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Realtor Recommendations

Dear Phyllis,
My Realtor has retired, and she has referred her clients to her son. I plan to move to Arizona to be near my sister and met with the son to discuss listing my home. I have been in my home for over 30 years and have felt that it is very well maintained. He criticized nearly every aspect of it.  He even pointed out that some of my bathroom fixtures were different.  I never noticed but I have a wood towel bar, and some brass and silver accessories. He thinks they should all match. He then suggested that I hire his gardener and house painter.  I just wonder if this is a scam. 

I know homes are selling as soon as the sign goes up, so all of this seems very unnecessary?

Dear Christina,
Thank you for your question. You might take it as a compliment that he thought your home merited sprucing up. I have been in some homes where the only thing worth doing was a deep cleaning.  

Having not seen your home, it’s difficult for me to chime in. The fact that this Realtor made recommendations indicates that he is trying to sell your home for the highest price possible. If he were simply looking for a quick and easy sale, he would not make any suggestions. 

I believe consistent bathroom fixtures add to the aesthetic of the home and can be an inexpensive way to add value. It is a very easy fix for a handyman. 

Twenty years ago, a real estate broker I worked for was adamant that we never make any recommendations. If a client wanted a recommendation, she told us to tell them to check the phone book. Having reliable contacts that we can refer our clients to is a valuable service and trustworthy resource.  If your gardener hasn’t been properly maintaining your landscape, you should hire another. Curb appeal is very important when selling. It doesn’t involve anyone in your home. And it’s one of the simplest ways to increase property value.

A good rule of thumb is that if you invest a dollar, it should net you three.  Ask yourself if you want to sell for the highest possible price, which requires a bit more effort on both the seller and Realtor’s end.

Best of luck on your move!