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With the Fed’s recent rate hikes, the housing market is slowing down and houses are not selling themselves anymore (as they did at the beginning of the pandemic).

It’s, therefore, crucial to use high-quality real estate photography to convince buyers that the property is still worth investing in despite higher mortgage rates.

Buyers need to be able to relate to the property on an emotional level to make a buying decision, and that’s where virtual staging can help! 

In this post, we’ll share 5 reasons why virtual staging is more important than ever to help you sell your home fast and for top dollar in a cooling market.

But before we dig deeper, let’s first take a look at the difference between a seller’s and a buyer’s market to understand the current real estate situation.

Difference Between a Seller’s and Buyer’s Market

With cooling demand, sellers need more effective marketing

A seller’s market is characterized by high demand, caused by a growing number of buyers in the area, low inventory, or low-interest rates.

On the other hand, a buyer’s market occurs when supply exceeds demand. This means that the real estate inventory is high and there are plenty of homes for sale, but there’s a shortage of interested home buyers.

So what market are we in right now? The truth is, it depends on where you are buying a home. 

“We have seen some mid market areas, like my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, have slowed down into more of a buyer’s market. Not only is this the first time in quite a few years that we’ve experienced the shift from a sellers market to a buyers market, but the speed at which that transition has happened was extremely fast, mainly due to rising interest rates. That said, there are still plenty of areas in the US that are still experiencing a seller’s market where demand continues to outpace supply.”

Devon Higgins, Head of Sales & Marketing at PhotoUp, Realtor at Hello Homes GR

Despite it still being a seller’s market in most areas, the housing market has started to cool down due to increasing rates and high inflation costs, making it crucial to market listings using compelling graphics, video tours, floor plans, and more. 

Why High-Quality Photography Is Vital in Real Estate Sales

Home sellers and their real estate agents market a home for sale for three primary reasons:

  • To inform the public that the house is available for sale
  • To highlight the home’s best features in order to get buyers to visit the property in person
  • And to get as high offers as possible

High-quality real estate photography is therefore crucial in marketing a home and making sure buyers see your property and want to visit it in person.

This becomes even more evident when considering that 97% of home buyers used the internet to search for homes last year and expected to see quality photos. 

With online marketing now being the dominating tool for real estate sales such as MLS listings, Zillow, social media, and single property websites, captivating images of the home are absolutely essential. 

And one of the most effective and powerful ways to market a listing and create captivating real estate photos is by using virtual staging, which we’ll look closer at next. 

Fast & Affordable

Virtual Staging Service

Interiors. Landscapes. Commercial. Virtually transform any space.

What Is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging is a special computer-assisted design (CAD) process wherein virtually designed furniture is added to a photo of an empty room or space, much like traditional home staging. 

Enhancing listing photos with virtual staging ensures that buyers take notice. It transforms a space into an inviting home that potential home buyers can imagine themselves living in.

This relatively new technology of digitally staging empty, cluttered, or outdated spaces has exploded in recent years.

Especially in times of the pandemic when people prefer to safely view listings from the comfort of their homes. Plus, the current high cost of physical staging because of COVID restraints.

What is so powerful with this digital form of staging is that you can use it to:

  • Add furniture and decor to vacant rooms
  • Declutter, depersonalize, or redecorate outdated spaces
  • Perform virtual renovations
  • Also, do virtual landscaping, grass greening, and sky replacements
  • And so much more!

5 Reasons Why Virtual Staging Is More Important Than Ever

Now that you know what virtual staging is, let’s take a look at why it’s now more important than ever to utilize this powerful form of real estate marketing.

Here are 5 reasons why virtual staging is more important than ever in today’s housing market.

1. With Cooling Demand, Sellers Need More Effective Marketing

During the last two years, sellers and agents have been spoiled by listings pretty much selling themselves. Out-of-state buyers have bought homes without even looking at them in person, wanting to escape the big cities where COVID was more evident.

As a result, sellers and agents haven’t been in need of high-quality marketing to the same extent. However, with the Fed’s rate hikes, the housing market is shifting and starting to cool down, requiring better real estate marketing to attract buyers.   

Virtual staging is a powerful marketing tool that can help your real estate photography look like it’s taken straight from an interior magazine.

Plus, it also offers better speed to market than traditional home staging with a short turnaround time of 24-48 hours, instead of days.

2. Virtual Staging Can Boost the Sales Price

85% of staged homes sold for 5% to 23% over list price when being staged. And according to the National Association of Realtors, 47% of homeowners saw an increase in selling prices averaging around 15% after virtually staging their property.

