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Virtual staging has quickly become a mainstay of real estate marketing and sales, with buyers appreciating how it helps them visualize many of the possibilities of a home. 

Yet for virtual staging to motivate buyers to tour a property and make offers, it needs to be highly realistic and as life-like as possible.

Unfortunately, much of the virtual staging used in today’s real estate market looks fake and is poorly done. Buyers don’t respond well when a property’s photos look unrealistic. 

Therefore, in this post, we’re going to show you how to get the most realistic virtual staging for real estate.  

But first, let’s explore why you should use virtual staging for real estate sales.

Why Use Virtual Staging for Real Estate Sales?

The answer to this question is clear — using virtual staging has been proven to help properties sell faster and for higher prices. And after all, isn’t that your ultimate goal as a real estate sales professional?

To illustrate this point, consider these findings from various studies and surveys:

  • 85% of staged properties sell for the asking price or above
  • Staged listings sell 75% faster than those that are not
  • Virtual staging is cost-efficient. It costs 97% less than traditional home staging

Now, some real estate sales professionals worry that buyers might view virtual staging as a trick or means of deception. 

On the contrary!

Buyers are increasingly appreciative of virtual staging since it allows them to get a full understanding of each room and space and stimulates their imagination concerning the best ways to decorate and use it. 

So, now that you understand the benefits of virtual staging, let’s address the temptation of using do-it-yourself virtual staging apps and programs. 

Resist the Temptation of DIY Virtual Staging

Most real estate sales professionals need timely marketing materials and tools, but often have a limited budget for such things.

And there are many inexpensive virtual staging apps and programs that will let you virtually stage your photos quickly. 

However, you really want to resist the temptation to use these apps and programs. Why? 

  • First, to be blunt, the virtual staging results from these DIY options are usually awful and look fake
  • Instead of making a property look more appealing, you’ll likely make it look odd and unrealistic
  • Do-it-yourself virtual staging almost always looks amateurish — you won’t secure clients with poor-quality photos

Even though these options may be fast, or even free — don’t go there. Working with a professional virtual staging provider will get you the most realistic results for only slightly more cost.

Now, perhaps you’re wondering what you should look for in a virtual staging provider. We’re glad you asked!

Here are 5 elements to look for in a provider to get the most realistic virtual staging. 

Fast & Affordable

Virtual Staging Service

Interiors. Landscapes. Commercial. Virtually transform any space.

5 Essential Elements of Realistic Virtual Staging

You’ll want to keep these 5 elements in mind when selecting a professional virtual staging provider. 

1. High-Quality Photo Models of Furnishings

Modern style virtual staging furniture
Modern Style Virtual Staging Furniture

For realistic visual staging results, you need to make sure your provider is using realistic 3D photo models of all the furnishings and decor. For example:

  • The geometry, angles, and perspectives on all the furnishings must be perfect
  • Textures and fabrics must be smooth and natural looking
  • The size and color of all the furniture must match

To achieve the most realistic virtual staging, your provider must have only top-quality photo models of furniture and decor. Using low-quality objects and images will result in an artificial look. 

2. Proper Attention to Proportions and Details 

You’ll want to select a virtual staging provider that has well-trained, highly experienced virtual staging specialists.

This will lessen the chance that your virtual staging will contain mistakes, such as:

  • Furniture that intersects with each other, particularly furniture legs
  • Objects that hang up in the air, not having been evenly aligned with the floor
  • Or disproportionate items such as an oversized sofa next to a tiny coffee table
  • Keeping all the contact points of the surfaces even and accurate

Professional photo editors who are attentive to the proportions and placement of the photo models are an essential element for getting the most realistic virtual staging for real estate.

3. Accurate Horizons

Carefully look at the vendor’s virtual staging sample images. Pay attention to the alignment of the furnishings in relation to the horizon.

For example:

  • Do all the lines of the furnishings and other objects properly align with the vertical lines of the rooms?
  • Are the added items 100% consistent with the perspective of the original photo?
  • Is every piece of decor in proper perspective with the horizon?

If all the objects are rendered in alignment with the horizons, then the virtual staging will look natural and realistic. 

4. Using the Correct Lighting 

To ensure that the new furnishings look organic in the finished photos, it’s essential to render them with the same light as the original photo. 

Consider the following when looking at virtual staging images:

  • Photos taken on a sunny day should recreate the same lighting position for their renderings so their rays and shadows fall in the same manner
  • The effects of any interior lighting should be accurately shown across all furnishing pieces
  • The same consistency must be achieved when working with photos taken at evening twilight

Having consistent effects of all sources of light — rays and shadows on the furniture and decor — will result in natural-looking, realistic virtual staging.

5. Smooth Post-Processing

For the most realistic virtual staging, the final images need inconspicuous post-processing. Skilled virtual staging editors know to do the following:

  • Finalize all images with a smooth retouch, soften the edges of the new furniture, add shadows and highlights, enhance colors, and so on
  • Know that often less is more — expert virtual staging editors will avoid excessive post-processing, color correction, or filters 

As a result, the virtual staging should make it look like the new furniture arrangement is 100% realistic as if all these pieces and decor have always been a part of the existing interior. 

Fast & Affordable

Virtual Staging Service

Interiors. Landscapes. Commercial. Virtually transform any space.

Work With PhotoUp for Realistic Virtual Staging

Now that we’ve hopefully persuaded you to work with a professional virtual staging provider, how do you know which one to choose?

Again, the answer is easy!

Work with PhotoUp to ensure that you get the most realistic virtual staging that will motivate buyers to view and bid on your listings. 

PhotoUp’s skilled virtual staging editors understand and achieve the above 5 elements of realistic virtual staging in every one of their images. 

Fast and Easy Order Process

Even better – PhotoUp makes it easy to get realistic, amazing real estate photos. 

1. Sign up for a free PhotoUp account and upload the images you want to be staged. 

2. Select furnishings from our 10 decor style options and 12 room types.  You can also choose from 20 design accessories.

3. PhotoUp will send you proofs to review and approve within 24 hours.

PhotoUp Virtual Staging Demo

For more details, you can check out our short virtual staging demo:

It’s really that easy! 

And don’t limit yourself to virtual staging only. PhotoUp offers a diverse range of real estate marketing services to help grow your real estate business, including:

So, why wait? Get started now!

Sign up for a free PhotoUp account today, and start using the most realistically virtually staged images to sell your listings more quickly and for better prices.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to get the most realistic virtual staging for real estate. 

Also, you might want to check out these other valuable resources:

Gregory Gronbacher

Real Estate Sales Agent / Professional Blogger

Gregory is a real estate sales agent and a state-certified instructor of real estate licensing and law. Originally from New York City, he's called Grand Rapids, Michigan home since 1995.

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