Advice on Realtor Price

Home Stager with Home Staging By CC

Hello fellow Stagers. A couple days ago a high producing Realtor contacted me to stage SEVERAL properties. When I sent him the pricing and a pdf of what our contract may look like he contacted me to make changes on the contract-which included that "HSCC (home staging by C.C.) would not get paid until the house sold!!

Well, this is a first. All my other Realtors pay upon completion of Staging. Seems only fair when I am not making even a percentage of what they will when it sells.

NOW, I am not scared of the contract because all my Staged properties have sold. But, I do depend on the what I make at each Staging. Plus, what about monthly rental. He won't pay even monthly rental until it is sold. 

He said "I don't make money until it sells-so it only seems fair to me."

I wantd to reply, "well, you chose to be the Realtor, I chose to be the Stager-different professions, different payments." OF COURSE, I did not say that and haven't replied yet.

Have any of you worked with a Realtor this way? If so, was it a good experience?

Posted by

Cecilia C. Cannon

Home Staging Chicago

Comments (14)

Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

As an agent, I cannot imagine asking a stager or any other contractor to do work and wait to be paid until the home sold.  I would steer away from that agent.  I don't like their logic.  Stick to your guns girl.

Feb 04, 2011 02:42 AM
Cecilia C. Cannon
Home Staging By CC - Wilmette, IL

Thanks Paula!! I appreciate your input as a Realtor. THANKS!!!

Feb 04, 2011 02:47 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

I would ask him what his intentions are if it doesn't sell. You need to protect yourself better than he intends to.

Feb 04, 2011 02:52 AM
Erin Newbill
Virginia CU Realty - Fredericksburg, VA

Is he the one that is actually paying for your services or is it the seller that is paying?  I can understand why he would ask if in fact that it is coming out of his pocket.  Could you make an agreement to be paid within 60 days of service?  How about add a fee for delay in payment, and a interest fee on the monthly rental.  This is of course only if you are actually willing to wait to get paid.  I agree that he should realize that your business is ran differently than his.  You can't go into McDonalds and say I want the Big mac and I will pay you after my next settlement.  Most companies (outside of the real estate office) want to be paid at the time of service.  There are some real estate related companies that are willing to get paid at settlement ie. termite inspection.  However the property is already under contract when they are hired so they have a date in mind that they would be paid.  In your case there is no guarntee that the home will go to settlement, there are to many other varibles still in play.   Getting paid at the time of service is still the best option.

Feb 04, 2011 03:00 AM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Regardless of who is like any service provider/contractor should expect to be paid when services are rendered.  Just like the painter, gardener, etc.  If you agree to be paid at closing it should be at a premium price......+20%.  And I would put an end date....."At closing but not to exceed xx days".

For me....I always collect 50% in advance and the balance upon completion of staging set up.  

Good Luck!

Feb 04, 2011 03:11 AM
Tommy Taylor
Taylor Properties & - Kerrville, TX
CNE- Texas Hill Country Realtor

As a Realtor I would not dare ask a stager(or anyone else that it is not customary of) to wait until closing to get paid. There may be reasons other than the staging issues that are keeping the house from selling. What if the current agent never sells the house, where does that leave you??? Good luck, but I would advise against entering into a contract as mentioned above.

Feb 04, 2011 03:21 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

As Tommy pointed out there are many reasons why a house doesn't sell and most of them are out of your control. There are so many gotchas to consider on this "deal" that I would walk away.

You would tie up your time and inventory on these properties and that doesn't make for good cash flow. It's also a red flag that someone you haven't worked with before is asking for these kinds of concessions. Keep us posted on how it works out and good luck!

Feb 04, 2011 03:38 AM
Heather Cook
Beyond the Stage Homes - Kitchener, ON
Delivering beautifully staged spaces

Cecilia - You need to explain that the carrying costs of staging homes (most especially when renting furniture from other sources) is not something you are prepared to do. It's called extending credit and virtually all stagers are not in a position to do something like that. If those homes do not sell - for whatever reason - then what happens? Do you not get paid? What about all of your out of pocket expenses? I agree with Kathy Burke that if you do agree to that sort of arrangement that you are charging a premium once the homes do sell. Also ensure that you can financially handle covering those payments. I would rather see you put an end date which means you get paid by the end of the first month or until the house sells - whichever comes first. That way you're only deferring payment for a very short time.

I'm not sure that this realtor understands exactly what is involved in a staging project nor the costs we incur to stage properties. We are a service based industry - much the same as a plumber, electrician - and we would never ask those professionals to delay payment for parts/labour until a home sold.

Feb 04, 2011 04:07 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Cecliia ~ Apparently this agent is not used to working with professional stagers.  I'd never accept those terms, mainly because too many aspects of the sale are out of our control ... i.e. price, location, condition of the home, market conditions, etc.

On a previous model home that was staged long-term, I obtained written permission from the owner to place a lien on the home if necessary  The seller paid 50% of all costs upfront but the balance was due in 90 days whether or not the home had sold.  Consult with your attorney to find the best way to handle liens in your state if you should go that route.  My advice is not to accept terms that don't work for YOUR business.  Good luck!

Feb 04, 2011 04:47 AM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Cecilia, doesn't sound like a good deal for you and you need to explain to the agent why your costs are different from his. 

ONCE I took payment at closing but my deal was with the seller, not an agent AND I got a percentage of the listing price when she signed the contract.  I also knew that all aspects of the house would be updated and in good condition so that with my staging, this home would sell quickly...and it did. 

When agents ask me to do what this agent has asked you, I tell them I cannot do business that way and I move on to another that understands.  How dare he mess with your contract. 

Feb 04, 2011 06:26 AM
Cecilia C. Cannon
Home Staging By CC - Wilmette, IL

THANKS everyone. Like Kathy I always collect AT LEAST 50% in advance and the balance upon completion of staging. This was a first for me. I also liked what Kathy said about a premium price if I (+20%) I agree to this. 

However, I do feel Like Maureen and others mentioned-I am not at the point where I can incur those costs if the home doesn't sell for whatever reason i.e. over priced. In 2010 all our staged properties sold but 1 and that 1 house was severly over priced. I am not involved in the pricing of the home to help sell it faster, if I was, it would be a different story.

THANKS EVERYONE. I will keep you posted on what happens.

Feb 04, 2011 07:22 AM
Birgit Anich
Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, 203.807.4040 - Norwalk, CT
CT Home Stager Fairfield & New Haven County

I read the others comments and I agree with them, we are not in the postiion in extedning credits. As a business owner you are lucky that you can choose who you want to work with. Good luck!

Feb 04, 2011 02:43 PM
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Is this agent asking the plumber, the carpet layer, the painter to wait until the house sells to be paid? Likely not. Nor should he ask you. 

And I so agree with Maureen. There are too many variables outside of your control.


Feb 04, 2011 11:02 PM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Cecilia:  Do you accept credit cards?  If the agent has a cash  flow issue, that might help.  Keep us posted!  Julie

Feb 05, 2011 03:06 AM