Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist


Are you mopping floors and painting homes to make a sale?

The real estate market around the country has changed and according to the Real Estate Journal, the role of Realtors has changed as well.  The journal has an interesting story out today and says that Realtors are now doing these following chores on vacant and occupied homes they have listed:

  • Painting
  • Vacuuming
  • Organizing yard sales
  • Retrieving false teeth!
  • Cleaning debris out of crawl areas
  • Boarding animals
  • Babysitting rats!

I have also heard of Realtors in California paying for the staging of homes at the demand of their sellers.

Many Realtors that are doing these extra chores for their sellers support their acts by saying they will do anything to make a sale in this competitive market.  They say if they don't do extra tasks for sellers they put themselves in the position of loosing a transaction.

On the other side of the coin there is a Realtor that was asked by a potential seller to drive him home from his colonoscopy.  She declined and she lost the listing because she declined.  This Realtor and others which are declining say they are licensed Realtors, not handymen or delivery personnel.   They say when they start doing these tasks they are doing them at a great risk saying E&O insurance does not cover these tasks that are not related to buying or selling real estate.

This same article also talks about the diminishing role for Realtors due to sites like Trulia and Zillow that encourages buyers and sellers to connect without the use of a Realtor. 

Read What Realtors are doing now

Have you done any of these extra tasks to keep a seller or buyer happy and to keep a transaction together?  Do you think it is O.K. or are you worried at all about liability?

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 134 commentsGeorge Tallabas • October 09 2007 03:19AM


Whatever it takes to assist a client is a good thing, Afterall, they are our bosses. There may be a limit and I guess that would depend on the agent.

Posted by Jason Schweiger, Loan Originator / Branch Manager NFLP (Network Funding LP) about 13 years ago
Too funny - But true - I have been going above and beyond my comfort zone the past 2 years.
Posted by Rebecca Savitski, NC Real Estate Listings (BSR Real Estate Group) about 13 years ago
Okay -- I will have to admit that I have ~~ but only once!  It's a long story -- the bottom line is that I vacuumed the entire home 3500 square feet -- and through away a lot of stuff --  I would rather market my expertise in real estate, not house cleaning.
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 13 years ago
I do some extra items.  But I'm not a maid service, nor am I a mason or a lawncare specialist...Gotta have your boundaries...
Posted by Kaushik Sirkar (Call Realty, Inc.) about 13 years ago
I don't got that far, however you should read my post on selling dirty houses. I think some help for a vacate home "might" be necessary.
Posted by Gaylen Thornton (Desert Heritage Real Estate) about 13 years ago
That's a good one for the attorneys out there, but the sellers probably have liability too. If a seller asks their agent to do something at their home (like getting the leaves off of the roof) and the agents gets hurt, who's that agent going to sue--if the injury is more than their commission--the seller. Now if the agent damages the roof--the agent will probably get sued. It's a no win.
Posted by Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate (RE/MAX Star Properties) about 13 years ago
We have taken the initiative and cleaned a vacant listing.  The sellers were nice, but had absolutely no drive to sell.  And they lived closer to the place than we did! 
Posted by Jim & Maria Hart, Charleston, SC Real Estate (Brand Name Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I have cut grass, paid for cutting grass, weed eating and edging, trimmed trees,swept, vacuumed, cleaned window, installed carpet, ....and all this on one listing.  Mike Norvell  When you get the sale, its kinda OK
Posted by Mike Norvell Sr, Norvell Consulting Group (Morris Williams Realty) about 13 years ago
Wow...sounds like the article was correct.  Many Realtors are doing extra work to get and save business.  I have to admit that in the early 80's when the market was much tougher than today with 17 1/2% morrtgages I did a lot of things I normally would not have done.  Thanks again for the comments.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

George - we are professional real estate agents, we are not professional handymen, taxi drivers or other service providers.  We make it easy for our sellers by providing resources of other professionals in the areas they need including home staging, organizing, mortgages, etc.

IMHO agents that do all of the misc. work are only helping to perpetuate the idea that real estate agents are not professionals.  It gives a definite attitude of entitlement that our real estate services are not enough.  No wonder consumers think we make too much money when all they SEE us doing is sweeping, lawn cutting, taxi service, etc. 

Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) about 13 years ago
I talked to another agent who would have cleaned the gutters if that was what it would take for my buyer to purchase the home.
Posted by Susan Trombley, Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs (Trombley Real Estate) about 13 years ago

Coincidently, I also own and operate a Residential & Commercial Janitorial Cleaning Business which I cross-market with my Real Estate business.  I started that business a few years back, before I got into Real Estate-(I'm still a RE Newbie-under 2years) and decided to keep it going to suppliment my income during my "Freshman" years in RE.  Since I am trying to establish myself and my reputation as a Full Time Real Estate Agent, I do not offer my physical self for these task, but instead, offer my cleaning business (I have employees) to provide these services if needed for a discount rate.

Tina Little-Coltrane - NC Realtor

Posted by Tina Little-Coltrane, NC Realtor/Broker and Notary Public (Keller Williams Realty) about 13 years ago

Christina - Good for you

Susan - Thanks and have a great day

Tina - You go girl!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

Thankfully our market isn't so slow that we need to do these types of things. I'm usually more than happy to recommend a grass cutting service, maid service, painter, plumber or whatever else the home needs done. But for me to personally do it? Not.

I never asked my doctor to go grocery shopping to select what's best for me to eat. I never asked a lawyer to buy me a suit so I'd look good at a closing. And I never asked my accountant to buy me a computer so I can use Quickbooks. Our job is to use our professional marketing and negotiation skills to sell homes. It's the homeowner's responsibility to make their homes desireable to buyers.

