Many Sellers Favor ‘Buyer Match’ to iBuyers

Steve Peele II | November 16, 2020

Originally published on RisMedia.com.

Homeowners are pretty one-track minded when it comes to discussing listing their home for sale. The seller has probably gone to Zillow® and learned about the Zestimate®, but they want the REALTOR® to provide advice on what their home is worth.

Today, the answer to that question has become a lengthier discussion. First, the agent needs to unpack the Zestimate, explain what an AVM (automated valuation model) is and how it works. Our customers show consumers three AVMs: the Zestimate, the RVM from Realtors Property Resource® and other options like CoreLogic, etc. The presentation of three AVMs is a great way to explain that AVMs don’t buy homes. They are estimates that can vary widely and are determined by factors like the inventory in the area at that price point. The home value is only exactly determined when a willing seller accepts the offer of a willing buyer.

Over the past few years, consumers have been reading headlines about iBuyers, investors or home flippers that offer a convenient way to sell your home without the headache of listing and then negotiating for the highest possible sale price. If the seller is working with a REALTOR®, they have probably learned that there is a convenience discount associated with selling their home to an iBuyer. Articles suggest that iBuyers try to buy about 6 percent below market value. Moreover, the agent explains that iBuyers are a small fraction of the buyer pool in the limited number of markets where they operate—and that they tend to stick to something they call a “buy box.” iBuyers try to buy homes that have the least amount of risk. Because iBuyers avoid risk at all costs, they minimize their exposure by making significantly lower offers in exchange for the quick purchase.

Sellers who want to transact immediately with an iBuyer are those willing to sell low, and whose homes fit into the buy box. But a new theme is emerging with Buyer Match. In September, Buyside’s broker clients launched a national advertising campaign to celebrate National Home Valuation week. It was an incredible success that generated hundreds of listing conversations with potential home sellers. Agents report that because they had registered buyers for the home, sellers were more likely to list traditionally rather than take the iBuyer route.

A product feature in Buyside, many REALTORS® think of Buyer Match as reverse prospecting. By looking at saved searches on agent websites, broker websites and portal websites, Buyside collects the criteria about what homeowners are looking for. With the Buyer Match tool, the agent can show how many buyers they have for the seller’s home.

Buyer matching is a key trend delivering an excellent solution in a low-inventory market. Right now, many brokers and agents consider it the best listing technology in the market. Sellers prefer to list with a company that already has buyers for their home, getting the most out of the sale by avoiding iBuyers altogether. Visit GetBuyside.com and learn how we turn data into business for our customers.

Charles Williams is the founder and CEO of Buyside™, the real estate industry’s first buyer marketplace to collect and analyze real-time demand for any home. For more information, please visit getbuyside.com.

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