Opendoor, a property portal startup that buys homes for resale with the help of its pricing algorithm, has goals to make itself an all-in-one platform for buyers and sellers.
The company has made its name with high-tech home flipping—allowing homeowners to sell online, sprucing up the place and quickly reselling it. Through an app, Opendoor announced buyers can now browse homes, schedule a tour and make an offer all in one place, offering the first real iteration of what the on-demand process could look like from end to end. While people have been able to self-tour and buy Opendoor-owned homes directly, the company is now opening the process to any home for sale in Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham. It plans to expand to more markets later this year.
“We’ve always been very explicit that we wanted to simplify the transaction for both buyers and sellers,” says Eric Wu, CEO and Co-Founder of the five-year-old startup. “A vast majority of our sellers are also buyers.”
Wu, 36, said in a 2016 Forbes profile that the company was already introducing features to attract buyers, and last September it acquired Open Listings, a startup that targeted buyers the way Opendoor targeted sellers, offering a platform that enabled buyers to search listings and submit offers, a key component of what Opendoor is unveiling.
Here’s how it works: When an app user finds a home she likes, she can schedule a self-guided tour. The expanded platform will also help buyers make more competitive offers by providing funds for an all-cash offer, after they both agree on a dollar value. All-cash offers are tough to turn down; sellers like the speed and security—a factor that has given Opendoor an edge against other buyers.
Opendoor says the buyer has to line up proper financing beforehand and get approval from a lender in order to qualify. After the home closes, ownership is then transferred to the buyer.
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