Buying a home is one of the largest single purchases most people will ever make. About 40 percent of Americans say that home-buying is the most stressful event in modern life and selling an existing home is a large component of that anxiety. That’s why large real estate companies began programs like iBuyer to use technology to radically simplify the selling process.
Touted as a more convenient, less costly alternative to traditional home-selling, iBuyer programs had been buying homes primarily in Sun Belt markets and shattering records. But with real estate powerhouses like Zillow and now Redfin closing iBuyer divisions after big losses, the future of iBuyer strategies may be in question.
iBuyer programs began back in 2013 with Opendoor, but in 2018 really gained momentum causing concern for real estate agents and brokers. But now the housing slowdown is raising new questions about the future of iBuyers. With home prices cooling, iBuyers, or instant buyers, have sharply pulled back on their purchases in recent months.
CONCEPT REMAINS SMALL
In recent news, RedfinNow said November 9 that it had closed its home-flipping business.
Opendoor and Offerpad, the other two major iBuyers, continue to operate but have sharply pulled back, laid-off employees and offers are not as generous as they once were. For all the headlines and hype surrounding iBuying, the concept remains small. iBuyers account for less than 1 percent of all U.S. home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors.
TAKEAWAYS FROM iBUYING
We cannot rest on policies and procedures but explore new proactive ways of providing 121% customer service.
Second, we must continually educate the value of hiring a REALTOR®. iBuyer programs still charged 5% in service fees which is comparable to commissions paid for less personalized service.
Last, but certainly not least, we must nurture the relationships that we work so hard to create. When buying or selling a home, picking up the phone and calling a trusted friend who happens to be a dynamic real estate professional needs to be their first and easiest step in the process.
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