How to Start a Home Staging Business: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever wondered how to start a home staging business? Home staging has become a highly sought-after service in the real estate market. Home stagers play an important role in the real estate sector by curating an environment that helps potential buyers envision themselves living in the space.

If you’re interested in an exciting small business opportunity as a home stager, you might be asking questions like, “What’s the process for how to start a staging business?” and “How much do home stagers make?”

For the answer to these and other probing questions, keep reading our step-by-step guide to starting a home staging business.

What is a Home Staging Business?

how to start a home staging business

A home staging business is a venture that focuses on preparing properties for sale in the real estate market. This includes making a home visually appealing to potential buyers through interior design, decluttering, and enhancing the property’s overall aesthetic appeal.

The primary goal of a home stager is to facilitate quick sales and ensure a high return on investment, making home staging a lucrative endeavor for many entrepreneurs. Home sellers or real estate professionals often hire these professionals. Some even offer additional home services like cleaning and organizing.

Since you can work on your own schedule and set your own services, home staging is among the top side hustle ideas for those interested in real estate. However, you can also run it as a full-time business.

The Role of Home Staging in Real Estate

Home staging is essential for real estate agents looking to sell properties quickly and at top dollar.

By creating an attractive and inviting environment, a successful home stager can help potential buyers see the value and potential in a property, thereby facilitating quicker sales.

Likewise, studies have shown that staged homes can command higher prices than their unstaged counterparts.

Advantages of Running a Home Staging Business

If you’re interested in exploring real estate business ideas or learning how to start a business in general, home staging may be for you. Operating home-staging small businesses offers several benefits, including:

  • Flexibility: This line of work allows you to set your own hours and choose your home staging projects.
  • Creativity: Home staging requires a keen eye for design and allows for creative expression.
  • Potential income: With real estate markets booming, home staging can provide a steady stream of income.
  • Networking opportunities: It gives you a chance to interact with various industry professionals.
  • Business growth: The demand for home staging is high, offering the potential for business expansion.
StepsWhat is it?How to Do It
Step 1: Research the Home Staging IndustryUnderstand the current landscape of the home staging industryIdentify key players, competitors, challenges, and opportunities
Step 2: Develop a Business PlanCreate a comprehensive business plan for your home staging businessDefine your business model and services; make financial projections and budgeting
Step 3: Legal and Regulatory RequirementsEnsure you meet all necessary legal and regulatory requirementsRegister your business and obtain required licenses; secure appropriate insurance
Step 4: Establish Relationships with Real Estate AgentsBuild professional relationships with real estate agentsAttend real estate events, develop strategic partnerships, create a referral program
Step 5: Building a Portfolio and Marketing Your BusinessCreate a portfolio to showcase your work and develop a marketing strategyInclude before-and-after photos and testimonials in your portfolio; build an online presence through a website and social media; use offline marketing strategies such as networking and print materials

Step 1: Research the Home Staging Industry

how to start a home staging business

Before you embark on how to start a home staging business, it’s essential to understand the industry landscape. This includes identifying market trends, size, and potential growth, which will help shape your business strategy.

Key Players and Competitors

Understanding your competitors is crucial. By studying the competition, you can gauge what strategies are working for successful home stagers, how much the services cost, and you even might gather home staging tips.

Notable players in the home staging industry include:

  • Meridith Baer Home: Known for luxury home staging, the company offers a broad portfolio.
  • Staged Homes: This business emphasizes the role of accredited staging professionals.
  • Showhomes: The company focuses on home updates and home manager staging.
  • Stage to Sell: Offers full-service staging, including consultations and furniture rental.
  • Spade and Archer Design Agency: The agency provides home staging services with a design-centric approach.

Industry Challenges and Opportunities

Starting a home staging business comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. For example:


  • Market saturation: Some areas have a high concentration of home stagers.
  • Economic downturns: Real estate market slowdowns can impact demand.
  • Logistics: Managing furniture storage and transportation can be complex.


  • Real estate growth: A thriving real estate market increases demand for home staging.
  • Virtual staging: Digital technologies offer new opportunities in home staging.
  • Property flipping: A surge in property flipping has led to more home staging needs.

Step 2: Develop a Business Plan for Your Own Home Staging Business

how to start a home staging business

Creating a business plan for your home staging business is a crucial step. This plan should cover everything from your business model to financial projections, serving as a roadmap for your venture’s success.

Defining Your Business Model and Services

Decide on the kind of home staging services you want to offer. This could range from consultations for DIY-minded clients to full-service staging, which includes furniture selection, design, and implementation.

