Realogy’s defense against the growing horde of iBuyers landed in Chicago this week.
The brokerage conglomerate, in partnership with Chicago-based Home Partners of America, is offering RealSure Sell, a tool that allows home sellers to accept a cash offer on their home within 45 days.
The tool is seen as the conglomerate’s answer to automated iBuying offers from firms like Zillow Offers and Opendoor, which cut real estate brokers out of home sales. Though the trend hasn’t caught in the Chicago area, it’s scooping up thousands of homes in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Home Partners of America CEO Bill Young told Crain’s that home sellers are able to keep the offer from RealSure Sell in their back pocket while they try to get a higher price on the market. Though some might see the offers as a lowball, Young talked up the ease with which a seller can move on and buy a new home right away.
Realogy — the parent company of brokerages Corcoran Group, Sotheby’s, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker — launched the RealSure Sell program last month in Dallas and Denver. It’s planning to launch in Houston, Austin, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Sacramento.
Since the tool recently rolled out, it hasn’t yet been used to close a transaction in the other cities where it’s offered, according to Crain’s.
Home Partners has experience buying properties sight-unseen. Amid the foreclosure crisis, Home Partners in 2012 launched a rent-to-own program that allows people with damaged credit to rent a home that they wish they could buy from Home Partners and eventually take advantage of the option to buy it. That model, through which Home Partners has bought 15,000 homes, allows Home Partners to use the data and estimate a home’s value before it makes a RealSure offer to a seller.
RealSure Sell is available to sellers of homes and townhomes, but not sellers of condominiums. [Crain’s] — Brianna Kelly