Colorado-based real estate brokerage 8z Real Estate is the latest company to offer a direct-to-consumer home buying and selling platform, known as an “iBuyer.”
8z Offers launched a few months ago, but the company just made the platform public on Tuesday. It will compete in a crowded iBuyer space in Denver, which currently has similar offerings from iBuyer giants like Zillow and Opendoor.
Lane Hornung, the founder of 8z Real Estate, which has 15 offices in Colorado, said in a statement that, like other major buyers, the brokerage will offer fair market value for the homes, yet he still expects most sellers to go the traditional route and list with an agent.
“The vast majority of homeowners are choosing to list with an 8z Real Estate agent on the open market in order to maximize their sales price and proceeds they pocket,” Hornung said in a statement.
8z Offers’ launch is the latest in a small wave of traditional real estate companies like Keller Williams and Realogy creating iBuyer platforms to compete with tech giants and well-funded startups. Executives at 8z believes local iBuyer platforms, like their own, can service home sellers in ways that national companies cannot.
“National iBuyers have rigid program parameters including age of home, type of home, value of home and geographic location,” the company said in a statement.
The company has created a multi-million-dollar “iBuyer fund,” which will allow it to hold multiple properties at a time. In the few months since it launched, 8z Offers has made more than 50 offers on homes, with multiple under contract and its first purchase closing in April.
8z Offers charges sellers a 7 percent fee instead of the usual commission to sell their home.
The iBuyer market is becoming more robust in Denver in particular. Opendoor, for example, has purchased more than 100 homes in Denver in the past six months, according to a release from 8z.
8z Real Estate already has experience in the space. Its sister tech company zavvie launched a new tool earlier this year called Offer Optimizer that allows homeowners to compare instant offers from industry-leading iBuyers like Offerpad, Opendoor, Zillow Offers and Redfin Now.
Hornung told Inman there are no conflicts of interest – he called it “neutral like Switzerland” – and 8z won’t push its own iBuyer service above others, just present the data like Kayak does for travel.
“There isn’t a conflict of interest with zavvie’s Offer Optimizer comparison tool,” Hornung said. “The Offer Optimizer is accessible to all consumers and agents to add transparency to the iBuyer process. It presents all the options to a potential seller, including selling to one of the national iBuyers or to a local iBuyer like 8z Offers.”
8z Real Estate is also one of the brokerages that partnered with Zillow when it launched Zillow Offers in Denver in October 2018. 8z Real Estate was receiving seller leads from homeowners that chose not to take Zillow’s all-cash offer.
Hornung told that 8z has had a long relationship with Zillow and still does, but declined to divulge information about any partnerships.
Gaining access to seller leads is a big reason many brokerages are launching iBuyer tools. Major lead generation platforms have mostly focused on getting buyer leads.