Selling a house isn’t necessarily hard, if you follow the correct steps. We are always telling home sellers that in order to sell you need to follow the “Magic Formula”.

Below is this formula that virtually guarantees success when selling a home:

  • Make your house look really, really good both in-person and online.
  • Price your house correctly.
  • List your house in the MLS.

The first point is important, you want to put your best foot forward when you are selling your home.

You do this by staging a home to sell and then taking great real estate photographs.

Staging a home is the process of making a home look appealing to the highest number of active buyers.

When it looks it’s best, you then have professional photos taken for your MLS listing, which will then sync to all the real estate portals such as Zillow, Trulia, and all the others.

This is how houses are correctly marketed and sold online these days.

But what if your house is vacant?

Should you spend the extra time, energy, effort and money to have a professional home stager bring in rental furniture?

The answer to that question is yes, but that option can be expensive and like we said it takes extra time, energy and effort.

So what’s the other option?

How about having professional photographs taken of your home and then having a company digitally stage them to make it appear to be a furnished home?

This is what is called “Virtual Staging”

In this post, we are going to explain to you exactly what you need to know about this service and show you the “best of the best” companies for you to use to virtually stage the photos that you will use to market a house online.

What is Virtual Staging and Why Would I Use It?


Due to the almost overwhelming amount of TV shows that focus on real estate, I would be surprised if someone didn’t understand the concept of home staging.

But not everyone’s situation allows for hiring a professional home stager and/or renting and moving in temporary furniture and other decorative items to make a vacant house look its best.

Not only can professional home staging and furniture rentals cost upwards of a few thousands dollars (or more), it can be disruptive and inconvenient to the home seller.

This is where virtual staging is a perfect solution.

Virtual staging is a process that allows a photograph of an empty room to become completely transformed into a highly realistic, fully furnished photo of the room. This is done through advanced graphic editing technology by skilled design professionals.

A professional company that offers this service has a wide variety of digital furniture styles to choose from that will match the desired decor you wish to achieve. They will also make use of shadows and shading where appropriate to enhance the realism within the photos.

Any room in a house can be staged virtually and the exterior of a home can also be done, although most only opt for interior shots to be done.

Virtual staging is typically used by the following types of people and uses:

  • Real Estate Agents – a smart Realtor knows how to correctly market a house and also knows that virtually staging their vacant listings will lead to increased buyer activity and increased probability of a sale for their clients.
  • For Sale By Ownersselling a home by owner is a popular option because of saving money on commissions. Don’t let that savings be wasted by a lower sales price by not utilizing virtual staging. A smart homeowner should market a house just like a Realtor would do for them.
  • New Construction – builders often times work with professional staging companies to bring in furniture. However, there are still a lot who don’t and virtually staging a new home with complimentary furniture will help turnover the new home inventory for a higher price point.
  • Landlords – property owners who rent out to tenants almost never stage a rental property with furniture, due to the service being cost prohibitive. However, a savvy landlord will take professional photos before the first tenant moves in and have them virtually staged. These photos can be used to find the highest quality tenant and reused as tenants turnover.

Not everyone will think that staging a house virtually is necessary in order to sell, but I have to disagree.

Gone are the days of throwing a house up for sale with bad or no photos and expect multiple offers. Buyers today almost expect a house that looks like it was a final product that Fixer Upper star Joanna Gains decorated.

Properly marketing a property that is for sale, or even rent, is the smart way to sell a house.

And using a virtual stager will put you on this path to success.

