Anyone sells their home wants it to happen quickly. The longer a home lingers on the marker, the less attractive it can seem to buyers and the more stress levels can rise for the sellers.
While Realtors still play an important role in the majority of home transactions, more and more people are opting to use online services like Opendoor.
Opendoor is part of a slew of tech companies vying to make real estate transactions happen with the click of a button. The company calls the experience of using digital means to buy and sell homes as “iBuying.”
Here is how it describes iBuying on its website:
“The underlying idea is that a company estimates the value of your home and makes an offer. If you accept, they take on the burden of owning, marketing, and reselling the home. Depending on the service you choose, the benefit is the certainty of an all-cash offer and more control over when you move.”
So, how does Opendoor work, and is it a good option for you?
What is Opendoor and how does it work?
Opendoor was launched in Silicon Valley in 2014. It bills itself as a way to “sell your home the minute you’re ready.” In this article, we’ll walk through the steps involved in selling a home on Opendoor.
Let’s get into each of the steps in more detail.
How to request an offer
To request an offer for your home, you’ll need to sign up with Opendoor.
Unlike similar sites, there are no traditional “Sign up” or “Register” buttons. The homepage simply displays a field where you enter the address of the home you want to sell.
Once you add your home, you’ll be ask to fill out a series of questions about the condition of your home.
“One of the most important parts of our valuation process is inputs from homeowners themselves. When you request an offer, you have the option to submit photos of your home along with information about any improvements you’ve made,” the company says.
These will be questions like:
- Do you have carpet, tile or wood flooring and in which rooms?
- Has the kitchen been renovated?
- Does the kitchen have an island?
- Is there a backsplash?
How your offer is prepared
Opendoor prepares your offer using the information you provide and it’s own algorithm that takes into account comparable homes that have sold near you.
Once you describe your home and the time frame in which you wish to sell, you’ll get a contact form where you can enter your email to receive your offer:
Soon, you’ll get a contingent offer.
After that, you’ll have a call with a home expert so you both can review your offer. Once you give them your phone number, expect a call.
Free home assessment
Next, Opendoor will send somebody out to inspect your home. They’ll be looking for any structural damage and foundational issues that you did not reveal on the site.
Be forewarned: Opendoor may ask you to fix some things before they move forward with your offer. Many of the reviews of Opendoor describe this part of the process in detail.
How you get paid
Once you’ve taken care of any issues the inspector has found, Opendoor will weigh your offer against what the market value is. If the numbers work out, Opendoor will make you a hard offer.
Opendoor says they can sell a home in one-fifth of the time it takes an average home transaction to close.
How do they do it?
Opendoor purchases your home from you. This allows you to skip showing your home and waiting for a buyer. The service also lets you choose your own closing date, from 10 to 50 days out.
If selling a home really quick without the hassle of home-showings appeals to you, Opendoor may be the thing for you. But be aware that you may not get as much for your home as you could if you went the traditional route and it does come with its own additional costs.
Opendoor charges a service fee that ranges from 6.7% to 13% for each home it sells. That fee covers things like maintenance, utilities and taxes while they hold our home.
If you’re interested in using Opendoor, be aware that as of now, it’s only available in select regions. As of June 2019, Opendoor operates in 19 cities in these 11 states: Arizona, Georgia, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.