October 5th, 2021 8:53 AM by Richard Sardella MLO.100007700/NMLS 233568
All the world’s a stage -- especially the house you want to sell
You walk into an elegant clothing store. Greeting you up front is a table with various colors of turtleneck sweaters for fall, along with a half-mannequin showing how you can pair them up the sweaters with a pair of jeans, a cool belt, and a scarf, pulling together a “look” you may not have thought up on your own. Your eye scans the store behind it, and the same falls colors are displayed everywhere, inviting you to sample its racks and explore further. This is an example of merchandising.
Investing in staging a home you’re trying to sell is no different. Unlike interior decorating, where a designer tries to match the aesthetic of the homeowner, staging is a way to entice buyers to bite. But, you ask -- why spend money on real estate if you’re moving out? Simple answer: because home staging can get you more money for your home.
Realtor’s Maragert Heidenry says that if your real estate agent has suggested staging, it’s because evidence shows staging real estate is usually well worth the effort. “On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.” Does that get your attention? But just how much does home staging really cost?
Just as the fancy clothing store with higher priced clothing and accessories has fancier merchandising, the pricier the staged home, the higher the potential home staging costs. “As a general rule of thumb, the average cost for most stagers is $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per staged room,” says Heidenry. She cites Realtor Crystal Leigh Hemphill, who says, “Staging a 2,000-square-foot home would cost around $2,000 to $2,400 a month.” Most professional home stagers also require a three-month minimum staging contract, even if you sell the home after one open house, bringing the final staging bill to $7,200.
How can you justify this expense? If you own a vacant home, you’re already paying lots of bills every month if your unstaged house sits empty. So if staging it can help buyers envision how fabulous your living room looks with a little classy furniture and tasteful decor, the costs of home staging may be some of the best investments you ever made.
While (whenever possible) home stagers adore working with the knickknacks and art you already have, sometimes they require new accessories, fresh towels, flowers, and/or fruit. Small touches make a big difference, especially with a vacant house. Heidenry adds that the layout of your home could also add to the home staging costs. “Home stagers often use lightweight versions of basic furniture pieces,” she says. “However, a home staging job that requires heavy lifting in a multi-story house still usually means hiring additional help to move furniture.” If you’re listing a vacant home, however, you’re looking at home staging costs that include rental fees for every stick of furniture and all staged furnishing and decor items.
Stagers may also recommend that you declutter by putting excess knickknacks into storage, tacking that monthly rental onto your overall staging costs. It’s all about decluttering and depersonalizing the home by removing unusual, religious or political, and personal items, so home buyers can more easily envision themselves living in the home. One more expense may be paint. To ensure success, a fresh coat may be recommended, costing you $200 if you paint it yourself, or $400 to $700 if left to the pros.
Take heart. Your entire home may not need to be staged. If you’re on a budget, the stager may focus on only the main areas of a home -- the rooms potential buyers would spend the most time in—the kitchen, living room, dining room, and master bedroom. Special attention should be paid to what the buyers see when they first step in the front door, as first impressions are everything. Another way to save is to limit yourself to an initial consultation with a home stager, instead of full-service staging. If you can take instruction and are willing to “defrag” your house on your own (decluttering is ALWAYS the first step), the price is far less -- perhaps, $125 for 90 minutes.
How Rates Move:
Conventional and Government (FHA and VA) lenders set their rates based on the pricing of Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) which are traded in real time, all day in the bond market. This means rates or loan fees (mortgage pricing) moves throughout the day, being affected by a variety of economic or political events. When MBS pricing goes up, mortgage rates or pricing generally goes down. When they fall, mortgage pricing goes up. Tracking these securities real-time is critical. For more information about the rate market, contact me directly. I’m among few mortgage professionals who have access to live trading screens during market hours.
Rates Currently Trending: Neutral
Mortgage rates are moving sideways today. The MBS market improved by +20 bps last week. This may have improved mortgage rates or fees. The market experienced moderate volatility last week.
This Week's Rate Forecast: Neutral
Three Things: These are the three areas that have the greatest ability to impact your rates this week: 1)Jobs, 2) Geopolitical and 3) Central Bank
1) Jobs: We get a ton of headline jobs/wage related data this week and a lot of related data buried within reports like ISM as well. This will all culminate in Big Jobs Friday, the markets will be keen to see the juxtaposition of approximately 7M people falling off of the various CARES/Covid checks for a portion of September vs. those electing/choosing to go back to work in September.
2) Geopolitical: The main focus is on the Debt Ceiling as we will run into that sometime close to October 18th. There are two main pushes to get around that, one is just a bill being pushed that would suspend the debt ceiling, the other is through the whole reconciliation process that has gone amuck over the $3.5T bill.
3) Central Bank: We have key interest rate decisions from New Zealand and Australia but the focus will be on our Talking Feds Montgomery (took over for Rosengren), Bullard, Quarles, Barkin, Bostic and Mester.
This Week's Potential Volatility: Neutral
This morning we're seeing some sideways motion in the markets. Volatility is moderate to low with most of the focus this week on the debt ceiling and Big Jobs Friday.
If you are looking for the risks and benefits of locking your interest rate in today or floating your loan rate, contact your mortgage professional to discuss it with them.
Richard Sardella has been actively managing and providing services in the mortgage industry for over 27 years. Richard serves on the board of directors as President of Colorado Home Mortgages Inc.
All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.
MLO of record MLO.100007700 / NMLS#233568 / CHM NMLS#127716.