How to start a home staging business

How to start a home staging business

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You can increase the foot traffic and number of offers on your home, sell the home faster, and improve your bottom line by staging your home for sale. Although staging can’t make your home worth more than the market dictates and you must eventually disclose any property defects to the buyer, you might find staging your house worth the cost. In general, the pricier the home and location, the more it costs to stage the property.

Professional Staging Vs. DIY Staging

As with most home improvement projects, you can hire a professional to stage your home or do it yourself. Your time, budget and design know-how typically dictate whether you can forgo a home staging professional and take care of it on your own. Sellers spend an average of $1,800 to stage their homes, but the price can rise to several thousands of dollars, according to Bankrate. Although you can stage a home with a budget of several hundred dollars to about $1,000, this usually entails doing much of the leg work on your own.

Hourly Fees

Home stagers may charge by the hour. Professionals typically charge between $75 and $125 per hour, according to Bankrate. However, according to Staging Diva, an independent staging professional, a two-hour consultation that costs $300 is the “lower end of the industry standard.” A professional who tours your home for two hours to provide a staging plan — for which the seller actually does the labor — charges $350 and provides photos and a report, according to Bankrate.

The Estimate

Professional stagers also can charge a flat rate for staging, which includes the rental or purchase of furniture and decor, and may require you to pay for a minimum number of months. When a home is vacant and requires furnishings, the cost is usually 1 percent to 2 percent of the list price. You might cut costs by providing furnishings and accessories that already fit into the staging plan, or by offering to do much of the re-organizing, cleaning and cosmetic repairs on your own.

How to start a home staging business

Lee Edwards / Getty Images

If you have an eye for interior decoration and would like to use your skill to build a business, home staging is a viable option. You can start with a small investment of time and money, making it a great part-time gig or something to do on the side until the business grows enough to support you.

What Do Home Stagers Do?

Houses that are cluttered or tired-looking not only take longer to sell but also often fail to get a great price. A home stager works to increase the appeal of a home and the chances of a sale at the maximum price. They achieve this through a variety of methods including removing and/or rearranging furniture to show off the best features of the rooms, adding decorative items such as artwork, knick-knacks, and flowers, as well as adding color and texture through fabrics such as curtains and pillows.

Home stagers can earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for a project depending on the square foot of the home, the number of rooms being staged, and the amount of work that goes into staging the home.

Pros of a Home Staging Business

If you have an eye for home decor, there are many pros to starting a home staging business, including:

  • Very low start-up costs—no inventory to carry and minimal supplies. With that said, many home stagers eventually build up an inventory of furniture and decorative items that can be used in their home staging business.
  • Services can be in demand whether the real estate market is strong or weak.
  • No licensing or specialized training required.
  • Ease of marketing through networking with real estate agents, mortgage brokers and others involved in real estate.

Cons of a Home Staging Business

Like any business venture, there are a few possible downsides to home stating such as:

  • Finding homeowners who see the value and potential financial gain in hiring a home stager.
  • Getting your first clients to help start building your portfolio.
  • You may need to work weekends and/or evenings, as many of your clients will only be able to meet with you during those times.

What You Need to Start a Home Staging Business

  • Learn about your local real estate market—What homes sell quickly versus those that don’t? What are buyers looking for in a home?
  • Network with real estate agents who can be a good source of clients, but also, a resource for current market conditions.
  • Prepare a portfolio of homes you’ve staged. You can start by doing your own home. Consider providing home staging for a friend or a real estate agent for free in exchange for portfolio items and referrals.
  • Although you don’t need any special training or certifications, interior design courses can give you credibility.
  • Good people and sales skills to convince prospects to hire you and to handle objections or concerns from clients.
  • Resources for home decor—It’s possible the home will be empty and you’ll need to rent furniture or that the homeowner’s items need to be supplemented with or exchanged for items that make the home more appealing to buyers. You also may need to know quality painters and other professionals (i.e. electrician or handyman) to help fix up the house.
  • Energy and willingness to do hard work, including cleaning, moving furniture, painting and more.

There are several internal design software programs that make it easy for you to create visual room layouts complete with furniture and fixtures and present a realistic view of any space.

