Choosing the Best Virtual Staging Software in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

An image about virtual staging software depicting bad virtual staging and good virtual staging

Virtual staging has emerged as an affordable and hassle-free way to market your property, captivating potential buyers and helping them envision their future home. But here's the catch – the success of your virtual staging efforts heavily relies on the software you choose. 

Imagine stumbling upon a listing with virtual staging gone horribly wrong. Instead of focusing on the property itself, all you can think about is how comically bad the virtual furniture looks. You might be tempted to share it with friends or even post it online for a good laugh. Trust us, you don't want your listing to become the subject of internet ridicule.

That's why it's essential to choose the right virtual staging software, one that seamlessly blends virtual elements with reality, creating a visually appealing and immersive experience for potential buyers. 

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of selecting the best virtual staging software, ensuring that your listing stands out for all the right reasons. Get ready to avoid those cringe-worthy virtual staging blunders and make a lasting impression on prospective buyers.

Here's an overview of the article:

What Exactly is Virtual Staging Software?

Virtual staging software refers to specialized computer programs or applications that enable users to digitally enhance and transform real estate photos by adding 3D virtual furniture, decor, and other elements. 

Virtual staging software allows for a range of transformations to real estate photos, including:

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Virtual Staging Software

When choosing virtual staging software, there are several key factors to consider. These factors will help you make an informed decision and select the software that best suits your needs. 

Here are some important factors to keep in mind:


In the realm of virtual staging software, DIY stands for "do-it-yourself," while DFY stands for "done-for-you." While evaluating choices in this category, the most crucial factor to consider revolves around the amount of time and effort you're willing to invest.

  • High Level of Time and Effort Investment: Mastering New Software
    If you opt for the do-it-yourself (DIY) route, be prepared to invest a significant amount of time and effort in learning new software like Autodesk 3Ds Max or SketchUp. While this option offers you more control over the final results, it takes time to master the software. Keep in mind that some of these options may come with licensing fees and the need to build a 3D furniture library, making it a potentially expensive endeavor.
  • Medium Level of Time and Effort Investment: AI Virtual Staging Software
    Using AI virtual staging software is a DIY option that can deliver quick results. However, it's important to note that the quality and outcomes may vary due to the unpredictable nature of AI. You may need to invest some time to ensure that the virtually staged images meet your expectations.
  • Low Level of Time and Effort Investment: DFY Virtual Staging
    If you prefer a more hands-off approach, DFY virtual staging is a great choice. Simply find a reputable virtual staging company, provide them with the photo to be staged, select reference photos, and give instructions. The staging company will take care of the rest, often with a turnaround time of under 24 hours. This option requires minimal time and effort on your part.


When it comes to virtual staging software, cost is definitely a factor to consider. Let's break it down between free and paid options.

  • Free Virtual Staging Software:

If you're on a tight budget, free virtual staging software can be a tempting choice. However, it's important to understand the limitations. Popular options like SketchUp Free, Floorplanner, and Planner 5D offer basic 3D modeling and design features. 

While they can be useful for personal, non-commercial use, these programs lack built-in rendering software, which is crucial for achieving photorealistic results. Keep in mind that adding rendering extensions may require additional fees.

  • Paid DIY Virtual Staging Software:

For those looking to take their virtual staging to the next level, paid DIY software options provide more advanced features and capabilities. Autodesk 3Ds Max and SketchUp Pro are popular choices. While Autodesk 3Ds Max offers built-in rendering software, it comes with a higher price tag, starting at $235 per month. 

On the other hand, SketchUp Pro offers a more budget-friendly alternative, but it may have limitations in terms of features, customization options, and realism compared to higher-end virtual staging software options.

  • Paid AI-Powered Virtual Staging Software:

AI-powered virtual staging has gained traction in recent years, offering automated solutions for creating virtual furniture and decor. While AI Virtual Staging shows promise, it is important to note that the technology is still evolving and may not consistently produce realistic results. Pricing for AI virtual staging software varies, ranging from $10 to $399 per month, depending on the number of images produced.

  • Paid DFY Virtual Staging Software:

For a hassle-free virtual staging experience, consider using Done-For-You (DFY) virtual staging software. Companies like provide sophisticated software and services at relatively low costs. With prices starting at $24 per image, these companies utilize proprietary software or pay for expensive licensing fees to ensure high-quality results. DFY virtual staging is an ideal choice for those who prefer professional assistance and a polished final product.


Creating visually stunning and believable virtually staged images relies on several important factors. These elements contribute to the overall realism and quality of the final result. Let's dive into each of these aspects:

  • Lighting: Having proper lighting that matches the original photo is crucial for creating a realistic atmosphere in virtually staged images. By ensuring that the lighting in the virtual staging aligns seamlessly with the lighting in the original photo, we enhance the overall authenticity of the staged scene.
  • Shadows and Reflections: Realistic shadows and reflections play a vital role in adding depth and authenticity to virtually staged images. The software's ability to accurately render shadows and reflections, mimicking real-world lighting conditions, significantly contributes to the overall quality and believability of the staged scene.
  • Texture and Detail: Paying attention to the textures of virtual furniture and decor is key to achieving a high level of realism. Top-notch virtual staging software provides intricate textures that replicate the look and feel of real furnishings. By capturing the fine details of materials, such as wood grain or fabric texture, we greatly enhance the overall quality of the staged images.
  • Scale and Proportion: Accurate scaling and proportion of virtual elements are essential for achieving realistic placement within the space. The software should allow for precise adjustments to ensure that the virtual furniture and decor align naturally with the physical dimensions of the room. This attention to scale and proportion helps maintain a sense of realism in the staged scene.
  • High-Quality 3D Furniture Library: Access to a high-quality 3D furniture library is essential for achieving realistic virtual staging. Top-notch software provides a vast selection of accurately modeled and detailed furniture options. Having a diverse and extensive library ensures that the virtual furniture used in the staging process closely resembles real-life counterparts, further enhancing the overall quality and authenticity of the staged images.