The benefits of virtual staging include:

  • Visualize the space: When buyers see an empty room, it is hard for them to imagine what it would look like with furniture in it. By showing them how the space can be used with pictures that have been virtually staged, it will get them thinking about the possibilities they could do to make it their own when they live there. This is a jedi mind trick you can use to your advantage!
  • Cost Effective: Hiring a professional stager and renting furniture to stage your home can be expensive. Don’t get us wrong, it’s highly recommended but it’s not always in everyones budget. But virtually staging the photos of your home can be done for a much smaller amount of money out of your pocket. It’s a happy medium solution.
  • Sell Faster and For More Money: When you make your home look it’s best, you will attract a larger pool of buyers, which will turn into more offers. When you get multiple offers on your home, you can play the buyers against each other to flush out the best deal possible for YOU! Virtual staging is a tool for you to use to sell your house for more money in a shorter time on the market.
  • Instantly Updated Home: Sometimes the styling of a home is not exactly what most buyers have in mind. Perhaps it could be dated or unpopular tastes. Using virtual staging to bring in furniture and decor will make a home look more modern and attractive to a larger pool of buyers.

Hopefully you are now convinced to virtually stage a vacant home for sale. If not, go back and read this section again!

Next, we are now going to get into the best companies that you can use for virtually staging.

Best Virtual Staging Companies


There are a lot of companies that offer this service online. A simple google search will reveal dozens of them. But like all companies, not all are created equal.

So how do you figure out which one to use?

Simple, we did the homework for you and below you can see the before and after virtual staging results of us working with the top companies.

We also asked the owners of the companies to answer two simple questions, in there own words, so that you can get a feel for what the company is like to work with and choose which company is BEST FOR YOU!

How We Tested

We first had to do some homework in order to build a list of companies to reach out to for participating in our project.

We searched Google, Facebook and Linkedin and also asked for recommendations from others in the real estate industry.

We then narrowed it down to the companies that had a strong online presence, good reviews and website looked user friendly.

Once we had our list of people we thought would be a good fit we reached out to them through email explaining that we wanted to showcase their services on our website and asking them to participate.

In the end, we worked with the 5 companies below and the others unfortunately had to go into our not recommended list, which I explain the details for each company in that section.

The parameters of our virtual staging company test include:

  • Same Photographs: We wanted each company to apply their craft to the same photographs to make it equal. It would NOT be a good test to show previously staged properties that they could cherry pick the most stunning photos from. So we reached out to a professional real estate photographer in Connecticut that we had a relationship with and asked for some good photos of a typical home that represented a living room, dining room and master bedroom similar to what can be found in most houses.
  • Minimal Instructions & Information: When contacting each company, we asked them to participate and stage the 3 photographs but we did not give them any instructions. We just said that we were featuring their company in a new post we were putting together. We wanted to see how they would handle it and see how professional they were to work with. Unfortunately, this is how most companies ended up in the not recommended section! More on that later.

Thats it, we kept is simple but in the end proved highly effective.

Here is a summary table of the best of the best virtual staging companies, with a high-level view of their service.

PriceDelivery TimeRevisionsSatisfaction Guarantee
Blue-Sketch$79.95/photo2-3 days$19.95Yes with 100% Refund if Unhappy
rooOmy$109/photo2 daysContact for detailsAims to please
VRX Staging$35/photonext business day1 freeYes, 100% Money Back
Hastenfrom $39/photo1 day or lessfree100% money back
Pad Stylerfrom $59/photo2 days or lessfree100% money back

Keep in mind this is just a basic understanding of these companies.

Sometimes the cheapest price is what you are looking for, other times it’s the customer service and listening to your goals to ensure your are satisfied. It’s all about the VALUE that you are getting out of the service!

In order to really understand them, take a look below and see which companies photographs that have been virtually staged match your tastes and requirements for your project.

Also take some time to read both our comments about working with them and the companies answers to both questions that we asked them. You can find out a lot about the culture of a company this way and gives you good insight into deciding which company should get your business!

picture of blue-sketch logo


Our Review Of Blue-Sketch:

Blue-Sketch is a company located in New Orleans, LA. they are a design firm that focuses on creating high quality marketing materials with virtual staging being one of their main services.

What’s sets them apart is that are a 2 time winner of the “Best of Houzz” award for customer service, and we see why. Working with the founder and head designer at Blue-Sketch Petra Soderling was a wonderful experience. It was clear to me that when she decided to work with us on this project that she wanted to make us happy with how she virtually staged the property.

She initially sent a sketch of her design thoughts for feedback as well as furniture options to get a feel for what we liked.

