Online real estate buyer’s service BuySide Realty today announced its expansion into Georgia, making it the fourth state for the company that launched two months ago.
Joseph and Avi Fox, brothers who paved the way for online stock brokerages in the late 1990s, in April started BuySide Realty, which gives home buyers access to property listings, licensed real estate agents and technology used to make and manage offers via the Internet, among other things.
The company gives back 75 percent of the buyer’s agent commission to buyers who close on a home using the BuySide service.
In addition to Georgia, the company offers buy-side services in California, Florida and Illinois.
“Our original target for 90 percent coverage of the U.S. was by the end of 2008,” said Joseph Fox, CEO of BuySide Inc. “However, with buyers throughout the country asking ‘when are we coming to their state’, along with the thousands of buyers in our current states utilizing our services, we are now targeting a 90 percent coverage before the end of 2007.”
Consumers visiting BuySideRealty.com can search property listings, schedule a home visit, get open house schedules, get pre-approved for a mortgage, make offers and manage the offer process, tracking when the offer was submitted and whether the seller has accepted.
The company offers 24-hour customer service and has licensed Realtors available to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in each market seven days a week. Buyers are assigned a specific agent when they sign up, but can speak with any of BuySide’s agents when they need help.
Similar to an online brokerage service such as Charles Schwab, BuySide agents assist home buyers in scheduling home visits and making offers, but they will not advise buyers on specific offer prices and decisions, according to Fox. The agents are employees of the company, and receive a salary rather than a percentage of the sales price like most traditional agents.
BuySide launched this year while some real estate markets have started to slow and tip back to the buyer’s favor. The company also follows Seattle-based brokerage Redfin’s February launch of an online offer system by which buyers in the Seattle market can make purchase offers on the Internet. Redfin has since expanded into the San Francisco Bay Area market.