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How to Start a Home Staging Business Without Buying Furniture

Aug 15, 2022

Home staging is the perfect career for someone who loves home decor and has an eye for design! And the best part is: you don’t have to invest in any furniture to be a successful stager!

We hear from so many home decor lovers who really want to start making money doing what they are passionate about, but the idea of starting a staging business is daunting. Mostly because they are worried about: 1) how long it will take to get trained in design and the staging business and 2) how much money it will cost.

If that sounds like you, we’ve got great news!

First off, it only takes 15 hours to get your staging certification. AND you really don’t need to invest in anything except YOU! Your education in staging is all you need to get started. Read on to learn how to start a staging business without any inventory!

So, how do they do it? There are many different ways you can set up your home staging business. The good news is, as an entrepreneur, you get to design your business the way it works for YOU.

Here are a few ways you can build a profitable home staging business without buying inventory or renting a warehouse.

Become an Occupied Home Stager

before and after of a living room staged during the Staging Studio Master Class

Staging Studio students completed this occupied staging project during their Master Class training.

When most people sell their homes, they don’t move out first. They “occupy” the home while it is listed for sale. Occupied home stagers (also known as redesigners) use the seller’s own decor to stage their home. You will minimize clutter while strategically using their existing furnishings to sell the listing for a higher profit.

During an occupied home staging consultation, you can recommend that your clients purchase new items to bolster their property’s marketability. For example, you may suggest they invest in all-white bedding, or black mulch for the landscaping.

Occupied consultations (OCs) require no decor investments by the stager. You simply walk through the home making recommendations, and leave the purchasing to the client. No inventory or storage required!

If you are looking for additional income streams as an occupied home stager, here are some ideas:

  • Offer to write an occupied consultation report. (We include a template for this in our Staging Design Professional® course.)
  • Provide a “hands-on” consultation. This is where you rearrange the furniture as you go.
  • Provide organizing or professional packing services.
  • Sell items like white pillows, throws, faux orchids, etc that you can bring with you to the consultation and mark up from your purchase cost.

Rent Furniture for Vacant Stages

kitchen and living room staging

While many stagers stick to occupied staging consultations alone, you may want to venture into vacant staging as well. You get to choose what works best for your home staging business goals!

Even if you do want to stage vacant homes, you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars in home staging furniture, art, and accessories. You can source furniture from local rental companies, or negotiate with retailers to stage with their showroom furniture.

Renting furniture can be expensive, often pricier than buying similar items wholesale. Plus, rental companies usually have a limited selection that may not be as beautiful as what you would select yourself.

Depending on your market and your business model, renting may be the perfect fit for you if you simply don’t want to deal with the logistics of storing and moving inventory.

Build Your Inventory Over Time

woman shopping for furniture

Once you have earned some income, you can decide if you want to reinvest the profits by buying inventory.

Remember, you don’t need to! You can be a very successful home stager with the business models listed above.

However, you may decide that you want to add some light inventory for OCs, such as pillows or lamps. Or, maybe you want to begin building a larger inventory for vacant stages and transition away from renting.

In either case, you can use the profits from your first occupied consultations to begin purchasing furniture and accessories for your business. You don’t need oodles of startup capital to begin staging – you can start staging right away and build your inventory later.

Pro Tip: If you decide to buy home staging inventory, we always recommend investing in neutral, basic pieces that would work for any style of home. We share our complete list of our favorite wholesale vendors with you in our Staging Design Professional® course.

Now you know that you don’t need to buy furniture and decor to become a successful home stager. What you DO need is training on how to offer occupied staging. You need the skills and confidence to stage any style of home using design principles that sell.

Your Staging Design Professional® certification will save you thousands of dollars and hours in mistakes that would inevitably be made otherwise. This course will get you READY to start your own home staging business, whether your business model is focused on occupied home staging consultations, vacant staging, or both. Staging Studio is here for you to help you achieve your goals and cheer you on!

image of a woman staging a bed by placing throw pillows. Become a Home Stager. Start your dream job, design beautiful spaces, online & at your own pace. Try for Free Button


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