Opendoor is extending its return to homebuying to Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta, as well as Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Tucson, Arizona with additional cities coming soon, the company announced Wednesday morning.
After broadly suspending homebuying nationwide, like many of its competitors in August, Opendoor first announced a return to buying last month in Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, with new tools designed to allow consumers to safely sell their homes.
The company introduced, “Sell Direct,” a contact-free way to sell instantly to Opendoor, and “Home Reserve,” a method to reserve and move into a new home while Opendoor tries to sell the old home.
“Demand for more safety and certainty is making some aspects of the traditional home transaction obsolete,” Tom Willerer, Opendoor’s chief product officer, said in a blog post.
“Over 90 percent of Realtors indicated in a recent survey that they’ve seen home sellers change their selling strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic, including stopping open houses altogether,” Willerer added. “Home shoppers are worried about visiting occupied homes, and sellers want to limit the number of visitors in their homes.”
Opendoor, like many other iBuyers, is leaning into its opportunity to help digitize the real estate transaction experience and sees the COVID-19 pandemic as the perfect opportunity to do so, despite, like other iBuyers, being forced initially to shutter part of its business and lay off a significant portion of its staff.
Prior to COVID-19, the company had launched Buy With Opendoor, a way to shop for, tour and buy a home online. The company had integrated home loans into the experience and were introducing title and escrow services. Most recently, as part of its return, the company introduced safer self-touring options with updated cleaning protocols.
“With the spread of COVID-19, the adoption of digital solutions has accelerated across the real estate industry and this dramatic shift in the buyer and seller experience is here to stay,” Willerer said.
“We know housing will remain a fundamental need for consumers,” he added. “We know selling strategies are changing. Virtual tours and self-touring are making the shopping experience almost entirely on-demand and consumer-driven. In fact, 65 percent of homebuyers believe virtual tours will continue to be a great resource in the home shopping process.”