Low to No Cost Creative Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents 

Posted by Mike Martin (Northwood Realty Services) about 13 years ago
Mike - Good for you and I am glad your market is doing well
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
NO Never NaDa, I can refer you some good skilled labor but You hire me from the neck up!! :)
Posted by Keith Perry, REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta (Coldwell Banker) about 13 years ago
If my sellers aren't home when a buyer wants to come over, I go over and put their puppy in an upstairs bedroom out of the way.  They are in my neighborhood and I don't really mind.  Even if we don't want to admit it, sales can be a service industry.  I look at it like I go above and beyond to help clients. 
Posted by Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL (Prudential Rubloff ) about 13 years ago
We have helped sellers that are out of town line up vendors to do many of these things.  The only thing that I have personally done is sweep the floor during slow open houses if it needed it.  I think cutting grass and painting should be left to others.  The problem with giving a little is that they will expect more.
Posted by Patrick Brady (The Danberry Co., Realtors) about 13 years ago
I'm a sucker for Seniors!  I have helped several around the house as needed.  I would like to think that somebody would do the same for my grandmother if she were all by her self and needed the help. 
Posted by Jessica Horton Jessica Horton Realty, Jessica Horton: I'm not #1... You Are! (Jessica Horton - Jessica Horton & Associates) about 13 years ago

Keith & Robin - You get my vote!

Sherry - Good for you

Patrick - I agree with you

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
Jessica - You are right...I have a weakness in my heart and soul for seniors as well.  I recently sold a home for a 78 widow that does not drive and I drove her all over town after closing to get her utilities changed.  We have become real close.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

George - I don't do those types of things for my sellers.  Instead I hand them a small directory of local handymen, electricians, plumbers, carpet installers, tile workers, roofing companies, etc. and tell them that they need to contact a professional in the area that needs attention.  Many time I have already had contact with the particular contractor and they will even discount some services if my clients are in need.  I don't offer, I don't get asked.  I just stop the conversation before it starts.  Much safer that way - in many senses.

I have had my husband do snow removal when we have had an unexpected snow right before an open house, but other than that.....nope. 

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) about 13 years ago
Carol - You are one smart cookie! :-)
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago


Likely most all of us, would like to give to others as much as reasonably possible.. And every situation should be considered in that light.. An elderly client without family or friends, without the means- would elicit a different response of providing help , than well heeled- simply taking a perceived advantage of an over-willing agent...

This says as much, if not more about the sad state of individuals doing the asking.  Some are likely loners, elderly etc. without friends to ask for rides, etc.

but this adding, cleaning, mowing etc. is more looking like simply taking advantage of desperate agents, and after hearing the news at how bad agents aren't making sales... simply taking advantage.

 Good AGENTS bring consultation and sales skills to the table!  If this is not appreciated or compensated for... either negotiation ability is worth paying for..or.?

Already much multi- tasking "value added" has been done beyond the real task of finding a buyer and working to an agreed price & terms... doing CMAs, paperwork, walking all sides thru the sales and closing process... calling and arranging for many services, inspections etc. to be done..& this done freely included in the sales commission.... Not to mention paying for and funding expenses in ADVANCE for both buyers but especially sellers...

BUT when stepping into  such areas as has been discussed in this article...  especially if not beneficial for the sale..... well

Perhaps, the Negotiation skills of a good or even poor agent should begin to show... i.e. explain the market is slow, you work totally on commission and "yes, if its legal and they'll willing to become liable by signing a release- you or a subcontractor will take care of their problem for a fair  prepaid cash amount!" Likely the issue has been resolved.

All income producing  work is TRADING TIME til Death for MONEY!!!   

And agents working commission are already taking a risk for getting nothing hoping for more compensation over the long run.

But when you start doing 'favors' for sellers or buyers... beyond your professional obligations...

you're Trading TIME til Death... doing their jobs and taking time you should be doing yours!   whether finding other buyers, sellers..    Or as should be explained to these individuals- properly marketing theirs for as prompt and proper close as possible...

BUT LIKELY UNTIL like other 'professions'  at least some in THE PROFESSION STARTS seriously and appropriately CHARGING BY  THE HOUR, REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME- i.e. whether they ever buy or sell...

will the 'profession' gain greater respect, and likewise the  performance , ranking of agents will become  more revealed.

Ironically, the so-called discounters and on line services  are moving towards just such charges & fees ..  How true is it that when your time is thrown away for free, the value that you're  considered to  really be worth will draw  nearer  to the same!

But again, there can be valid reasons to be a Good neighbor, and follow the Golden Rule. Good to give to Charity, but maybe not so much that you become the charity case....poorer because you're not working at your JOB!

Posted by blreast therealty4u (Beach and Luxury Realty, Inc.) about 13 years ago
Thanks for sharing whoever you are and have a great evening
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

George - I staged a home with a Realtor - she hired me for a half day staging and worked next to me the entire time.  I draw the line at cleaning - I rearranged the furniture and there were huge dust bunnies under the couches.  I just leave a note with the business card of a great cleaning service.  The Agent got out the vacuum, dusted and cleaned the bathroom.  I really think it is above and beyond. 

I'm not sure the client has the same respect for people that clean the toilet as they do for the Stager / Realtor.  I personally don't cross the line.  

Posted by Maureen Maureen about 13 years ago
Well, I cleaned two tolets last week, never done that before. Seriously.
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 13 years ago

Maureen - Thanks my friend for sharing and I hope all is well

Missy - If that is the worst you have to do that is cool

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
There's a big difference between doing something that you want to do and you feel needs to be done...and being asked to do something or expected to do something by your client. I have gone above and beyond many times and don't feel taken advantage of, because I wanted to do it, I volunteered, and it was my pleasure. If a seller demanded that I do something, then I probably would not be so accomodating. Does that make sense?
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) about 13 years ago
Honey- I was just last week mudding a cracked wall for a listing and was helping them paint!!! I go so beyond the normal for my clients-
Posted by MAUREEN STACCATO about 13 years ago
I am extremely picky on how my listings look since you have one opportunity to make a strong first impression. I have planted flowers, organized closets even let sellers borrow my own furniture to make their houses look great. I see this as what is needed to get the job done. My clients really appreciate these extra things.
Posted by Maribeth Messineo Peters, Dallas native-Preston Hollow Greenway Parks expert (214-566-1210 ) about 13 years ago

Kelly - Good for you my friend....keep up the great work

Maureen - You go girl!

