Start A Home Staging Business
You love interior design, real estate and like to spend your Saturday afternoons glued to HGTV shows such as Designed to Sell. You know you could do what they do, but how does one get started in the home staging business and is there really a paying clientele for these services?
Home staging is the process of preparing a property for sale by neutralizing the home’s décor, emphasizing its most appealing features and making it buyer friendly. Removing any personalization from the home enables the buyer to visualize living there. For information on how to stage a home and a more detailed description of the steps involved, please see this article Preparing Your Home For Sale: A Guide to Staging
A home stager is valuable in any market. In a buyers market, sellers will need their services to sell their house faster and make it stand out from the other available properties. In a seller friendly market, a staged home will bring in more profit for the seller, as the buyers are choosing from a smaller selection of properties.
The reality is that people will always need to sell homes regardless of market conditions.
There are basically two types of home stagers, the home staging consultant, who drafts a plan for the homeowner to follow through with, and returns later to do finishing touches before the open house. The full service home stager handles everything from drafting the plan, to hiring contractors (if needed) and is involved every step of the way in preparing the home for sale.
Staging Your Home To Sell For Top Dollar
Home Staging Business Training Course
Is A Home Staging Business Right For You?
Take a look at the daily tasks you may be handling. There is more to running a professional home staging business than having an eye for what looks good.
Here are just a few of the tasks you will have to handle on a daily basis running a home staging business:
- Marketing and advertising your business.
- Creating and maintaining a website or finding someone to do it for you.
- Daily appointments and phone calls.
- Drafting, presenting and selling proposals to clients.
- Staging homes and possibly managing work crews or assistants (such as painters, home cleaners, and handy men).
- Collecting deposits and fees for services.
- Maintaining business records and paying taxes.
Evaluation of Local Markets
This is an essential step in determining if a home staging business is worth the investment of your time and resources. Do you live in an area, or within commuting distance of a market that would utilize your services? Are there any other home stagers in the area who are successful?
- The bulk of your work will be done in your clients home, the rest you can do from your home based office.
- Offers endless opportunities to express and indulge your creative abilities.
- Helping people who really don’t know how to get their home prepared, or need to sell fast for various reasons.
- It is a quick start business, with a minimal investment. You could start with as little as $500 –$1,500.
Training options vary tremendously in cost, training time and certifications. Currently, there is not a national certification or lisencing process for homestaging professionals, there for, any certification may be helpful, but is not essential. Still, many programs offer certification, which simply verifies completion of a training program.
Costs for training can vary from as little as $299 to around $5,000. The following are the top two choices for training, costing between $1,000 and $1,300.
Staging Diva Staging Training: Debra Gould is the founder of this program, offering live tele-classes to prepare students for immediate entry into the business. She doesn’t offer a certification, but a certificate of completion. This program stands out for its simplicity and is based on Gould's experience as a professional highly profitable home stager. She does not believe in complicated paper work, and lays out a plan for each student to follow. Her program consists of five tele-classes that can be purchased as a whole, or one class at a time. She also offers class recordings. She has several other resource available to her students, including several e-books and a listing in her directory referral website, for an additional cost. She also offers one-on- one coaching services for $300 per hour.
Home Staging Resource provides a 21-day intensive home study course that can be purchased with or without the marketing program. They teach all aspects of home staging, from the basics of design to how to run your own business. The marketing program makes this a business in a box, giving you everything you need to get started right and continue long term. The marketing package includes a detailed website specifically designed for home stagers with 20+ templates to choose from and a free 1 year listing in their professionals directory, as well as matching marketing materials. Check their website for full descriptions. Founded by Audra Slinky, Home Staging Resource is one of the most comprehensive programs you will find. They offer certification upon completion of the program, and business support through their website.
The cost for both of these complete programs is around the same, and they both offer comprehensive training, at a distance. There are other options to explore for hands-on training. These are not known for being vastly better, though they are certainly more expensive. Research each program for yourself to determine what would be the best fit for you, and for what you need to learn.
Staging and Redesign Training
- HGTV - Decorating, Home Improvement, Remodeling, Gardening & Landscaping Ideas : Home & Garden Telev
Transform your home with inspiration and instruction for home design, decorating, home improvement, landscaping and more from HGTV projects and videos.
- Interior Design
InteriorDesign.net is the companion Website to Interior Design Magazine, Buyers Guide, Product Market Issues and Show Dailies, for an audience of professional interior designers, and architects.
- House Beautiful
House Beautiful online is your interior design and decoration destination. Browse galleries of gorgeous interiors, and let our experts show you how to makeover every room in your house.
- Elle Decor
High end home fashion magazine with international flavor.
Home Staging Business : Independent Learning
In addition to professional training, you may want to consider training your self a bit on interior design concepts and staging techniques. There are plenty of free resources, as well as books available to help you understand exactly what should be done when staging a home.
Tour local homes, go to open houses, and view model homes. This will help you to gain a perspective on what styles are most popular in your area. Take note of what looks good (particularly in model homes) and what makes you cringe when you enter a home.
Visit design, remodeling and upscale furniture stores. Observe their professionally designed displays and placement of furniture and accessories, as well as the most current color schemes.
Consider finding design related work before starting your own business. Possibilities for employment include:
- An assistant or intern with a design or architectural firm.
- Real Estate office assistant - may real estate agents are now offering staging services as well, which would give you the opportunity to participate or observe the work up close.
- Sales Representative for a flooring, window covering or fabric manufacturer. This would give you valuable experience in both sales and home decor.
Find a Mentor
Take a look at one of the national directories for home stagers and see if you can find someone in your area to talk to. Let them know that you are considering a career in home staging and ask them for advice. It would be best to find some one that you would not be in direct competition with!
Increase Profits With Additional Services
As a professional home stager, you may want to offer additional services to your clients. Many home stagers also offer home organization services, redesign (also known as use what you have home decorating), personal shopping and full service home decorating. These services are a natural extension to home staging.
Interior redesign works with the furniture and accessories that a client already has in their home, and redesigns the look of the home by changing the arrangement of furniture, proper use of lighting, color and accessories. Redesign is a popular, affordable alternative to interior design.