HomeLight has achieved its goal of becoming another one-stop-shop for agents and consumers searching for seamless transaction experience. The San Francisco-based company announced on Tuesday its acquisition of Disclosures.io, a platform that helps agents gather and share supplemental documents, view buyer activity and manage offers all in one place, for an undisclosed amount.
“The past decade of innovation in our industry has been focused on how to easily find a home,” HomeLight founder and CEO Drew Uher said in a press release. “The next decade will undoubtedly be about the transaction and how real estate agents and their clients use technology to actually buy and sell property.”
“Disclosures.io is on the leading edge of that movement,” Uher added. “This is another step towards HomeLight powering the transactional platform of the future — one that goes far beyond just adding bells and whistles to the way people search for a home.”
With the acquisition, Disclosures.io will become HomeLight Listing Management. All current Disclosures.io clients will be grandfathered in and HomeLight will maintain Disclosures.io’s current pricing scale.
Agents will have access to a free basic membership and a no-contract pro membership for $39 per month that provides extra features, including custom document templates, custom branding, buyer interest reports, a custom offers dashboard for sellers and access to the iOS app. Team leaders and brokers can choose an enterprise membership, where the price varies based on team and brokerage size.
“When we founded the company, our goal was to use technology to improve the transaction process — whether to help an agent market a listing, all the way to managing and presenting multiple offers to clients,” Disclosures.io co-founder and CEO Adam Gothelf added in a prepared statement. “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far. Together with HomeLight, we look forward to bringing the same innovative technology to agents nationwide.”
In a phone call with Inman, HomeLight CEO Drew Uher provided additional insight into the acquisition of Disclosures.io and how it fits into the company’s goal of facilitating “simple, certain and satisfying” transactions for buyers, sellers and agents.
“HomeLight is probably best known to Inman readers as an agent matching company because that’s really how we started the business back in 2012,” Uher said. “We were the only venture-backed technology company that matched buyers and sellers with the best agents in a data-driven and objective way, but we’ve grown into so much more than that.”
“Over the last two years at HomeLight, we’ve really built out a suite of products and services to help the buyer and seller through their entire transaction, end to end, in a really comprehensive way,” he added. “We do this all by providing services to agents that they can then, in turn, provide to their clients to provide a game-changing client experience.”
Uher said the acquisition of Disclosures.io was a logical next step after launching mortgage, title and escrow products, all-cash and trade-in buying and selling options, and a product he calls the “Kayak of iBuying” for sellers who want to quickly compare iBuyer offers.
“With this addition, we believe we are touching every point of the customer journey,” he said.
During the pandemic when uncertainty is at an all-time high, Uher believes Disclosures.io is an invaluable tool in helping buyers, sellers and agents mitigate unforeseen circumstances by providing disclosures upfront instead of waiting until after an offer is made.
“In Northern California, there’s a different practice than in most of the country,” he explained. “In Northern California, information is disseminated before offers are made, and we think this is the right way to transact real estate.”
“The information the buyer receives about the home could change the deal terms,” he added while offering examples of what can happen after inspection, appraisal and pulling the title report. “An inspection is typically done after contract, and if an inspection reveals a termite problem in the deck, that’s a big deal.”
Uher said providing as much information upfront is not only better for consumers, but it’s also better for agents.
“If all of this information is presented upfront before the buyer makes an offer, that’s better for everyone,” he said. “It’s better for the buyer because they have all the information to craft an appropriate offer, and it’s better for the seller because if the buyer doesn’t get that information until after they’re in contract, the buyer is going to use that information as a negotiating tool against the seller to reduce the price.”
“By that time, all the prospective sellers are probably gone,” he added. “Getting all that information to the buyer upfront is better for all agents because agents want to see a successful transaction and this eliminates the uncertainty and risk and involved in the transaction.”
Looking forward, Uher said he’s excited to work with the Disclosures.io team, all of whom will be working out of HomeLight’s San Francisco headquarters to improve the HomeLight Listing Management platform.
“It’s all about empowering the agents with technology and tools so they can compete and win during 2020 and beyond,” he concluded.