In the ongoing battle to line up listings, more real estate brokerages are offering to go beyond recommending home improvement contractors and cleaning services. While these brokerages and their agents aren’t actually cleaning their clients’ houses, they are offering to arrange for services and front the costs.
Anyone in sales can tell you that the way to get and keep customers is to overcome their pain points. Recent research by Zillow found that 52% of sellers said making home improvements and prepping their home for sale is stressful.
Now Coldwell Banker, a brokerage that is part of the Realogy company, has partnered with HomeAdvisor, the online home improvement resource, to launch RealVitalize. The program provides sellers with home improvement resources before or during their sale with no upfront costs and no interest charges. The brokerage will be paid back for the expenses after settlement or if the listing expires.
For now, RealVitalize is operating in Columbus, Ohio and Denver, as well as Orlando and Tampa in Florida. It anticipates a national rollout of the program later this year and possible expansion in 2020. While the program doesn’t cover structural repairs or improvements, it does include things like painting, new appliances, handyman services, and kitchen and bathroom upgrades.
But Coldwell Banker is far from the only company to offer these services to sellers.
Redfin brokerage has offered Redfin Concierge Service to sellers since 2017, which coordinates and supervises things like deep cleaning, painting, staging and landscaping for sellers in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the District of Columbia. The service is offered for any price home, with a minimum fee of $10,000 or 2 percent of the sales price, paid at the settlement. (The buyer’s agent is also paid a commission, typically 2 or 3 percent of the sales price.)
Compass real estate brokerage offers Compass Concierge Services, in which real estate agents from the firm guide sellers through the process of staging, painting, cleaning, landscaping and other cosmetic improvements, in all of its markets for listings in any price range. The homeowners can decide which services they want without an additional fee or upfront cost. The costs are repaid at settlement.