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February 9, 2024

How Much Does Virtual Staging Cost

You may have heard that staging a home for sale is an effective way to attract prospective buyers and increase your property's value. But how do you know for sure if it's worth it?

Ensuring a positive ROI on the time and money you spend staging a home starts by knowing how much staging costs. And when it comes to costs, how you stage your home matters.

Staging can be costly and time-consuming or very quick and manageable, depending on the type of staging you choose.

In this article, you'll learn how much virtual staging costs and how this cost compares to traditional home staging.

We'll also cover what’s included in each option and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of virtual staging and Virtual Staging AI to help you decide whether either is worth the cost for your listing.

Traditional Staging vs. Virtual Staging Costs

Traditional staging involves hiring a professional stager who will bring in furniture, accessories, and other items to decorate your home and make it look more appealing. The stager will also arrange the items to showcase the best features of your space and create a positive impression on potential buyers.

Cost of Traditional Staging

The cost of traditional staging can vary depending on the size and location of your home, the number and quality of items you need, and the duration of the staging contract.

Let's break these costs down:

  • reports that the initial design consultation with a professional stager costs an average of $450 per room.
  • Furthermore, according to Architectural Digest, the average cost of traditionally staging a room in 2022 was about $600 per month.

The typical 2,000-square-foot home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a dining room. Assuming you only stage one bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, and the dining room (a total of four rooms), that works out to $2,400 a month. Finally, since the typical staging contract is for a minimum of three months, the average you would spend on traditionally staging an average home would be:


Virtual staging has become increasingly popular among real estate agents and homeowners, and it's easy to see why. At under a tenth of the average cost of traditional home staging and with no chance of running out of 3D models, virtual staging makes the real estate industry much more profitable for agents and sellers.

Also, contrary to physical staging, it represents an almost fixed cost that doesn't necessarily scale with the property's selling price, making it even more profitable the more valuable a property is. It also has several other benefits we'll cover later in the post.

What’s Included in Virtual Staging Costs?

Virtual staging costs depend on several factors, such as the number and quality of photos you provide, the type and level of services you request, and the expertise and reputation of the virtual home staging company you choose.

In this section, we'll explain what you're paying for when you hire a virtual staging company and what you should look for when selecting a provider.

However, let’s first dive into how the virtual staging process works.

The Virtual Staging Process

Virtual home staging is a process that consists of the following steps:

  • Step #1: Take professional photos of your listing. First, you must provide high-resolution and well-lit photos of your home to the virtual staging company, preferably by a professional photographer. You should take pictures from different perspectives and show the entire room and its features.
  • Step #2: Select the number of photos you want to stage. Since virtual staging cost depends on the number of staged photos, you must decide how many photos you want to stage and which rooms you want to focus on. You may want to develop several different renders for the same room to illustrate different styles or angles.
  • Step #3: Choose the right virtual staging services. As you'll learn in the next section, virtual staging involves several services, depending on what you want the room to look like. Your decision will also depend on your home's current condition and appearance and your budget.
  • Step #4: Select the overall design style and specific furniture sets. Choosing each photo's design style and furniture is critical as it determines how your target market accepts the property. The design style and furniture sets should match and highlight the architecture and features of your home, which requires some design know-how. So it's a good idea to ask the staging company and your real estate professional for advice.
  • Step #5: Submit the order. You need to submit the order to the virtual staging company and the photos, services, style, and furniture sets you selected. You should also review the virtual staging company's terms and conditions and ensure you understand their pricing structure, turnaround time, and revision policy.
  • Step #6: Receive the staged photos. You will receive the staged photos from the virtual staging company, usually within 24 to 48 hours (or the company's stated turnaround time). When you do, you should check the quality and accuracy of the photos carefully to ensure they meet your expectations.
  • Step #7: Submit revisions (Optional). If you aren't satisfied with any of the staged photos, you can request revisions from the virtual staging company as long as they are within the scope of the original order and the revision policy.

Virtual Staging Services

As a whole, virtual staging involves different types of digital enhancements and modifications that can be applied to your home's photos, resulting in different types of services. Each service has a different purpose and effect and may have a different fee depending on the complexity and difficulty of the task. Here are some of the most common virtual staging services:

  • Furnishing an empty room: This is the most basic virtual staging service and involves adding furniture and accessories to a photo of a clean and unfurnished room. This service is ideal for vacant homes or new constructions, as it helps buyers visualize the potential and functionality of the space.

empty-room.png staging-room.png (Image Source)

  • Decluttering furnished rooms: This service removes clutter, personal items, and outdated or mismatched furniture from an already furnished room to make it look more spacious and neutral. This service is ideal for occupied homes or rentals, as it helps buyers focus on the features and layout of the room rather than the current owner’s taste and lifestyle.

cluttered-room.png cluttered-room_result.png (Image source)

  • Furniture replacement (decluttering + refurnishing): This service involves removing and adding furniture and accessories to a room to create a completely new and improved look. Since it combines both previous services, furniture replacement is typically more expensive than simple staging.

cluttered-room1.png cluttered-room_results1.png (Image source)

  • Changing interior walls, trims, or cabinets: This service involves changing wall colors or textures, trims, or cabinets of a room to create a different mood and atmosphere. This service is ideal for fixer-uppers or unfinished rooms.
  • Changing flooring: Also great for renovation projects, this service involves changing the type or color of a room's flooring in real estate listings to create a different look and feel.
  • Changing ceiling: A home can have dozens of types of ceilings, and not all cater to all buyers. That's why digital staging companies offer a service to change the ceiling type or color as another form of virtual renovation.
  • Changing exterior wall, trim, or door color: The lighting in outdoor shots is completely different from that in interior photos, so changing interior walls is different from changing exterior walls and is a separate service.
  • Changing landscaping: This service involves changing the type or color of the plants, flowers, trees, or grass of a home to create a different look and feel.
  • Twilighting: Some properties look better in the mornings, but others look much better at twilight. This is why twighlighting, or changing the lighting and shadows of a photo to make it later in the day, is a popular digital staging service.
  • Enhancing photos: This service involves improving the quality and appearance of a photo by adjusting the brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and other settings.

