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How an Occupied Home Staging Contract Will Protect Your Business

Dec 17, 2020

Hi everyone, it’s Staging Studio Co-Founder Julie Young! Today, we’re going to talk about occupied home staging contracts.

We’ve had a lot of people asking for an occupied home staging contract template, and we listened. Our professionally-designed occupied home staging client agreement is now available for all Staging Design Professional® Expert Level students.

If you aren’t taking the course, that’s okay – I’m going to go over a bunch of clauses and tips for writing your own. But let me tell you, when you enroll in the SDP® course, you get ALL of the contracts, checklists, and resources that you need to start and grow your staging business. Really, the documents alone are worth the cost of the training!

So, let’s talk through a few of the clauses for your client agreement. Your occupied home staging contract is so important because you’re putting your items into somebody’s home. They’re living there, they might have children, they might have pets, etc., all of which could cause damage to your staging inventory.

Even if you’re not putting furniture into the occupied homes, you still need to have a contract in place so everyone is on the same page. If any questions or issues arise (which they often do!), you can always refer back to the contract.

Payment & Terms

You always want to make sure that your client signs an agreement with the payment & terms listed clearly. This section should specify:

  • What different services do you offer, and how much do each of the options cost? Give your clients a place to select the package they choose.
  • What are the terms of their payment?
  • What exactly will they receive for their payment?

Limit of Liability

Also you want to make sure that you have a limit of liability. This is KEY.

You are working with other people’s furniture. They could own expensive art, heirlooms, etc. If you have to move furniture or other items, you could damage something.

We want to protect you and your business from any extraordinary costs – that’s why our occupied staging client agreement specifies the limit of liability.

Recently, our lead stager was working in an occupied home with the real estate agent. There was a very expensive sculpture, and in trying to shift it a little, it scratched the top of a console table!

These are the kinds of scenarios that you can’t always prevent, so you have to limit your liability.

Photography & Publicity

When you’re photographing an occupied home, it’s very different from a vacant stage. When you photograph a vacant home, you’re not worried about your client’s personal items being in the picture.

You still should take before and after photos of an occupied stage, but we never want to embarrass our clients or portray their home in a negative light in any way. Plus, it’s one of the Real Estate Staging Association’s best practices that members cannot share before photos of any home that hasn’t been closed on.

You never want to post any picture that you do not have permission to share. Make sure you get clearance in your agreement to use any photos of the staged home, and give credit to the photographers.

Your Occupied Home Staging Contract Template

At Staging Studio, we want to make your life EASIER! We created an occupied client agreement template for you, so you don’t have to. It’s included in the Staging Design Professional® Expert Level course.

The contract is fully customizable, so you can add your own photo and logo. You may choose to remove clauses, add more, or leave it as-is. This is what we use in our business!

Everything we teach, and all the forms and documents we offer in our course, were created over 13 years of experience running our own successful home staging business. When we first started, we didn’t have nearly as many clauses, but every so often, a situation would come up that would show us how we needed to add another clause.

You can skip all the growing pains, and jump straight to the finished product! Become a Staging Design Professional® Expert to gain access to all our forms, checklists, and resources that you need to start and grow your home staging business.

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