Brokerages Help Sellers Tackle Home Improvement Projects

More brokerages are offering programs to help home sellers spruce up their properties before they list by fronting the costs.

Realogy announced on Wednesday that its brand Coldwell Banker would be piloting a new home improvement program called RealVitalize, in conjunction with HomeAdvisor, an online home improvement resource. Sellers who take part in the program can have home improvement projects done at no upfront costs or interest charges, and then pay the brokerage back after settlement.

A homeowner who lists through a participating brokerage can have an option to make nonstructural home improvements and repairs using a service professional from the HomeAdvisor network. The brokerage will cover the upfront costs of the repairs, which could include services such as painting, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, new appliances, staging, installation, and handyman services. The costs are repaid by the seller when the property sale closes or the listing expires. There are no additional fees to participate in the program or minimum listing price.

The pilot program will first be launched in Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Orlando, Fla.; and Tampa, Fla., before rolling out nationally this year.

“Home sellers are looking to real estate professionals to offer integrated solutions to ease the process of the real estate transaction,” says Ryan Gorman, president and CEO of NRT. “Through a participating Coldwell Banker brokerage, sellers who choose to utilize the program benefit from a home improvement process that is more convenient while positioning their home for maximum appeal. We believe RealVitalize gives our affiliated agents a distinct and competitive advantage in their marketplace without the burden of having to manage the home improvement process, unlike other programs. This is a win-win for all parties involved.”

Other brokerages have recently launched programs to help home sellers tackle home remodeling projects and prepare their properties prior to listing. Keller Williams recently announced a pilot for The Keller Offers Concierge Program. The program allows agents to advise sellers on strategies to increase their home’s value. Keller Offers will fund the actual improvements at “very little to no upfront cost to sellers,” a program announcement reads. As with the Coldwell Banker program, sellers pay the funds back when the property sells. The Keller Williams program is being rolled out in select markets in Texas, Georgia, and California.

Other brokerage also offer concierge programs, such as Redfin, Compass, and ERA Real Estate. Renovation startup Curbio, a company that won the pitch battle at the National Association of REALTORS®’ second annual iOi Summit, received funding from NAR for their work in presale home renovations.

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