Instead of letting buyers see rooms as the homeowners have lived in them, sellers removed all personal items, including art and furnishings. This made it easier for buyers to visualize the scale and architecture of a home. It was believed that new buyers would find it easier to imagine themselves living in the space.

This concept was well-received and became a profession. These specialists could stage homes for sale using their extensive collection of furniture, art and baubles. The seller usually paid the service, as many staging listings sell faster and fetch higher prices than those that are not.

When Competition and Demand Increase

Staging has become almost a standard skill, and those who can do it are seeing an increase in their business. Amanda Wiss, a professional organizer based in Brooklyn’s Urban Clarity, added staging to her portfolio and has seen her business grow 80% over the previous year.

A rise in staging demand also means that clients have higher expectations. Stagers are expected to invest more time and money in creating rooms that stand out from the rest. This is to stay competitive in a highly competitive market. Stagers need to have a working knowledge of a property’s architecture, trends, and location. Stagers must be able to stage everything, from farmhouse to mid-century modern and clean contemporary, according to Beth Franken, a broker-associate at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Chicago. She received staging certifications from ASP, an industry trainer.

The rise in competition has led to stagers charging higher prices, sometimes as high as 8% to 10% of the listing price. However, this depends on the work involved.

Wiss staged a New York City listing with multiple bedrooms. He charged in the mid-$20,000 area. Just like when staging was first popular, sellers still pay for the service.

Virtual staging is on the rise

Staging has expanded to include the digital world in recent years. Virtual staging is a way for companies to not only stage a home but also to plan the space and select the right furnishings. Virtual staging has seen an increase in popularity due to several factors.

  • Technology advances that produce more realistic results
  • The inflow of millennials into the market, who are more comfortable shopping online now than ever before
  • To keep everyone safe, the pandemic made it easier to search for homes online.

Virtual staging is becoming more popular. This allows homeowners and salespeople to choose from a growing selection of design options. Do you want a modern, mid-century room? Try Herman Miller furniture. Check. What about an Italian-inspired look? It’s possible.

Some stagers remove furniture or wallpaper. Salespeople attach a “virtual staging” disclaimer to make it clear that buyers might not see the exact space in the virtual staging.

It’s cost-friendly and adaptable

Virtual staging is a new way to offer flexibility in the industry. Christopher Matos Rogers, a Coldwell Banker salesperson from Atlanta, said that virtual staging is more efficient than using a truckload full of furniture. Ilaria Barion, founder of Barion Design, states that the price is much lower than for physical staging. This has led to more practitioners picking up the tab as part of their marketing budgets.

Barion has exhibited more than 50,000 properties since 2005 and is now focusing on the luxury market. Because of the unique needs in the luxury market, she switched to virtual staging from a physical job.

The rental furniture may be less expensive than buying new furnishings. Luxury home staging is becoming more expensive. Barion also says that it takes time to assemble furniture. Virtual staging is a viable option due to the sheer volume of people looking for homes online (-95% according to a report by Properties Online).

She also believes virtual staging is a positive because it allows her to “do amazing things and move in a baby grand piano fast, for instance.” Her company charges per photo depending on the space. Prices for clients can range from $49 to $399. It charges $20-$90 per image for furniture that must be removed digitally from the space. Barron’s company usually delivers in a matter of days, which is not the case with physical staging.

Barion offers a custom-made staging service, thanks to virtual staging. She can render your home and offer an express service for smaller dwellings.