Virtual Staging Design Expertise

Virtual home staging is more than digital image editing. It requires a specific skillset that involves not only adding furniture and decor to photos but also creating a realistic and attractive representation of your home. A good virtual stager should have the following:

  • The ability to add furniture and accessories in a way that highlights the space and not the furnishings themselves.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the latest trends and styles in home staging and design.
  • A background and experience in interior design, architecture, or real estate. Proficiency and creativity in using virtual staging software and tools.

Virtual Staging vs. Virtual Staging AI

Artificial intelligence is taking virtual staging to the next level with the development of Virtual Staging AI, a revolutionary new way to create staged photos of your home.

While virtual staging is a manual process that involves human intervention and input, Virtual Staging AI involves an automated process that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, offering even more cost and time savings than virtual staging.

Here are some of the features and capabilities that set each method apart:

  • Virtual staging allows you to customize and personalize the staged photos by choosing the services, style, and specific furniture sets you want. You can also request revisions and changes as needed. However, virtual staging also requires more time (usually one or two business days) and effort, as you must provide photos, select options, and communicate with the virtual stager. Additionally, virtual staging may have some limitations and errors, such as unrealistic or inconsistent results, depending on the skill and quality of the virtual stager.
  • Virtual staging AI allows you to instantly and effortlessly generate staged photos using an online platform or app.

landing.png (Image source)

You don't have to communicate with anyone. Just provide the photos, select your options, and hit Process Photo.

landing-how-to.png (Image source)

Virtual Staging AI will automatically create staged photos with as many revisions as you want. However, virtual staging with AI also has some drawbacks and challenges, such as fewer customization and personalization options and difficulty in handling complex or unique spaces.

The Benefits of Virtual Staging

Virtual home staging offers several benefits for real estate professionals and homeowners. Some of these benefits are:

  • It allows you to showcase different styles and options for each room and appeal to a wider range of buyers without spending thousands of extra dollars.
  • It gives you more flexibility and control over the design and layout of your home, as you can easily change or modify the images through revisions as needed.
  • You can also experiment with different colors, materials, and items to see what works best for your home.
  • It saves you money and time, as you don’t have to rent, buy, or move furniture or accessories.
  • It helps them sell or rent their homes 73% faster and for a higher price.

Is Virtual Staging Worth the Cost?

Virtual staging is a more affordable way to stage your home for sale (compared to traditional staging), but is it worth the cost? To answer this question, you must consider several factors, such as the average commission for real estate agents, the potential increase in sale price and speed of sale with virtual staging, and the potential cost savings compared to traditional staging methods.

You also have to weigh the benefits and risks of virtual staging and how to mitigate them to ensure a positive return on investment (ROI).

According to Bankrate, the median commission for real estate agents in the US is 6% split between the seller’s and the buyer’s agents, both typically paid by the seller. So, if you're a homeowner selling a property for $300,000, you would pay $18,000 in commissions. If you're the seller's real estate agent, you would earn $9,000.

On the other hand, staged homes sell for 5% to 15% (average 10%) more than homes that aren’t staged, which means that for a home sold for $300,000, the seller could earn an extra $15,000 to $30,000.

The following table compares the ROI for traditional vs. virtual home staging using the previous home price and average costs as examples.


As you can see, both traditional home staging and staging property images virtually are very profitable, but the latter has a significantly higher ROI, making it the better choice.

However, virtual staging also has some risks and challenges, such as:

  • Misleading or deceiving buyers, which could lead to legal issues, negative reviews, or loss of trust and reputation.
  • Wasting time and money, as the staged photos may not attract or convince buyers to make an offer.
  • Failing to meet the buyer's expectations or preferences.

To avoid or minimize these risks, you should always be honest and transparent and disclose that the photos are virtually staged. You should also provide the original photos of the home and explain the changes and enhancements.

Be strategic and selective when using virtual staging. Focusing on the home's most important and spacious rooms, such as the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom, is a best practice that will ensure a great ROI.

Why Virtual Staging AI is Your Best Option

Virtual staging is a cost-effective and efficient way to stage your home for sale by adding 3D models of furniture and accessories, helping you sell your home faster and for a higher price and providing a superb return on investment.

Virtual staging with AI takes working smarter, not harder, a step further by avoiding the pitfalls of virtual staging with a designer. Rather than relying on a person, AI offers an error-free, lightning-fast turnaround. You can enjoy:

  • Get more options and variety, as you can create multiple staged photos for each room and compare different styles and items at no extra cost.
  • Save more time and money.

That’s why we recommend using Virtual Staging AI as the better choice over traditional or virtual staging with a designer.

Try Virtual Staging AI today for free and see how it can level up your listings in under 10 seconds.