What happens when the client doesn't sign the contract?
One of my graduates contacted me this week with a problem. She was doing a big home staging job this week and was worried that the client hadn't signed the contract. She had gently reminded the client several times. The good part was that she'd paid in full! Of course it feels safer when the client signs the contract. But if you have what you agreed in writing or in voice notes on Whatsapp and email and they've paid, the actual signature is not so important. What counts is that the terms were agreed to by both of you, and therefore you have a binding contract.
What if the client hasn't paid?
If you haven't been paid before you do a staging job, and the client hasn't signed the contract, I would advise you not to do the job. That gives the client the opportunity to try to bargain with you after you've staged. They might say you didn't deliver what you promised, or they don't like what you did... etc. Avoid that hassle by getting paid first. I don't do a full home stage until I've been paid in full. However, when I do a simple consultation, I don't have a contract and I invoice afterwards. It's a much smaller job than a whole home staging project and if the client doesn't pay, I've only lost my time and petrol.
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