Virtual Home Staging vs. (Traditional) Real Home Staging

Decide Which Home Staging Method Is Right for You

Is virtual staging better than real staging? No. While the cost of virtual staging may be less than the cost of real staging, the benefits of staging your home with real furniture are worth it. The main issue with virtual staging is a prospective buyer seeing a fully staged home in the virtual images and then walking in to a cold, empty house when they come to see it in person. The expectations are raised and then the potential buyer is let down.

When it comes to selling real estate, staging a home is one of the most important things you can do. Home staging brings personality to the space, allows buyers to visualize themselves in the home, and even helps sell a home faster. In today’s fast-paced real estate market, staging your home has never been more important.

As the modern real estate market continues to grow and change, the benefits of home staging continue to grow as well. Yet, the multiple manners and methods of home staging available can be overwhelming. For sellers, it’s important to understand the differences between virtual home staging and real home staging, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

What is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging is a type of home staging that’s created entirely digitally. Stagers utilize graphic design programs to produce a virtual visualization of the space for potential buyers.

Virtual staging begins with photographs of the home to which digital furniture and décor is added. The final products can be rendered as still, digital photographs, videos, or as three-dimensional tours in some cases. The sellers and stagers can work together to virtually stage either a small section of the house or the full space.

What is Real (Traditional) Home Staging?

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Real home staging or traditional home staging is a method of staging that’s done in-person. Stagers rely on real furniture and décor to produce a cohesive style and design for a home.

Real home stagers have large inventories of furniture and connections with furniture vendors, so they can choose the best sizes and styles for the specific home.

After the home has sold, the stagers will remove the furniture or allow the buyers to purchase the furniture if they’re interested.

Similar to virtual staging, real staging can be done either for a few homes or the entire home. However, real staging the whole home is the most common practice.

The Types of Home Staging

Choosing the right type of home staging method will depend solely on the needs of the home and its sellers. Virtual home staging and real home staging are both powerful tools for selling a home, but each one possesses unique advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Virtual Staging

Here are some of the advantages of virtual staging:


On average, the cost of virtual staging is lower than the cost of real staging. Since virtual staging does not rely on real furniture or décor, the cost doesn’t include any additional fees for furniture and décor rental.

Virtual staging also needs less physical labor than real staging, which also helps lower the total cost.

Furniture Availability

Virtual staging occurs digitally so stagers won’t be limited to the current availability of furniture and home décor. Instead, virtual staging designers can create any type or style of furniture that they desire and render it in the digital space. This allows for more freedom in the final design.


Virtual staging does demand a fair amount of time and effort. However, virtual staging tends to call for less coordination and labor than real staging. Therefore, on average, virtual staging can be completed faster than real staging.

Disadvantages of Virtual Staging

Here are some of the disadvantages of virtual staging:

Technological Skills

Virtual staging requires the use of advanced technological platforms. These applications allow stagers to design or import furniture images, manipulate photos, and ultimately create a cohesive design. However, these platforms are not necessarily simple and users may need to spend a great deal of time practicing and training before mastering the intricacies.

Accurate Representation

The virtual environment of virtual staging can make it difficult to provide an accurate representation of the property. The digital nature of the staging poses challenges to the scale, angles, and position of the furniture and décor. As such, potential buyers may receive the wrong impression of the space from a virtual staging.

Personal Connection

Purchasing property is a deeply personal decision. Potential buyers like to feel a connection to the space and an ability to picture themselves in the home before buying. As a digital product, virtual staging can often feel detached from the property and make it harder for potential buyers to see themselves in the space.

Advantages of Real Home Staging

Here are some of the advantages of real home staging:


Although virtual staging can produce a style for a home, real home staging can produce both a style and an atmosphere. By moving through a real staged home, potential buyers are able to connect to additional senses like the smell of a home, feeling of the carpet, or amount of natural light. These extra details create an enriched atmosphere instead of simple photos. This helps potential buyers develop a more complex emotional connection to the property.


An in-person, real staging allows potential buyers to truly take in the details of a home. Potential buyers can assess how their clothes may fit in a closet, examine how small or large the living room is, or inspect the true colors of paint, flooring, and finishes. Real home staging can help accentuate the positive details and minimize the negative ones for a flawless buyer experience.

Disadvantages of Real Home Staging

Here are some of the disadvantages of virtual staging:


Real home staging can certainly be labor-intensive. Coordinating, moving, and even assembling all of the staged furniture and décor requires a great deal of muscle.

With a professional real home staging company, however, the laborious work will be handled entirely by their experts.


Real home staging also takes a bit longer than virtual home staging. The extra details and efforts of real home staging mean extra coordination that can be time intensive.

However, the right real home staging company will work efficiently and ensure the extra time is an investment in the final product.

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Home staging is a critical part of real estate sales no matter which method you choose to employ.

Whether virtual home staging or real home staging is the correct choice may vary depending on the property and sellers.

However, with this guide you’ll be able to make the decision that works best for your circumstances.

Los Angeles Home Staging Company

If you need professional home staging services in Los Angeles, the experts at Mid Modern Designs can help.

We stage homes and condos in the greater Los Angeles area from Studio City to Century City, the Hollywood Hills and beyond. Speak with one of our interior design specialists today.