Maribeth - Wow....Ms. Super woman!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
I have to admit that I have painted an entire house, gotten rid of a ton of stuff, bought a Radon system, loaned a buyer money, physically hauled two 1000 lb furnaces out of a basement and I would gladly do it all again if it meant a closed deal. I think it would be more difficult now because I just don't have the time, but I would consider it.
Posted by Andrew Trevino, Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale (ADT Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I have been staging my listings (furniture, artwork, plants...the works) for more years than I care to admit. I usually spend 500 to a thousand dollars before the keybox is on. Earlier in my career I washed windows and even reupholstered a couch. I do this at no additional cost. What I don't do, is market my listings for months on end or cut my commission. My listings sell within 3-10 days, even in this market. It's totally worth my time and effort plus I get a real kick out of having beautiful listings.
Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) about 13 years ago

I also go beyond, but there is a big difference between having to and wanting to, I go beyond than for my past clients, referrals and friends, Oh ya that's all my clients seem to be lately :-) 

I did remove a couple of truck loads of paint, and when I realized it was a pain to dispose of the paint I made sure every artist in my area, and the School art teachers got this wonderful gift. also I have a client who needed me to chase down mail for him and anothers Mother is moving and I will craigslist and open the home for specific selling times , but everything works out when you do something wonderful for someone else. At least for me, I love being creative and when I need to do something there is always another door to open. Like the paint helped out others, chasing down mail was just a couple of weeks ago and I had heard an associate of mine (Manny Lawson #99 49er football player) had gotten hurt, so I went by and brought him a get well gift, (he lives near the mail property).

Then the craigslist deal will also get people thru the home that will not yet be listed, but I will surely ask the people if they know someone who would be interested in buying the property not to mention meeting neighbors. The daughter was 2 of my childrens teacher, so I am more than willing to do anything for those who Teach.  I also pay for Home warranty whenever there is an issue with who's paying.

I have had the issue of cut commission and let me in before close, but I, always seem to work it out.


Posted by Denise Stuart, Coldwell Banker (Coldwell Banker San Jose Realtor ) about 13 years ago
An agent in my office said he spent approximately 8 hours cleaning and packing up a client's house for their move. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!
Posted by Darleen McCullen, Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate about 13 years ago
This is strange... the number of comments when immediately posted.  How do you do this... by putting the comments of a past blog post in a new blog post?  The comment times are prior to the blog post time.  Was this blog posted elsewhere prior to the general Active Rain group?  Is this effective for the blog, receiving comments, an SEO thing, or beneficial to AR points.  I am still learning the ins and outs. 
Posted by Byron Lewis, Realtor, e-PRO, ABR, CRS, Manhattan Kansas Real Es (Landmark Real Estate) about 13 years ago

George, I've taken care of small areas that needed attention when either the homeowner wasn't able or didn't understand "how" to do something (I.E. patching area on drywall/paint chips, "ramping" uneven walkway, etc.)  It doesn't bother me in the least to help out at times like that and I don't believe for one moment it is demeaning to me or my professionalism.


Posted by Kris Wales, Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) about 13 years ago


This post has interesting timing.  I recently assisted a family member with a long distance purchase. He sold a house in one state, purchased a house in another state and both Realtors involved with both transactions offered to help.  One offered to paint the new place, and the other offered to help get rid of the items he was leaving behind at the sold property.  These acts of kindness, helped him emtionally as well as physically.  He was very nervous about having to move after owning the home for nearly 50 years. 


Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) about 13 years ago
The way I will help my Sellers is to lead them to the professional cleaners, the professional painters, professional lawn service, etc.  I explain to the Seller that I am a professional Real Estate Broker that professionally market and sell property.  After all I want the professionals to do the job so the job will look outstanding!  if a Buyer or Seller demanded that I did the work myself- I would walk away from the transaction.  We have to draw the line somewhere- otherwise the line keeps getting moved.
Posted by Rick Tourgee, Provincetown and Cape Cod (Robert Paul Properties, Inc.) about 13 years ago
Oh my goodness, you have to be kidding!  I read that article and thought "no wonder people don't value Realtors".  Anyone who does this stuff is simply PROVING once and for all that agents have no professional value.  I would refer my clients to someone who might perform needed services, but politely inform them that vacuuming their property will not get them any additional exposure - and THAT is my job.
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 13 years ago

It is wonderful that many agents generously go way beyond the call of duty. However, in regards to recommending to the homeowner what needs to be done and also helping them undertake these tasks - wouldn't that be where hiring a stager would be beneficial for all involved?  I guess I sometimes still don't understand why some agents do not bring a stager in. One advantage is that a stager can be more direct in pointing out to the homeowner what needs to be done. Sometimes it's not as easy for the agent to do that because of the nature of the client relationship. Another thought is, considering the amount of time it takes to do the tasks described in these posts, does the agent really have time for that? Even if the agent paid for the staging out of pocket, I would think s/he would still come out ahead in more ways than one. Is my thinking on this correct?



Posted by Karen Haberstro, Walls, Redesigner & Stager (Easy Does It Redesign & Consulting) about 13 years ago

Unfortunately stagers and realtors HAVE to do everything they can to get these houses SOLD. Sellers still think all they have to do is LIST and it will sell. NOT SO

Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) about 13 years ago

I don't see a "line."  I work in a service industry, offering my talents to people who need me.

I have mowed, repaired roofs, lent my truck to clients, hauled trash, hired cleaners and paid them.  I have picked litter out of the front yard.  None of that is beneath me.  And I have never felt in any way that clients were "taking advantage of me." 

I have a background of hard labor, don't have a lot of fear of it, and don't feel demeaned when helping others.  Freely given help for folks who are struggling is a very rewarding endeavor. 

A ride home from a colonoscopy?  Whew, I dunno about that...  There I see tons of liability, unless there is a family member at home to hand off the patient to.  But I also see the possiblity for tons of need.  If an agent would do it for a church member, why would a client be less deserving?

