Code of Ethics for Home Stagers

Commercial Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)

home staging law ontario

Code of Ethics for Home Stagers

By Brian Madigan LL.B.

(Ontario Real Estate Source)

The home staging business has grown rapidly over the last decade. It is not a regulated industry in Ontario.

Those individuals who practice in the field seek accreditation from a variety of associations and organizations. The industry as such is seeking "professionalism".

One of the very primary factors in assessing whether a business is truly "professional" is the adoption of a Code of Ethics by its members.

There are other factors as well, including:

· Qualifying educational requirements

· Educational course requirements

· Continuing educational programs

· Examinations and credentialing

· Membership in an association

· Subscription to and adoption of a Code of Ethics

· Complaints process

· Discipline process

· Censure and penalties for non-compliance

So, let's have a look at the home staging business. What would the Code of Ethics look like? Here is one from the International association of Home Staging:

International Association of Home Staging

Accredited Staging Professional Code of Ethics

· I believe in my ability to help my clients Stage® their properties.

· I will follow and protect this Code of Ethics for the good of all Accredited Staging ProfessionalsTM (ASPs).

·I will establish and maintain professional policies to hold my clients accountable to prepare their homes for sale and keep them in staged showing condition until the home is sold and the inspection and appraisal are completed.

· I will protect the quality of Staging by following the Staging criteria and will only use the word "Staged" to describe homes that have truly met or exceeded the criteria

· I will protect the Stage® trademark by including the registered trademark symbol (®) with any derivation of the word in any print advertising or marketing that I do.

· I will protect the Accredited Staging ProfessionalTM trademark by including the trademark symbol (TM) with any marketing or print advertising that I do with the ASPTM designation.

· I will honor the Staging University by not releasing my password to the University to any non-ASPs.

· I will display and marker my ASP Designation in my staging marketing materials to inform people that I am an Accredited Staging ProfessionalTM.

· I will educate my clients and the public as to the meaning and origin of Staging to enhance the ASP Designation for all ASPs.

· I will bring credit to the ASP Designation through my honesty, my integrity and by honoring my clients and myself.

I will honor all ASPs with the dignity and respect of the designation for the greater good of all.

And, here is another one, this time from RESA-PRO, known as "The Real Estate Staging Association":

The RESA-PROTM Code of Ethics:

1. To always conduct myself as a professional with integrity, sincerity and sensitivity.
2. To ensure my employees and business associates conduct themselves in the same manner
3. To treat my clients and colleagues with respect
4. To refrain from making unsolicited comments, verbally or in writing about other stagers, clients, customers or Real Estate Agents
5. To refrain from revealing any confidential information about my clients
6. To fulfill my commitments
7. To never commit to a project that I am not able to fulfill
8. To fully educate my clients on the process of staging, fees, and all recommendations to properly stage their home or listing prior to any work being started
9. To never display disrespect for any Staging Professional. We are a diverse society of Stagers and respect all designations and backgrounds
10. To maintain and improve the standards of the home staging industry
11. To become and remain informed on issues affecting home staging
12. To keep my profile and blog on the RESA Site professional and positive
13. To resolve conflicts with professionalism and appropriateness
14. To mentor and educate other stagers to the best of my ability
15. To use only my original written material in all electronic and print media including my website and blog. National or international statistics, charts and reports not written by the stager should be labeled as such.
16. RESA-PROTM designees agree to not use ANY STOCK PHOTOS on their website or in their marketing materials.

These Codes seem really quite weak and rather sparse. They are far short of a formal code of ethics that specifies requirements for the delivery of service to consumers. Certainly, the similar code for real estate professionals is stringent by comparison.

Obviously, there could be some improvements made. That would be an appropriate step in the journey to "professionalism", which is always a difficulty for an unregulated industry. It would be wise for the associations to have a lawyer prepare a formal code of ethics. A reasonable precedent to use might be one drawn from the real estate industry.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker is an author and commentator on real estate matters, if you are interested in residential or commercial properties in Mississauga, Toronto or the GTA, you may contact him through Royal LePage Innovators Realty, Brokerage 905-796-8888




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Buying
Canada, eh
Ontario Real Estate and Information
Voice of Reason
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
code of ethics for home stagers toronto ontario law liability profession professionalism

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO

Brian,  great things to ponder as this aspect of the industry takes off!

Oct 15, 2010 11:37 AM #1
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


I like stagers, and I wish them all well. However, they seem quite vulnerable in a number of aspects of their business.


Oct 15, 2010 11:58 AM #2
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

You are right, as always ;-)  Brian.  We are in the Wild West days of Home Staging, there is still a huge variation in Home Inspection services for that matter.

Oct 15, 2010 12:39 PM #3
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Home Inspectors are pretty much in the same boat, except perhaps a little further down the road.



Oct 15, 2010 02:35 PM #4
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

If the industry does not control itself, Big Brother will step in!


Oct 16, 2010 09:19 AM #5
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Even if the industry does a good job of self regulation Big Brother will eventually step in. Just think of all the fees they are currently missing out on.

Oct 16, 2010 09:28 AM #6
Toronto, ON

Hi Brian - It would be a good idea for the home staging industry to develop a good code of ethics.

Oct 16, 2010 04:54 PM #7
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

These two examples are particularly weak.

Oct 17, 2010 02:20 AM #8
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

This is a very good point.  I totally agree that there should be some weight behind the Code of Ethics; especially now that there are more and more stagers coming on the scene.  I have the RESA-PRO designation.  I know that there are additional requirements that are mandatory if you are a RESA-PRO, but it looks like they don't actually show up as part of the written Code of Ethics.  A couple of these additional mandatory requirements are that the designee must take continuing education courses every 2 years similar to a Realtor and they must write an exam and receive a grade of 90% or more to receive the RESA-PRO designation.  As well as RESA-PRO, there is a program through RESA called the Stagers Excellence Alliance (SEA) that some stagers have chosen to belong to - I for one have joined it.  It's similar to a Better Business Bureau.  If a homeowner or Realtor has an issue with a stager and they belong to the SEA, they can lodge a formal complaint which will be reviewed by the Ethics Committee.  A review is conducted by the Committee and discipline will follow if appropriate.  I'd like to forward your post to Shell Brodnax, President of RESA if you are okay with that.  I'd like to know if there is some way that we can tighten up our Code of Ethics to include some of these additional requirements formally into the Code of Ethics.  Thanks for writing about this Brian.  

Oct 19, 2010 05:41 AM #9
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Thanks for the comment and of course you can pass this along to Shell.

I wrote a few post in a series about the home staging business, and now I'm done.


Oct 19, 2010 09:15 AM #10
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Brian Madigan

LL.B., Broker
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information