When builders are setting up a show home or realtors are trying to sell a home, they may hire home stagers. These professionals set up the space to demonstrate its use and style to potential buyers. They need to consider the ideal buyers for the property and use furnishings and design styles that would appeal to them.
Home stagers use their decorating and design skills to declutter and improve furniture placement, allowing prospective homebuyers to imagine the possibilities each room represents. 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. Some home stagers obtain training and certification through professional organizations.
|Required Education||No specific requirements, but some complete continuing education courses|
|Other Requirements||Optional certifications available|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$48,840 for interior designers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
There are no formal education requirements to work as a home stager, but workshops and courses are usually available through university and community colleges' continuing education divisions. These training programs may be offered over the duration of a semester or multiple days.
For home stagers planning a career as an independent business owner, business courses such as marketing, business planning, contracts and recordkeeping would be useful. Courses specific to home staging may include decorating techniques, psychology of buyers and sellers, architectural styles, exterior decorating, color schemes and odd spaces.
Classes in photography can also help the home stager develop a portfolio of before and after pictures to highlight his or her skills. Decorating courses for home stagers train the student to recognize the appealing aspects of a home and enhance it with the décor. For example, a home stager may accentuate the appearance of period fixtures or woodwork in the home to increase its appeal to potential buyers. Individuals may stage vacant homes to increase the appeal to homebuyers, which requires the stager to maintain an inventory of home furnishings and decorative items.
Home stagers can also complete programs leading to certification in the field. One such designation is the Certified Staging Professional offered by the Certified Staging Professionals, which is a Real Estate Staging Association-accredited training provider. This certification program combines classroom and fieldwork that covers such topics as inventory management, color mapping, target market and business planning.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most professional home stagers operate a company, which requires business acumen. Some home stagers have worked as real estate agents while some focus on home staging along with maintaining their real estate duties. The earnings for home stagers depend on the area and demand for services. Home stagers may set a flat rate for staging services by the room or charge clients an hourly rate. Additionally, these professionals may offer consultation services.
The BLS doesn't gather employment outlook information for home stagers. A career close to that of a home stager would be an interior designer. These professionals typically earned between $26,130 and $91,360, based on May 2015 data from the BLS. The median annual income was $48,840.
A home stager does not require any formal postsecondary training. They can consider pursuing optional certification to verify they're a professional home stager and may also consider taking courses in photography and decorating to help prepare for this career.