commissionsThere has been a lot of discussion lately about Realtor commissions, and what sellers should expect for the commission they are going to pay. More and more startups are popping up to cut the Realtor out altogether.

So for our Aug. 3  Friday Question, we asked real estate professionals — and our readers — to tell us what they thought about commissions.

It didn’t take much to find a whole fistful of articles (some written by us, even), that discuss the topic of Realtor commissions and disruptors like Open Door and Door. In the past three years or so, we’ve written stories about Door and other companies looking to change the way people sell their homes.

And then there’s this article in Forbes this month, which asks, “Are Real Estate Agents Still Relevant In The Age Of Tech?” The article begins by talking about Zillow and other sites that allow prospective buyers to look through houses themselves, seeing multiple pictures, finding out all kinds of information about renovations, materials used, etc.

“But though tech has allowed homebuyers to do all this legwork themselves, in most cases, they’re still forced to go through agents to finalize the transaction,” the piece said. “And those agents? They get the same 3 percent commission they did decades ago—for seemingly doing a fraction of the work.” (more…)

You are sure going to want to Open the Door of this charmer at 8029 Dusty Way, Fort Worth, that proves how darn tootin’ much house you can have in Texas for, well, dust. Or maybe peanuts. Proof right here: this two-story Fort Worth wonder listed with Opendoor, the San Francisco-based startup that is disrupting the real estate biz by re-defining the way some folks might want to sell their homes, is listed for $277,000.

Opendoor says they can transform a more-than-two month process into an instant and frictionless experience. Instead of dealing with the hassle of listing and showings, upfront costs and repairs, negotiating with multiple parties, and the risk of the home not closing, homeowners who want to sell can visit Opendoor.com, receive a guaranteed Opendoor offer, and complete their sale in a few clicks. This is one of those homes. Previously, the home was listed with DFW Fine Properties for more than 124 days at $245,000. Actually, the home had been on the market since April of 2015, before it was purchased by Opendoor. So it appears these sellers finally had a great option to sell their home! (more…)

alex doubet

Shortly before our holiday pause, we reached out to several agents and asked them to look into their crystal ball and tell us what we think the real estate market is going to look like this year. I have my own ideas. Naturally, we had to grab Alex Doubet, the somewhat controversial young hot shot founder of Door, a tech-enable flat fee real estate brokerage. As you can imagine, Alex predicts big changes ahead for the real estate industry and the entire commission structure. He is not alone: Inman’s Brad Inman predicts that one year from now, Opendoor will be the second-largest broker in the U.S., second only to NRT. That’s huge. Brad says that by unit count — and, most importantly, by revenue — the exchange platform will give a segment of the market the certainty they generally cannot get when unloading their homes the traditional way. In other words, instant liquidity:

This coming year, technologists and venture capitalists will zoom in on home sellers, with the $60 billion commission pie up for grabs. Opendoor, Knock and to a degree transparent bidding features are examples. Using technology, more companies will figure out how to give sellers more certainty around their home sale.

Study after study ranked Dallas and its surroundings as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, fueled by a boom in businesses relocating to the area, a generous tax structure, and a thriving construction industry more than happy to keep building new homes,” says Alex.

But with 2016 in our rearview mirror, will all of that momentum carry on into the new year? You bet, he says. Here are the trends that will dominate North Texas’ real estate market in 2017: (more…)