Ask the Expert – Should I work with a stager who is not certified?

Christine, Can you explain to me why certification is important to a stager? I asked a stager who came to my office what credentials she had, and her answer was, […]


Can you explain to me why certification is important to a stager? I asked a stager who came to my office what credentials she had, and her answer was, “You don’t need credentials to do this work.” I was astounded. As a licensed real estate agent, I do think I have a responsibility to my clients to ensure all services I recommend are of the highest caliber. If the industry doesn’t require certification, should I?

– Barbara W., Utah

Thank you for such a great question, Barbara!

It’s one I wish more people would ask. Sadly, it is true, the staging industry does not require certification, training, or approved skills to work in it. My experience in sales, business, finance and human resources was invaluable to me when I built my own staging business. The emergence and development of the CSP certification program was a result of understanding why most stagers struggled to make a living. As the industry grew, our curriculum changed to meet the most crucial aspects of this business – that of working with your client.

I believe CSP certification is as vital to the sale of property as your license is.

Securing the most equity, in a property sale transaction, is serious business; why would you trust that to someone whose skills have not been measured? CSP training is provided by a certified, in-the-field trainer with decades of experience staging property. In the classroom discussion, lecture, evaluation and a practicum are all part of the program. CSP International is the only staging business school providing real education, certification, and support to its graduates. The school is accredited, which means the school’s systems, credibility, content, curriculum, and competency to provide certification have been reviewed by a third party and conform to internationally accepted certification practices and procedures.

The CSP logo on a stager’s work is an endorsement of integrity and technical competence. Choosing a CSP as your staging partner supports your professional reputation. CSP graduates follow a strict code of ethics, have credible insurance coverage for their work, and maintain their certification with continuing education. CSP graduates specialize in helping real estate professionals have more impactful open houses, outstanding photographs, and fewer days on the market. YES, I think CSP certification is like having a sheriff in town – we care even when no one is looking! I hope this perspective helps.

Feature photo by on Unsplash

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About Christine Rae

Christine Rae blends her passion for the staging and decorating industries, her desire for helping people develop their potential, the thrill of training to the presentation of the CSPâ„¢ workshop. She has honed her skills and built her knowledge through extensive training in a variety of disciplines. During the last five years Christine has trained over 1600 people and in 2004 was recipient of an International Staging Award. Christine believes a crucial part of success as a trainer is to keep your hand in the industry you speak and teach about. This is why she continues to work (outside of training sessions) at building her own staging business, and works with a select group of Realtors® . The best business anyone can have is from a referral - it is an honor and privilege to work with you and your sphere of influence. Wellness with Essential Oils: