I am a firm believer that an upfront payment is the only way to go in the process of assisting clients sell their house particularly when I have my inventory sitting in their property for an extended period. It is that simple. I get my contract and payment and then the work is done.
But just recently I have been toying with the idea of a different pricing strategy whereby I get half up front and half at settlement of the sale of the home. While this is full of risks, the strategy may also increase the amount of business I could possibly receive as it would make the packages I offer most cost effective and more competitive. After all, no one LIKES spending money on their home at sale time and until the message that people are INVESTING in the sale of their home gets through then utilising a home stager is really all about the cost in the client's mind.
This way of thinking has come about after losing numerous potential jobs through clients not wanting to spend money up front on property styling and these are jobs that I could have got something from rather than nothing.
The strategy is fraught with danger in that:
a) I may receive the initial payment and not get the second payment
b) Not getting payment in advance drastically affects my cash flow initially (until hopefully the number of jobs increases paying me back)
c) Increased chance of damage/theft of stock through the client only paying half up front
d) long sale period and potentially longer settlement on sale meaning I may not get final payment for many months.
I would be interested to find out about others who have dabbled in payment plans other than upfront particularly those that own their own inventory.