Key Highlights 

  • Drew Cher, CEO of HomeLight suggests 5 must-have apps for agents to offer their clients
  • Apps include “helping” tools for home financing, down payment assistance, iBuyer offers, home trading and liquidity

Everyone wants convenience, ease and speed in all aspects of their home buying/selling experience and Drew Cher believes that agents need to offer their clients such information and the following services in terms of apps.

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Drew Cher, CEO of HomeLight, a company that compares and refers the top real estate professionals to prospective clients in more than 15 major housing markets in the country, believes that agents need to take advantage of the+ $10B going into prop-tech today by passing along the best of that prop-tech to their clients.

Cher said, “Take what’s coming out of this wealth of innovation as an opportunity, not a threat…If you take all those tools and put them in your tool belt, you will become indispensable to your clients.”

Cher recommends the following apps by topic:

  1. Home Financing apps
    1. According to the National Association of REALTORS, more than 25% of property closings are either delayed or imploded due to problems with obtaining a mortgage.
    2. Companies such as Flyhomes, Ribbon and HomeLight now underwrite prospective buyers ahead of buyers actually applying for mortgages. These apps basically guarantee a loan will be there when the time comes so that your buyer”… is essentially transformed into a cash buyer.”
  2. Down Payment Assistance apps
    1. According to Cher, 70% of renters see saving enough for a down payment as the biggest obstacle to homeownership.
    2. Cher suggests that agents partner with rent-to-own startups such as Zero Down, Fleq and Divvy Homes so that the buyer can find a home she/he wants, the rent-top-own startup can buy the home, the client moves into the home and the client then pays the startup rent while a portion of that rent goes toward a down payment so the client can buy the home she wants.
    3. Some of these startups also offer the option of buying the home from the get-go.
  3. iBuyer offer apps
    1. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, 80% of sellers want to see an iBuyer offer when they’re looking for options to sell their home.
    2. Despite wanting to see an iBuyer offer, the Houston Association of Realtors indicates that 93% of these sellers end up listing their homes to sell with a real estate agent.
    3. Cher said, “Don’t be afraid of having the iBuyer conversation with your clients.” Chances are more than in your favor that the prospective seller will list their home with you.
    4. Cher recommends that prospective sellers contact Opendoor, OfferPad and HomeLight’s Simple Sale
  4. Home Trading apps
    1. Most sellers need to sell their existing home before they can buy a new one. Such a contingency weakens a purchase offer a seller might want to make before their home actually sells.
    2. Startups such as Orchard, Flyhomes, iReali and HomeLight offer trade-in services whereby these startups buy the existing home from the seller and then sell it to someone else in order to make the buying process easier and more efficient for the seller.
  5. Liquidity
    1. Some owners need cash but don’t want to sell their homes to get it. How do they get some liquidity without having to sell and move?
    2. Cher recommends two solutions: first, a leaseback company like EasyKnock that will buy the house, rent it back to the owner and then give the original owner an option to buy back the house once they’ve rebuilt their finances and credit.
    3. The second solution might be fractional ownership. Unison and Point will buy a fraction of the house and then share in the home’s upsized or downsized sale price when the home sells in the future.


Thanks to InmanNews’ Andrea Brambila for source data.

Also read: No More Brokers’ Fees for NYC Renters – Not So Fast!, Looking to Buy a Fixer-Upper?, Podcast: The Truth (vs Lies) About Rich People | Breaking Into The High End

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