Q: “Denise, my out-of-area seller doesn’t want to spend the time or money to maintain their yard when it is for sale. In the seller’s area, a non-maintained yard makes the home look sloppy and in disrepair very quickly. The seller has alluded to perhaps my paying for the lawn service if I am so concerned about it. What do you think?”
I think this is not your problem to fix and I think you need to be firm with your seller. I get concerned when agents hire their own contractors or service providers to perform work on their clients’ homes. What if something happened? Would this be covered under your business insurance?
If the seller lives in a Homeowners Association where there are rules for things like yard maintenance, then it is out of your hands and between the seller and the HOA.
However, if this is a non-regulated area, then this is a matter of deciding what your rules are in your business regarding something like this. Being truthful with the sellers regarding buyer perception is important. For example, if buyers perceive that due to the lack of yard maintenance that this seller is out of town and perhaps desperate to sell which could affect the offer price, then that is something to share with the seller.
I think it is also important to discuss the seller’s timeline and their motivation to sell. If the seller wants to have the property pending in two weeks and closed in another month (and is pricing it accordingly), then discussing what that realistically looks like in terms of expense for that service should be discussed. You might be talking about a couple hundred dollars.
Don’t shy away from having firm discussions with your clients, get into the conversation and don’t solve problems that aren’t yours to solve!