Home Staging vs. Virtual Staging for San Antonio Real Estate Listings
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Home Staging vs. Virtual Staging for San Antonio Real Estate Listings

staging mistakes virtual staging what every realtor needs to know Feb 02, 2022

Photo by Adrain Garcia, Onward Group
Staged by BY Design (not virtual)

You  may have noticed a rise in virtual staging, and wondered if this option would be a good fit for your listings.

Virtual staging is the use of photo editing software to digitally add furnishings to online listing photos. While virtual staging can be less expensive than hiring professional San Antonio home stagers, there are several problems with choosing that route. You may think you are saving money with digital home staging, but you will actually lose money in the long run.

You need real home staging in order to gain the highest return on investment for your sellers. Here are several reasons why virtual home staging is not the right choice for your real estate listings.

Downsides to Virtual Staging

The majority of today’s buyers shop online before previewing a home in person. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, “99% of millennials search for homes online.” That is why it is so important for your listing photos to be as memorable as possible.

Buyers may be impressed by the online photos of a virtually staged home, but they will be disappointed and confused when they see how drastically different the home looks in person. The letdown of seeing the vacant home at the showing will sour their feelings and ruin their crucial first impression.

Another big negative of virtual staging is that the furniture is often out of scale. The digital renderings may show a king-sized bed, seating area, and multiple dressers in the primary bedroom. Buyers will feel deceived when they arrive and learn the room can only fit a queen bed and one dresser.

Left, Photo of room that had been virtually staged with a picture of the virtual rendering on an easel.
Right, Same room staged by BY Design after virtual staging failed to sell the home.

Showing a Vacant Home

Virtual staging can artificially enlarge and edit rooms, but that illusion is destroyed when buyers visit the vacant home for a showing. Empty rooms actually look smaller in person than rooms staged with real furniture.

Left, Photo of room that had been virtually staged with a picture of the virtual rendering on an easel.
Right, Same room staged by BY Design after virtual staging failed to sell the home.

Agents can put the virtually staged image on an easel, like in the photo above, to give an idea of how the room could look. But it is much more effective for buyers to experience firsthand how the space would function, through physical home staging by BY Design.

Home staging gives potential buyers a realistic vision of their dream home, not an out-of-scale rendering. Staging creates a natural flow and gives each room a sense of purpose. Without furniture defining each space, it is difficult for buyers to envision how it will function for their family, something only home staging can do.

Virtual Staging Mistakes

This San Antonio home’s outdoor area looked pretty bleak, and we have to admit that the virtually staged image was a big improvement. The Photoshopped images showed an attractive patio seating area. However, this would seem absurd to anyone who physically went to the home, as this is actually the driveway.

With a tight budget, the investor had opted for virtual staging instead of the admittedly more expensive professional home staging. Three months and over $100,000 in price reductions later, the builder decided it was time to bring in BY Design Home Staging.

We staged the correct outdoor area and showed buyers the true potential – and value – of this San Antonio real estate listing.

Home Staging Minimizes Negatives

Some homes will have awkward layouts, weird niches, and not-so-great views. We will highlight your listing’s unique features while distracting from, or eliminating, any negatives. Buyers are more willing to overlook property faults when a home is staged, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Photoshopping can also remove property faults, but this is unethical because it creates a false impression of the home. Some may even change paint colors, digitally switch out light fixtures, etc.

When the home is not as beautiful as the edited online photos, buyers will notice the negatives. They start to second guess whether the home is right for them. This may lead to lower offers, contracts that fall through easily, or dismissing the home altogether.

In this home, a virtual image displayed on an easel wasn’t enough to draw your attention away from an awkward toilet waiting to greet you at the top of the stairs. When the seller decided to hire BY Design Home Staging, our physical staging swooped in to solve the issue. A strategically placed console provided the perfect distraction.

The home also featured yet another toilet in an awkward location. With staging, the buyer’s attention is focused on the gorgeous tile work instead.

Staging Should Match the Listing

Have you ever noticed photos of virtually staged homes that are very modern, but when actually viewing the home, it is a traditional style and located in Texas Hill County? Often, virtual staging doesn’t correctly portray the style of home, nor appeal to the Central Texas target buyer.

BY Design will bring in furniture and accessories that are the right scale and style for your San Antonio or Austin-area home. Being able to see, touch, and sit down on the furniture allows the buyer to envision their “dream life” in that home. Plus, they stay much longer than they would in a vacant home– giving them more time to fall in love!

Not every property falls strictly into one design category, nor does every potential buyer like the same aesthetic. Our goal at BY Design is to create spaces that make buyers fall in love. We will always account for the architectural style of the home, while also appealing to the appropriate target market.

Get a free quote from BY Design today to see for yourself the benefits and amazing results home staging can have on your home!

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