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) about 13 years ago
Once prior to a showing I walked thru house to find the family pet, their cat had died.  I wrapped up the dead cat and moved him to garage, showed house, got contract and a grief counciling session with my listers, all in a day...
Posted by Keith Neeley, RE/MAX New Horizons (ReMax New Horizons) about 13 years ago


I have and will on occasion a little handy work for the sellers and even the buyers once they move in. We should be limited on any repairs that might add liability to us..I have cut and repaired molding and have installed a few light switches to be helpful...but just be careful on how far you go...I do not think I would be the shuttle service for a colonoscopy though:) I would have to think about that one.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) about 13 years ago

Often I have to clean up after the"professional" painters that leave their paint and brushes etc. Maids that leave wet mops on the wood floors. Or the floor guy that didn't show up when I have an Open House the next day. Of course I straighten up. I will buy flowers too. Often the seller is out of town.

Frankly the agents that don't ever lift a finger are the ones that I think are unprofessional and pretentious. I would never hire an agent that can't roll up thir sleeves .

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) about 13 years ago
You betcha.  I don't actually do the painting but I advise my clients that it will definitely make a difference.  How about this one.  A lady called our office saying, "Do you have any vacant homes that are vacant that I can help you "stage"? I don't have a lot of things, really".  In other words, she was homeless and wanted a free place to stay!! What nerve!!
Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) about 13 years ago

"Once prior to a showing I walked thru house to find the family pet, their cat had died.  I wrapped up the dead cat and moved him to garage, showed house, got contract and a grief counciling session with my listers, all in a day... "


Now, folks, that there is a "Whatever it takes!"

Good job!

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) about 13 years ago
I just help paint a home. There was no way it was going to sell with out a paint job.
Posted by Steve Volkers, Grand Rapids Real Estate (SVG Real Estate Firm) about 13 years ago
The way to separate ourselvs from the crowd is to do the unepxected, underpromise and over deliver. I've be house sitting a listing for absentee owners for about 4 weeks, going in a flushing toilets, dusting and making sure it's "show ready." do I have to do it? No.  I could hire someone too, I guess. But, it only takes a few minutes and it does build good will.
Posted by Anonymous about 13 years ago
I have to admit I've done those things---most notable is cleaning toilets before an open house on a vacant home.
Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) about 13 years ago
Yes, I too have done all of these things and a lot more especially for seniors.  I call it going the extra mile because there are times when our clients truly need help and can't afford it or don't know how to get it.  I may take full-service too far but it's these kinds of things that make me feel good about being a Realtor.
Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) about 13 years ago

A lot of these items cross the line! 

Now, I have vacuumed BECAUSE THE BUYER TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE OPEN HOUSE (he won't do that again...LOL), in sheer desperation because we were all preparing for an O/H due to start in 15 minutes!

I will PROPOSE solutions and get names/numbers of landscapers, maid services, etc.  I will assist with QUICK & EASY fixes that are beyond the scope of my client's ability.  Far from being a prima donna, I strongly believe those other chores should not be expected of a real estate professional!


Posted by Anonymous about 13 years ago
Ooops, that last post was mine.  Forgot to sign in...  :)
Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 13 years ago
I have fixed and repaired basic items to help the financially strapped seller ... but, I have a letter/contract that I have the seller sign with their commitment to the sale ... keeping clean, available and in good repair.  My clients know up front what I spend and I am asking for their commitment too.
Posted by Allen C. Wright, NS, AHS, REPS (RealtyU) about 13 years ago

I recently listed a home being built by an architect who was venturing into infill construciton. Amazing floorplan, great finishes. . .lovely place.  The morning of closing I stopped by to take some final photos of the home and found the builder and his secretary covered in sawdust and working on finishing the home.  It was 8 am. . .the final walk-thru was scheduled for noon with a 3 pm closing.

I kicked off my heels, caulked a couple of sinks, put all the hardware on the kitchen cabinets, made two trips to home depot, called a cleaning crew and coordinated pick up of the construction debris still in the garage. 

We closed. . .happy clients all around. . .and one tired Realtor!

Posted by Lori Gilmore, Realtor - Will County Illinois (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I have to say that our role as Realtors is ever changing, but somewhere the lines will have to be drawn
Posted by Scot Thrapp (Coastal Palmetto Realty ) about 13 years ago

Setting boundaries is great, but sometimes taking an hour out of your day to freshen up a vacant home will be the little extra it takes to sell the home.

Posted by Steve Lauver, Omaha Realty -- 402-689-7550 (Nebraska Realty -) about 13 years ago

I am a Realtor who also owns my own Staging Business.  My clients benefit by using me as their Realtor because I don't charge them for the staging.  I can't imagine putting a listing on the market without having it look its best...that's crazy!

I do draw the line at cleaning and all that other stuff.  But it is in our best interest, as Realtors, to make sure that a home is truly "market ready".

An agent in my office had one client call her to bail him out of jail...she said NO!

Posted by Chelle Gassan, NOVA Realtor and Stager (RE/MAX Regency and Staged Homes VA) about 13 years ago

Good morning to you all and "Thank You" so much for your responses.  Boy, we have more diversified and talent Realtors on Active Rain than I ever imagined! LOL  Have a great day!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
George,  many of us will advise a seller on things we feel will help sell the listing.  Not quite so many actually assist the seller in any major jobs.  I've done a few though.
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 13 years ago
It is funny and not so funny. Long story short, after a closing was delayed multiple times (2 months) the seller had long gone to another state and they had done their final autumn closing for the yard work. The buyer on the "final, final" walk thru wanted all the leaves removed before the closing later that afternoon. ( Mind you this is a two acre lot in Saddle River ) Not able to get a landscaper on a moments notice...I ran to Home Depo, rented a gas driven leaf blower and for 2 hours, I cleaned the stuff off the lawn, drive, etc., in my suit no less...and then went to the closing. ( smelling of diesel fuel ) but... we closed! Whatever works.   ;)
Posted by Pamela STETSON about 13 years ago
George, I find myself laughing as I read this article.  Guilty as charged!  I'm on my way out right now, but I'm looking forward to reading your comment thread and the original article.  Great post!!
Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) about 13 years ago
Presentation is key, first impressions count. I have worked open houses with realtors and we do take the time to "notice" those imperfections when they do occur, we instead let the seller know what we see and how it might affect the views of a prospective buyer. The seller then has the option to take action. We maintain our roles as professionals in our respective fields by referring a request for a job to a trusted source (again handled by a professional in the given field) this helps build and maintain the referral network we all strive to have and maintains our role as business professionals.
Posted by Douglas Bailey (Mortgage officer) about 13 years ago

George = Part of my marketing plan is offering the services of a Home Stager at my expense. Sometimes this makes the difference of me attaining the listing over a competing agent.

