Phoenix-based Kribbz launched Wednesday to give homeowners another option for selling their home.
The web- and app-based marketplace facilitates fast, cash transactions by matching individual real estate investors with aspiring homesellers.
After a Kribbz employee visits, photographs and “certifies” a listing, the home enters a 24-hour bidding market starting with a price set by the seller.
Each home is assigned a score based on its price, location and quality. That score is then matched with an investor profile, and only those buyers who match can bid on it. All bids are collected and compared on the app for the seller.
Resulting transactions are managed in the Kribbz app, and the company claims investors can close within one to two weeks, pending an inspection.
If no offers are accepted and the seller wants to move on, they keep all photography and pre-inspection information.
Investors are the only party that pay a fee for a Kribbz transaction.
It costs $3,500 to buy a property and $297 per month to maintain membership. Buyers are vetted by the company to ensure they have the means to act fast and deliver funds to closing.
Kribbz’s marketing materials summarizes its model thusly: “Kribbz’s win-win formula provides investors with what they want—an efficient, informed, and fast way to bid on properties before they hit the wider market—while simultaneously giving sellers what they want: a fast and fair selling experience with no hidden fees.”
Many will argue this is an iBuyer model.
In its announcement email, a public relations representative for Kribbz called the company “anti-iBuyer.” Yet, it still side-steps the traditional listing agent, whose primary job is to protect sellers, and uses technology to streamline the transaction.
“Technology is fundamentally reshaping real estate, making it a different industry today than it was even two years ago,” Kribbz CEO Kent Clothier said in a press release. “Despite this, long-standing issues remain as homeowners continue to get punished with fees and remain subject to agendas the don’t align with their goals.”
Given Kribbz source of revenue — the buyer — sellers appear exposed under such a model.
Kribbz also points out in its press release the lower-than-market-average price commonly offered by iBuyers.
Yet, in order to rent at a profit or flip, investors tend to offer below market value.
In most cases, experienced real estate investors also have a distinct negotiating advantage over the unrepresented home seller, and can use their cash position, quick close, and lack of a commission as the basis for offering less.
Buying a home as a business investment requires a fundamentally different offer approach than purchasing as a primary residence.
Kribbz does offer an agent referral network for homeowners who don’t sell under the bidding model.
The company’s founding team is a mix of technology and real estate professionals. Kribbz announced in the press release plans to expand beyond Phoenix throughout 2020.