It is clear that she listens to clients and communications with them well. As far as the outcome of the virtually staged photos, we think her approach was a simple elegance that transformed the home and would no doubt attract multiple buyers if the property was for sale.

Interestingly, she is originally from Finland and can do unique Scandinavian styles to colorful New Orleans styles or a more general trendy style matching the market the home is in.

Blue-Sketch are true professionals.

Below is a summary of Blue-Sketch’s services and virtual staging photos

  • Website:
  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Price: From $79.95 per photo
  • Delivery Time: 2-3 days
  • Revisions: $19.95
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Yes with 100% Refund if Unhappy
  • Additional Services: 2D Floor Plans, 3D Floor Plans, Smart Tags, CUPIX Floor Plans, Hyper Realistic CGI Rendering, Matterport

Blue-Sketch’s Living Room Before/After Photos

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Blue-Sketch’s Dining Room Before/After Photos

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Blue-Sketch’s Bedroom Before/After Photos

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picture of Petra Soderling of Blue-SketchPetra Soderling
Founder, Head Designer, Blue-Sketch

Describe why a home seller or real estate agent should have a vacant home virtually staged?

After providing sales materials for over 4500 homes one thing is clear for us, photos are the main selling article on your web listing. 89% of buyers online rank photos “Very Useful”, but not all photos are created equal. Even with the best photographer, vacant houses tend to display an array of rooms that all look alike, the same flooring material, same wall color, same windows. Without furniture it’s hard to tell the Dining Room from the Den, Master Bedroom from the Bonus Room. Also, if the house was lived in you will have furniture marks and blemishes on walls and floors that will bring an untidy feel to the house. Digitally added furniture will make the house look fresh and clean, and give purpose to rooms.

What makes your virtual staging service unique from the competition?

Blue-Sketch is uniquely focused on providing the highest quality in both our deliverables as well as customer service. Adding furniture digitally to a room requires artistic eye and interior design experience as well as technical skills for 3D object handling and photo editing. Over the years our team has learned to master all of these skills, topped with winning Best of Houzz both 2017 and 2018 in Customer Service. We stage houses that sell anywhere from $150,000 to over $5 million, the common denominator is our clients keep coming back to us.


picture of Rooomy logo


Our Review Of roOomy:

roOomy is a company located out of San Jose California and they also have offices in Amsterdam and Chengdu. This allows them to scale the delivery of their virtual staging services across the globe.

Because of their companies larger corporate size and structure they have some pretty good talent on board to virtually stage photos for any type of styling. On their websites order form, you can select from Traditional, Transitional, Modern, Mid-Century, Rusting & Scandinavian styles for your photos.

The quality of their work can be seen below, we liked how they decided to go with a Transitional styling and thought that it was a unique look that worked very well.

When we reached out to roOmy to see if they would participate, we were able to communicate with a couple different people on the team to make sure we were satisified.

Below is a summary of roOomys services and virtual staging photos

  • Website:
  • Location: San Jose, California
  • Price: $109 per photo (w/discounts for multiple photos)
  • Delivery Time: 2 Day
  • Revisions: Contact for Details
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Aims to Please
  • Additional Services: a free iOS app to see and engage with specific virtual stagings for each listing, among other awesome resources.

roOomy Living Room Before/After Photos

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roOomy Dining Room Before/After Photos

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roOomy Bedroom Before/After Photos

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picture of Hailey Walk of RooomyTaylor Wilding
Head of Business Development @ roOomy

Describe why a home seller or real estate agent should have a vacant home virtually staged?

A large majority of home seekers have expressed how difficult it is to visualize a property as their future home when it’s vacant. The visualization barrier is so significant, it can keep home buyers and renters from inking a deal. It’s in a real estate agent’s best interest to present the listing in its best light, which typically comes in the form of staging. But physical staging is costly and cumbersome, and can take weeks to prepare.

