Do you have a passion for decorating and sprucing up homes so that they look their very best? If so, you might want to consider making your living as a home stager. Starting your own business this way can be fairly lucrative and give you the creative outlet you have been searching for.
These decorating professionals help home sellers to maximize their space, making it more appealing to buyers. Home staging combines a love for redecorating with a zeal for real estate, making it an enjoyable career for many.
For those who want to learn how to become a home stager, this quick guide will answer all of your most pressing questions!
How to Become a Home Stager
The first thing you need to do to become a home stager is to determine whether you have a real passion for the industry. Do you love the idea of making someone else’s home beautiful so that they can sell it for top dollar?
It doesn’t matter what professional experience you have. Even if you have never done any sort of interior decorating, you can still hang out your shingle as a home stager. The key here is whether you have a desire to do this type of work.
You can learn design tips that make staging feel effortless and second nature to you. However, a home stager without passion will be miserable in their career for years to come.
Once you have determined that this is the right direction for you, there are a few things that you should know.
Accreditation as a Home Stager
Many people who are thinking of running their own home staging business want the prestige that can come with accreditation. Unfortunately, this is not as straightforward as you may have been led to believe. There is no singular entity that issues accreditation for home stagers.
While you can easily find excellent courses to help you along, accreditation isn’t necessary. There are no hard and fast rules about who can become a home stager. Anyone can print up a few business cards and consider themselves open for business.
If you think that you could use some professional instruction, there are plenty of great home staging courses you can take. Consider programs from these schools which offer home staging courses:
- Staging Diva
- QC Design School Online Home Staging Course
- Staging Studio
- CSP International
- Home Staging Institute
While it may not be completely necessary to enroll in one of these programs, it can be extremely helpful. They can help you to avoid common pitfalls and errors that many people encounter when they become a stager for homes.
Look for a course that is taught by a successful home stager with experience in the field. This will help you to get the best content that can help you to push your business forward.
Build a Portfolio
If you want clients to hire you, then you need to show them what you can really do. What proof do you have that you can deliver? Once you become a certified home stager, you are going to need to start building up your portfolio.
Take pictures of spaces that you have done decorating work in. Have them printed by a professional and compile them into a binder to take to your appointments.
You may not have had many opportunities to stage other homes just yet. Fear not. You can just as easily stage your own home and take pictures with excellent lighting to add to your portfolio.
Advertise Your Business
Are you planning to start a home staging business of your own? You might need to take a few extra steps to get that business off the ground successfully.
First and foremost, you will need to file for a business license in your local area. Check with local ordinances and codes to see what you need to do to obtain a business license.
Once you have that taken care of, it is time to advertise your new home staging business. Advertise on social media, leave business cards with local real estate professionals, and offer to do some decorating work for friends and family to build up your portfolio.
Those who are serious about becoming a home stager have a lot of work ahead of them to build a successful business.
How Much Can You Make as a Home Stager?
For those who want to become a home stager, it is imperative to know just how much you can stand to profit. Luckily, home staging is not a job where you should be paid just barely above minimum wage. You can earn a fair living wage from your work.
An experienced home stager knows that their services provide real value to their clients. This allows them to charge a higher rate without feeling guilty.
Begin with the initial consultation. You should charge anywhere from $300 to $800 for a one- to two-hour consultation.
You can charge even more once a client officially books your services. A simple home staging should cost around $1,000.
More complicated setups or larger homes can boost that price. Depending on the scope of work involved, you could walk away with $2,000, $5,000, or even $10,000 in your pocket.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Home Stager?
You technically do not need any qualifications if you want to become a stager for homes. The industry is unregulated which means that anyone can claim to be a home stager.
Of course, there are courses you can take to help you make smarter business decisions. These classes can help you to build a portfolio, figure out what to charge, and develop a keen eye for redecorating.
If you are serious about starting a home staging business, you may want to become a certified home stager. You might be able to use this title to justify charging a premium for your services.
Not to mention, a certification can also allow you to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Clients who are consulting multiple home stagers may choose to go with someone who has an official certification over someone who has no experience.
How Much Does a Home Stager Make Per Year?
