If you’ve dipped a toe in the housing market recently, you’ve probably been bombarded with ads from iBuyers. These “sell home online” businesses claim that they can make the home-selling process both easier and more profitable for sellers, cutting out the middleman and allowing sellers to do the work on their own. In reality, selling through these sites can not only be much harder than working with a real estate agent, but doing so is also not the best way to get the most for your home.
Reasons why you shouldn’t sell your home online
“Sell my home online” can seem like four magic words to the average seller, and for good reason. Sites make it look like choosing to sell your home online will not only be faster than traditional methods, but also easier than the traditional process. In reality, there are some very good reasons to avoid working with these sites – reasons that they won’t advertise to their potential customers. If you’re thinking about working with one of these sites, you need to look at the information below first.
The high fees
One thing that you won’t see on the ads for an iBuyer is the price. While these sites make it look like everything’s free, the truth is that they actually charge a premium for their services. Charging for the work of selling a home is nothing new, of course – the average real estate agent charges up to six percent for his or her services – but these sites actually charge a great deal more for much less work.
If you’re choosing to sell your home online, you aren’t going to get the kind of deal you might get from a real agent. Instead, you’ll find yourself hit with fees that start at the high end of typical real estate prices and jump as high as nine percent. This means that you might end up losing thousands of dollars on your sale, even though the iBuyers typically offer less of a hands-on service than traditional agents.
You can lose equity
Unfortunately, working with an iBuyer can cause you to lose a great deal of your equity in order to speed up the selling process. Remember, the company to which you sell your home isn’t a traditional buyer, but rather a larger company that’s looking to get the most from your money. As such, they’re going to make the lowest possible attractive offer to you in order to convince you that you can get out of your home without doing any work. This offer, in most cases, is one that’s going to be based more on what you owe than on what your house is really worth.
One of the real benefits of home ownership is building up equity. If you choose “sell my home online” as your primary goal, you’re going to lose out on that equity. The money you’ve spent on your home over the years is going to go away, replaced instead with a lower offer and a host of fees to expedite the process. In most cases, it’s just not a worthwhile choice.
They are a company/investor
No matter how the iBuyer positions itself in its ads, the truth of the matter is that selling your home to one of these online companies is no different than selling to any other investor. The company is looking to make as much money as possible off of your house and this means using all of its power to ensure that the company – and not the seller – is the party that comes out on top in the negotiations.
A good way to look at this would be to consider the iBuyer to be both the agent and the seller. That means that the person who’s working to sell your home is also a person who’s got a stake in spending the least amount of money possible for your home. It’s just not a healthy arrangement for most buyers.
They won’t work to get the most for your property
iBuyers really don’t have a good reason to help you get the most for your property. In fact, they have very good reasons to pay as little as possible for your home. Remember, they want to make money – you’re just the person who has the product. The iBuyer is looking to find the minimum number that makes your property attractive to investors, while your needs don’t play much of a role.
The only way you can work with an iBuyer is if you absolutely don’t care about getting a good price for your home. Even then, you still might not be setting yourself up for success. There’s one last thing that most of these companies fail to tell their customers, after all.
An agent can do more for less
In most cases, a traditional agent is going to be able to help your home sell for more and for a much lower price. You’re not just looking at a lower fee, either – you’re looking at a professional who is able to find motivated buyers who are willing to pay a premium for your home. It’s no wonder, then, that iBuyer clients choose ultimately choose to work with a traditional agent rather than accepting the offer given to them by the investment company.
A good agent will always be the best ally in your quest to sell your home. They will help you to find a buyer, get the right price, and ensure that the sale goes through in an orderly manner. When you’re ready to sell your home, make sure to talk to one of the agents at Century21 Northwest. Not only will you be able to work with an agent who can help to sell your home, but you can use our Home Affordability Calculator to get a better idea of what your current home is really worth.