What Exactly is Online Home Staging?

Home Stager

Home Staging for Optimal Online Presentation

If you are selling your home or preparing to sell your home in the future, the answer to this question could be worth thousands of dollars to you. 

Because now more than 90% of home buyers start their home search on a computer or hand-held device, online presentation is critical to successfully selling your home. Staging your home for online showing focuses specifically on preparing your home so it shows and presents at its best on your sales listing which gets posted to various real estate sites. Online Home Staging is founded on two main tenants:

1. The home is appropriately furnished and prepared in a neat and tidy manner. This demonstrates the flow and functionality of the home and highlights the home’s best features when viewed in photographs.

2. The listing photographs highlight each area of the home and are presented in an organized flow that enables the viewer to easily ‘virtually’ tour the home on their device. The photos are the maximum size and quality and are captioned to describe and promote the home’s best features and benefits.

The Difference Between Traditional and Online Home Staging

After the essentials are covered (cleaning, fixing, de-cluttering and de-personalizing), traditional Home Stagers excel at decorating to create an attractive environment that appeals to potential buyers who visit and tour the home in-person.  

Online Home Staging is focused on preparing a home for sale in an attractive manner so that it presents at its best in online photos which demonstrate the home's features, flow and function. 

Online Staging differs from standard Home Staging because it is less about ‘decoration’ and more about ‘demonstration’.  Home buyers start their home search online, so the first goal for the Seller is to get the Buyer’s attention by making a great first impression online. You know what they say...

Standard Home Staging is about preparing a home for optimal in-person showings.  Online Home Staging is about preparing a home for optimal online presentation.  The two go hand-in-hand but in today’s connected world, Online Home Staging is the first and most crucial step. Once you've got their attention, by all means, karate chop the pillows and put the cookies in the oven cuz guests are coming!


Key Points in Online Home Staging

When Buyers search online for homes, they need to be able to see, understand, and connect with what the home has to offer. They also want to know that the home meets their baseline needs. Otherwise, they will quickly move on to the next home in one click.  A lot of things can prohibit, deter, or turnoff Buyers at this crucial first touch point:

·        Bad quality and size of photos

·        Dark photos and dark rooms

·        Not enough photos to adequately represent the home

·        Vacant rooms that can’t be identified

·        Rooms that are not set to room type

·        Too much clutter

·        Too much or bulky furniture blocking flow

·        Bright colors which are visually distracting

·        An excessive amount of décor or artwork that is visually distracting

·        Dated features, furnishings and decor   


Online Staging Pro, Poor lighting and bulky furniture  Home Staging, Poor Lighting is a common problem   

Home Staging for optimal online presentation is one dimensional and requires an understanding of the Buyer’s psyche.  Most people cannot visualize something different than what they see.  It’s important to provide enough visual fundamentals, such as appropriate furniture, so the Buyer can understand the flow, scale, and function of each room. However, the pictures must not show too much personality.  This makes it easier for Buyers to visualize their own style and personality in the home. 

Optimal Online Home Staging involves these key components:

·        The home’s flow and function are clearly demonstrated

·        The home’s best features are highlighted and emphasized

·        The décor and furnishings are moderate in style and color, but still pleasing and attractive

·        The photos are optimal size and the highest quality

·        The photos show full views of each main area of the home

·        The photos are displayed and captioned in a sequential flow which tells a story from beginning, middle to end

·        The home and photo presentation entices Buyers to want to come see the home in-person


So what exactly is Online Home Staging? It's the process of preparing a home for sale in an attractive manner so that it presents and shows at its best online enticing Buyers to visit the home. The ultimate goal of course is a quick and maximum priced sale.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that in the near future, virtually 100% of home searches will begin online. Therefore it is safe to say that Online Home Staging is now a primary factor in successful Real Estate sales.


by Teri Allen, Online Staging Pro

Comments (6)

Kathleen Vetrano
RE/MAX Gateway - Falls Church, VA
Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams

This is excellent information Terri.  I have been thinking about this product and wondering when we would be seeing 'demonstration' in the home sale process.  It can be used in so many ways.  Thank you for the information, well done.


Jul 19, 2014 02:44 PM
Kathleen Vetrano
RE/MAX Gateway - Falls Church, VA
Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams

I reblogged this Terri, I think the information is that good.  I also suggested it be a featured post.  Once again, thank you for the information.

Jul 19, 2014 03:31 PM
Teri L
Palm Desert, CA

Thank you so much Kathleen!! I really appreciate that 

Jul 19, 2014 05:04 PM
Mary Stewart
Keller Williams Atlantic Partners/Southside - Jacksonville, FL

Great article.  Photography makes such a large difference.  I too, will re-blog this article.

Jul 19, 2014 08:56 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Thanks for the information. I haven't heard of online staging and will need to check it out.

Jul 19, 2014 09:56 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

This is a useful blog post on the difference between in-person and online staging.


Jul 20, 2014 04:23 PM