Home Listing method Tech startups changing the way we buy and sell homes

Tech startups changing the way we buy and sell homes


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Legal persons who buy single family homes are nothing new. They have been doing this for years to diversify their portfolios, to add rental income to their income streams, or to sell the homes they buy at a profit. But, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the past few years have seen a dramatic change.

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Tech companies – backed by Wall Street money and venture capitalists – enter the market as digital direct buyers, and they offer both sellers and buyers a new kind of market that is changing. a sorely outdated business model.

Direct buyers take the stress out of selling – for a price

The new generation of startups referenced by the NAR are known as eBuyers or iBuyers. They offer homeowners a tempting alternative to the long, drawn-out and often frustrating process of selling a home the traditional way.

IBuyers use algorithms to estimate the fair market price of the homes of interested customers, then make them a cash offer. If the owner agrees, the iBuyer becomes the owner of the house, which he then returns and sells to a regular buyer. IBuyers make money by buying at a slight discount, selling at a slight premium, and charging a service fee, which roughly matches traditional agent commissions, according to MarketWatch.

Even though they get less for their home than the old-fashioned way, sellers close the deal immediately without listing, staging, and showing the home, and without the multi-month closing process that is standard with a buyer with a mortgage . The process also gives the seller a lot more control over when to move.

For those willing to pay more for stress-free simplicity, iBuyers have filled a yawning void left open by the traditional real estate model. Here is a look at the greats in the industry.

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Opendoor has low fees and a strong case

As of September 30, 2020, Opendoor’s service charge will not exceed 5% – historically it has reached 14%. There are no hidden costs and the top iBuyer makes the necessary repairs after you move – sellers choose their own move date. One of the most well-known iBuyers, Opendoor receives an offer request every 60 seconds. You can also list your home through Opendoor and interested buyers can purchase a home from the company as well.

Offerpad is flexible and offers competitive offers

Offerpad is another of the more popular iBuyers – the company is buying or selling a home every 10 minutes. They offer a competitive cash offer within 24 hours of your request and allow you to choose your own moving day. Anyone who sells directly to Offerpad receives a free local move from a professional moving company. Their extended stay program allows you to stay in your home for up to three days after the closing date for added flexibility and, like Opendoor, you can also list your home through Offerpad if you wish.

There are also names that you know

It’s not just about exciting new tech startups. Well-known online real estate markets are also benefiting from the trend. Zillow Offers and Redfin Now are iBuying divisions of their namesake brands – and they follow the same format as New Kids in Town. They use algorithms to calculate the fair market value of a property, send a representative to appraise the house, make an offer, pay in cash, and then sell it for a profit.

These larger, more established companies are doing so well, in fact, that they have become victims of their own success. Zillow Offers, for example, recently stopped buying homes for the remainder of 2021. Their direct purchase format has been so successful that the company has built up a huge inventory backlog, according to CNN.

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Pacaso changes the game – and ruffles the feathers

All big buyers sell homes too, but other than a streamlined online experience, the process isn’t much different from the traditional way of buying a home. You simply finance the purchase with a mortgage directly through iBuyer instead of a third-party lender.

Pacaso, however, is different.

Designed specifically for second homes, Pacaso allows interested buyers to purchase single-family homes in major destination markets and match them with qualified and pre-approved co-owners. Each property is converted into an LLC, and Pacaso takes care of all the details involved in the sale. At closing, you and your co-owners own 100% of the property – it is not a timeshare and Pacaso does not retain any ownership of it. The company even manages the property and takes care of repairs and furnishings.

Pacaso achieved unicorn status – $ 1 billion in valuation – faster than any private company in history, according to NPR. But while its venture capitalists are happy, many neighbors are not. The concept of homes as corporations is a drag for many, as is the influx of partial equity owners buying into neighborhoods they would never otherwise have been able to afford.

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Last updated: October 22, 2021

About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. Award winning writer Andrew was once one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the nation’s largest newspaper union, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business editor for amNewYork, the most circulated newspaper in Manhattan, and as the editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication at the heart of the Wall Street investor community in New York.


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