If you’re new to virtual staging, Toronto graphic production artist/virtual stager David Pearcey offers some tips.

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1. The better the quality of the photo, the better the finished product will be

However, to ensure physical distancing, you can ask your client to take high-resolution photos with their cell phone.

2. One photo per room should be adequate

…unless you want to show different angles.

3. Take photos with a regular lens

Not a fisheye or other type of lens that will distort the picture.

4. Along with photos, the virtual stager will also need the room dimensions
5. Look for an experienced technical person who will manipulate the 3D products (furniture and accessories) from a software package that provides a range of choices

Those products can be rotated and then put in place and be Photoshopped to make them look more realistic.

6. Virtual staging is perfect for vacant homes, but for those that are furnished, it’s possible to edit out the décor

However it’s a more costly process. Some software companies offer a service that virtually empties the furnished space so it can be staged from scratch.

Virtual staging offers value, costing around $50 to $100 per room versus about $500 for the first month for physical staging

Virtual staging is fast – the turn around time is 24 to 48 hours per project (house or suite).

Here are some additional tips from real estate agent Lynn Tribbling of Right At Home Realty in Toronto. She has worked with Pearcey, virtually staging properties for years.

  1. Hire a virtual staging company that has real estate experience. Pay particular attention to sample portfolios to ensure the finished product looks professional.
  2. It’s also important to have design options. Some services provide stock renderings with standard furnishings and decorate, not stage, a room. Decorating makes a room look pretty. Staging tells a narrative and targets a specific type of buyer. Top-quality real estate virtual staging involves two different skill sets: software competence plus market awareness of the likely purchaser and their lifestyle. When in doubt, virtual staging can render different design options for the same room to appeal to a wider swath of buyers.
  3. If you’re computer savvy and have design background, you may be tempted to tackle the job yourself but you risk creating an amateur result, which defeats the purpose of showcasing the home in the best light.


  1. With Virtual Staging, you help prospective buyers envision what the property can look like if you were to stage it nicely and show the potential behind it. Conventional staging and Virtual Staging serve the same purpose, you don’t get to keep the furniture after the sale of property.

  2. How can a real showing possibly go well after seeing a virtual rendering of a lifestyle in a home? BIG DISAPPOINTMENT and the buyers mentally adding up the cost of dream furnishings, repairs, re-decorating and that is ALL before the results of a home inspection showing deficiencies.
    Totally different to let them see the REAL thing and be realistic about what they can afford……
    This is kind of like cat-fishing or putting lipstick on a pig!

    • The whole purpose of virtual staging is to show the true potential of the house to the buyers. Most of the listing of virtually staged houses has mentioned that the house is virtually staged so the buyer won’t feel deceived or misled on visiting the house in person.


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