As the inventory of new homes continues to decline, home prices skyrocket to record highs and buyer demand remains robust, real estate agents find themselves in intense competition and bidding wars. Across the country. Real estate technology platform, HomeLight, is stepping in to help during this critical time in the industry, according to Lizzie Ryan, communications manager at HomeLight.
HomeLight recently announced the extension of its financial offerings, HomeLight Trade-In and HomeLight Cash Offer, to top real estate agents, buyers and sellers across Texas. $ 100 million credit facility spurs expansion of Credit Suisse, a leading provider of financial services.
These new financial offerings allow the best agents to make real estate transactions possible for countless people who otherwise would not be able to compete using traditional financing in today’s competitive real estate market.
“We want to deliver better results to buyers and sellers every step of the way in the home buying process,” Ryan said. Houston Agents Magazine.
Jaymes willoughby is a seasoned Austin-based real estate agent who has used HomeLight’s tools and services for several years. With 37 years of real estate experience, Willoughby sells around 200-300 homes each year with the help of HomeLight.
“With this competitive market, cash is king. A cash offer is going to beat the better funded offers because sellers want a secure deal, ”Willoughby told Houston Agent Magazine. “I recently used HomeLight Cash Offer to beat 19 other offers on a house and win the deal.”
The HomeLight Cash Offer gives agents and their clients the ability to make a cash offer on their next home, even if they need a mortgage. HomeLight Home Loans checks the client’s income and assets to determine purchasing power. After the client and their agent find a home, HomeLight makes a cash offer on behalf of the client and holds the home until the client obtains financing. As soon as the customer’s loan ends, HomeLight sells the home to the customer at the purchase price, plus a nominal program fee.
The program fees are typically around 1% of the price of the home, and there is a 3% fee charged if buyers choose to use a third-party lender.
HomeLight Trade-In helps agents and homeowners buy and sell at the same time while capturing the full market value of their home. HomeLight purchases the client’s home (typically for around 90% of the expected value of the home) in order to free up equity for the client before going through the full listing process. HomeLight lists and then sells the home on the market with the agent for more than the HomeLight purchase price, but the company pays the difference to the customer (minus a small program commission).
HomeLight Trade-In homes sold 5% above appraisal, closed five times faster, and helped customers save 3.5% on the purchase price of their new home vs. traditional method of listing on the market.
Willoughby, an agent for Keller Williams Realty, added that the trade-in offer helps clients not to worry about day-to-day issues in life, such as how to get their children and pets out of the house to show the house or do renovations.
“More savvy people in business understand the value of exchanging a home rather than waiting to buy your next home while your current home sells,” Willoughby said. “I had a client who sold his house to HomeLight. I did some renovations on the house which added value to the property and then the house sold for tens of thousands of dollars more than the owner had sold it to HomeLight. That money ended up coming back to the customer rather than HomeLight. It was a win-win for all of us.
The cost of the repossession program depends on the market, the lender and the number of days HomeLight owns the home. It can vary from 1.5 to 2% (3.5 to 4% if the customer uses a third-party lender) of the final sale price of the home during the first 60 days that HomeLight owns the home, plus fee of 0.5 to 1% pro rata per day every 30 days after. All charges are calculated on the final sale price of the current home.
Ryan added that no home has taken more than 60 days to sell after being purchased by HomeLight, even despite the historic winter storm that froze the state in February. Thus, no customer has yet been billed for these additional pro rata fees.
HomeLight started out as a tech company that tracked agent stats and referred the best agents to potential clients. To become a HomeLight agent, real estate agents must go through a thorough screening process, typically requiring a five-star rating from past clients.
Willoughby is a HomeLight Elite Agent, a unique program within HomeLight that is only available to the best agents who do exceptional work in Texas. HomeLight Elite improves what agents do and is a strong selling point for buyers and sellers.