There’s no denying that staging is an essential part of selling a home for top dollar. Buyers need to be able to relate to the property on an emotional level to pay top dollar for it. 

Overall, it’s not just about the property itself when buying a home. It’s about life, and being able to imagine how your family and friends would fit in and love the home as well.

3. Helps Your Listing Stand Out From Others

Did you know that half of over $1 million properties use poor-quality photographs? And these are often the listings that stay on the market for months.

61.3% of brokers believe high-quality photography is ‘crucial’ for selling homes. Virtual staging helps your listing stand out from all the other MLS listings.

It makes your real estate photos look like they are taken straight from an interior magazine!

Not only does virtual staging help your listing stand out on the MLS, but it helps potential buyers to see the home’s potential and imagine themselves living in the space, which we’ll elaborate more on next. 

4. Potential Buyers Can Visualize Themselves Living in the Home

Vacant homes sell for an average of $11,306 less and spend 6 more days on market compared to staged and virtually staged homes.

So if you plan to be partially or fully moved out of your home by the time you list your home for sale, ensure you don’t post photos of a vacant home.

While it’s important to remove personal items before marketing, a vacant home can make it hard for a buyer to visualize the space. And that’s where virtual staging comes into the picture (*pun intended).

According to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of buyers find it easier to visualize a staged property for their buying decision.

But if you feel a bit queasy about virtually staging your whole home, don’t worry! The most important rooms to stage that buyers pay attention to a bit extra are the living room, master bedroom, and dining room. 

Adding photo-realistic furniture and decor to these rooms will help buyers imagine themselves, for example: 

  • Watching a good movie on the sofa
  • Enjoy a good night’s sleep in the tranquil master bedroom
  • Sharing a tasty meal with loved ones in the dining room

You get the picture!

5. Saves Time and Money

Actual staging can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, not to mention the time it takes to hire a stager, get furniture in the home, and then take images of the staged property.

Worse of all, if the house is not sold quickly, you could be on the hook for a hefty staging bill on top of not selling the home.

By using virtual staging, you can have an empty room digitally filled with furniture, decor, and accent pieces at a fraction of the cost. Besides, that cost is usually a one-time fee per room/image, so you won’t get any unpleasant surprises. 

In fact, recent studies show that virtual staging is up to 97% cheaper than actual staging. This means that sellers and agents can save a lot of money using the digital version of staging instead.

Not to forget the time photographers and agents can save… 

If you choose to have a home virtually staged, you can photograph vacant rooms one day and have the whole home staged and images delivered back to you within 24 to 48 hours.

You can’t beat that!

Fast & Affordable

Virtual Staging Service

Interiors. Landscapes. Commercial. Virtually transform any space.

Get Started With PhotoUp’s Virtual Staging Service

With higher interest rates and cooling demand, it’s more important than ever to offer top-notch real estate photography.

Not only is virtual staging more cost-effective than regular home staging, but it can also help your listing stand out — even sell faster and for more money.

With over a decade in the real estate industry, PhotoUp offers professional virtual staging services, starting as low as $20 per image!

Our professional designers can stage and redecorate your space using 11 different design styles, including:

For example, you can use one interior design style or even showcase how a space would look using several design styles like in these two examples:

Hamptons Virtual Staging Style
Industrial Virtual Staging Style

With that, buyers will have an idea of what each room can look like, which can help them make a quicker buying decision. They may even be tempted to offer a higher price on the property. 

How to Get Started?

Placing your first virtual staging order with PhotoUp is super easy! 

All you need to do is sign up for a free PhotoUp account, and you’re all set to upload your images, choose furniture sets, and add editing instructions.

In as little as a day or two, you’ll be able to access your high-resolution images to start marketing your property or forwarding them to your clients.

PhotoUp Virtual Staging Demo

To see how fast and easy it is to get started, check out our brief virtual staging demo:

As simple as that!

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free PhotoUp today, and let our expert designers virtually stage your images and deliver them back to you in less than 48 hours! 

We hope this blog post helped you understand why virtual staging is more important than ever in a competitive real estate market. If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out the following resources as well:

Stina Pettersson

Professional Blogger

Stina is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and professional blogger who's passionate about real estate photo editing, being outdoors with her pup, and sweaty gym sessions. She loves the written word and has been writing for publications like Forbes and Thrive Global. Originally from Sweden, she's called South Florida her home since 2013.

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