Using a Compensation at Closing Plan for Home Staging

Home Stager with Creative Spaces

I have just started staging a home that has been for sale since October,  the asking price is $550,000 and  it is somewhat dated. The broker has generously offered the home owner four hours worth of Home Staging time that would be compensated for at the closing. The seller paid me for my time, and then the broker will reimburse her once the house closes.

 Once I started, the home owner realized what a big difference it is making  and has already had me work for 8 hrs, ( she paid me for the extra 4 hours) plus we're going this week to pick out light fixtures, kitchen cabinet hardware, and paint colors. It is a win-win situation for the realtor and home owner. If for some reason the home would not sell in the contracted time period, the seller would be more likely to re-list with that realtor in order to be compensated for the Home Staging.

I'm curious to see if anyone else has been doing this and how is it working?


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Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Hi Gretchen: I see you are relatively new to Active Rain. Welcome! Join the group "Stage it Forward" here on AR and post your staging posts to that group. You will get a lot more responses and feedback. Also, check out the posts of other members of that group -there are a lot of veteran bloggers there - and see what other groups they are posting to.

Most experienced stagers demand payment at the time service is rendered. Too many things can go wrong and are out of our control to wait for payment until the sale closes. You may never get paid!

Best of luck to you!

Jun 28, 2008 03:05 AM #1
gretchen wheeler
Creative Spaces - Erie, PA

Thank you Michelle! I will post on "Stage it Forward" also!

Your comment about Compensation at closing confused me for a minute and then I realized I may not have made myself clear in my blog! The SELLER paid me immediately when staging was complete, the realtor will reimburse the SELLER at closing! I've owned businesses for many years (although new to staging) and have learned to always expect partial  payment up front, and final payment when staging is done.

I hope other readers didn't read my blog the way you read it- I would never expect stagers to wait for their compensation!

Thanks again!

Jun 28, 2008 03:37 AM #2
Jennie Norris
Sensational Home Staging - Littleton, CO
Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource,

Hi Gretchen,

This is how I work with many Realtors who want to help cover the cost of the Staging for their clients but don't want to be out the money up front themselves.  This is especially common in a slower market.  In a hotter market where there is more cash flow, more escrows closing and therefore more income in the bank, some Realtors will just cover the whole thing.

But what we see is they have the client pay up front and then reimburse them at the close of escrow for our services.  My husband is a Realtor and he includes up to the first $500 of services for all his listings.  Beyond that, the seller is 100% responsible and will not be reimbursed for anything over $500 from him at the close.  This works well - no one is "at risk" of not being paid, and if the listing changes hands - then the seller does not get reimbursed unless the new Realtor is willing to pay.  This also helps the listing stay put.  My feeling is that if a Realtor is savvy about Staging and bringing it into the process, they are also probably good at marketing the property and are not likely to lose the listing.  It is also a great way for a Realtor to get a listing over another agent that is not as savvy about Staging.

The key is that just because it is Staged does not mean the house can be priced wrong for the market - it needs to be a combination of looking great with Staging and priced right for whatever is happening in that market.

And good for you that the Seller liked what you were doing so much that you got double your money for doing more in the house!  That visual change is powerful! - Jennie

Jun 28, 2008 04:00 AM #3
Sonja Thompson
Howard Hanna - Erie, PA

Great post Gretchen.  This is why I love active rain. I always learn something new. I think including the staging is an excellent tool to secure the listing. You have to think outside of the box.

Jul 07, 2008 03:03 PM #4
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Gretchen, I have pondered this idea for a long time and perhaps now is the time to market and promote it.  I think that I will add it to my agent newsletter.  Thanks for including your idea here for all of us!

Jul 07, 2008 03:40 PM #5
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

Hi Gretchen -- I have some Realtors that pay me for one hour just to accompany them on the listing appointment.  It's a lot of fun.  Then, if they need more staging other that my quick suggestions, and list with the Realtor, I give them a "Realtor discount" since I accompanied the Realtor to the listing appt.  That seems huge and works well. (I only speak when spoken to -- the Realtors LOVE me!)  I have a few Realtors that will reimburse them 2 hours at closing, but like you, I am paid up front.

Jul 07, 2008 03:55 PM #6
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