As the market turns, the listing concierge wars are heating up: Redfin, the first major brokerage to pioneer its own home cleaning and staging service for sellers almost a year ago, is finally bringing that service, Redfin Concierge, to its hometown of Seattle.

Homesellers in the city who elect to list with Redfin now have the option to pay a 2 percent fee (double the usual 1 percent listing fee Redfin charges sellers) in order to get the service for their property ($10,000 minimum). Redfin handles booking and paying cleaners, gardeners, stagers, and painters, making any touch-ups its agents see fit in order to get a home ready for its close-up on the market.

The brokerage previously piloted Redfin Concierge in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. However, Redfin has seen competition as more brokerages provide their own similar staging and cleanup services. Fast-growing NYC-based national brokerage Compass recently announced its own Compass Concierge, with no up-front costs to homesellers and no minimum listing price.

Redfin said the move to introduce the concierge service in Seattle was, in part, due to the changing market which is starting to slowly move away from favoring sellers.

“Power is shifting away from sellers in the Seattle market,” Karen Krupsaw, Redfin senior vice president of real estate operations. “With homes taking longer to sell and buyers becoming more selective, Redfin Concierge gives sellers peace of mind knowing their home will put its best foot forward.”

With Redfin Concierge, the company creates a custom home improvement plan for sellers, based on what it needs to attract buyers. The plan covers decor, lighting, paint colors, furniture placement and flow, fixtures and curb appeal. The company will also source bids from local contractors and schedule and oversee work throughout the entire project.

Redfin covers the cost of a deep cleaning and staging, but if the home would better benefit from painting, landscaping or other light handiwork projects, the seller could choose to spend the budget on those items instead. The budget is determined by the list price.

“Determining which projects will yield the biggest return, finding trustworthy vendors, gathering quotes, managing timelines and overseeing work is stressful and time-consuming,” Krupsaw added. “With Redfin Concierge, you sign off on the plan, give us the keys, and then rest easy with the knowledge that the Redfin experts are taking care of all the details.”

Jessie Culbert, a Redfin agent in Seattle, said that the majority of homes in Seattle were receiving multiple offers and selling quickly regardless of condition – but that’s no longer been the case in recent months.

“Sellers recognize they will be more successful by investing in improvements and staging to put their home in the best light possible,” Culbert said. “As an agent, I always give my clients guidance on how to prepare their home for sale, but Redfin Concierge takes it a step further by handling all of those tasks directly. Redfin Concierge is a valuable and needed service in Seattle and one that I’m excited to be able to offer.”

Sellers who get a Redfin Concierge plan may reject it, and still take Redfin’s 1 percent fee (plus the buyer’s agents fee of 2-3 percent. The industry standard is 2.5-3 percent, or 5-6 percent total paid by the seller and factored into the home price, split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.)

Email Patrick Kearns

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