How to Start a Home Staging Business

A home staging business needs many of the same things as other startup businesses including:

This article was co-authored by Cindy Hofen. Cindy Hofen is a Certified Relocation Specialist and the founder of Managing Moves & More, a San Francisco Bay Area-based professional move management company specializing in start-to-finish moving solutions, home clearouts, estate sales, and home staging. Since 2009, her team has helped over 2,500 clients to simplify their transitions. Cindy has over 10 years of professional moving and organizing experience, is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), holds an A+ Accreditation, and belongs to the Diamond Society. She has a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University and a BA in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 15 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 234,296 times.

Home staging is a way to prepare a house for sale. By using professional cleaning, repair, and decoration home staging aims to make the house appear larger, brighter, cleaner, and more inviting to potential buyers. Professional stagers use high level design skills to appeal to a buyer’s senses. Any number of techniques can come into play from rearranging furniture into a larger visual concept, to paint, showcasing fine fabrics, putting drapes on windows, and adding pieces like bookcases or shelves to bring attention to particular areas. You can run this business alone or as part of a larger real estate agency. Either way the goal is to show a house in use so buyers are more encouraged than they would be seeing a vacant house. [1] X Research source

How to start a home staging business

Home staging is an art that very few people appreciate. Whenever someone steps into a new home they’re looking to purchase and everything is set up immaculately and tastefully, someone put their heart and soul into that effort.

That someone could be you if you were to start your own home staging business. So, how do you start a home staging business? Here’s what you need to know if you want to hit the ground running and be successful from day one.

How to start a home staging business

Research Your Market

Before you begin home staging business, you should do a little research into the real estate market and figure out whether such a business would be a viable venture. This is because home staging businesses rely on their being a steady supply of new homes in need of interior design and furniture staging to be successful.

Fortunately, home staging businesses are usually profitable, even if the real estate market is somewhat slow or weak. Still, doing research can be beneficial since you’ll find what buyers are looking for in new homes and can tailor your home staging efforts to that effect.

How to start a home staging business

Network With Real Estate Agents

More importantly, you should start networking with real estate agents before you get your first client. Real estate agents will be one of your best sources of business. They can refer you to their people, who might hire you to stage a new home to better their chances of selling the home to a new buyer.

This means attending real estate networking events, conferences, and homeowners associations. Anywhere a real estate agent might be on the prowl for new properties to scoop up is where you should be, too. Exchange names, phone numbers, and email addresses at every opportunity.

How to start a home staging business

Build A Business Plan And Figure Out Your Finances

Like with any business, it’s a good idea to come up with a business plan for your home staging efforts. This involves coming up with a budget and figuring out how much money you need to get all your resources and materials together.

In many cases, homes that you’ll be hired to stage won’t have the furniture or items you’ll need to make them look fantastic. In these situations, you may need to rent or buy the furniture yourself. This may require you to save up money before starting your business or take out a business loan.

Furthermore, you might need to hire contractors like painters, electricians, or handymen to fix up a property. You can employ these people with your business as well, but it all depends on how involved you want your home staging business to be and what your real estate agents bring to the table.

How to start a home staging business

Consider Education

A home staging business’ success largely depends on the interior design and decorating skills of the business owner. If you have a passion for interior design and have some natural talent, this might be enough. But you should also consider going to school for interior design or some other aesthetic discipline. This will give you the formal skills you need to make your staged homes stand out in the real estate market.

Make A Portfolio For Your Home Staging Business

One of the most important things you’ll do to collect new clients and prove your skills is create a portfolio. If you don’t already have some homes you’ve staged in the past, you can redo your own home a few times and create a basic portfolio that way.

Regardless, some evidence of your home staging efficacy before you’ll be able to convince real estate agents or other clients that you’re a good person for the job. As you get clients and successfully stage homes, take pictures and add them to your portfolio has needed.

How to start a home staging business

Create Your Home Staging Business

Creating your business follows the same process as with virtually every other startup. You’ll need to:

  • Come up with a name for your business. This should be short but memorable and informative as to your business’ purpose
  • Figure out what business structure you’ll go with (i.e. an LLC, a sole proprietorship, etc.)
  • Get your business license from your local state government
  • Take out a business loan or credit card to handle finances
  • Get an EIN or employer identification number
  • Hire employees

Get Insurance

This part is especially relevant if you plan to hire employees, in which case you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance. But getting any kind of insurance for your business is always a smart idea to protect you from lawsuits or other legal hurdles.

