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Start A Home Staging Business

Updated on October 2, 2011

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.

Home Staging Business: A staged entrance.
Home Staging Business: A staged entrance.

Staging Your Home To Sell For Top Dollar

A perfectly staged bath.
A perfectly staged bath.

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?

Career Benefits:

  • 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 Programs

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

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.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i live in canada - mississauga. Is there enough money to be made in my area in 2012

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      I have to agree with you that many of the schools are just out to make a quick buck and really don't give you what you need. As for getting started right now, I think it largely depends on where you are located and how the housing market has been effected by the recession.Where I am in the northeast US, we have not been hit nearly as bad and houses are selling and gaining value again.

      Any small business takes time to grow and profit from. Homestaging is not a get rich quick and easy - type of business.

    • profile image

      Jesse Clakrer 

      10 years ago

      There's not enough money to be made in staging to support yourself, don't be fooled. Only if you run a successful school, that has a stellar rep, very few of those. Anybody can teach a course, and give out a certification, do the research. It takes almost all of your time, you can't do it part time and make anything, it has to be full time, and it's just not profitable until at least year 3. Just being realistic folks, don't let all of these training schools take your money. Now is not the time to get into home staging, people are not spending money...period.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Jessica! I absolutely love homestaging! If I wasn't writing, I would stage for a living. It just looks like such a fun career.

      Thank you for linking to me -I'm sure your post is terrific. :)

    • Jessica Horn profile image

      Jessica Horn 

      11 years ago

      OMG!!! What a fantastic resource! I just wrote a little ol' blog post on home staging suggestions & had to link to this as another resource (although I don't know if I should have because it makes mine look really lame!) Great post ;-)


    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks sheryl! Glad you found it interesting!

    • sheryld30 profile image


      11 years ago from California

      Love this!~ Very helpful! :)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Anthony. Home staging - or choosing not to make that effort - will definitely effect the final sale price of your home. Unless your home has a designer / unlived in look to start with, homestaging is a wise choice!

    • profile image

      Anthony James Barnett - author 

      11 years ago

      An interesting hub, useful stuff. Some people I know didn't do a thing when selling - and it showed in the sale price. I've always thought presentation to be important.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      12 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Tommen - I agree. In these uncertain times a home business is a great option for extra income!

      Hi Lynn, thanks for commenting. I think homeowners are becoming more receptive to the idea of homestaging and hopefully there is a great future in this profession. Establishing contacts with real estate agents is defiinitely a good idea!

    • Lynn Byrne profile image

      Lynn Byrne 

      12 years ago from Daytona Beach Florida

      Home staging is a great concept and some sellers are receptive to the idea, but most of your business will probably come through real estate agents. If you go into this business, I suggest contacting many agents to let them know of your service.

    • tommen profile image


      12 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Excellent information! I´m also a home business owner, but stricktly online though.In these times it´s good to look into other things to earn money from.The day job is not so secure and you can lose it just like that.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      12 years ago from Connecticut

      That is a bit strange! Overkill, definitely. :) I have to agree that some stagers may go overboard. The last thing the potential buyer should notice is that the home has been staged! This is my opinion, and there are some who think that a set table, a tea tray on the bed, and roses and candles in the bathroom sell a house. I don't agree. You want the home to look inviting and comfortable, clean, uncluttered and well maintained.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • dobsc400 profile image


      12 years ago from Wellington

      I went to an open home that was set up in such a manor about a yer ago, it was hilarious, there was a table set for two in the dinning room with dinner and drinks served but no one there to consume them. It was quite bizzare to walk in and see a congealing meal infront of you.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      12 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for reading - I hope you found what you were looking for! It is a really interesting business and offers a great deal of flexibility and opportunity for creative expression. Best of luck!

    • profile image

      home staging business guide 

      12 years ago

      I tried hard to be in the real estate investing business but to no avail. I was about to give up and return to a 9 to 5 job when a friend of mine suggested home staging business. So, I've searched the Internet and came across this hub of yours, amy jane. I've already read the first part of it and I'm convinced that home staging is my kind of business! Now, I just need to know where to find the best school for home staging, right? Or maybe I could find a home staging business guide right from here. Anyway, thanks for this hub! I'll continue reading it right now!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      12 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks, imiconcepts. I think this field will continue to grow. Thanks for reading!

    • imiconcepts profile image


      12 years ago

      Hi... this sounds like a great home business to get into. Great post!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      12 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for reading and commenting, prasadjain!

    • prasadjain profile image


      12 years ago from Tumkur

      article is very eloborate and highly informative.Gives preliminery details to one who wants to pkci it up as a carreer.Congrats!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      13 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Lissie, I think this is a really great career option. If you already have local connections I would think that would make getting started much easier. Home staging is booming in many parts of the US and Canada, simply because it is proven to work :)

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      Excellent hub - its a new concept in NZ but its catching on fast - I am seriously giving it a go when we move home - I don't want to start a buisness in a town I am not staying in long term - and at home I already know real-estate agents -and I think they would be a key group to partner with


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