I use Kim Wester


Posted by Chuck Dellorto, "Talk To Chuck" (Coldwell Banker - Serving INDIANA & ILLINOIS) about 13 years ago

There is no way - i cant believe what i am hearing - would you expect your dentist or accountant to  do anything other than what he is being paid to do?? never - so why should we, as professional real estate brokers be preapred to demean ourselves and our profession at the slightest drop of a hat?

i cannot agree with this perspective and please please lets remember, we are professional people and if you feel you add so little value that you have to earn your commission cleaning floors - then you deserve to be mistreated.

as for me, my value is in my ability to maximize my clients advantage from any real estate deal - and i have the knowledge and experience to do just that - not clean hios floors!!!  hire a maids service to do that

Posted by Tony du Preez (RESE Realty INC.) about 13 years ago

Their was a poorly writen article about this in the WSJ last Friday. 

I think we are all going the extra mile to get the house sold.

Posted by New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor (RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I would leave a better comment but this is a public post. Unprofessional agents that do anything to get a sale are just undermining the profession. 
Posted by Jeff Link, "Your Asheville Real Estate Link" about 13 years ago
I'm always up for putting in a little elbow grease.  If the client needs help then I'm there.  It's just part of the services that I believe help my clients and myself.  I do draw the line at paying for their services.  Staging is always done at the expense of the client.
Posted by Delete Me Now Please about 13 years ago


At some point you have to make a stand.  Your are correct that we are Professionals.....and I don't see any Doctor's cleaning the garage of their next patient....or the Pharmacist filling the gas tank of their customer before they fill their prescription.

That being said the Client in today's market never stops asking...I had a Realtor friend asked if she could babysit while the couple (she had just met) ran around to open house's...promising to use her when they found a home. Thankfully she declined.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) about 13 years ago
I'm always getting to a showing early so that the lights are on, the blinds are open, the toilet seats are down, the beds are made, the clothes are picked up and dishes are in the dishwasher. You only have one chance for a first impression so I feel it is my job to make that 1st impression the best it can be!
Posted by Pam Hofmann, Your Crossville, Lake Tansi & Fairfield Glade Specialist (Third Tennessee Realty & Associates, LLC) about 13 years ago
I have done just about everything (within reason) at this point.  I will not pick up dead cockroaches ... or even live ones, for that matter.  There has to be a line.  LOL  (no, I'm not back yet)
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) about 13 years ago

George - Great post to bring out the responses and different views! I have a lot of customer service in my career background and this is one area where I draw the line! I am very clear with my clients; especially with vacant homes that I will not be maintaining their homes and that I am not a management company.

Arizona's Exclusive Right to Sell/Rent Listing contract (as I am sure all are similar) states in Para. 8 on page two; ROLE OF BROKER: Owner acknowledges that Broker is not responsible for the custody or condition of the Premises or for its management, maintenance, upkeep or repair. --I bring this paragraph to their attention and make sure I put an asterisk near it so that I know we have discussed this ahead of time. Seller's initials aren't bad either!

When I take a listing I am very clear with my sellers that it needs to be show ready, clean, decluttered, maintained regularly and I can not do this for them. I am happy to provide a list of contractors and handyman that can help them from a distance if need be. If a listing is just too far gone and the cooperation is possibly not present, then I am a 'walking'...There ya have it from the peanut gallery!

Posted by Arizona Real Estate Associate Broker (MR Realty) about 13 years ago

Hi George,

Yes, we believe the role of the real estate agent can conceiveable go off into areas that are sometimes less than glamorous.  However, within limits, we all must approach each task as professionals.  Driving Sellers around to and from doctor's appointments seems a bit abusive.  However, probably more agents than not have had to do a bit of tidying up in order to make sure their listing presents as nicely as possible.  Thanks for another quality post!

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) about 13 years ago

I try to go above and beyond in my service and dedication to clients.  I feel many people right now feel we will do anything for a sale and not so sorry to say my answer is no.  I spend my time, money and effort on marketing their home if they want reduced service, yes I can do other things.  Our market is pretty good in this area and I will tell clients, I spend my money to go the extra mile for marketing and they don't feel it necessary to ask for extra services or favors.


Posted by Anonymous about 13 years ago

If I have clients who are out of town, then I will clean up or make arrangements for trash pick-up or a Habitat for Humanity pick-up.  I have gone out of the way to clean out a litter box or two before showings when I know my clients are traveling.  

This is part of helping a home to sell. 

I don't offer up the farm because I also want to know that my clients are as motivated as I am for their home to sell.  If I get the sense that my client isn't motivated as well then we sit and have a serious discussion about the listing.

Posted by Virginia Halter, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GREEN, SFR, SRES (RE/MAX Signature Properties) about 13 years ago

Good afternoon everyone and thank you so very much for your feedback.  I wish you all the best!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
Perhaps the "service" in service has gone too far for this industry.  To me this is a strong indication that Real Estate Agents are not respected for what they do.  This is a wake up call.  Interesting!!
Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) about 13 years ago
I am surprised by how many people have gone "over the edge" in helping a client.  No wonder people don't see agents as professionals. 
Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) about 13 years ago

Giving a client a ride back after hospital, well you have a liabiity risk there if something happens on the way back. Call him a limo service instead.

Posted by Carolyn Galant, MBA - Coldwell Banker - New Jersey Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential) about 13 years ago
Good evening everyone.  I really am blown away by all the response to this blog and appreciate you all very, very much. You are all awesome!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

I am pretty stunned and dissappointed by some of the comments. My job is to market the home and guide it to closing once under contract. I am a Realtor, not a handyman/maid/landscaper/etc. If I ever get so desperate to do housework then it's time for a new profession. I market the home, it's the sellers responsibility to give me a marketable product or reduce the price to make it marketable. Some of you have a lot more free time than I do apparently.

