If you could receive an offer on your home in 24 hours without ever listing it, would you? It seems like a no-brainer. No need to stage the home, or make yourself scarce for showings, and removing the middle man will mean more money in your pocket, right? 


Companies like Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow are now offering this “quick and painless” solution for homeowners. These e-buyers will buy your home and then turn around and sell it. The benefit, as they advertise, is that the process of selling your home is much easier – enter your address, receive an offer and close quickly. Based on this representation it seems like an easy way to sell your house. And it is. 


But don’t be fooled – this process is nothing new. Real estate investors have been buying up homes and then selling them for as long as people have owned property. The phrase “We buy ugly houses” may ring a bell. This “newer” option is just a more sophisticated, digital representation of that old-school process. 


However, before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important that you understand the cost of the convenience these companies offer. Below are four things you should know before selling your home to an e-buyer. 


1.     These companies are looking to make a profit 


When companies like Opendoor or Offerpad buy your home, they are looking to make a profit. They’ll make minor improvements to the home and then turn around and list it for more than they paid. This is how their business makes money; they must operate on a margin. While there is nothing wrong with this, it’s important to understand that profit could have been yours. Working with a realtor will ensure that your home is positioned to sell and that you make the most out of your family’s biggest investment. 


2.     There are still fees involved


One argument for working with an e-buyer is that they don’t have the same fees as a realtor. Many people believe that they will make more money off the sale of their home because they don’t have to pay a realtor’s fees. However, these companies have fees of their own, with some being as high as 8-9%. This is not less than the total cost of a typical real estate transaction. In addition, the initial offer is subject to change once a representative of that entity is able to see the inside of your home. In the long run, working with an e-buyer is not saving you any money.


3.     E-buyers don’t follow the same rules as realtors


Realtors must follow a code of ethics to preserve property values in any given neighborhood. As such, we cannot set the property value too low to make a sale. E-buyers don’t follow the same rules. And while this might not affect you, it will affect your neighbors when they go to sell their home. In addition, e-buyers often allow buyers to tour the home at their leisure. They can come and go as they please with no supervision. This can result in loitering or trespassing, which also poses a threat to your neighbors. 


4.     Local investors can offer you a similar sale


In the right situation, selling your home quickly to an investor may be the best decision for your family. Talk to a realtor about selling your home to a local investor. Local investors can offer you the same quick and easy process. They are also members of the community who have a vested interested in seeing the Tampa Bay area thrive. A realtor can also work to reduce the fees with these buyers to be significantly less than with an e-buyer. 


At the end of the day, the general real estate market is the best way to ensure a seller secures market value for their home. But perhaps the money is required by a certain date or the condition of the home makes selling to an owner occupant difficult. Our team works with a number of local investors who are ready and willing to buy your home. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.