Come Up With A Contract Template

We’d also recommend coming up with a template for your home staging contracts. This allows you to set up new agreements with fresh clients quickly and painlessly, swapping out price values or terms without having to redraw the contract every time.

How to start a home staging business

Market Your Home Staging Successes

Your business won’t be successful if you don’t market it like crazy!

How to start a home staging business

A Website Is Key

In this day and age, a personal website for your home staging business is necessary. This website should be aesthetically pleasing (as your whole business model depends on your aesthetic tastes). But they should also have an easy link to your portfolio. Invest in an image-heavy website so you can show new clients exactly what you bring to the table.

You can also use your website to onboard new clients or take job propositions quickly and remotely.

Have A Brochure

It may also be wise to have a physical brochure demonstrating your services, pricing points, and more pictures of homes you’ve already decorated. Again, this provides visual proof of your talents and a brochure can be passed out in the real world.

Business Cards

Business cards are another great way to market your business with relatively low effort. Create a few thousand of them and hand them out whenever it’s appropriate, especially at those aforementioned real estate agent networking meetings.

But you can also be even craftier and place a few of the business cards within the homes you’ve already staged. If people come into the home to check it out and like what they see, they might pluck your business card from the table and consider calling on you for their own real estate ventures!

Start Staging Homes!

You’ve now learned exactly what it takes to start your home staging business. If you’ve got an eye for design, a home staging business may be the right job for you. Additionally, if you ever want to get involved in other industries such as rental properties, the real estate industry, or even party planning your home staging business knowledge will be an added benefit as you’ll already know how to set up your properties or locations so they look stunning. At this point, all that’s left is to start marketing your business fully and taking contracts. Good luck and remember to keep your portfolio updated with every successful client!

Reports have shown a burgeoning interest in people on the home staging market. Home staging process that homes go through before they are listed on sale. Over 38% of sellers agree on staging the home before listing them on sale. It can be difficult for any realtors or sellers to carry all the hard work that goes into staging the house. That is why they resort to professionals to look over the home staging department. Professional home stagers are qualified in these fields, as they have an experience that will back up their work. As small businesses are booming, creating a home staging business from low marketing materials is the way to go. If you don’t want to spend too much money at the beginning, then switching to low marketing materials to refurbish the home is the best way to tackle home staging.

If you consider yourself a design-savvy person, then you will find this industry more attractive than others. Particularity, because it doesn’t take too much upfront investment to get it started. Many other business models depend on capital investments to start, but home staging offers much more affordable options for newcomers who don’t want to spend a lot at first. When it comes to growth, speculation and prediction have shown the industry to rise in the future without any halt. If you are looking for a proper guide to show you how to start a home staging business, then this article will provide you with all the essential elements of the market in a more streamlined fashion.


First comes the research, this is the section where people have to create a strategy based on the facts and data they receive on the local housing market. The wants of customers are different nowadays, with the use of technology, every single human being on the plant has access to better information without any limitation or barrier. The quality of the area will have an impact on the price point. A more affluent area will demand the investor to spend more than usual. The moderate-income level area will demand less investment, here the investors will have to make the home look more appealing without going over budget. You don’t want to spend too much money to the point where you will get the price out of the market.

Understanding the architecture types and the popular trends in the area will help the investor to learn how the game is being played. Investors here can use the data and facts to create their strategic plan to tackle the industry. But all of this starts from research, this is how a home designer learns the trade and the market of the trade. Understanding them both helps the business to move forward without any stoppage.

Name and Licensing

If you have everything ready to go, then it is time to think of a great name and ready all the essential paperwork of the business. Naming and Licensing gives the organization a proper official emblem to its name. This is a great way to appeal to people who never heard of home designing services ever in their life. Having a catchier name and license paperwork will make your service more genuine and professional.

Doing business locally will require you to get a license otherwise the business practice may get seen as a violation of the city’s law and regulations. While these laws are not consistent in every state or country, you have to do some research on this department. All things considered, it is better to get a license for the work, the organization will not only get proper license paperwork but it will be easier for the people to put their trust in the brand name.

