Need to sell your home? You may have stumbled across websites that promise a speedy (or close to immediate) offer for your house – all while sidestepping REALTORS. These services are known as “iBuyers.” The term is derived from their role and status as digital companies that buy homes “instantly.”

Overwhelmed sellers who need to sell fast may find the concept of quick cash appealing. However, iBuyers come with several conditions and costs attached to them. To help you decide if an expert real estate agent should be used for the sale of your home, here are a few of the most important reasons why 99.7% of people choose this option:

Do You Want To Get Less For Your Home?

iBuyer services can vary significantly in their approach. Certain iBuyers are focused on obtaining properties for flippers. Others may be purchasing properties with the intention of selling them directly to retail buyers. Ultimately, the goal of the iBuyer is to make money so the offer for a house typically falls below the fair market value.

To determine a home’s estimated price, iBuyers use algorithms based on essential information such as its age, location, and type of home. They also use images, questionnaires, and physical inspections done by their agents. If you haven’t improved your property before the inspection, that may lower the offer. On the other hand, improvements might not result in an increase if the iBuyer primarily deals with flipping homes that require renovations. The flipper may be gutting the home anyway, making your improvements irrelevant.

iBuyer algorithms remain secretive. It is difficult to accurately identify how much less you will make when using an iBuyer service compared to traditional processes. MarketWatch conducted a study. It found that the average iBuyer offer is 11% lower than what it would be if sold through regular channels.

No Say In The Sale Price

Experienced REALTORS® are devoted to finding the best price for a home sale. They strive to bring about win win win scenarios for all involved. They will take time to craft an effective strategy to increase the value of your home through improvements, correct pricing, and attractive staging.

On the other hand, iBuyers have the goal of maximizing their profits from your property. As such, their offers tend to be lower than what a real estate agent can get you – and there is usually little chance to negotiate for a higher sale price. Furthermore, in some cases, you may end up receiving less money after improvements due to costly repairs mandated by the iBuyer. To make matters worse, they often hire their own contractors with elevated rates that come out of your final offer.

Additionally, be aware that not all of them are interested in every home. Some may only be on the lookout for undervalued properties or locations. Others may not accept homes older than a few decades or those exceeding a certain dollar amount. So, you might go through the process of trying to sell your home to an iBuyer, only to find out that they’re not interested in your home. It’s important to research carefully before making a decision.

Moving Day Could Be Stressful

Some iBuyers may need you to immediately hand the property over once you accept their offer. This can come as a shock to some sellers, even those expecting to move quickly. However, the speed and nature of working with a large corporation can cause headaches.

Many reviewers of OpenDoor, for instance, provide detailed accounts of the additional stress caused by the iBuyer and/or their contractors on or near moving day. One reviewer summarized their OpenDoor experience by writing, “It has been a nightmare dealing with this company. If I knew what I was getting into I would never have tried to work with them. It has been such a headache.” Another OpenDoor reviewer wrote, “the entire process was the hardest process I’ve ever gone through in my ENTIRE life and the most unprofessional one. The level of stress my family and I went through was ridiculous.”

Commission + Fees = Less Money In Your Pocket

Even if you decide not to use your REALTOR® to list your home, you should still be aware that commission fees may apply. This is because iBuyer services rely on their own agents throughout their transactions. The exact cost of the commission varies from site to site, but sellers are usually responsible for covering the agents’ time and services. While companies tend to keep the specifics of these costs private, it is important to factor commission payments into your budget when considering using an iBuyer service.

Add to this the fact that you’re starting with a below-market value, fees, and overpaying their contractors, and you’re left with less money than if you had listed traditionally with an experienced local REALTOR®.

Cost Of “Convenience”

Based on the many poor reviews of the big iBuyers, they may not even be more convenient for sellers or even the final buyers. But I digress…

When it comes to iBuyer offers, it can be hard to determine exactly what the cost will be since a variety of property-specific information and confidential data come into play. As a general rule, however, these services usually equate to 13-15% of the total sale price of your property. Additionally, you may end up paying more if you need a creative solution. For example, some companies provide a loan upfront to cover your down payment so you can purchase a new property before selling your existing residence. Once the old home is properly prepped and sold, you then pay back the loan plus all associated repair costs. It’s not uncommon for the fixes they make to be wildly exaggerated or vast in price, with reports of contractors charging $200 per lightbulb.

Selling to an iBuyer can be tempting. It offers homeowners the allure of quick cash and a quick sale. However, this may not always be the most profitable option when compared to selling on the open market with an experienced agent.

In some cases, the market is so active that homes are being sold within days and buyers are able to obtain multiple offers with prices that often exceed the asking price. This means that the amount of time saved from selling to an iBuyer could be just a few days. In Columbus, Ohio, inventory is low and the area is in demand. Homes are selling in less than 30 days on average.

Need To Sell Fast?

If your home is in Central Ohio, you have options without turning to an unscrupulous iBuyer.

At the Rita Boswell Group, we offer multiple ways to sell a home in Columbus. Need to sell NOW and don’t want the hassle of repairs? We can help you sell fast to investors in our network. Want to sell quickly but also keep as much of your equity as possible? We can help you sell traditionally on the open market. Either way, you’re working with an experienced, local REALTOR® who has your best interests in mind. Our proven home selling strategies can help you sell fast and profitably with less stress. That’s our goal.

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