Virtual staging allows a real estate agent to not only stage a listing, but to stage the listing in multiple design styles and configurations to appeal to the specific needs of their clients. With nimble visualization tools, like roOomy, clients can also engage with the virtual staging designs so they can shop for a new home and new home furnishings at the same time to connect with listings like never before. Now, real estate agents can quickly close deals and win more listings for top dollar with virtual staging services.

What makes your virtual staging service unique from the competition?

Here at roOomy, we like to say that we sit at the intersection of retail and real estate. Our real estate virtual stagings are strategically staged with 3D models and renderings of real, shoppable home furnishings from retail brands that home seekers know and love. Offering shoppable roOomy Virtual Stagings is imperative since we know those in the market for a new home are also looking for an easy move-in process and a tool to help them decorate their new space.

roOomy’s free iPad app allows clients to engage and customize each real estate virtual staging to help them further connect and fall in love with the listings they’re most interested in. The roOomy platform truly innovates an agent’s portfolio. Not to mention, roOomy’s unmatched scalability means that we can virtually stage listings in a couple days to ensure real estate professionals can focus on what matters most – marketing their listings and closing deals.


picture of vrx staging logo


Our Review Of VRX Staging:

VRX Staging is a company located out of Hartland Wisconsin, and is part of another company called VRX Media Group that offers professional photography services in a lot of states. Their virtual staging services is not state specific though and anyone can order from anywhere.

They claim on their website to offer “Next Day Delivery” and we have to agree. They were the fastest company we worked with for getting the photos back to us.

The quality of their work can be seen below, we liked the unique choice of coffee table they decided to use in the living room shot, as well as adding in a cool detail of having a burning fire in the fireplace.

When we reached out to VRX to see if they would be willing to participate, they were very responsive and easy to work with.

Below is a summary of VRX Stagings services and virtual staging photos

  • Website:
  • Location: Hartland, Wisconsin
  • Price: $35 per photo
  • Delivery Time: Next Business Day
  • Revisions: 1 Free
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Yes, 100% Money Back
  • Additional Services: Furniture Removal, Virtual Twilight, Blue Sky & Green Grass, Paint Color Change

VRX Staging Living Room Before/After Photos

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VRX Staging Dining Room Before/After Photos

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VRX Staging Bedroom Before/After Photos

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picture of Hailey Walk of VRX StagingHailey Walk
Director of Virtual Staging @ VRX Staging

Describe why a home seller or real estate agent should have a vacant home virtually staged?

Virtual staging should be a real estate agent’s or home seller’s first priority with a vacant listing. Most buyers have a hard time imagining furniture in a vacant space. National Association of Realtors supports this with a survey stating that 77% of buyers can’t imagine a vacant space with furniture. Virtual staging provides buyers with a strong reference point so when they walk through the vacant space they can see the endless potential.

Virtual staging also creates better marketing opportunities; vacant photographs online do not catch the buyer’s attention, leaving them unmotivated to schedule a showing. Rooms that have been virtually staged and are well decorated will attract buyers to see the listing and increase the chances of the listing selling.

Virtual furniture is designer furniture and follows the latest colors and trends which makes the space more attractive and more appealing to the eye. Contemporary furniture makes a listing feel updated and fresh.

What makes your virtual staging service unique from the competition?

The VRX Staging team is the perfect mix of former realtors, former real estate marketing directors, architecture design graduates, and professional photographers. We are familiar with the real estate world and apply our knowledge to every photograph. We pride ourselves on our customer service, we don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and talk directly with our clients to make sure we deliver exactly what they’re looking for.

Our services are one of the most affordable on the market with the fastest turnaround at $35 per photo with next business day delivery (Monday – Friday). Our cost also includes a free revision for each photograph, but 90% of the time we don’t need to do revisions because we get it right the first time. We are also a small U.S. company based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin so when you send us an email, do our online chat or give us a call you know you’ll be talking with Hailey, Alyssa or Seth!


picture of logo


Our Review Of Hasten:

Hasten is a company located in New York City, they are focused on virtual staging on their website and means they have the focus on that service. They do also offer other services but it appears the main service is clearly virtual staging. They look like they have solid experience with high-end NYC apartments and have the designs and decor that would match that look. They are not NYC specific though, they can work with customers anywhere.

