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The Rise of iBuyers: Why So Many Home Sellers Are Making The Switch

The information technology age has — sometimes radically — transformed the way Americans, and the rest of the world, do business. From pre-ordering a cup of coffee from a local java shop to buying a car online, traditional means are giving way to the ease and convenience of smartphone/laptop transactions. Real estate is not immune from this transformation.

Those sellers interested in a quick and uncomplicated deal are resorting to iBuyers to make it happen. A sudden job relocation; the threat of foreclosure; or a family emergency can make the process of iBuying a tempting alternative to traditional conveyancing.

What Are iBuyers and How Do They Work?

iBuyers set up websites for potential sellers to visit. Once there, the home owner enters the address of the subject property and provides basic property information according to website promptings. From this information, the iBuyer will work out a price based on comparable homes that recently sold in that neighborhood. 

In as little as a day, the owner gets a cash offer from the iBuyer — the “i” signifies an “instant” response. If the seller likes this figure, the two parties can proceed to a settlement, often in under a week. Compared to the old “for-sale-by-owner” scenario, or even realtor-driven transactions, this simplified procedure can spare sellers much emotional wear and tear.

What Are the Benefits of iBuyers?

As noted above, the stress of a home sale can be sharply reduced by opting for an iBuyer over the older, more orthodox arrangement. One aggravation that is eliminated is the long wait as attorneys negotiate or purchasers apply for financing. 

Of course, that goes to the second advantage: fewer personnel are involved so less money is subtracted from the sale proceeds. In addition, iBuyers can be accommodating relative to closing dates, and allow sellers to reside in the house — after closing — if they need a few more days to move and transition.

Are There Any Drawbacks to iBuyers?

The speed, ease and flexibility of using an iBuyer is most evident when there are no major problems with which to contend. Yet selling a house is often fraught with obstacles. After an instant offer is accepted, the iBuyer sends an inspector to verify the integrity of the property. 

An old roof, water damage in the basement or the unwelcome presence of an old, underground oil tank are expenses that could lead to the instant offer being amended. Even if the house and land are perfect, the instant offer may be lower than what a seller might get using a traditional real estate brokerage. Moreover, iBuyers are not everywhere and some parts of the country are outside their areas of operation.

Who Should Use an iBuyer?

Generally, iBuyers work best for those who have an urgent need to sell quickly. If you are more willing to accept a slightly lower than optimal offer for a house in exchange for a quick and hassle-free process, an iBuyer may be perfect for you.