Red Oak Realty, an influential independent brokerage in California’s Bay Area, announced today that it is launching a new home improvement service to help sellers get houses ready to hit the market.
The program is called Enhance, and it will cover up to $40,000 worth of work on a home. The work can focus on things like repairs, staging, painting, tiling and small-scale remodeling projects. The homeowner pays for the work when escrow closes, and in a statement Red Oak argued that doing such improvements can lead to a higher sale price.
“Enhance is unique in what it doesn’t require,” Vanessa Bergmark, CEO of Red Oak, added in the statement. “There’s no loan application, no interest, no invoices to contractors, and no payments until close of escrow. Furthermore, our sellers are protected by liability insurance and workers comp coverage.”
The actual design and work is done via an exclusive partnership with The Home Co., which the statement describes as “a respected women-owned interior design, construction and staging” firm. Once a homeowner opts to use Enhance, a representative from The Home Co. does a walk through of the property, then proposes a budget.
The statement touts the fact that this process means a relatively hassle-free experience with “no incomplete projects or vendors that hold up the timeline as it’s all sourced through one company who oversees every detail.”
“Projects stay within their timeframe, and more importantly they stay completely within budget every time,” the statement adds.
Red Oak has been running a pilot version of the program since late 2020, and is now in the process of closing on two participating homes. Images provided to Inman of one home show a living room that was refreshed with new paint and professional staging. The kitchen in the home was also painted, among other improvements Enhance oversaw at the property.
The statement notes the renovations and staging for the home had a budget of $39,750. The home ultimately received eight offers in six days, and sold for 40 percent over the list price.
A second set of before-and-after photos shows another home that received new paint, tile, staging and other improvements.
That home had a $40,000 Enhance budget. According to the company statement Thursday, it had 15 offers in seven days and “broke the Laurel neighborhood record for a 2 bedroom home under 1,300 square feet.”
Red Oak’s new program comes at a time of surging interest in pre-sale home repairs. Redfin, for example, offers Concierge, which provides staging, cleaning and minor improvements such as painting. A report last summer indicated such services are on the rise.
Enhance is noteworthy, however, because among other things it’s coming from an indie brokerage — albeit one that describes itself as the largest of its kind in the Bay Area — not a major, national corporation.
In Thursday’s statement on Enhance The Home Co. founder and owner Jennifer Montague Clark expressed excitement about working with Red Oak.
“We have handled hundreds of East Bay home improvement and staging projects,” Clark said. “We’re excited to bring our extensive experience to the benefit of Red Oak’s clients through Enhance.”