Opendoor has made no secret that it wants to dominate the entire real estate industry. In fact, just last month founder Eric Wu told Inc. that he believes the five-year-old company will “build the largest marketplace of homes.”
And while the company is on pace to purchase $5 billion in homes this year, other companies are joining the fray — even the more “traditional” brokerages like Keller Williams offer it in select cities (including Dallas), and even locally, JP & Associates announced the launch of an iBuyer program for its agents this year.
The iBuyer may represent barely a percentage of the overall real estate ecosystem currently, but it’s clear that it’s disruptive enough to spur even bigger outfits like Realogy’s Coldwell Banker into getting their feet wet.
But Wu told Inc. he had a plan, and it seems that as of 8 a.m. this morning, the rest of the world knows part of it — a new, all-in-one buyer service, which enables prospective buyers in DFW to browse, tour, and buy any MLS-listed home on the market through Opendoor.
“If we can vertically integrate the category, rebuild every component from the ground up, automate a lot of the steps, and make it one click to buy, sell, or trade,” he told Kevin J. Ryan, “we believe that we will build the largest marketplace of homes. We’ll have eliminated all the friction. That may take 10, 20, 30 years.”
Thanks to the acquisition of Open Listings last September, the new service integrates the Open Listings capabilities into Opendoor, the company said in information provided to CandysDirt.com. It’s being launched in three areas currently — Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Raleigh-Durham.
“Our goal for marrying the two companies was to create an end-to-end experience that takes the hassle and uncertainty out of moving and makes the entire moving process simple and convenient—from selling a house to moving into the home of your dreams,” Open Listing CEO and Opendoor Head of Buyer Experience Judd Schoenholtz said in a blog post provided to us.
How is this different? The company told us that features include the ability to browse and visit any home in DFW, even getting exclusive access to Opendoor homes that aren’t listed yet.
“Use the Opendoor app to visit any MLS-listed home, and a tour assistant will let you in so you can browse without any pressure,” spokesperson Patrick Mahoney said. “You can continue to use the Opendoor app to unlock and self-tour Opendoor homes on your own.”
“We’ve heard from our customers time and time again that they wish every home visit could be as hassle-free as Opendoor self-tours. We agree,” Schoenholtz said. “Starting now, you can use our app to visit any home on the market on your schedule, and a tour assistant will meet you to let you in. You can browse the home on your own, without any pressure. We dreamt of a world where you can shop, visit, offer, and move in at a tap of a button. This is taking us one step closer to that vision.”
Customers can receive up to one percent back on the purchase of their home (or up to two percent if they buy and sell their home with Opendoor) if they buy a home from the company directly, or with a partner agent. The company said it will also now help buyers make an all-cash offer at no cost.
Decide the house isn’t right for you? Opendoor said it will also offer a 90-day buyback guarantee. It previously offered a 30-day guarantee.
“If you want to return your home for any reason, Opendoor will now buy it back within 90 days,” Mahoney said. “This applies to any Opendoor home and qualifying MLS homes.”
Schoenholtz said that the company piloted the new service with a small group of customers and got positive feedback.
We’ve piloted our new buyer service with a small group of customers, and have been heartened by the positive feedback. Eric and Cassandra Herrin of Mesquite, Texas, quickly found that Opendoor’s buyer service gave them the flexibility they needed when house hunting with busy schedules and a three-year-old. “Being able to just have someone open the door and let us in, that was my favorite part of the whole experience,” Cassandra said. The entire process was so easy that Cassandra was able to put in an offer right from the passenger seat of their car. “We were able to get a really good price and a really good deal on the house,” Eric added.
“With the launch of our new buyer service coupled with our seller experience, we’ve made it possible to buy and sell in one simple transaction,” Schoenholtz added. “At Opendoor, we call this a trade-in experience, and we’re excited to eliminate the headaches of double moves, added expenses, and months of uncertainty for millions of people each year.”
Opendoor said it will roll the program out to more cities throughout 2019 and through 2020.