The no-commission, tech-enabled brokerage Reali announced Friday that it’s now operational in San Diego, its third market.
Along with its entry into Southern California, the company revealed a new program for military homeowners inspired by its presence in the military-heavy city of San Diego.
Reali first launched with five agents in Northern California, in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016, and soon expanded to Sacramento. The startup offers consumers 2.5 percent to 3 percent cash back at closing, which it says is typically enough to cover the buyers’ agent commission.
For homes under $250,000 the company charges a $950 flat fee instead of any commission (that fee rises to $4,950 for homes between $250,000 and $750,000; and $9,950 for homes priced over $750,000). The company represents buyers and sellers with most communication taking place through its app, which also lets them schedule open houses on their own, lets them contact agents and experts within the app, and delivers notifications on features and issues as they tour a property.
The company chose San Diego as its third market for the city’s size, diversity of industry and diversity of its real estate inventory, Reali CEO Amit Haller told Inman. Its entry into the city also led the company to launch a new program called Reali for Good that will offer Reali’s services at a lower cost to military personnel who are forced to sell their homes when they are relocated.
The program, in partnership with the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops, will waive seller’s fees for military servicemembers who buy a home with Reali and then receive change of station orders within the next three years. Reali also says it will donate $100 from each transaction involving an active duty military servicemember or veteran to Home for Our Troops, which builds homes designed for injured veterans.
The company is also advertising its main model — with a refund at closing — to military servicemembers, saying that the cash refund will cover relocation expenses that the military doesn’t pay for.
“We are honored that Reali has chosen to support the HFOT Honor Program through both monetary donations and on-the-ground support at local events,” Home for Our Troops CEO Tom Landwermeyer said in a statement. “With Reali’s support, more people in San Diego and beyond will become aware of our program’s mission to build homes for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans.”
Reali will only be able to waive seller’s fees in markets where it operates, but it plans to extend this program as the company expands.
“We need to make sure we can expand our excellent customer service and try to provide it to customers a bit farther away from our headquarters, outside a relatively short driving distance,” Haller told Inman. “This is going to be a very important test for us.”
Reali competes with companies like Purplebricks aiming to lower commission costs for buyers and sellers. Haller, however, said that Reali is not a “discounted broker” and that the company offers full brokerage services.
Within the “next few months,” the company hopes to cover much of California and aims to expand to a new state “every few months” after that, Haller said.