Cover your clients hole when de-staging

Home Stager

Red Hole With Copyspace Royalty Free Stock Image

Were stagers, we hammer, screw and display lots of different forms of art on the walls of our clients. We do make it look picture perfect!

A long time ago I wrote about this but I recently had an experience I want to share with everyone. Every time I do a contract for a staging I make sure I word that the Property will be staged until it sells or client gives a15 day notice. Well, this client informed me that he was going to keep half of the monthly rental until we destaged their property they would give other half.  I got really upset and called the client and expressed that what he was holding back the monthly rental fee. Make a long story short we got into it and we screamed back and forth.

 Businessmen Arguing On The Phone Stock Image

Destaging this 3 million dollar home took 6 people and 2 days ! I made sure that while the entire crew was loading the truck i was taking all nails out and covered the holes !!!!  I honestly did not think I was going to see the rest of the money but to my surprise the client came when we were almost done. He was very nice and pleasant and even mentioned as he handed me the check for the remainder balance that we did a great job. He then asked me "If you owned this estate would you have held part of the payment just in case there was any damage to the house?. You did great  and even covered all the holes on the walls!"

In conclusion... I realized maybe I would have done the same.  So never argue with your client theres an old saying that says "customer is always right"

Comments (12)

Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Love you're title, Fernando, and glad to hear it all worked out for the best.  I recently had a similar incident where the client kept telling me the "check's in the mail" when we went to de-stage I didn't think I would see the money either, but she was there with check in hand ;)

Jul 14, 2009 09:51 AM
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR AssociateĀ® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Fernando,

Well done! It's not over for the client until the last bit of inventory leaves the property and although there is a chance one might not get paid the balance, it's good business to make sure we as staging professionals are... well, professional.


Jul 14, 2009 12:24 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Sounds like you learned the hard way, after you got into a screaming match with the client.  It's hard to remain calm when someone is refusing to pay and you think you are being taken advantage of, but it's all part of owning your own business.

Jul 14, 2009 01:59 PM
Peg Prather
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA

We have had to implement the professional policy that all rental payments are by credit card only. That way there is no waiting for a check, or arguing about payment. Also, I think it's nice that you cover all the holes, but our contract states that filling the holes is the responsibility of the homeowner...and I suppose that if the house has sold they really don't care. Buyers aren't guaranteed a home free of tiny little nail holes.

Jul 14, 2009 02:03 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

I'm in full agreement with Peg, above.  We bill for the monthly rental by cc in advance, so there is never an amount due us when we destage.  I'm glad to hear this worked out OK for you!

Jul 14, 2009 02:47 PM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Great title Fernando.  I'm another one on the team with Peg and Maureen regarding payment and credit cards.  I had too many bad experiences regarding late and non-payments.  I won't hassle with that anymore.  

Regarding the holes, my contract also says that those holes are the responsibility of the home seller BUT I usually get out my pink spackle and quickly run about and fill them.  I use the pink so that if they show up while I'm destaging or shortly afterwards, they will notice that I did that work. 

Jul 15, 2009 06:05 AM
Fernando Rosado
West Palm Beach, FL
561-906-0050 or 561-840-8950

Connie ~ You see being professional does take you a long way and it speaks wonderful  about your company

Kimo ~ Aloha Amigo! u are right professionalism until the end, it will come back to you like good kharma

Sharon ~ you are right , I kinda react before I think!!! (controling issues) but at the end it was ok

Peg ~  although I agree with you, Maureen and Ginger ; we used to do the same. But we  lost one job because we said we only get paid in credit cards. so I made the executive decision to remove that clause in the contract. You have to understand that in this economy we cannot afford to loose possible jobs because of a stipulation like that . we get paid in check,money order, credit card and cash, yeap, you heard right . I have a client that eventhough I keep telling him that staging is tax deductible he pays me in cash every month. Of course we charge the month in the beggining. I will be honest with you, I covered more that 33 nails,hooks or screw holes and covered them in less than 20 mins. It really takes no time, plus it made me feel we left that place intact. And instead of not caring that the new owners have holes on their new house, when they notice that there are no holes , they might think so highly of your company that they might hire you to decorate their home. Drastic measures for drastic economy. ;)

Shayla ~ Thanks for your comment & stopping by

Jul 15, 2009 06:41 AM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Fernando, Love, love, love your title!  You make me laugh every time you write something. I really enjoy your posts. I too have it in my contract that the holes are the responsibility of the home owner to fill. Most of my clients actually ask that I leave in the nails too. Every market is different I guess.

I take payment up front and manage more often than not to get three months in advance. I let them know that when I destage, the first thing I do is give them a cheque for any outstanding balance I owe them.

It seems to work for me.

Jul 15, 2009 08:04 AM
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

always love your titles and entertaining posts!  I haven't been stuck yet, but I collect up front as well! 

Jul 15, 2009 08:04 AM
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL

Fernando, that is something I never thought of.  I use only straight pins to hang pictures and stuff, unless the article is too heavy.  Pins leave no holes and they will hold a lot of weight if properly hammered into the walls.

Jul 15, 2009 08:55 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Love your title Fernando-sure caught my eye!  Glad all worked out for you.

Jul 15, 2009 01:26 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Fernando, catchy title, as always.  I have a clause similar to yours regarding holes but I also want to leave them with a good feeling about Staging.  I do what I can to make sure the client is pleased not only upon Staging but also when the home is de-Staged. 

Glad you got your $$.

Jul 18, 2009 09:53 AM