Picking a market

Target a specific market in your area, this will allow the company to spend their energy and priority onto a specific demographic. Marketing efforts are important for the company, if it is not directed towards a proper location then the business might not ever receive the success they are hoping to get in this industry. The marketing efforts need to be precise, this can only happen if the company picks a specific target, then it would be much easier for them in this line of business.

Pricing Details

Here you need to determine the prices for the services. This is one of the difficult and crucial steps to make. Setting up a pricing structure requires taking in a bunch of other hidden aspects of the work. If the job is difficult, time taking requires more manpower, higher cost of tools and other factors will make the value of the work higher.

Connect with Realtors

The fastest way to connect with home sellers is through the real estate network. Network with them will help you pick contact info that can become very useful in the future. They are equally motivated to sell the house with a larger profit in return. Having them by your side will come with plenty of opportunities to expand your business.

Online Networking

Simply creating a website will help you spread the name of your business to as many people as possible. The Internet holds no limitation, the promotion here will quickly put the brand name on various platforms all around the internet. But this requires the company to have a proper website that lists out all the unique details about the company and the services they provide to the people. A clear and well throughout message will connect with more people than sticking with the complicated parts. The best way to develop digital marketing is by simplicity.

While it may look a bit intimidating at first, but once you see the nuts and bolts of this business, you will see the clear picture to build a strong small business out of this craft. There are plenty of training courses that will help the newcomers to get a grip on home staging operations, utilizations of high-quality marketing materials, and many cost-saving ways to achieve home staging.

Is Home Staging a profitable business?

A home staging business is easy to start, but if you don’t have clear direction, sustaining a viable and profitable business can be tough.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the success and failure of a business.

As a business owner, that is all on you.

How much does it cost to start a staging company?

File this one under “obvious”—but the pricier the staged home, the higher the potential home staging costs. As a general rule of thumb, the average cost for most stagers is $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per staged room.

Do you need to be certified to be a home stager?

Anyone can be a home stager. There is no industry licensing, like there is to be a Realtor. Getting a home stager certification has significant benefits, but a certification is not necessary. You can learn more about onsite training in person, or about online training on this Stager Sidekick website.

How does a home staging business work?

A home staging business makes money by charging clients for their services. Clients generally pay for an initial consultation when they meet with a home stager for a walk-through of the property. After the initial consultation, customers can pay for additional advice on a per hour basis.

Do you need a license to be a home stager?

Anyone can be a home stager. There is no industry licensing, like there is to be a Realtor. Getting a home stager certification has significant benefits, but a certification is not necessary. You can learn more about onsite training in person, or about online training on this Stager Sidekick website.

How much should I charge for staging?

How Much Do Home Stagers Charge? Most home stagers charge between $150 to $600 for an initial two-hour consultation. Then, there is an additional $500 to $600 per month for each room. Houses require staging materials if it is on the market and being shown to clients, which can last a few days to a few months.

How do home stagers get clients?

Ask existing home staging clients for referrals. Call prospective staging clients and ask them out for coffee or a quick chat on the phone. Go to open houses and meet real estate agents you want to work with. Co-host an open house at one of your staged homes.

Is Home Staging worth the cost?

The worth of home staging

Also, homes that have been professionally staged usually sell for 3% more than the anticipated price which makes the process well worth the expense, according to the Mortgage Daily News. “Overall, home staging helps the house sell quickly and for more money,” she says.

Is Home Staging a good career?

The thought of starting a new career in home staging can be exciting. For many people who are good at decorating spaces, getting paid for home staging seems like a natural transition. Additionally, many Realtors see the value in complementing their business by offering home staging as a service for their listings.

What qualifications do you need to be a home stager?

There are no specific education requirements to become a home stager, but many get their training through university and college continuing education courses in which they can learn about architectural styles, interior decorating and even the psychology of home buyers and sellers.

How do you become a certified stager?

CSP®, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association, gives you registered certification for successful completions of the following standards:

  • Successful completion of 2-day in-person classroom instruction,
  • 1 day hands-on field experience,
  • 75%+ or higher grade on proficiency exams (including practical assessment).

How much should I charge for staging a home?

File this one under “obvious”—but the pricier the staged home, the higher the potential home staging costs. As a general rule of thumb, the average cost for most stagers is $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per staged room.

