Opendoor, an “iBuyer” that uses technology to quickly buy and resell homes, has launched a title services arm.
Complementing its mortgage brokerage, “Opendoor Title” allows the company to exercise possibly unprecedented control over the transaction experience because the company directly buys and sells homes.
Some large real estate brokerages operate mortgage and title arms to try to serve up a seamless transaction. But unlike Opendoor, they don’t actually buy and sell homes, so a lot of what happens during the purchase and sales process is out of their hands.
Using Opendoor Title “is not a requirement or condition of sale” for its customers, said Opendoor spokeswoman Heather Staples.
“However, it does help ensure a great end-to-end customer experience.”
Perhaps only Redfin can claim the same breadth of services as Opendoor, since Redfin also operates an iBuyer (Redfin Now) in addition to brokerage, mortgage and title services.
Opendoor has a bare-bones website for Opendoor Title.
“Title services for life’s biggest transaction,” it says. “Let our experts work to find a title solution that fits your needs.”
Opendoor Title augments Opendoor’s mortgage brokerage, Opendoor Mortgage, which the company recently began advertising on its main website.
Opendoor will almost certainly bake both its mortgage and title services into its mobile app for homebuyers, to push toward a “one-click” transaction.
“Opendoor Mortgage is not yet a part of the Opendoor app,” Staples told Inman, which leads us to infer that it will be. “We help customers close quickly with efficient systems that use technology to coordinate the various pieces.”
Opendoor’s goal is “to simplify every step of buying and selling a home,” Opendoor CEO Eric Wu said. “Ultimately, Opendoor Mortgage gets us one step closer to making it possible for people to buy a home in one-click.”
Opendoor Title appears to be yet another step in this direction.
By the year’s end, Opendoor plans to lower its average service fee to match what is regarded as the traditional real estate commission: 6 percent, The Information reported in August.
That would be down from 9 percent less than a year ago.
Opendoor operates in Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; and Atlanta, Georgia; and is gearing up to expand to Orlando and Tampa, Florida, as well as Raleigh, North Carolina.