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How the NAR Settlement Could Impact Home Stagers

Mar 19, 2024
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Many real estate professionals are reeling after the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) agreed to change several policies in a lawsuit settlement.

As a home stager, you may wonder if there will be any effects on your own business.

Stagers need to stay up-to-date on hot topics like this, so we can understand our clients' challenges.

Important: Don’t Be Part of the Lower Commissions Narrative.

Many headlines talk about "slashing agent commissions" or "the end of the 6% commission," but commissions have always been negotiable and lower rates are not an official part of the settlement – just some of the potential consequences.

While commissions will now be another negotiation that agents must navigate, agents who show their value will still be able to get a 3% split.

As home stagers, we should not be another voice that turns the conversation into a self-fulfilling prophecy of lowers rates. Our clients are the ones who will continue to be the difference-makers. Sellers who want buyers to see the full value of their home will hire agents who they see the value in.

While some listing agents may begin to compete on low prices, top producers will compete on value and will remain your best clients.

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How Will Home Stagers Be Affected?

Your Top Clients Might Be More Loyal.

Seller’s agents who want to continue to make 3% commissions will have to provide substantial value to their clients. Agents who stage have always risen to the top in their market and they will continue to be able to command higher rates than their peers who don’t understand that staging is essential to getting top dollar for a home. Their days on market stats will be lower and their average sales prices will continue to be higher.

Who Pays for Staging Might Change.

In some markets, agents typically pay for the staging themselves. However, if commission rates fall, lower payouts for agents could mean lower budgets for home marketing efforts like staging.

On the other hand, if home sellers are not spending 6% of the sales price on agent commissions, they might have higher budgets for marketing their own home.

Your Marketing Efforts Might Shift.

If fewer agents pay for home staging themselves, stagers may need to redirect the focus of their marketing efforts to homeowners, rather than agents. This is similar to what the pharmaceutical industry has done. Where they used to market to doctors, they have shifted to marketing directly to the public and to potential patients, even for prescription medications. Now, patients often ask their physicians to prescribe specific medicines.

Pro Tip: Home builders also make excellent clients for home stagers.

Some Agents Are Stressed.

Since none of us have a crystal ball, the landscape for Realtors is a bit uncertain. Naturally, this can lead to higher levels of stress. You can support your clients by providing a stress-free service to them.

The best thing that home stagers can do right now is stay on top of the news and prepare for any potential disruptions to the industry. Because our jobs are so tightly wound up with those of our agent clients, any big changes to the NAR and real estate as a whole will undoubtedly impact us as well.

For more discussions like this one, join our Cru coaching program for home stagers. Twice a month, we get together virtually to chat about industry trends, best practices for running a profitable staging business, and practical strategies for efficiency and scaling.

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