Besides all the incredible ways your real estate agent can help you—whether that's meeting you at open houses for endless walk-throughs or negotiating on your behalf—they still have a lot more to offer. Here, six common bonus services agents say they offer their clients.
If you're selling:
1. They can stage your apartment
"Probably one of the greatest values that I add is utilizing my interior design background to 'stage' a house with the seller's furniture, and supplementing (when it makes sense) with pieces from my design inventory," says Robin Kencel, an agent at Compass in Greenwich, Connecticut. "My process begins with a thorough decluttering, simplifying, and organizing of everything from bookcases to cabinets."
Caroline Sarraf, an agent at Compass in the Hamptons in New York, says she has her own large collection of decorative home items she lends sellers for home staging.
"I've been collecting for decades and can bring in a few woven baskets, ceramic bowls, art/gardening/design books, potted plants, antique mirrors, or porcelain parrots—whatever it takes to create the atmosphere we want," Sarraf says. "It helps the buyers imagine themselves in the 'magazine editorial shoot' of the home when they walk in. We want them to think 'I want to live here!'"
2. They can help prepare an estate sale
This can include emptying an apartment, fixing up features (sconces, vanity drawers, cabinets, etc.), refinishing floors, painting, and professionally cleaning the apartment.
"We just spent about four weeks doing all of these things to get [an] apartment ready," says Rory Clark, a real estate agent at Halstead in New York City. "We handled all the appointments, attended all the vendor meetings, picked out the stager, etc. The client is already thrilled with us."
If you're buying:
3. They can help with relocation services
You've found the place—now you need to figure out how to get all your stuff there. And your agent can help, says Ben Creamer, the co-founder and managing broker of Downtown Realty Company, a full-service brokerage in Chicago.
"One of the things we do is to connect clients to many vetted relocation service providers such as furniture rental and moving companies," Creamer says.
4. They'll help organize your renovations
Homeowners always need help with projects, whether it's a simple lock change, a kitchen revamp, or a quick paint job, says Holly Meyer Lucas, a real estate advisor at Compass in Jupiter, Florida.
"Offering this type of service to our clients helps cut high costs and ensures that the job gets done adequately and in a timely manner," she says. "Also, as real estate agents, we have a strong sense of what will work best to sell your property." That means they can give valuable insight on what design and renovation projects can yield a high return on investment.
5. They can help you design your space
Have the place but don't know what direction to take it in? Your agent might be able to give you a few tips.
"In addition to my work as a real estate agent, I'm also an interior designer with my own studio," says Tenecia Harris, a licensed real estate salesperson at Citi Habitats in New York City. "In my past life I worked as a design producer for HGTV and the "Today" show, where I supervised on-camera renovations. I leverage my experience to help my real estate clients transform their spaces into the home of their dreams."
For both buyers/sellers:
6. They can help dump your junk
Sometimes you just need someone to help you know what to keep and what to throw out.
"I offer my clients 'Concierge Services,' which means [I take care of] whatever they need to get done to help them buy or sell a home," says Sebastian Frey owner of Realty World Virtuoso, an agent in Santa Cruz, California. "I arrange for and oversee trash haulers, personal organizers, you name it. This includes clearing out 'hoarder houses' and removing junked vehicles, too!"