Rossi and Wallace: Realty pioneers 

Veteran realtors bring game-changing services to the Vineyard with Compass. 

Longtime real estate agents Peyton Wallace, left, and Bill Rossi have teamed up to represent Compass on the Vineyard. –Lexi Pline

Longtime real estate agents Bill Rossi and Peyton Wallace have teamed up to represent Compass on the Vineyard. Compass is a New York–based real estate tech company. Rossi and Wallace formerly worked for Wallace & Co., but opted to make a change and be a part of what Wallace described as “a new kind of real estate brokerage” rooted in technology and able to offer services previously unavailable on the Vineyard. 

A Compass financial tool Rossi and Wallace are particularly enthused about is called Compass Concierge. Basically, it fronts money to sellers so they can upgrade or beautify their homes to make them more marketable. 

“Compass will front the money with no fee or interest, and just be paid back out of the sale,” Wallace said.

The service allows homeowners to do everything from deep-clean a home to paint it, roof it, repair its plumbing, redo its landscaping, or replace its kitchen cabinets or bathroom tile. The service also allows for a house to be professionally staged. Compass will front money equivalent to between 2 or 3 percent of the value of a home to pay for such work. 

“It’s a personal loan based on someone’s equity in their property [and the] listing price,” Rossi said.

For example, Wallace said, a home with $1 million in equity, evaluated at 3 percent, would provide for up to $30,000 worth of concierge lending.

Rossi said it takes about five days, and there is no lien on the property and nothing is recorded at the registry of deeds. 

“A lot of people refer to it as a blank check for a seller,” Wallace said. “When we’re approached by somebody who wants to list their property, we ask them, ‘What would you do to the house if you could, if you had the money?’” 

“Most people want to know more, because they’ve never heard of it,” Rossi said. “Basically you’re allowed to participate with Concierge if you have a one-year listing contract, which is pretty standard on Martha’s Vineyard. And if you relist after one year, the general feeling is you can continue the program until you sell the house.” 

However, a house would likely sell sooner if priced correctly, he added.

Rossi re-emphasized there were no fees attached to Compass Concierge, including no lawyer fees.

“The attorneys working at Compass review all the paperwork,” he said.

Rossi also said it was irrelevant whether someone was jobless or going through a divorce. Compass is still interested in helping the homeowner maximize the saleability of his or her home. 

Compass on Martha’s Vineyard is an extension of the Compass Boston office on Newbury Street, Wallace said, but “highly independent.” 

“The company is all about empowering agents and allowing them to do their job better,” he said. 

Wallace said the company is currently valued at $6.4 billion. 

“Basically, in contrast to a company like a Zillow or a Redfin, which are sort of moving to real estate transactions online,” Wallace said, “Compass finds the best real estate agents in every market,” and gives those agents “the support and tools to be better at what they do than other, more traditional firms.” 

Despite being a new, two-person operation, Rossi and Wallace said, their phones haven’t stopped ringing.