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Is $600 for Staging Worth It? A Report Says Yes

How much sellers spend to stage their home will vary by where they are and what they have done, but generally speaking they can expect to pay $500-$600 for a few hours for a pre-photo shoot styling session and costs for other services, depending on what they want to have done.

In general, staging tends to break out into three categories: 1) The consultation, which can run between $300 and $600, depending on home size, home location, and so on, according toy Julea Joseph a stager in the Chicago area, 2) the actual staging of an occupied house, which can run between $500 and $600, and 3) the staging of the house if its vacant, which can start at  $1,800 a month per month. Vacant homes tend to cost more because furniture has tho be brought in and the house decorated from scratch and also the furniture might have to stay in there for a while.

VRE 71 stillWhatever the actual cost, it’s clear it’s not cheap, and it’s typically the seller who foots the bill. But an NAR report that just came out suggests the cost is worth it, because staged homes sell for more money on average and they spend less time on market. One reason they sell more quickly is because online pictures of staged homes attract more viewers, which in turn gets more people walking through the house itself.

The latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR looks at staging. It quotes from Joseph, who talks about what sellers get for their money, and it excerpts from NAR’s recent report, the 2017 Profile of Home Staging. The video also covers three important public policy topics:

1) NAR’s recent victory on the closing disclosure, which agents have been having trouble getting their hands on. The problem started about two years ago, when the federal government revamped federal closing rules. Since that revamping, lenders have cited privacy concerns in resisting to give agents a copy of the closing disclosure, which replaces the old HUD-1 settlement form. NAR argued that the new rules changed nothing about privacy and so agents should continue to receive closing information, as they always have. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau agreed and in a rule it published last week, confirmed that it’s customary for agents to receive a copy of the form.

2) NAR’s proposal to create a mortgage market liquidity fund. The fund is NAR’s solution to a problem Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face. Since they were taken under conservatorship by the federal government about half a dozen years ago, they’ve been giving up larger and larger shares of their earnings to the federal treasury and now they’re on track to give up all of their earnings to the federal government by the end of the year. Why would the government take all of their earnings in this way? The answer is, lawmakers were using the gradual transfer of their earnings to spur them to enact comprehensive reform of the secondary mortgage market. As it turns out, lawmakers have had to focus on other priorities and it doesn’t look like major reform is going to happen any time soon, and yet the companies face losing all their earnings by year’s end. So, NAR’s proposed fund would create a mechanism for allowing the companies to retain part of their earnings for reserves, which would help protect taxpayers.

3) NAR’s joining a coalition in support of net neutrality. Net neutrality is the law of the land now, but the Federal Communications Commission has proposed rolling back the rules and NAR opposes that, because it wants to ensure real estate brokerages and other content providers don’t get stuck having to pay money to ensure their customers have a good experience browsing their websites. The concern is that, without net neutrality, Verizon, Comcast, and other Internet Service providers could strike deals with some content providers to give them faster Internet service while everyone else gets stuck with slow Internet service. The coalition that NAR joined could file a lawsuit to block the rollback of the rules.

Access the latest Voice for Real Estate.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at rfreedman@realtors.org.

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