Where should real estate agents draw the line with listing clients?

  • Last week, we asked Inman readers to share what they've done for listing clients, and what they will never do for them again. We got a bevy of answers that ranged from fetching water for toilets to knocking down trees.
  • Most respondents were comfortable with giving repair and staging advice, and offering emotional support to clients.
  • But most drew the line at doing repairs and finding contractors -- which open the door to liability and cost issues.

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An accurate real estate agent job posting would have a separate listing client qualifications column: "Must be prepared to dole out repair advice and provide emotional support. A certificate in cleaning preferred." These non-transaction-related listing services are par for the course for most real estate agents, according to a recent short poll by Inman. So where should you draw the line? Cutting down a tree? Child care? Hauling five-gallon buckets of water for flushing a toilet? Respondents reported doing all of the above -- and more -- in the name of providing exceptional service and closing a sale. Which non-transaction-related listing services are common -- and unusual? According to the survey, the most common duties for listing agents go far beyond negotiations and showing homes. Nearly 82 percent of respondents said they have provided repair advice, and 81 percent tapped their inner Dr. Phil to help clients who are selling their home work through diffi...