Has Your Realtor Helped You Lately?

A colleague and I went on a listing call last week. We met a wonderful older woman, Mrs. A, ready to move onto the next chapter of her life. She was bright, energetic and quite witty. We were the second brokers to be called in and while we were going through the house she pointed out what needed to be repaired, what rooms needed wallpaper and carpeting removed. We finished our tour and sat down to go over our thoughts on the house. We complimented her on how well she understood what should be done before her house went on the market. Actually, we were quite impressed. To tell you the truth we didn’t really think we were going to be hired. Somewhere during conversation, Mrs. A started expressing concerns about how this work would get done. We realized that the first broker told Mrs. A exactly what needed to be done, offered some suggestions about how to accomplish this task, but never took charge to put Mrs. A at ease. A word of advice to sellers; not all agents are the same. We immediately pulled out our BlackBerries and wrote a list of contractors, handy men, electricians, and painters to facilitate this move. We also told Mrs. A. that as part of our service (because Realtors are in a service business) we will bring over a design person to oversee the process and be with her through the ordeal. The first 5 hours are at our expense. Oftentimes a house only needs a little rearranging, bookshelves decluttered to show off hidden treasures, drapes removed or added, pictures rehung. Fairly easy tasks can be overwhelming to a seller. Most clients understand the staging process, but don’t understand how to accomplish this undertaking. When you hire a Broker to represent you in the sale of your home, that Broker has an obligation to help you attain the highest price for your home. I say this over and over; houses in the best condition sell for more money in less time than houses that do not show well. We live in a world of working couples taking care of their children and their parents; they hire us to make the process easier not harder.
I am happy to say that Mrs. A hired us; the handyman has fixed a few a few odds and ends and removed some old carpeting; and to our surprise found wood floors in perfect condition. The designer removed draperies in the living room and reused them in the sunroom. She also instructed the painter to neutralize 2 bedrooms to a creamy soothing color and paint all the upstairs trim the same soft white. A cleanout company emptied the basement of 27 years of collectibles. An electrician added GFI outlets where needed. Mrs. A has maintained the house beautifully for the past 27 years so all that was needed was a little cosmetic updating. Our contribution to the makeover – $500.00, Mrs A.- $1215.00, a higher selling price-fabulous!

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