How to Recognize Bad Virtual Staging?

When it comes to bad virtual staging, you'll often find that the culprits are issues with lighting, shadows and reflections, texture, scale and proportions, or the use of low-quality furniture models and rendering software. Now that we've covered the factors that influence the quality of virtual staging, let's put our knowledge to the test and see if we can spot the difference when faced with it.


An image showing bad virtual staging done with Adobe Photoshop
Sourced from: Reddit

The main problem lies in the choice of software used, which in this case is Adobe Photoshop. While Photoshop is a powerful tool for image editing, it lacks the capabilities of dedicated 3D modeling software, resulting in furniture that appears flat and two-dimensional.

Apart from this limitation, there are also issues with scale, lighting, and shadows that contribute to the unrealistic appearance of the furniture.

While Adobe Photoshop can still be utilized in virtual staging, it is best suited for post-editing purposes rather than serving as the primary software for creating the virtual staging itself.


An image showing bad virtual staging
Sourced from: Reddit

In this example the furniture does appear more realistic, but there are still major issues with this virtual staging.

The image gives off a low-quality impression, with furniture materials and textures appearing indistinct and hard to discern. This can be attributed, in part, to the utilization of low-quality 3D furniture models and rendering software. 

While the lamp and side table in the image have shadows, there is a glaring issue with the bed—it appears to be floating. The absence of a shadow or any visible connection between the bed and the floor creates an unrealistic and perplexing visual effect.

In terms of furniture placement, there are additional noticeable errors in this virtual staging. For instance, the small side table, intended as a nightstand, is positioned incorrectly, not placed next to the headboard as expected, but rather closer to the middle of the bed.

Furthermore, the overall design of the room appears to be lacking in coherence and thoughtfulness. A floor lamp and a table lamp are placed next to each other, which demonstrates a lack of careful planning and consideration in the room's design.


An image depicting virtual staging with incorrect furniture scale
Sourced from: Reddit

This image is like night and day compared to the previous two examples, but even here, there's a major oversight that can't be ignored.

Although the shadows, lighting, texture, and overall quality of the 3D models are top-notch, there are some issues with the furniture scale. It's quite noticeable that the sofa armrest appears larger than the dining chairs, even though the chairs are either closer or at the same distance as the sofa from the camera. This inconsistency in scale can significantly detract from the overall cohesiveness of the virtual staging.

How to Choose the Best Virtual Staging Software?

An image of bedroom virtual staging

When it comes to selecting the best virtual staging software, several factors come into play. These include the level of time and effort you're willing to dedicate, the cost involved, and, of course, the overall quality of the virtually staged images it produces.

If you find that the DIY route is not a viable option, either due to time limitations or cost constraints, it makes perfect sense to select a trusted virtual staging provider.

Related Article: 6 Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Virtual Staging Company

When considering virtual staging providers, it's essential to keep an eye out for certain factors that have become industry standards. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Ratings - Take note of what previous clients have to say about the provider. Their feedback can provide valuable insights into the quality of their services.
  2. Customer Experience - Assess how responsive and easy to work with the virtual staging provider is. A smooth and efficient experience can make a significant difference in your overall satisfaction.
  3. Price - Consider whether the provider offers competitive prices. At, for instance, we charge a flat rate of $24 per image.
  4. Turnaround Time - Evaluate how quickly the provider can complete the job. The industry standard nowadays is a turnaround time of 24-48 hours. However, at, we pride ourselves on delivering under 8 hours.
  5. Quality Product - Ensure that the finished product meets your expectations in terms of quality. Additionally, determine how committed the company is to ensuring your satisfaction. At, we offer unlimited revision requests and a money-back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied with our service.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a virtual staging provider that aligns with your needs and preferences.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: The Power of Great Virtual Staging

An image of virtually staged living room

Effective staging strikes the perfect balance, neither going overboard nor being too minimalist. It's all about finding that sweet spot where the property truly comes to life. And to achieve this, high-quality software is the secret ingredient. We're talking about high-quality 3D models, impeccable lighting, shadows that add depth, visible textures that make you want to reach out and touch, and, most importantly, powerful rendering software that brings it all together.

But there's more to great virtual staging than just the technical side of things. The actual design process is where the real magic happens. After all, even with the fanciest software, everything falls flat if the design itself isn't top-notch. That's where our team of expert designers steps in. With an impressive selection of thirteen interior design styles (and counting), they meticulously analyze each room to provide you with the perfect layout and style that will make your property truly shine.

Related Article: Why Virtual Staging Is More Important Than Ever? (Data-driven Insights)

We believe in staying ahead of the game, which is why we're constantly adding new design styles to our repertoire. This ensures that your property stands out and stays on-trend. So, whether you're looking to sell, rent, or simply showcase your property in all its glory, our winning combination of cutting-edge software and expert design will take your virtual staging experience to a whole new level.

Try Virtual Staging Now

Ready to experience the extraordinary power of Our software offers a low-cost, low time and effort investment that delivers incredible results. 

Say goodbye to the hassle and expense of other virtual staging softwares. With, you can effortlessly transform your property with minimal time and effort, all while achieving stunning results that will captivate potential buyers or renters. Don't settle for anything less.

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