Opendoor launching mortgage brokerage — a first step to seller financing?

  • By setting up a mortgage brokerage, Opendoor could make it easier for homebuyers to purchase its homes quickly.

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Opendoor, the property-exchange platform that's raised $320 million, is launching a mortgage brokerage that could connect buyers with loans to purchase its homes. The operation could help the company offload its property acquisitions at a faster clip while opening up a new revenue source. It also highlights a strategy real estate brokerages are increasingly using to streamline the transaction process. Opendoor makes offers on homes based largely on automated valuations and can close on a purchase in as little as three days for a service fee that averages 8 percent of a property’s value. The startup then makes light repairs and tries to resell the homes. The company already offers a platform for buyers to access Opendoor properties and submit offers and sales contracts online. Although mortgage brokerages don't fund loans directly (they qualify and connect borrowers with lenders in exchange for commission fees), a mortgage arm for Opendoor could further streamlin...