Posted by Brandon Hoffman (RE/MAX Connected) about 13 years ago

Hi George,

I know a husband and wife team that allowed themselves to be talked into painting an entire house for a Seller only to have the Seller come back a week and a half later and request that they remove the listing from the MLS because the Seller has "changed his mind" about selling the property. Instead, of enforcing the listing...the broker chose to release the client. Sad but true.


Posted by Keith Elliott Jr, Principal Broker/Owner (KEIRE Realty Group) about 13 years ago
George, I don't know what the answer is to this.  I think there is some things that would be okay but I'm not sure what they would be.  There has to be a line on what you will and will not do. My first reaction is that I would not drive a client home from a colonoscopy, but maybe I'm not thinking right. 
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507 (Simply Vegas Real Estate) about 13 years ago
When I take on a listing, I take on knowing that person and helping where I can. That said, a listing should not be purchased.  Purchasing a listing can be by overpricing it, taking on doing the painting, etc.  If a REALTOR(R) wants to hire out as a painter, that's their business.  I'm fully employed without taking on another job.   Sometimes it's just the attitude of the seller.... that counts.  I have out of town sellers that can't get things done. I will help them arrange to get them done.  I had a guy that mowed lawns for my clients, neglect a lawn until it got BAD.  I couldn't find anyone to take it on.  My husband and I loaded the mower and spent the afternoon grooming the lawn.   
Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 13 years ago

We do what makes us comfortable I guess.

Posted by Simon Conway (Orlando Area Real Estate Services) about 13 years ago
I believe we are profesionals and our job is not to be a handyman or chauffeur but to market the home to sell.  Part of our listing presentation is to make suggestions of how to get the home ready to sell.  At that time, we provide a list of people they can use to perform these jobs.  There are always exceptions, but, they need to be kept at a minimum.  With all the listings we are carrying these days, there is not enough time to do this type of work for the listings.
Posted by Phyllis Chudik (Coldwell Banker/The PJ Team) about 13 years ago

Before open houses I will go around and make sure everything is as it should be. i have had to clean a bathroom at an open house, i dont make a habit of doing my sellers chores.

Posted by Vicki Bishop GRI - Alabama Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors®) about 13 years ago

Thank you all once again for your input and I wish you all an awesome day!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago


I think that we are in a service industry and there are different levels of service for every price point.  I have offered to help move or paint before and would do it again.  There is a limit, however to what things I would be willing to do in order to get the deal! 

Posted by Jeannette Morrison, Central Texas Real Estate, NW Austin, Round Rock (Cedar Park,Leander,Georgetown & Lake Travis Areas.) about 13 years ago

I have also heard of Realtors in California paying for the staging of homes at the demand of their sellers - Please tell me that you are kidding. I know that it is nice to do things for people but you have to have boundaries or else you will be walked over. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 13 years ago

Come on now, I fed Cabbage patch dolls...what ever it takes.  I just landscaped one of my listings front yards - went and bought the stuff and planted it... they didn't even call and say thank you...go figure!

It's a tough bunch out do what you have to do right now...sad, so sad!


Posted by Karen Monsour, REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert! (Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach) about 13 years ago
Retrieving false teeth and driving to a colonoscopy! way!
Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) about 13 years ago
Thank you everyone once again.  I was blown away at all the support of this blog!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

George, I didnt read all 97 responses before I responded but yes, I have mopped floors and (without the Buyer's side knowing, I had to do it twice because they were not happy the first time around). I cannot imagine to have the Sellers already having to fork out $14K to sell the house and a task as simple as mopping would definitely help them a little.

I dont believe in people walking all over me policies (even though I know it may happen) but I know my blessings are counted and acknowledged some where else.

As far as painting, I didnt do it but got my handyman to take care of it. So, yes, it came out of my pocket and again, something small, I'd be okay to do it. There are some easy sales, and there are some hard ones.....

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) about 13 years ago

My favorite one was at the final walkthrough... the night before... sellers nowhere to be found... and a filthy house. Let's just say, the agent and myself got some sponges and some soft scrub, and went to town in order to make the deal happen. Ever since then, NEVER!

If a closing is scheduled... I'll be sure to see money held back or credited. I make deals happen.. I don't clean houses anymore.

Posted by West Hartford CT Real Estate Agent | West Hartford Realtor | (ERA Broder Group) about 13 years ago

I've helped people pack, paid for water heaters, had the grass mowed - you name it. I do whatever it takes to get the transaction closed. I guess my problem is that I become emotionally involved and they end up being friends rather than clients.

My goal with each sale is to make the clients so happy that they will recommend my services to all their family and friends. I think sometimes, it is the little things you take care of, that your client remembers most after the closing.

My marketing package includes 3 hours of free labor from a local handyman service, to help the seller get their home ready to put on the market. I find this helps to get all of the items from my merchandising requirements completed in a timely manner. In a soft market it is so important to have the house priced right and in tip top shape on the "Grand Opening" day of the listing.



Posted by Michelle Rottach, Scott County Iowa Real Estate (RE/MAX Elite Homes) about 13 years ago
I would definately help and would not worry about liability. (As long as it is not material/professional work for licensed professionals - plumbing, electrical, etc.)
Posted by Joyce Heffner-Williams, Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate (Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty) about 13 years ago
Wow, I am maveling at all of you that have taken the time to respond to this has blown me away. I wish you all the very best!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

No... there is a great agent in my office who got sued by a client because the client didn't like the non real estate work the agent performed out of the goodness of his heart...  My experience has been that the more non real estate work you do for a client, the less likely you are to have a positive outcome... I'll keep my efforts strictly professional - but that doesn't mean I can't go above and beyond professionall - I can do custom websites on my listings at no additional charge, hold extra open houses, etc... It's up to my clients to clean or hire someone to clean...