They claim on their website to offer “a net turnaround of 12 hours” if speed is a main priority for you but that they would rather not rush to ensure a quality product.

They decided to go with a nice contemporary style when virtually staging the photos. We really liked the bold use of blue/green color in the bedroom photo and thought it made it stand out.

While working with Hasten’s CEO Aleksandr Lanin, he was very professional and he was extremely excited to participate in our project. He immediately saw the value in being able to showcase the service he offers and aims to please his customers.

Below is a summary of Hasten’s services and virtual staging photos

  • Website:
  • Location: New York City
  • Price: From $59 per photo
  • Delivery Time: 1 day or less
  • Revisions: Yes
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: 100% Money Back
  • Additional Services: 3D Virtual Tours, Architectural 3D Visualization, Photography

Hasten’s Living Room Before/After Photos

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Hasten’s Dining Room Before/After Photos

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Hasten’s Bedroom Before/After Photos

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picture of Aleksandr Lanin CEO of HastenAleksandr Lanin
CEO of Hasten

Describe why a home seller or real estate agent should have a vacant home virtually staged?

Virtual staging has a number of benefits but the biggest is of course price. While staging an apartment in New York City the old fashioned way costs an average of $2500 per month, virtual staging typically costs between $39 to $199 per room. What’s more is that this fee is a one time cost as you don’t have to pay for renting furniture. As the average home for sale in 2018 stays on market between 34 to 53 days, this means that virtual staging could save sellers several thousands of dollars. And that’s not even considering that many stagers require a minimum contract!

What makes your virtual staging service unique from the competition?

Our team implements your ideas, creating unique ultra-realistic designs – competitors don’t have even the slightest idea, how we make it.

Speed and flexibility
We always conform to clients’ deadline. The turnaround ranges from 12 to 24 hours maximum.

Fastest CPUs
Modern technologies allow to create digital images in a very short period of time – and we use them by all means!

Agile project management
Our managers will contact you in 5 minutes in any convenient way: email or phone.

Huge 3D furniture library
We provide more than 10 000 models of furniture and decor – nobody has so many, as we create them ourselves!

State-of-the-art technologies
Automatic selection and recommendations on Tantify (our virtual staging portal – we’re updating its design right now, I’ll send you the link as soon as it’s done) by virtue of Catboost – implementation of machine working and Al for creating authentic designs and more accurate detecting of clients’ taste and needs.

picture of padstyler logo


Our Review Of PadStyler:

PadStyler is a company located in Austin Texas. On their website, it appears that virtual staging is their primary service but the also offer a suite of other “Virtual” services. You can order, virtual furniture replacement, virtual kitchen vision, virtual landscaping, virtual renovation and 3D floor plans directly on their website.

They were also really quick and efficient to work with on this project. We heard back from their CEO and Co-founder CJ Singh right away that they were willing to participate and we received the virtually staged photos from their fulfillment department in about 2 days after that.

They did a great job on the virtual staging of the photos we sent them, especially considering they were able to deliver them quickly and without any instruction.

Below is a summary of PadStylers’s services and virtual staging photos

  • Website:
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Price: From $59 per photo
  • Delivery Time: 2 days or less
  • Revisions: free
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: 100% money back
  • Additional Services: virtual furniture replacement, virtual kitchen vision, virtual landscaping, virtual renovation, 3D floor plans

Pad Styler’s Living Room Before/After Photos

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Pad Styler’s Dining Room Before/After Photos

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Pad Styler’s Bedroom Before/After Photos

[twenty20 img1=”15231″ img2=”15234″ width=”750px” offset=”0.5″]

picture of CJ Singh PadStylerCJ Singh
CEO & Co-founder PadStyler

Describe why a home seller or real estate agent should have a vacant home virtually staged?

According to NAR (National Association of Realtors), 90% of buyers cannot visualize a vacant property effectively. Virtual home staging is a cost effective way to show the potential of the property to future buyers without renting expensive furniture or hiring movers.

