Posted 12/08/2017

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Selling a house without the hassle: full-service home prep available

selling a home: preparation

Aly J. Yale

The Mortgage Reports Contributor

Hate selling a house? This service will clean, paint, stage and landscape for you

Experts agree that to get top-dollar for a house when you sell, you have to do some work upfront. Selling a house means upping its curb appeal with lawn cleanup, attractive plants, fresh paint, and more.

It means deep cleaning, stashing your clutter, and eliminating evidence of pets, kids and smoke. It's not for the faint-hearted.

Verify your new rate (Feb 24th, 2018)

Hands-off home selling

Traditionally known as an online listings platform, Redfin is branching out into other areas of the market with its latest venture – the Redfin Concierge Service.

Selling a home: Meet Gen X and Gen Y, your new buyers

For 2 percent of the listing price, the new service covers the costs, scheduling and coordinating professional home prep services. These can include deep cleaning, painting, landscaping and even staging.

Redfin can create a custom plan for each homeowner who uses the service.

How it works

According to Roddy de la Garza, a Redfin listing agent in Los Angeles, the new service improves the transaction for sellers and increases the home’s value in the process.

“With Redfin Concierge Service, you hand us the keys, approve the action plan, and we take care of everything, including the bill,” de la Garza said. “You just transform your home to get top dollar. And you still pay a lower fee than with a traditional real estate agent.”

Staging a home helps it sell 73 percent faster

Redfin Concierge will start in L.A. and Washington, D.C. and will only be available on homes priced $500,000 or higher. According to Karen Krupsaw, Redfin’s senior VP of real estate operations, Concierge is designed for a new type of seller.

“Our goal is to offer, hands down, the best home-listing service out there, and that means serving more than one kind of home seller,” Krupsaw said.

“Redfin Concierge Service reaches a new audience of home sellers who want to get their home in top shape for selling, but want their agent to handle everything."

Running the numbers

So, the big question for many home sellers is, "How much more do I get for my home, considering that I am paying 2 percent upfront?"

Will your price increase by more than 2 percent, or will the time saved be worth 2 percent to you?

Worth it!

Well, home staging has been proven to dramatically reduce the property marketing time.

FSBO: your complete guide to "for sale by owner" transactions

A 2013 Real Estate Staging Association study analyzed about 170 staged properties valued at $300,000 to $499,000. These houses sold on average in 22 days, compared to 125 days for unstaged properties.

And a Virginia tech study concluded that having nice landscaping and curb appeal added between 5.5 percent to 11.4 percent to the sales price, depending on the state in which you're selling.

Not worth it!

However, a 2015 study published by the Journal of Housing Research concluded that staging does not add value.

“Homeowners rationally do not significantly differ in their valuations based on staging conditions,” according to the study’s authors.

They showed the same house again and again to prospective buyers via virtual tour. And the same house was displayed empty, with ugly furniture or staged. And they got the same offer price -- about $200,000.

It depends

Your local market and hatred or love of yard work, home repairs and cleaning will likely dictate the value you get from a service like this.

Will 2018 be even better than 2017 for home sellers?

In a very hot market, you can stick a "for sale" sign in your yard and be instantly surrounded by flocks of folks with fistfulls of cash. You won't likely need help selling.

But in many areas, extra help can sell your home faster, and possibly for more money.

Get today’s mortgage rates

Considering selling your home using this new hands-off service? Don’t forget to check what rates you’re looking at once you buy again. Compare rates between lenders now.

Verify your new rate (Feb 24th, 2018)

Aly J. Yale

The Mortgage Reports Contributor

Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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