Ginger Allen

Posted by Ginger Allen, Greater Annapolis Md Area (RE/MAX Advantage Realty) about 13 years ago
Ginger - Thanks for sharing.  Have a great day
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
I did cut some plants and trees and replaced some screens.  Does that count?
Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I think most of us are willing to step in and do what's necessary to make things work for a client.  You've definitely raised some awareness with your post.
Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) about 13 years ago

George: I have had a few situations where the Realtor had to pay for the staging in order to get the listing. In one instance, the home was overpriced and did not sell. The listing expired and the Listing Agent lost the money he had invested in the staging, which was very unfortunate. In another instance, the Listing Agent said that he would pay for the staging, but that the home owner had to agree to lower the listing price by 5% every two weeks until the home sold. That way he was able to guarantee that he would be able to recoup his investment in the staging. Fortunately for all involved, the home sold in 5 days, in a multiple bid situation, for over the asking price. I have also had Listing Agents paying for the staging up front with a guarantee that they will be reimbursed for the cost at the close of escrow or if the home is taken off the market for any reason.

In an ideal world, the person who stands to profit the most from the sale of the home (the homeowner) pays for staging, painting, clean-up, etc. Most Real Estate Agents I work with really pull out all the stops to get their listings sold, without having to do work that is really the responsibility of the homeowner. But almost all wind up "going the extra mile", and they are usually the most successful Realtors in my area.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) about 13 years ago
Thank you everyone and what a story Michelle!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

Who hasn't had to knock down some spiderwebs or clean up some gecko poops just so the first impression will be a good one?

I have been known to help with the removal of unwanted items.  If I go above and beyond, I let the sellers know that it's my gift to them, so don't expect anything special after it's all over.  : )

Aloha - the Hunter

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 13 years ago

I have, for one listing, because she was a good friend of mine and she watched my kids.... been down on my knees scrubbing grout, vacuuming floors, wiping down walls, etc. in a 5000 SF house!

I suppose at the time I felt sorry for her and the fact that she had 7 kids and no help to clean the house, and I knew they wanted to sell the house BAD!

It never did sell but I learned my lesson! It is a homeowners responsibility to make a home MARKETABLE and it is our job to MARKET the property. We can make recommendations, give them a list of things to do to enhance their properties, but they need to understand that there are limits.

I am not a dog... I don't need to fetch things to prove I am worth the commission. I feel bad for Realtors that do such demanding things just to get listings... a lot of the time sellers cancel and list with other Realtors who, if you asked them to scrub your grout or vacuum your floors, would simply laugh and say NO!

Posted by Michael La Fay (Meadow Lakes Supply Co.) about 13 years ago
LMAO sorry... I can't get past the gecko poop :-) :-)
Posted by Michael La Fay (Meadow Lakes Supply Co.) about 13 years ago
I am a real estate broker.  I am not a janitor, chauffeur, gardener or whatever. I would not do those things even if the client offered to pay me.
Posted by Randy "Lazarus" McAtee, Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California (Lazarus Realty) about 13 years ago
Georgina, Sara & Lazarus...Thanks for the cuckles and remarks.  Have a great evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
I have always tried to go the extra mile for my clients and customers from the first day I have been in business.  Good service should be given in all markets.  What constitutes good service maybe subjective.  When a client has just moved into the area they may not have any friends yet.  As the realtor you are the person that they know best and consider you a friend and you are the one that they ask for a favor.
Posted by Vicky Poe, Realtor/ Auctioneer (Good Ole Rocky Top) about 13 years ago
Vicky - Good for you...have a great evening
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

As a home inspector, I have been back more than one time to check on things for the new homebuyer.

Now keep in mind, I have not performed any more work for them, just looked at and noted in the file what was viewed that day, and because several have been near where my home office is located, I have not charged them any extra money for my few minutes of time in order to make them happy with the hopes of them passing my name along to others.

Being extra curtious can pay off.

I did have one single lady ask me to change her locks on her new home for her.  I told her I would have to charge her but that she can easily do it herself with a cordless drill.  She was happy with the help of my reassurance that she could do it by herself.

So I say, going the extra mile is great, but there are limits to it all!



Posted by Joseph Ayscue (Examiner Home Inspections, LLC) about 13 years ago
Joseph - Thanks for your input and insight.  Have a great evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago


I am amazed by the response from Realtors who are utterly shocked that people work hard for a living.  I grew up with parents who taught me about going the extra mile for EVERYONE, regardless of monetary           compensation.  I would hope that if a neighbor asked for a hand loading a sofa in a truck we would all lend a shoulder.  Though from the sounds of some people above, they'd advise to seek a phone book and look up furniture movers!                                                                                                                               

What really gets me is the large amount of money that IS involved.  We're not talking about a $20 bill here folks and everyone knows that.  I think you are one pathetic human being to take THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS   in commission from someone and not lift a finger!  I know virtually everyone who has posted above has come across an easy listing where virtually no effort was involved and still took every dime of their commission.       I'm not saying that's wrong, heck I might take the money and run too, that's how it works in the business world.  But bashing those who go the extra mile to help a customer do some grunt work (it doesn't matter if   it's out of kindness or drive to succeed and get rich) is simply ARROGANT AND LAZY!                                   

 Furthermore, if you click on the profiles of those slandering lifting a finger, what do you think you'll find?  A large "DON'T ASK ME TO DO ANYTHING BUT SELL YOUR HOME, I'M A REALTOR FOR GOD SAKES!"   Of course   not, instead you find things like "I go the extra mile to make sure your home sells."  Talk about false          advertising.  I'd like to turn some of these people in to the Attorney General.                                            

Here's a great example:

Poster writes:

"There is no way - i cant believe what i am hearing - would you expect your dentist or accountant to  do anything other than what he is being paid to do?? never - so why should we, as professional real estate brokers be preapred to demean ourselves and our profession at the slightest drop of a hat?

i cannot agree with this perspective and please please lets remember, we are professional people and if you feel you add so little value that you have to earn your commission cleaning floors - then you deserve to be mistreated.

as for me, my value is in my ability to maximize my clients advantage from any real estate deal - and i have the knowledge and experience to do just that - not clean hios floors!!!  hire a maids service to do that" 




"Our Absolute Aim:

in everything we do, is to maximize your benefit,

while minimizing your stress and inconvenience

associated with any real estate endeavor!

