted", notes Stephen Mutton, National Head Of Network Development at LJ Hooker. However, there is an easy way to overcome this potential hurdle.
Sellers can use easels in the empty rooms to showcase the printed virtually staged images. This will help remind prospective buyers of the potential of the property. And once the buyer’s attention has been caught and the decision made to attend an open home, you can then trust your real estate agent to do his job.
3. Virtual staging is more cost-effective than traditional styling
Traditional styling can be expensive. Depending on the location of the property (for example, this service is more expensive in Sydney than Hobart), the number of rooms and the time necessary to sell the home, it can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000 or more. Therefore, you may be limited to only a couple of weeks in your budget. You may also be limited in the style of furniture you can select.
"The cost of traditional staging means that it can fall out of people's budgets and it simply doesn't get done, even though it’s deemed essential to get an edge on the competition. Therefore, with most property ownership journeys starting online, the less expensive digital styling ability is a more cost-effective solution", says Mr Mutton.
The cost of virtual staging usually ranges between $30 and $120 per image depending on the supplier. That means that you can consider staging the home in two or more different styles to suit different audiences. You can also showcase more than one option for how to use a room. For example, a small bedroom could be presented both as a nursery and as a spacious office.
4. Benefit from fast turn-around (48 hours or less)
Unlike traditional staging, virtual staging only needs a few hours spent editing images on the computer to get the ball rolling. It doesn't require the organisation of an initial consultation and all the logistics that come with sourcing and setting up the furniture in the property.
In most cases, you should be able to have all your images ready in 48 hours or less, depending on the supplier. This is much faster than the minimum of one week to set up physical staging, and much easier to organise. Moreover, there is no risk of damaging the walls or floors when moving the furniture in and out of the property.
5. Boost the selling price of your home
Appropriate styling can evoke an emotional connection to a property and a desire to want to live there. This means that correct styling increases the saleability of a property and the return is usually well worth the investment. Indeed, experts agree that home staging can increase the selling price of property between 5 and 10% on average.
"Virtual staging shows people what the potential of the empty space is. This, in turn, will create a desire to want to live there or own it and ultimately increase the value and or competition on the property, explains Stephen Mutton. It works much like a car that you wouldn't sell without washing it and showing its full potential."