Offerpad is launching a real estate solutions division, allowing clients to be able to list their homes for sale with licensed Offerpad employees as well as utilize the company’s concierge services to prep the home for market, the company announced Monday.
Consumers can now opt for a direct, quick-close sale with Offerpad or choose a more traditional listing process. The move could rankle many in the real estate industry, who have long worried about technology companies moving into the space traditionally served by real estate agents.
“The vision of Offerpad has always been to be a full-service solutions center for every customer that comes to us,” Brian Bair, Offerpad’s CEO and founder, told Inman. “I challenge myself and my team every day to figure out, what are some solutions we can provide customers to make the home selling and buying experience much easier.”
The journey starts when a seller shares details of their current home and uploads recent photos or schedules a quick virtual tour. The home is evaluated by Offerpad’s real estate experts and real estate platform and within 24 hours the homeowners will receive a cash offer.
The consumer can then choose to take the cash offer and sell to Offerpad — choosing their closing date and completing a transaction without home showings and open houses — or work with Offerpad to list the home, with the real estate technology company essentially acting as the listing agent.
Offerpad’s listing team includes experts in real state, renovation and marketing, the company said, and that listing team can provide homeowners with a number of options. The listing fee will be between 5.5 and 6 percent, according to Bair. All real estate advisors are licensed agents and Offerpad employees, rather than independent contractors.
The company offers a free service to prepare a home to be ready for showings, which includes carpet cleaning, deep house cleaning, handyman services, landscape cleanup and pool services at no cost to the homeowners.
Offerpad will also front homeowners the money to improve their homes — a service other brokerages and tech startups are also offering. Offerpad manages and performs all the work, however, instead of including outside contractors and advances the funds for the upgrades with no interest or additional fees.
Upgrades available include new appliances, countertops, fixture updates, flooring and interior and exterior paint.
Sellers can also list with Offerpad with the certainty of the original cash offer in their back pocket as a guarantee. That initial cash offer can be activated at any time, if the market takes a sudden turn, or a state or locality suddenly sees a rise in COVID-19 activity.
“We want to provide every solution for every customer so they can really choose their journey,” Bair said. “Having sat in thousands of living rooms, the one thing I learned very quickly is that every customer and every home is different and you can’t treat everyone the same and every home the same, so it’s been a passion project for me, for a long time.”
Offerpad’s move into the real estate space may raise concerns among agents, who have long feared technology companies would eventually move into their lane. Bair, however, has a long history as a real estate agent himself.
The company also has a partnership to act as the capital behind Keller Williams’ iBuyer business, Keller Offers, which Bair said will continue, even as Offerpad moves into listing homes.
“I’m a real estate agent at heart and I have a lot of respect for the real estate community and a lot of friends in the real estate community,” Bair said. “We partner and try to work very closely with the real estate community.”
“As far as real estate agents and brokerages and everybody, I think, everyone has to appreciate the value we’re trying to add to the customer, to the consumer.”
Bair acknowledged that there’s a lot of business to be transacted and he doesn’t expect to capture 100 percent of market share, especially when a majority of people will still want to list with traditional agents. But he does believe that Offerpad will provide a unique value proposition as a listing service.
Offerpad, Bair explained, is as much of a logistics and home renovation company as it is a real estate company or tech company.
“As far as our new solutions, we’re not simply putting a sign in the yard and trying to list your home with what we see on the traditional side,” Bair said. “We’re really looking to partner with the homeowner.”
The initiative to offer listing services has quietly been in the works for the past eight months, with Offerpad Greenhouse — the company’s research and development arm — piloting the program in multiple markets, ahead of the June 1 launch.
At the same time, Offerpad, like many other iBuyers, was contending with shelter-in-place orders and was forced to suspend the homebuying aspect of its business. Offerpad fully resumed the homebuying aspect of its business in mid-May, after receiving certification on its new safety procedures from HealthyVerify, a health safety organization.