iBuyers: Selling Your Home Online

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What we know about the ways you can sell your home without leaving your laptop.

Selling a home is often time-consuming, costly and chaotic – obstacles tech companies dubbed “iBuyers” are attempting to remedy.

“iBuyers are pretty much just trying to make it easier for the homeowner to sell the house,” Dean Ouellette, a Chandler specialist with local real estate blog Phoenix Real Estate Guy, says of tech companies like Opendoor, Offerpad and Knock. “There’s often a price with that convenience.”

That price includes any number of fees that sneak into the final total, Ouellette says. The iBuyer concept works so well, he says, because it is set up around collecting a transaction fee instead of capitalizing on home price appreciation gain, but Ouellette says those fees add up.

Rob Binkley, a local real estate investor and owner of BuyAZForeclosures.com, says iBuyers offer homeowners a “pretty fair” market price, but one that is often chipped away by extra fees.

After iBuyers offer home sellers a quote, Binkley says iBuyers assess the property after the initial home inspection and begin amounting fees for small issues, like raising a water heater to meet code.

“By that time, you’re already looking [for a new home], or you’ve moved out, not just physically and financially, but mentally,” Binkley says. “So you say OK. Either way, your closing funds [profits] are going to be a lot less. Like, $10,000-$20,000 less.”

Home sellers continue to use iBuyers, he says, because of convenience.

“From what I’ve seen with most of my experiences, the homeowner could get more if they hold traditional,” Ouellette says. “But [for] some, the ease of going to the iBuyer route is worth it.”

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