Presentation truly matters, and when it comes to selling your home, being able to help your prospective buyers visualize & experience the lifestyle they’d be buying into can really help to make an emotional connection to your property.
Empty & clean houses are definitely better than cluttered & messy houses, because it’s very hard for people to imagine a lucrative lifestyle in a property that’s filled with furniture and settings they can’t relate to. However, better than empty houses are beautifully staged homes that set the tone perfectly, and materializes grand dreams into tangible interior design.
As a professional photographer, I can definitely feel the difference as soon as I walk into a well staged property. A lot of the time, you’ll forget about the property itself as you immediately start to imagine yourself lounging on that couch on a slow Sunday morning, or whipping up a feast (or in my case, severely overcooking a feast) in a beautifully staged home.
However, furniture staging can become quite an expensive endeavour. Of course, price varies depending on the experience & reputation of the stylist, and also the actual physical quality of their stock, however, you can probably reasonably expect to pay between $2500-$6000 for most homes. This price would usually include around 6 weeks of hire of the furniture for photography and also for opens.
In our experience, the physical quality of the actual furniture does vary a bit, however isn’t necessarily a huge consideration as most people will (hopefully) not go around moving your staged furniture during open homes. As photographers we move things such as dining tables, couches, & desks every shoot so it does become obvious. The main value of staging is to be able to visually set the atmosphere, and so as long as it looks good, that’s all that really matters. You can’t really tell much about the build quality of furniture over photos either, so as long as your stylist has a good eye, you’re most of the way there!
There’s another option that a lot of people don’t consider a possibility – Virtual staging! This is where we’ll shoot an empty house, and then add furniture in digitally later. This is actually a hugely cost effective way of enticing homebuyers, as it will help sell the lifestyle to them when they’re viewing your listing online.
Virtual staging runs at $55 (inc. GST) per photo, and most of our clients will do around 4 rooms of a house – Lounge, living areas, bedrooms, studies, kitchens, and dining rooms are the most popular. For 4 rooms, it’s $220, which is obviously a lot less than the thousands you’d be spending on actual staging. The other benefit of virtual staging is that you can put in very well designed, modern settings that suit the mood of your home perfectly!
Of course that means that when buyers reach your home, they won’t actually be greeted with any furniture. However, once they’re at an open home, they’ve already qualified themselves as interested parties, and experienced real estate agents will be able to make the sale – Our jobs as real estate marketers is to get people to your opens, and after that, it’s the agent’s job to close the deal!
Next time you’re selling a property, weigh up your options – Leave it unstaged, use traditional furniture hire, or try virtual staging. You might be surprised at how economical & cost effective virtual staging can be.
If you’re interested in getting some virtual furniture for your next listing, feel free to reach out to us on our contact page.
Long Yin Hobirch