Rennovation for a Realtor

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Martin Lawn, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Martin Lawn

    Martin Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Got a call a couple days ago from a realtor who a friend referred to me. She wanted to get a bid for the renovation of a home she's selling, it's a nice place just neglected. Majority of it's pretty straight forward with the weeding of flowerbeds and relocating some drain tile and removing a few small trees. But then there are the vines on the front of the house and I beleive the word overgrown is a understatement.

    Now the realtor would like these removed which shouldn't be a problem as I gave a few a good pull and they will come down fairly easy but she also wants me to put in the bid how much I will charge her to clean the residue left from them, and by this I mean the sap like dots that are stuck to the paint. I chipped at some of it with my fingernail and I'm not sure it can be removed by any other means than sanding it down and repainting.

    Does anyone have any experience with removing the residue left over from these vines on wood and vinyl siding and how to remove it? Also this realtor would like a itemized list of the charges, I've never done it before and don't see a need for it, does anyone here do itemized estimates as I'm assuming the only reason she wants it is to haggle over the prices.
  2. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    Walk away! NOW!

    She's going to take your bid and use it as a bargaining chip for the buyers to talk the sellers down and you most likely wont get the job.

    I know many contractors that tell Realtors that the estimate will cost them $100, payable at time of estimate. Then if the new owners want the job done then the $100 becomes a down payment and gets deducted from the final bill.
  3. Martin Lawn

    Martin Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    She is the sellers agent and there is no buyer as I've right now there just looking to clean up the property for curb appeal.
  4. Gator Lawn

    Gator Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    Bull! Put in your bid. If they take it fine. I put myself through grad school contracting with Realtors. Lot's of work to be had.

    As far as the vine cleanup, you are right. It will take power tools and a repaint to make it right.
  5. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    I have no good thing to say about realtors at least the few I've dealt with. Make sure you have a signed contract and make sure you get you money in thirds.
  6. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    If the realtor is the sellers agent, why is'nt the homeowner talking to you? A itemized bill is not needed, except to haggle on the price. Your choice to deal with a realtor or not. Sanding and painting is going to be needed to fix the vine damage.
  7. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    When I started several years back in lubbock texas I did the majority of my work for realators so they could inprove curb appeal. What you need to tell them is this. My bid will include cleaning siding. However I will not garantee any of the residue to be removed. Clean the siding with a bleach and water solution sprayed from a pump sprayer then come back with a pressure washer to power wash the siding. Make sure they know that there is a good possibility that they will need to paint the exterior of the house for best results. If they agree and most times they will they will wind up having the house repainted to help it sell better. the bleach will help to break down any mildew that would have grown on the siding as a result of the vines being there. seldom will the bleach ever bother the paint.
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Depending upon the extent of the vine root damage, a good pressure washing will remove the debris left from the vine removal.
    Then the painting may be needed.
    How I have corrected vine infestation in the past is to spray the roots with glyosphate plus a specific herbicide to keep the vine from returning, followed by a very thorough pressure washing.
    Make sure you factor in this work and possible painting when writing the estimate.
    I, myself, have had good experiences working with realtor's, especially when estimates are in writing with an authorized area on the estimate bearing their signature to ensure payment.
    Provided this is a first time gig with the realtor, I always advise receiving half up front to cover materials and mobilization, then if the balance isn't paid you have the means to lien the property or approach small claims for complete payment.
  9. Martin Lawn

    Martin Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    The homeowner is in another state and the home has been on the market for over a year that's why I'm dealing with the realtor.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I submitted a estimate to her today that wasn't itemized and included no gurantee for the vine residue cleanup.
  10. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    pressure wash off maybe (sanding may be necessary) then paint./... realtors have a bad rep in general but u never know when u could find a good one that will give u repeat work.

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