All of our systems have been set up and created with that result in mind.

In Addition, our Team of Experts provides Professional,

Real Estate Service Excellence 24/7

we will find you the right property for you

and / or

aggressively market your existing property to ensure FAST results and maximum return to you!

Our total commitment to systematized excellence demonstrates our commitment to provide Industry Benchmarks of service, integrity and positive results!

As your Real Estate Consultants, (being properly appointed to act on your behalf via Exclusive Agency Agreements), we pledge our full effort working on your behalf, retaining your best interests at the center of all we do. 

Our business focus has always been long-term relationships with our clients and people.  Relationships are more important to us than short term outcomes. "


Talk about serious BS!  It stinks! 

Posted by On The Air Productions about 13 years ago

Are you kidding? These are standard services from my team.

Don't wait for slow markets to do these basic things. Build your business!



Posted by Gene Dexter, Seattle Realtor (Asset Realty) about 13 years ago
Amazing is all I can say
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

Get paid or not get paid?  Given the opportunity to provide a better opportunity for my paycheck to arrive I do what it takes.  I'm not too good to run a Swiffer.

Handing an emotionally overwhelmed and busy client a book full of vendors is too much for some folks.  So for them, I manage a bit more of the process.  I'm finding I do get the work done more by someone else now instead of doing it myself, with the exception of staging which I do.  It's cheaper in the end to get a painter in than to use my time to do it.

I can certainly understand the sentiment that says it's "their job" to get the house ready and it's "my job" to market the house.  But sometimes the folks don't fully understand what it takes, even with detailed lists and simply can't get it done.  That's when "my job" crosses over into "their job" and as a team we just do what it takes to get the job done.

If I can help to ensure the home looks as good as it possibly can, then I stand a better chance of getting paid!  It's not really altruistic at all...

Posted by Josette Skilling (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 13 years ago
Josette - Well said and have a great evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
To On the air productions: We are paid for our knowledge not our muscles. I don't think anyone has never helped someone do manual labor but the best agents are usually the busiest agents and simply don't have time for it. A realtors job is to market a property. I've helped clean a yard, I've helped rearrange furniture, but those are exceptions. My job is marketing!
Posted by Brandon Hoffman (RE/MAX Connected) about 13 years ago
Brandon - Thank you and have a great day
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

Some agents feel it is beneath them to rool up their sleeves and help out.  Folks, we all have our opinions and the way we do business.  We also have clients who love us.  I was raised to help others where I can.  If I see a client needs help and is on a limited budget then I am taking off the jacket and tie and put on the work clothes.  In the end, the house looks better, shows better and will be more competitive on the market.  In my experience, it gets offers faster and everyone is happy. 

My clients are trusting me with their most important and expensive asset and if I do not do the best job to market it, get it ready to show and wow everyone then I need to recommend them to someone can.  All of my clients are important and I am never too busy for them.  Granted not everyone needs help but the last client I helped contiunously refers clients.  My name is Nile Copeland and this is how I do business.

Posted by Nile Copeland (Realm Realtors LLC) about 13 years ago

I know it seems crazy, but I would probably do it too.  The false teeth thing, no, but the animal sitting and cleaning I could see myself doing that.  For one thing I love animals and second, one of my biggest pet peves is walking into a vacant listed house that is filthy.  I helped an agent out with an open house that was filthy and he said that when he got there, there was a dead bird on the floor.  Nasty!!!  Some people can see past filth, but most will be so turned off that they won't even look at the entire house. 

Good post George!  I love you and your writing. :) 

Posted by Amy Barrutia, Idaho Home Loans (Riverside Home Loans, LLC) about 13 years ago

Nile - Thanks for giving your input

Amy - I love you too very, very much and thank you so much for loving me!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
I don't think so and I don't know of any local realtors that are doing that!!!! As far as I am concerned, before I will do that it is time to find something else to do!
Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 13 years ago
Barbara - Thank you and I wish you will
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago
Greetings to all... I am a newbie and want to introduce myself to this board.  My name is Jan Wood and I live in Gallatin, TN which is about 35 minutes from Nashville.  Yes, I have gone beyond the call of duty.  I had a client who lived in New York and had a property here which I listed and was grateful for having... I found myself cleaning the toilets when I got the listing; I had to do it because they were hideous.  No, it was not what I do for a living, but someone's gotta do it, right!  I have also learned to carry a bottle of Windex with me to my Open Houses!
Posted by Jan Wood (None) about 13 years ago
Jan - Good day to you...welcome to Active Rain and have a wonderful day and weekend!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 13 years ago

Apparently it is not beyond me to help out.. never has been actually, but with some of the responses to your blog you would think those of us that do not jump in and do the repairs ourselves or mop floors at the drop of a hat are soul-less... I typically recommend QUALIFIED individuals to do these repairs for me.

However, that said, I did hang sheet rock, mud and tape, and had my boyfriend do some plumbing work for a client who's husband is just coming back from Iraq.

I never want to get in a situation where doing repairs gets me in trouble, but IF and WHEN they are necessary AND I know what I am doing... I will help out.

I still hold firm to the point that someone selling their home is responsible for making it MARKETABLE and it is our job to MARKET the property :-) xoxo

Posted by Michael La Fay (Meadow Lakes Supply Co.) almost 13 years ago
Sara Lee - Thanks for sharing and good luck to you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 13 years ago
I know of a realtor that recently staged a vacant property with furniture and accessories from her own home because the seller had no budget to have it done. I think that goes way above "full service!"  
Posted by Linda Sticklin (Home Staging & Organizing) almost 13 years ago
Linda - Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a great week
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 13 years ago
We just listed a rental property with a realtor that came highly reccommended, she is paying to have it staged, painted, and a tile backsplash installed in the kitchen. She offered it all. Blew me away, and all i can say is I will reccommend her to everyone! She is also known for selling homes quick (within a week) and for or above asking price. Virginia
Posted by Lu over 8 years ago