Less than a month out from launching its revamped iBuyer program, Realogy has expanded RealSure to 10 markets, including Chicago, a market not traditionally served by an iBuyer.
RealSure built off the company’s existing partnership with HomePartners of America to give sellers a cash offer on their home that’s good for 45 days. The seller can accept the offer after a 30-day waiting period – which Realogy calls a “peace of mind” period – giving them the security of knowing just how much they could get for their home.
The program has been touted as beneficial to agents, Realogy’s CEO Ryan Schneider, rather than strictly a moneymaker.
“There is real power to the consumer certainty and flexibility iBuying provides and we have found it to be very helpful for our agents to win listings,” Schneider said, on a call with investors discussing the company’s third-quarter earnings, earlier this month.
One of Realogy’s agents, Sheree Cooke with Coldwell Banker in greater Denver, Colorado, has seen the benefits of the program first-hand.
“I have won listings because of [RealSure],” Cooke told Inman. “Not only are they receiving a cash offer that they’re excited about, but more importantly, I educate them that I use it in negotiations.”
She recently closed on a listing where the seller enrolled in a cash offer program and also received multiple offers.
“I was able to negotiate with the buyers’ agent, saying we have a cash offer that’s already been presented,” Cooke explained. “It really helped me to get my seller way over list price in addition to a three-week close.”
“Without that cash offer and the leverage that it gave me, I don’t know if I would have been able to get them so far over list and a quick close,” Cooke added.
She was also able to reduce some of the concession to save the seller money, because they had the cash offer as a backup.
In the Denver-area, there’s a significant amount of competition from other iBuyers like Zillow Offers and Opendoor. Cooke told Inman that her brokerage offering an iBuyer platform helps her compete with their growing presence.
“Most of the time, these sellers are very familiar with Zillow and Opendoor,” Cooke said. “It definitely gets me in the door and gives me a lot of confidence.”
“Once I’m in the door, I explain to them, you have a cash offer with RealSure, but it also gives you this 31-day peace of mind,” Cooke added. “[I tell them] ‘let’s market it, let’s try to get you a higher net, but you’re not going to miss out on it.'”
The uniqueness of the program – Realogy doesn’t have to pour any of its own capital in buying and selling homes, and truthfully, isn’t buying and selling homes as a business model – has allowed the platform to scale incredibly quickly. It also offers Realogy the flexibility of entering markets like Chicago.
RealSure is able to scale so quickly because it’s capital-light for Realogy. It’s more similar to Keller Williams’ iBuyer Keller Offers – which uses Offerpad as the capital to back the actual buying than Zillow Offers, Opendoor or Offerpad.
“We remain skeptical about using our capital to fund a stand-alone home buying and selling model because we do not see a path to profitability and, frankly, we don’t like the risks,” Schneider said, on the earnings call.
“The predominant iBuying experience we see in the market today is just not financially good for the consumer, as they pay a higher fee than the agent commission and they typically realize a substantial discount to where their house would trade in the market,” Schneider added.