Is it a good idea to start a home staging business?

If you have the passion and talent in decorating a home, want to use your creativity to make money while doing what you love, then starting a home staging business might be right for you.

Home staging business is a great way to earn a living and help homeowners sell their property for a good price. Nowadays, many companies offer these services because it’s in great demand, the start-up cost is less expensive, you don’t have to be certified or licensed and it’s the most effective way to practice your designing skills.

Tips for Starting a Home Staging Business

As you work towards starting your own home staging business, there are a few essential things to consider. To achieve success in staging business, follow these tips;

Create a Strategic Plan

While home staging business is quite simple to start, you still need to create a strategic plan for your business.

Identify target market

First, you need to identify your target market. Do you want to start locally? or do you also want to cater to those from other states?

Identify the startup costs

Do you have enough funds to cover the starting costs? Do you need to obtain financing for your home staging business?

Marketing Plan

And more importantly, do you need to establish a website and social media accounts for visibility? How will you advertise and get new leads?

These are just some of the things you need to address when creating your business plan.

Get Necessary Permits

Just like any other business, you need to comply with your state and local licensing requirements before you could start a business. Besides, not doing this may result in hefty fines or worse a business shutdown. Most home staging businesses do not require licensing but depending now where you are operating there may be some state and local requirements.

Establish a Brand

Branding is essential when starting a home staging business. The first step is to choose a unique and easy-to-remember brand name. Moreover, you need a working website that showcases your portfolio. Definitely, potential clients will check your website and interact with you through it. If you don’t have a portfolio yet, you may start with your own home or your friend’s home. Sometimes it might make sense to start out by offering services for free or at a discount to start building your portfolio. This will also help you better understand if you want to pursue a career as a home staging professional.

Networking on social media platforms can be another way to help your home staging business. To get started, create a social media plan, post relevant content on a daily basis, invest in sponsored ads and engage with other social media users especially your followers. Social media is a great tool for building your brand.

Build an Inventory

While you can start your business without having too much inventory, building some could help you to become more competitive in the market since you’ll be able to accept a lot of customers. However, by doing this, you’ll need a significant amount of money. Thankfully, there are a wide range of staging company financing options available. These solutions offer repayment terms up to 60 months allowing you to acquire a large amount of inventory for a low monthly payment.

Find Inspirational Trends

Interior design trends keep changing every year. With this, it is essential to keep your knowledge updated with the latest trends in the market, especially those that a lot of people preferred and can significantly increase the value of the home.

Keep in mind that trends can vary between different types of architecture. So there isn’t one trend that necessarily works for all types of houses.

The process of starting a home staging business can be long, complicated and frustrating. Patience, dedication, and persistence will help you tremendously.

How to start a home staging businessAre you looking to make your own way? Get ready — starting a business is a wild ride.

For many entrepreneurs, the journey starts when they give their dream a name. Then comes all the other stuff involved with starting a business — like doing market research, writing a business plan, choosing the right business structure, creating a startup budget, figuring out funding, building a new brand, and creating an online presence.

Starting a business — the basics

  • Becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Entrepreneur stories.
  • Unique business opportunities.
  • Startup planning.
  • Legal and tax stuff.
  • Startup costs and funding.
  • Naming a business.
  • Branding basics.
  • Creating a website.
  • Online tools.

Start with a reality check: Do you really have what it takes to be your own boss? Take our quiz to see if you’ve got the boss mentality.

Read up on the four stages of the entrepreneur journey for a holistic view of all that’s involved with starting a business, growing your venture, and managing it successfully.

For inspiration, check out stories of other entrepreneurs in a variety of industries.

Then, get insights into unique business opportunities — from home business ideas to consulting ops to real estate ideas and more.

When you’ve zeroed in on a great business idea, dive into competitive and audience research to see if your idea has the legs it needs to make it in your market. Good to go?

Name it. Write a business plan. Look into the legal and funding steps you’ll need to take when starting your unique business.

Now’s when the fun begins — building your first brand assets (think logo, social media handles and professional email) and creating a snazzy website. It’s important to look like the pro you are when you’re starting a business.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes grit and determination. You’ve got that. The resources on this page can help with everything else.