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Best Virtual Staging Software [2021 Review]

Published: 17/03/2021

An empty or poorly designed property can drive potential buyers away. Fortunately, virtual staging solutions provide a faster and easier way to declutter and redesign properties. We're sharing the best virtual staging software with the right features to create stunning virtual imagery for real estate photographers and agents. 

Our Top Virtual Staging Software Reviews

Whether you prefer an all-inclusive platform or DIY system, the best virtual staging software should enable you to transform properties seamlessly. While the top-rated programs are Home Designer Architectural, Home Designer Suite, and Ultimate Home Design, they still have varying assets and weaknesses, and that's what we're going to discover.

Brand
Best Overall
Architect Home Designer Architectural
Best for the Money
Chief Architect Home Designer Suite
Best Cheap Pick
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with Landscaping and Decks 9.0
Product
Home Designer Architectural - PC Download
Home Designer Suite
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with...
Operating System
Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave
Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave
Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 7
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Architect Home Designer Architectural
Product
Home Designer Architectural - PC Download
Operating System
Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Chief Architect Home Designer Suite
Product
Home Designer Suite
Operating System
Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave
Rating
-
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with Landscaping and Decks 9.0
Product
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with...
Operating System
Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 7
Rating
-
Price

Best Virtual Staging Software Overall: Chief Architect Home Designer Architectural

The Chief Architect Home Designer Architectural is a powerful virtual staging software for real estate photographers who prefer a DIY style of work for optimum creative freedom.

Home Designer Architectural - PC Download

It includes editing tools for home design, interior design, remodeling, and landscaping. Even if the tools have default effects, you can still customize them when painting walls or adding cabinets.

The point-and-click system lets you visualize projects before you render 3D models and virtual tours. If you want to avoid cartoonish-like rendering, there's also a blending tool that enables you to tone down the manipulation, giving you more realistic effects.

With thousands of realistic furniture, plants, lighting fixtures, appliances, and decors, you won't have to waste time styling properties during a shoot.

Furthermore, the smart design objects allow you to create items from scratch, regardless of the style, shape, molding, or size. As you create things, you can also see details about the materials, especially their possible cost.

Aside from that, the Home Designer Architectural software has tools dedicated to the automatic generation of roofs, stairs, framing, and foundations. In this way, you can accurately scale floor plans even while remodeling.

Pros

  • Includes information on materials list and cost estimation 
  • Money-back guarantee and technical support
  • Ideal for printing

Cons

  • Software tends to suffer from bugs
  • Uses the metric system only
Sale
Home Designer Architectural - PC Download
  • Powerful home design software for DIY home enthusiasts.
  • Tools for home design, remodeling, interior design, kitchen and bath design, landscaping, decks and...
  • Visualize projects before starting with 3D models and virtual tours; 3,600+ realistic plants

Best Virtual Staging Software for the Money: Chief Architect Home Designer Suite

Another great virtual staging software is the Chief Architect Home Designer Suite, which is suitable for creating building projects in 2D and 3D formats. With thousands of built-in templates and library items, the Home Designer Suite is an intuitive and easy-to-use software, even for beginners.

Home Designer Suite

Similar to the Home Design Architectural software, the Home Designer Suite focuses on home designing, interior designing, remodeling, landscaping, and cost estimation. Aside from an extensive product catalog, you can download more designs and bonus items for free.

If your clients want more angles or perspectives to see interiors and items, you can shift to 3D views to know exactly how you can move forward with the project. What's more, you can also design in 2D and 3D at the same time.

Even when you photograph a bare floor, you can help clients transform a property by adding rooms, arranging walls, moving columns, and changing colors. You can also remove out-of-place objects in a shot then replace them with a brand new and more appropriate item. 

Pros

  • Extensive product and material catalog
  • Drag-and-drop system
  • Lets you put the brand name of the products

Cons

  • Needs constant reactivation
  • Picky over computer video cards
Home Designer Suite
  • Software for home design, remodeling, interior design, kitchens and baths, decks and landscaping,...
  • Take a virtual tour and use 3D views to know exactly what your project will look like before you...
  • Design in 2D and 3D or both simultaneously; built-in style templates; 6,000+ library items

Best Cheap Virtual Software: Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with Landscaping and Decks 9.0

The Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with Landscaping and Decks 9.0 uses photorealistic 3D technology to create virtual walkthroughs. At a cheaper price, you can also do some designing, remodeling, and landscaping.

Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with...

True to its name, the software does an excellent job working on landscaping and decks. It boasts a plant encyclopedia that has over 7000 species along with light, water, and climate requirements. It's perfect for properties that need accurate measurements of the available space before placing patios, fences, and plants.

Even if you have no design experience, you can use the fairly robust set of sketching tools to draw, add, and remove items. With a click and drag of a mouse, you can check the different fabric, texture, material, and paint options before drawing new rooms and walls. 

The Ultimate Home Design software even has a special wizard-driven interface that intuitively modifies your design. After that, you can customize your designs and styles when painting walls or adding window coverings.

Pros

  • Ideal for outdoor and exterior virtual staging
  • Allows importation of extra 3D items
  • Come with a tutorial video and documentation files

Cons

  • Poor color rendition
  • Might encounter some installation issues
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with...
  • Easy! No design experience necessary
  • Fast! Wizard-driven interface means quick results!
  • Innovative! Use your own digital pictures to makeover any Room

Factors to Consider for Virtual Staging Software

Virtual staging helps real estate photographers create a rendition for viewers to have a virtual walkthrough. However, you can only achieve that if your chosen software has the following features and functions.

Living room interior with white and blue accents

Intuitiveness

Using a different kind of software aside from Photoshop and Lightroom can be a bit overwhelming for some real estate photographers, especially if this is your first time using a visual staging program.

Home Designer Architectural, Home Designer Suite, and Ultimate Home Design all have built-in commands and functions you can utilize to create virtual imagery. While most of the work still feels like a do-it-yourself system, this gives you greater control over the design.

Design Options

The actual design may depend on the preferences of clients. However, the more design options software has, the more you can follow your client's requests.

Your chosen software must have most of these standard virtual renovation features.

  • Virtual Staging: This is the main feature of Home Designer Architectural, Home Designer Suite, and Ultimate Home Design as they all allow photographers to fill a room with elements according to different lifestyles.
  • Product Remodeling: If your client wants to highlight lifestyle items in a property, you can also create models of furniture or decor, then add materials and textures to bring products to life. All of the three programs can do product remodeling.
  • Customization: Although customization is more time-consuming, the ability to sketch and paint according to actual specifications or dimensions makes your furnishings more realistic.
  • 360-Degree Virtual Tours: Suppose a client suddenly asks for a 360-degree tour even after the shoot, or you don't have a 360-degree camera. The good thing is that you can compile photos on Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Suite to create a 360-degree virtual tour.
  • Design Catalog: Using virtual staging software can have a bit of a learning curve, especially if your work mainly focuses on taking real estate photos. All of the programs contain a helpful design catalog filled with free tools, designs, and customizable items.
  • Item Removal: This is among the essential functions of the three virtual staging programs, as you most likely would need to remove some elements in a scene to show what a property looks like. Some clients still prefer a plain, clean perspective for them to have more room for imagination.
  • Floor Plans: While there are specific applications used for developing floor plans, Home Designer Architectural, Home Designer Suite, and Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design let you create floor plans in 2D and 3D.
  • Architectural Rendering for New Homes: If clients need help envisioning architectural blueprints, programs like Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Suite enable you to render blueprints for a realistic 3D perspective.
Bedroom with white upholstered bed

Quality

Even if you're doing virtual staging, it's important that your designs look authentic. In the age where people know that you can create visuals digitally, unrealistic outputs can only harm the sales process.

It's crucial that the program's features enable you to create realistic designs that make it appear as if you truly used actual furniture or materials in the photo.

Turnaround Time

While most virtual staging applications can help you quickly create designs, the standard turnover time of most virtual staging applications is 1-2 days. With user-friendly features, Home Designer Architectural, Home Designer Suite, and Ultimate Home Design can help you finish your work in 48 hours or less.

Cost

The upfront cost can be expensive if this is your first time using virtual staging software or you don't have the market for it yet. Even if there are premium ones, there are budget-friendly options as well.

It's vital that you consider the cost of using a particular software because it can influence your future photography pricing packages.

Conclusion

Knowing how to do virtual staging increases your value as a real estate photographer. There are clients who don't want to travel to properties and would just rely on looking at photos online. With the right virtual staging software, you can transform listings into the dream property of potential buyers.

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