Who is doing the cleaning?

Home Stager with Creative Staging Solutions LLP

Hi gang! I have a listing that is need of some major cleaning. I feel like the areas that I have staged I should clean. The floors in the living room, Kitchen, Vacumm carpet and so on.... I do not feel that I should clean the outside of the home. Although I am sure I will end up doing it. The home has been vacant and under construction for the last year. There is grout that has not been cleaned from some tile and other things.

How do you all get through to the home owner? Do you ask them to do it or do you chalk it up as doing your job?

I am happy with the listing and will post pictures soon. I know staging will help it show better. I am just not sure how much work I should give away. I want to to sparkle!

Any thoughts or ideas?

Thank you!

Chris Williams

Owner/Lead Stager



Comments (12)

Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

No, I wouldn't do the cleaning.  My contract with the client states that they will have the property professionally cleaned prior to staging day.  If we arrive and the cleaning hasn't been done, we don't stage -- plus there is a rescheduling fee -- or if we agree to stage, we'll clean and charge xx to do it.  You're a professional home stager, not a housekeeper, and should be expected to clean up only after yourselves when you've finished the staging.  The client needs to be responsible for maintaining the house during the staging period also -- good luck!

Sep 15, 2008 05:05 PM
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

I wouldn't do the cleaning, but you could include it in your bid and have it done.  Then if you do decide to do it at least you'll be paid for it.

Sep 15, 2008 06:21 PM
Chris Williams
Creative Staging Solutions LLP - Ponca City, OK
Creative Staging, Solutions HSR Certified Stager -ASHSR

Maureen, Thanks for the comment. I really like the idea of having the home cleaning in the contract!

Terrylynn, I agree I should get paid for it! I will keep you posted on what happens. Thanks

Sep 16, 2008 03:52 AM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

I echo Maureen.  My thoughts are we can act as a resource for them to contact a cleaner, but that's it.  We are hired to stage, not clean.  Personally, I think it detracts from our specialized skill set as a professional to DIY.  You don't ever  see a professional like doctor or a lawyer engaged in anything but what they have trained for.  I feel it is the same for stagers.   I like the idea of cleaning being in the contract that it is completed prior to the staging appointment, or a rescheduling fee applies.  Good one!

Sep 16, 2008 09:23 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

HI! I have an excellent professional home cleaner on my team.  I give her name and number to my clients and recommend she is hired before staging day.   

Sep 16, 2008 03:51 PM
Barbara Cluck-Miksits
BCM Home Staging LLC - Ridgewood, NJ
Home Staging - New Jersey

Chris ~ I tell my clients at the beginning, the home has to be cleaned before it can be staged. I give  them 2 prices one for just staging and one for cleaning and staging. If you have to clean, you have to get paid for it. 

Sep 16, 2008 04:05 PM
j r
International, IT

Hello Chris ,In my staging contract I have an article about cleaning "saying that I will not be responsble for cleaning but only do occasional dusting" Best way to go I guess ;) 

Sep 17, 2008 01:17 AM
Fernando Rosado
West Palm Beach, FL
561-906-0050 or 561-840-8950

I ditto Mr Jean Marie Nijs !!!! OH YEAH!

Sep 19, 2008 07:21 AM
First Impressions Home Staging, LLC. Jenny Duke, Anne Harding, Cindy Mahan
First Impressions Home Staging, LLC, Everett WA - Everett, WA


My company is fortunate to have a stager who owed a cleaning company for seven years.  She is fabulous; however, she is now a stager and doesn't want to do tons of big cleaning jobs.  She has great referrals, tons of professional tips, and gives great advice to homeowners on what to expect from a professional housecleaner. 

I suggest having someone on your team who has this expertise because she has saved our bacon repeatedly and makes us look great.  We can offer "light cleaning" while our items are in a house.  We add it to the contract and it gives us more of a full-service capability.  When a homeowner hires someone who doesn't do a great job, our partner is fabulous at problem solving.  

She has taught us a ton about cleaning and our clients are thrilled with our knowledge.  One thing, though, if cleaning is not your expertise, it is not something to take on.  Cleaning requires different insurance and comes with its own challenges. 

Good luck

Sep 20, 2008 04:51 PM
Vicki Styons
RoomBenders - Columbia, SC

The bottom line is if you want to tackle the cleaning just be sure you get paid for it.  If you are not willing to do the cleaning, make it part of your contract, that the house will be clean  and ready for staging upon your arrival.

Sep 20, 2008 06:05 PM
Chris Williams
Creative Staging Solutions LLP - Ponca City, OK
Creative Staging, Solutions HSR Certified Stager -ASHSR

Hi gang! Thank you all for the helpful comments. Update I did some light cleaning as it had to be done. I advised the home owner to have the whole house done by a professional. I hope he will take the hint and get it done. The home looks great! I will post pics soon.

I know now that it is important to have this in the contract and have added it to mine. I would like to thank you all for your help. This is what it is all about! Helping each other! I am so happy to be a member of AR!

Sep 21, 2008 01:03 PM
Janet Brown
Re/Max Aerospace Realty - Rockledge, FL
"Making A Difference One House At A Time"

I agree with a bunch of you guys.  I have my own cleaning person that is more than glad to come in and clean prior to staging, which is very important.  I have seen other people do it differently in the past then get upset that the home wasnt left in the same conditon as when is was previously staged.  I always let my clients decide that they can contact my cleaning person and get the price from them ( which is normally cheaper) or we can provide them with that in our bid.  9 times out of 10 they go with the first option.

good luck


Sep 21, 2008 02:03 PM