What makes your virtual staging service unique from the competition?

PadStyler offers the most realistic looking virtual staging in the world using True 3D virtual staging technology. All rooms are staged by professional interior designers and we have over 5000 virtual staging designs to choose from.


Not Recommended Virtual Staging Service Companies


Ok – so the above section covered the amazing companies we worked with and they delivered 3 very professional and individual representations of their companies services for you to review. If you choose to work with any of the ones on our “Best” list, I don’t think you can go wrong.

But not all companies are created equal.

And you are reading this to try to figure out which virtual staging companies to work with and ultimately get your vacant home sold.

We did reach out to other virtual staging companies but for a few different reasons we are not able to recommend them at this time.

This doesn’t mean all these companies are bad and being in our “Not Recommended” section may sound a bit harsh. However, because of not participating, unfortunately we can’t give them our thumbs up because we did not test their services.

Please read the explanation why, to understand and help make up your mind if you want to use them. However, with the great companies we recommend above, why risk it.

Virtual Staging Solutions:
We really wanted to work with this company and showcase their work because we heard good things about them but they were not interested. To be fair the owner was responsive and provided answers to our questions but was unwilling to virtually stage the photos and wanted us to pull from their existing inventory. Seemed like a short sighted position take, especially since the cost to virtually stage 3 photos is fairly nominal considering the benefits but it is what it is.

Virtual Staging Lab:
This company was invited and they did respond but did not want to participate in virtually staging the photos. They were not impolite or anything, they just wanted us to pull from their existing photos on their website. But that was not what we were looking to do. Unfortunately, we can not recommend them at this time.

This was another company we were hoping to try out because they have a large presence online but unfortunately they did not respond to our request to participate. We feel that if a company reaches out to you to help showcase your business the very least thing you can do is to respond and politely decline if you are not interested. Also, they are located outside of the United States and their designers might not have the same style and tastes that would work for this market.

This company was invited to participate but failed to even respond to us. We can not recommend them at this time.

Real Tour Vision:
This company was invited to participate but failed to even respond to us. We can not recommend them at this time.

Virtually Staging Properties:
This company was invited to participate but failed to even respond to us. We can not recommend them at this time.

Spotless Agency:
This company was invited to participate but failed to even respond to us. We can not recommend them at this time.

Spotless Agency:
This company was invited to participate but failed to even respond to us. We can not recommend them at this time.

Barion Design:
This company and the owner of the company did respond to our invitation to participate, so at least she did take the time to do that. However, in the couple email exchanges with her, she was very curt (putting it nicely) and gave off the impression that I was bothering her for even asking. Not recommended.

Do-it Yourself Virtual Staging Options


Not everyone wants to hire a professional to do everything for them. There are a lot of people who are of the DIY mindset and taking on the challenge of virtually staging your own photographs might be something you want to take on.

Perhaps you have a background in CAD, graphic design, photoshop or anything else that has allowed you to be able to quickly understand how to navigate through the required technology. How can you get started?

First, you would have to have the software and the purpose of this post is not to get into all the different softwares that are available for purchase to do virtual staging. But we did find one service called Visual Stager that allows you to sign up on their website and upload photos and use their inventory of over 2500 pieces of furniture to stage your photographs yourself.

Keep in mind, I have no idea how it works and more importantly how well it works but it is an option available for you.

Although, if you do end up going the DIY route, instead of spending a few dollars on a professional virtual stager, do yourself a favor and don’t create something that looks like this monstrosity!

picture of a bad virtual staging done diy

Final Thoughts


Now hopefully this post helped you reach a decision to have your home virtually staged. If you do, I’m sure you will sell it very quickly and for more money than if you left your homes marketing photos vacant. Which means you now have to pack up all your belongings into affordable moving boxes and move out. Oh wait, your home was vacant and those items don’t need to be packed up, they are VIRTUAL!

Yea, I know that was a terrible joke.

But seriously, thanks for taking the time to read this article, please drop a comment below and let us know what you think and tell us about your experience with virtual staging… or if you have any further questions.

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