What Are Instant-Offer Companies?

You’ve probably heard on TV, radio, or the internet ads from companies that are launching an iBuyer program. But what are iBuyers?

An iBuyer, or instant buyer, is a company that buys properties from sellers quickly and conveniently. When you sell to an iBuyer, you don’t have to list the house for sale on the market; in fact, you don’t need to do much with the home at all as far as preparation goes. Like their name suggests, iBuyers will craft an instant offer for your property.

As of today, none of the prominent players (Zillow, Offerpad, Opendoor, etc.) are offering an iBuyer program in Virginia, Maryland, or D.C.; usually, they launch their programs in states with lower sales prices.

How do iBuyers work, exactly?

By design, they’re pretty easy to sell to. You simply call them up, and they’ll write you a check.

The downside, however, is that they’ll charge you a convenience fee of about 10% to 20%, which can be a substantial amount.

Like their name suggests, iBuyers will craft an instant offer for your property.

Why would someone sell to an iBuyer, especially in a good market where homes are selling in less than a week? Usually it’s because they need to sell quickly, for whatever reason, and they’re not interested in getting the maximal amount from the home sale. 

It’ll be interesting to see how this program will unfold and whether it will stick. Discount brokerages like Purplebrick have already exited the market; they’re based in the United Kingdom but now have closed their doors in the United States. Only time will tell.

If you have any questions about iBuyer programs or real estate in general, feel free to reach out to me anytime.

The Truth About Amazon’s Impact on Home Values in Our Area

What kind of effect will Amazon have on home values in our Northern Virginia/D.C./Maryland marketplace? Should you sell now, buy now, or wait? 

The answer depends on where you live and what kind of house you have. 

I did some research about the average yearly salary of Amazon employees, and truth be told, I wasn’t that impressed—depending on the position, the answer usually ranged from $58,000 to $128,000. C-level executives, meanwhile, earned a yearly average income of $220,000. This means, out of the 25,000 or so people predicted to move into our area, only a handful will be able to afford luxury homes. 

If you’re a luxury homeowner, then, this means your situation won’t change at all. If you live in Arlington or certain parts of Fairfax County, though, the story is slightly different. Many organizations predicted a single-digit increase in home values in both areas for 2019, but now they upped it from 9% to 17% in Arlington and 3% to 7% in Fairfax County. 

In general, the closer you are to Amazon’s HQ2 headquarters in Crystal City, the better your outlook. If you’re located outside of this area, though, your home’s value won’t be affected.

Our real estate market has been strong historically, and that won’t change moving forward.

In any case, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of other great companies expanding in our area, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Yelp! Our real estate market has been strong historically, and that won’t change moving forward. 

If you have any more questions about this topic or you’re thinking of buying or selling soon regardless, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.