When selling a home, making it look its best is a top priority. This is where staging comes in – it’s like dressing up your home to impress potential buyers. There are two main ways to do this: virtual staging and traditional staging. Let’s compare them in terms of costs, benefits, and return on investment (ROI).


Virtual Staging: This method uses software to add furniture and decor to photos of an empty home. It’s much cheaper than traditional staging because you don’t need to rent actual furniture or pay for movers. The cost can range from a few dollars to a hundred per photo, depending on the quality and detail of the work.

Traditional Staging: This involves renting furniture, art, and decor to physically fill an empty home. The costs can add up quickly, including the rental fees, design fees, moving costs, and storage. On average, traditional staging can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the home and how long the items are needed.


Virtual Staging:

  • Cost-Effective: It’s much more affordable than traditional staging.
  • Quick Turnaround: Images can be staged and ready to go in a matter of days.
  • Flexibility: You can choose from various styles and layouts without physical limitations.
  • Convenience: No need to deal with moving furniture in and out of the home.

Traditional Staging:

  • Tangible Experience: Buyers can physically walk through the staged home, which can help them connect emotionally with the space.
  • First Impressions: Well-staged homes can look more appealing during open houses and showings, potentially leading to quicker sales.
  • No Imagination Needed: Buyers don’t have to visualize the space’s potential since it’s already furnished.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Virtual Staging: The ROI can be significant because the initial investment is low. Virtually staged homes often sell faster and for a higher price than those that are not staged at all. While the impact may not be as high as traditional staging in some cases, the cost-benefit ratio is favorable, especially for listings where the visual appeal can be significantly enhanced through digital means.

Traditional Staging: The ROI for traditional staging can also be high, as it directly impacts how buyers perceive a home during visits. Homes staged traditionally tend to sell for more money and often quicker than unstaged homes. The investment is higher, but the potential for a higher selling price can justify the costs.


Choosing between virtual and traditional staging depends on several factors, including budget, the condition of the home, and the target market. Virtual staging offers a cost-effective, flexible, and convenient option with a good ROI, making it ideal for sellers looking to make their homes attractive in online listings. Traditional staging, with its tangible benefits and potential for a strong emotional impact on buyers, can be worth the investment in competitive markets or high-end properties.

Ultimately, both virtual and traditional staging have their places in the real estate market. Sellers should consider their specific situation and goals to decide which option will best help them achieve a quick sale at the best possible price.