The importance of a home staging contract & the design clause.

Whether you are a new or seasoned home stager, you should know the importance of a good home staging contract. When well written, the contract protects both your business and the client’s interests. It should be clear on pricing, terms of service, length of service, what happens upon completion of contract, how you need to be notified & how much time you’ll need to schedule the destaging.  What you may not have thought about yet is a design clause.

Yesterday, during our biweekly #StagingChat home stager tweetchat, it was revealed that most staging nightmares come from design related issues, most of which could be resolved by a good design clause in your initial contract. Reading through home stager stories, nearly all of the worst experiences came from agents or home sellers who did not understand the staging process.

An example of a good design clause, states clearly that the professional home stager will have all of the control in the stage.

“{insert company name} will have complete discretion on the selection and placement of art, furniture, and accessories. Client understands that not all pieces may be to their personal taste.

This clause is vital to our ability to complete the project in a timely and cost effective manner. While not every client may agree with every design choice or end product, ultimately it is the responsibility of the home stager to understand the target demographic of the likely buyer, to source the appropriate inventory and to complete the task by the assigned deadline. Interference by the home owner or real estate agent could jeopardize each element.  This can ultimately lead to an inferior end product, or worse yet, a breach of contract by one party or another.

Should a breach happen, your home staging contract is your protection. While it’s unlikely that any legal action will ensue, it has happened before. Most of the time, however, the design clause is simply a tool to help get home sellers and agents to understand that the stage isn’t complete until it is done and that ultimately we are trying to please the likely buyers, not them.

Need a sample contract? Our online home staging course includes sample contracts, price quotes, invoices and other important business templates. 

Melissa Marro

About melissamarro

Melissa Marro is an international award winning home stager and professional speaker for the home staging and real estate industry. Founder and CEO for both SAR, Staging and Redesign Training and MRRE, Market Ready Real Estate's online home staging consultation program, Marro continues to help inspire and empower new and existing stagers as well as move the industry standards forward.

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