Financial Projections and Budgeting

An important aspect of your business plan is determining financial projections. This includes:

  • Startup costs: Initial investment for furniture, wholesale home decor, transport, storage, etc.
  • Potential revenue: Based on market rates and your business model.
  • Projected expenses: Ongoing costs like insurance, marketing, and operational expenses.

Step 3: Legal and Regulatory Requirements for a Home Staging Company

how to start a home staging business

Like any venture, starting a home staging business requires meeting certain legal and regulatory requirements, including business registration, licensing, and insurance.

Business Registration and Licensing

Register your business and obtain necessary licenses. Requirements vary but may include:

  • Business registration: Register your business with state and local authorities.
  • Sales tax license: If you’ll be selling goods, a sales tax license may be necessary.
  • Home-based business permit: Some localities require this if operating from home.

Insurance and Liability Considerations

Insurance is essential for any business. Business insurance coverage for a home staging company may include:

  • General liability insurance: Covers injury or damage claims.
  • Property insurance: Protects business property like furniture.
  • Professional liability insurance: Covers claims related to professional advice or services.

Step 4: Establish Relationships with Real Estate Agents

how to start a home staging business

Building strong relationships with real estate agents is a must for any home staging business, as they can provide a steady stream of clients.

Networking and Marketing to Real Estate Agents

Effective networking and marketing can help build fruitful relationships with real estate agents. Strategies include:

  • Real estate events: Attend open houses, property showings, and industry events.
  • Partnerships: Develop strategic partnerships with local real estate agencies.
  • Referral program: Create a referral program to encourage agents to refer you to clients.

Collaboration and Referral Opportunities

Working closely with real estate agents can create opportunities for business expansion. Here are a few strategies:

  • Referral incentives: Offer agents incentives for referring your business to clients.
  • Co-marketing: Join forces with agents for marketing efforts, like open houses.
  • Educational presentations: Offer to do presentations for agents about the benefits of home staging.

Step 5: Building a Portfolio and Marketing Your Home Staging Business

how to start a home staging business

A strong portfolio and an effective marketing strategy are keys to attracting clients and growing your business.

Creating a Professional Portfolio

Creating a high-quality portfolio is essential. Here are some tips:

  • Before-and-after photos: Showcase the transformation achieved by your staging.
  • Variety of homes: Include various types and sizes of homes to show your versatility.
  • Testimonials: Include customer reviews and testimonials for added credibility.

Social Media and Online Presence

A strong online presence can help attract potential clients. Tips include:

  • Website: Create a professional website showcasing your portfolio and services.
  • Social media: Use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your work.
  • SEO: Optimize your website and content for search engines to improve visibility.

Offline Marketing Strategies

While online marketing is crucial, don’t forget about traditional, offline strategies, such as:

  • Networking: Attend industry events and local business gatherings.
  • Print materials: Use brochures, business cards, and flyers to advertise your services.
  • Local media: Consider advertising in local newspapers and magazines.

how to start a home staging business

FAQs: How to Start a Successful Home Staging Business

How Much Do Home Stagers Make?

Income for home stagers varies based on factors like location, experience, and the scope of services offered. Some home stagers charge an hourly rate, while others charge per project.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Start a Home Staging Business?

While no specific qualifications are required, skills in interior design and a keen understanding of the real estate market can be beneficial. Some home stagers opt for certifications from home staging organizations to enhance their credibility. Additionally, though home staging is among the top offline business ideas, it can help to be familiar with online design programs and digital marketing platforms.

How Do I Price My Home Staging Services?

Pricing depends on various factors, including the size and complexity of the project, local market rates, and your unique service offerings. Some stagers charge a flat fee, while others may charge an hourly rate.

What Are the Most Common Challenges Faced by Home Staging Business Owners?

Challenges include market saturation in certain areas, potential slowdowns in the real estate market, and logistical complexities related to furniture storage and transportation. There are also many marketing and branding mistakes to avoid, including selecting a confusing name or opting for brand graphics that don’t appeal to your target customers.

How Can I Stand Out in the Home Staging Industry?

Differentiating your services, showcasing a strong portfolio, and building solid relationships within the real estate industry can help you stand out. Additionally, leveraging technology and staying abreast of industry trends can give you a competitive edge.

How Much Do Home Staging Professionals Charge?

Charges can vary based on the services offered, the property size, and the project’s complexity. It’s crucial to research local market rates to price your services competitively.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.