Who is Opendoor? And Why You Need an Agent When Working With Them

Francesca Hamilton
Francesca Hamilton
Published on July 27, 2017
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Opendoor.com is a company based out of San Francisco that buys homes, does minor repairs, and resells the homes to consumers in several markets in the United States. The homes they purchase are typically from the seller direct, who would see an Opendoor.com advertisement or be targeted, and receive a hassle-free quote to sell their home without broker/Realtor costs. The benefit to those sellers is that they do not have to show their home to many buyers or deal with repairs, and if they are distressed, they can exit the home quickly.

Opendoor does minor repairs to the homes that they buy including replacing faucets/fixtures, spraying tubs/showers and adding tile or replacing carpet. Essentially, they make the homes look pretty, take professional photos, write a nice description and price it right for re-sale. They do not do full remodels, and do not do a complete overhaul on the infrastructure of the home. They try not to buy homes built before 1975, and they never buy homes in gated communities.

Opendoor’s model is ultimately to sell the homes themselves to a buyer directly, without using a realtor. You can download the app called “Opendoor” and visit homes anytime, any day, without a realtor. Hence the idea of “Opendoor.”

So, why do people use it? Well, if you are simply browsing it can be nice to visit Opendoor homes on your own time through the app. But if you are seriously looking you will be at a huge disadvantage without a realtor on your side. Opendoor has some inventory, but very little in comparison to what a realtor can show you through their database.

Most importantly, if you purchase through Opendoor directly you do not have personal representation in the buying process, through inspections, repairs and closing.  These are crucial times in the purchase to ensure a good buy on your behalf.  Using a professional real estate agent is free to the buyer anyways, as the cost of the agent is paid by the seller. Opendoor will compensate buyers agents, so even if you discover properties through Opendoor, I strongly recommend to call an agent outside of Opendoor to assist you in the buying process. It is only a win-win situation as your personal agent will negotiate on your behalf and ensure a smooth purchase. 

Opendoor is a business and they are buying and selling homes to make money. And as any business would, Opendoor wants to minimize their costs in the transaction, including any repairs to be completed. It is important, once you are buying a property and after you have a professional inspection completed by a third party, to have a repair request (Buyer Inspection Notice) completed by a realtor who is on your side. A good, professional realtor, will write the repair request to the seller in a specific format that will require repairs be completed the right way. A vaguely, or lazily written repair request can have consequences to the buyer.

For example, if your agent asks for “Service A/C unit,” they are only asking for a simple $95 service call from any HVAC company.  Any seller would sign off on this, because it is cheap and easy. Instead, your agent should ask specifically for “Service A/C unit, inspect for leaks and repair as necessary, ensure refrigerant level/add refrigerant if below 90%, and repair any faulty electric components. Provide paid invoice. Used a licensed and bonded contractor.”  As you can see, the second way to request the A/C repair is specific, and leaves no question as to what needs to be done. I help my buyers get additional quotes for repairs, so we know the exact scope of work, and negotiate to have important repairs remedied correctly. The inspection is one of the most important times that your agent works hard for you. 

I have helped Opendoor sell homes, and buyers purchase from Opendoor. My experience and insider knowledge helps my buyers to successfully close Opendoor properties.

So, why do you need an agent when working with Opendoor? Because you need representation and expert advice, and best of all, it’s free to you as the buyer! Call Francesca at (480) 382 – 8514 for more information on Opendoor and other available homes.

PS: Opendoor releases a weekly report of pre-listed properties to agents in their network, and Francesca has exclusive access to this pre-market list of homes that other agents may not be aware of.

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