In New York, you don't need to obtain any license to become a home stager. Unlike other real estate professions, such as appraisers or agents, there is no official government body that regulates the home staging industry. Home staging, or property design, is an unlicensed profession, but certification by an accredited provider of home training is standard. Proper training will save thousands of dollars and hours in mistakes that would inevitably be made otherwise.
If you want to be a home stager who has a real estate license, that can be an advantage, although it's certainly not essential. That said, having your real estate license gives you easy access to real estate information that your average homeowner couldn't easily access. I have a hard time deciding whether to get my real estate license and do both the sale and the staging of the house. Today, I'm focusing on a housing planner who wants to make most of her income from staging homes, but who also has a real estate license.