Home stagers who charge ridiculously low rates won’t be able to stay in business for long and they devalue the whole home staging industry, according to home staging expert Debra Gould.
Rates as low as $31.45 per hour have been touted as ‘great income’ for a home stager. That is an impossibly low rate for any independent professional to charge, but an expert home stager should actually be making at least double if not four times that amount.
Home sellers stand to profit considerably from the services of a home stager, not just in the final selling price of their homes but also because a staged home sells faster then it would if it hadn’t been decorated to sell. Home sellers who understand these benefits are willing to pay a premium for the expertise of a knowledgeable home stager.
Saving a few hundred dollars on bad staging advice completely misses the point of hiring a stager at all.
A two-hour home staging consultation should cost between $250 and $800. After the initial consultation, a home stager will make at least $1,000 if the client wants the stager to complete the home staging project for them. This figure can go as high as $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the needs for that property, the home stager’s expertise and where they live. Typically costs will be higher in major urban centers where house prices are also higher.
Advertising $31.45 as a good income for a home stager completely devalues what real estate stagers do for their clients and it misleads aspiring stagers into believing that this is a good income.
Even bumping that pay from $31.45 up to $40 per hour, if you do three two-hour staging consultations each week, that works out to roughly $960 per month. If a stager also does three “full-blown” staging projects each month of only five hours each, they would make an additional $600. That’s an unimpressive $1,560 per month or about $18,700 per year.
Depending on where you live, that income would classify a stager as part of the “working poor,” and comes out to around what you’d make answering phones or asking “would you like fries with that?”
When you’re self employed, you have a lot of work to do that you don’t get paid for. For example, talking to prospective customers, standing in line at the bank, doing your paperwork, etc. So when you are working on a client’s behalf, you need to make sure you are well paid for it.
If you charge $300 per two-hour home staging consultation which is still at the lower end of the industry standard, those same three staging consultations a week provide an income of $3,600 per month. Those three “full-blown” staging projects per month would bump the total income up to $5,850 per month or $70,200 per year.
That’s $70,200 per year versus the $18,700 a stager would make earning only $40 per hour.
Anyone who wants to grow a profitable home staging business rather than dabble in home staging as a hobby, has to charge a fair rate for their real estate staging services to be able to stay in business.
Learn about how to properly price your home staging services from internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, president of Six Elements and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with 1000+ Graduates worldwide.
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I am very interested in possibly starting up a staging business. I have been approached by a real estate agent that I am friends with to possibly do some staging for her. She believes I would be very good at this because she had listed our home and really thought my decorating was really good. I have no training or knowledge about staging other than what I have read on the internet. Could you give me some advice on where to go from here? I really would like to do this type of work and think I would be very good at it.
Rebecca, thanks for sharing your interest in starting a home staging business with me. Your first step is to check out my other blog which is filled with free tips for home stagers as well as your monthly issue of Staging Diva Dispatch. I have a number of products that can help you and the fastest place to check them all out is in the Staging Diva Store at:
While I do offer lots of help in the design principles and color choices for home staging, you’ll see that my 5-course training program is really geared to the business side of home staging, since that’s what will enable you to make money from the natural decorating talent you already have. I look forward to helping you on your journey. Thanks for popping in to comment here!
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