Are you a little bit curious to see how much money you could bring in each year doing work that you love? The annual salary of a home stager can vary based on location and the cost of living in each area.
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to make on average in each state:
How Much Does a Home Stager Make Per Hour?
A home stager can make a good living for something they are passionate about. Your hourly wage for this type of work can vary depending on your experience level and your area.
Large cities with lots of real estate business will see the highest hourly wages for a home stager. You may see rates that range from $50 to $150 per hour.
On the other hand, rural areas may not be able to charge these premium prices. When the cost of living is lower, so is the rate that you can charge for your services. In these areas, it is not uncommon to see hourly wages of just $30 to $40.
If you want to become a home stager, it would benefit you to find out what the going hourly wage is for your area first.
Is Home Staging a Profitable Business?
Home staging can definitely be a profitable business if you have a little bit of business savvy. Not only will you get paid for consultations, but you will also get paid for doing the actual redecorating work.
While you may not make as much money as some fields, you can become a home stager and still make a decent wage.
The average annual salary for a home stager is around $50,000. Major cities like New York may see salaries that soar high above this average while rural areas may lag behind.
Either way, home staging can be a profitable business when done right. Keep in mind that it may take a couple of years before you see a profit if starting your own business. You will have the initial cost of inventory that you must account for before you can start paying yourself and making a profit.
Are Home Stagers in Demand?
Now is a great time to become a home stager. With so many people interested in selling their homes, home staging is in high demand.
A home is likely the largest asset that someone will ever purchase. They will want to make sure that they get every penny from this sale that they can. This is where a qualified home stager can come into play.
Home stagers make the spaces look appealing through the use of furniture and décor. This makes the home more attractive to buyers who are likely to offer more money for the home. Excellent home staging can mean earning a few thousand dollars more from the sale of a home.
While the real estate market is still hot, home staging is bound to be in high demand for a while.
Do Home Stagers Own the Furniture?
Home stagers do sometimes own their own furniture. More often, they find a place locally where they can rent the furniture.
These furniture rental stores must have a good reputation if you intend to use them often. You want a store that is going to deliver the goods on time so that you and your client don’t have to wait. You can lease the furniture for a set period of time and then arrange to have it picked up when you’re finished.
Many home stagers do own their own soft goods. These can include things like:
- Artwork for the walls
- Vases and flowers
- Throw pillows
- Small furniture items
While you can sometimes rent these smaller items as well, many home stagers invest in quality soft goods upfront. This is one major expense that you should account for if you want to start your own business.
Who Pays for Staging a House?
Oftentimes, a real estate agent will cover the cost of a consultation with a home stager. It may be a fee that is already bundled into their commission. However, you may want to ask if you are hiring a real estate agent with a low commission or a flat fee.
If the cost is not included in what your real estate agent provides, then the seller of the home will have to cover the cost on their own.
This can still be a good thing to do though. Hiring home stagers can boost the value of the property by making it more appealing to buyers. It gives an excellent first impression that can yield significantly higher sales prices.
Is Home Staging a Good Career?
For those who want to become a stager of homes, this is definitely a good career. It allows you to live out something that you’re passionate about while helping home sellers to get top dollar for their properties. You can earn a decent salary if you are savvy with your business savings and have some entrepreneurial skills.
Do Real Estate Agents Hire Home Stagers?
Yes, real estate agents do sometimes hire home stagers. They often cover the cost of the consultation with their fees. If the homeowner decides to move forward or to have extensive decorating done, then they may be on the hook for the cost of further services.
Staging an entire home and renting furniture can easily cost $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the size of the home. This is more than most real estate agents are equipped to spend.
Becoming a Home Stager and Earning Top Dollar
Home staging can be quite a lucrative career choice if you have a passion for decorating and an eye for design. With no qualifications necessary to begin, you can easily get a jumpstart on your business plan. All you need to do is register your business, print up some business cards, and get started.
Keep in mind that taking a course can help you in the long run. It can provide you with the framework and experience to land your first client.
No matter how you decide to go about it, home staging is an excellent career that allows you to earn top dollar for your skills!