Home Staging Certification: Fact or Fiction

As long as I’ve been involved in home staging education there has been a lot of misinformation out there about home staging certification.

So let’s discuss a few of these issues right here once and for all. If you don’t know me, I’m a home staging educator from back in the early 2000s so I’ve seen all of the current programs appear, evolve, and market themselves over the years. Some have a track record and some are brand new.

I love the industry but what I don’t love is some of the myths students come away with as a result of different schools’ marketing efforts. There is unfortunately just a lot of misinformation out there.

Home Staging Certification: Fact or Fiction

  • You need to be a certified home stager in order to get started in the business.

    This is pure fiction. While it is true that it can definitely be an advantage to have a certification under your belt, it’s not absolutely necessary. In my experience, your portfolio is the number one most important aspect of your success. You need to be doing professional-level work and you need to be able to show this to clients. Our home staging courses are designed to develop your skills along with your portfolio. Home staging is not like other professions where a specific certification is a requirement. Which brings me to the next item on the list…
  • There is one particular school’s credential that is a must-have to be successful as a home stager.

    Again, fiction. There isn’t a certain school or program that will make or break you in home staging. Not too many people really care which program you got your education from. People do care about whether you’re good at your job and they care about what they will gain from using your service. Get the education that works best for your learning style, budget, time frame, and desire for hands-on or online. And by the way, our program offers the best of both worlds as it blends hands-on practice, personal attention, and the convenience of online learning. See our home staging course reviews for more info.
  • Home staging certification is great for building your confidence.

    Fact. When you’re new it can help to feel like you’re really ready if you’ve gotten a certification from a school that you respect. I personally think confidence boosting is one of the primary benefits of getting a certification.
  • Home staging certification is a way to guarantee success.

    Fiction. No program will guarantee your success, no matter what their marketing materials may imply. You still have to put the work in. So it really helps if you truly love home staging so much that it doesn’t feel like work to you. Because returning calls, doing your bookkeeping, working on marketing, and all of the other back-end stuff will probably feel like work at some point. The payoff is huge: your own business! Imagine what you want to achieve and then do it.
  • What about certification programs that are “accredited”?

    Fiction. Accrediting is not really a thing in home staging. There are no industry-wide standards in home staging. If an organization claims to bestow an accreditation on schools that they approve…this is really not a meaningful designation. The entity or organization is founded and made up of people running or teaching different home staging schools. The entity or organization charges staging programs a very hefty fee in order to “review” and “approve” the training materials. But why? It’s marketing, and it’s a way to protect the circle of people (the organization’s board of directors) with a vested interest in limiting the number of schools that have the “accreditation” (which, again, has no real meaning). In the case of School of Home Staging, we were founded by an instructor who has been in home staging instruction for longer than almost all other programs, and longer than the organization that would be “approving” us. In the real world, this accreditation basically has no meaning whatsoever.

The most important thing for you to do when learning home staging is to have fun. Choose the school that feels right to you.

Check out our home staging certification online courses to see what we offer.

I hope this has been helpful!


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If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

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