Attention to Detail + Hands On Role

What exactly do Realtors mean when they say they’re “full service?”

It’s certainly a fair question, because a full service commission in the Twin Cities these days typically ranges from 6% – 7%. By contrast, “discount” Realtors charge 5% or even less (“limited service” is actually a better label).

My full explanation takes about 90 minutes, which I cover as part of a formal listing presentation that I make to prospective clients.

Suffice to say, I play a “hands on” role — starting weeks (and even months) before my listings ever hit the market, to well beyond closing.

That includes knowing all there is to know about both recently sold properties (the “comp’s“) and competing “Active” listings, so I can give expert guidance on pricing; suggesting cost-effective improvements to maximize the home’s value; and building market awareness — well before the home formally debuts on MLS — both with other agents and the general public.

“Full Service” . . . in Practice

In fact, my input goes well beyond simply recommending value-adding improvements.

As an example from just this week, my client was in the process of painting their home — at my recommendation — to get it ready for sale. However, the paint colors they selected just didn’t seem right.

I knew, because I was in daily contact with both the client and the painters.

As part of “full service,” I asked two stagers I regularly work with to interrupt their schedules and come to the house, ASAP, to make suggestions from their color palettes.

Which they did. They both recommended near-identical colors, which my client OK’d, and the (waiting) painters immediately substituted.

Example #2

The second illustration of what “full service” involves was . . . today.

The key to my client’s just-listed home is the Kitchen, and the Kitchen has a prominent light fixture with 3 halogen bulbs. Unfortunately, 2 of them didn’t work.

Normally, my client would attend to that, but they timed their vacation to be out of the way the first week their home is on the market.

So, I went to the hardware store to find replacements. “Not so fast,” the salesperson I talked to said. The bulbs were specialty bulbs, and I needed to go to a specialty store for replacements.

Which I did.

After I finished, I had just enough time to join my family on an apple-picking outing.

P.S.: And no, “full service” does not include getting my clients’ dry cleaning, babysitting their kids, etc.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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