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Real Estate Agent vs. iBuy Company

Real Estate Agent vs. iBuy Company
June 3, 2019 Allison Andrews

There is a new player in the real estate world. No longer are local agents just competing for your business. There is a digital opponent to be considered. I’m talking about an iBuy company.

I recently found myself in the ‘ring’ with this new player.

Here’s how it went down.

Round 1

So there I was… just me, a prospective seller and an iBuy company.  The seller was deciding between me, a living breathing real estate broker and an iBuy company to sell her house.

I tried not to take it personally. After all, more people are considering iBuyers when it comes to selling their home. It’s no wonder. They are advertising everywhere these days and seem to offer some compelling reasons to buck the traditional route.

Even a recent article in Forbes called iBuyers like Knock, Opendoor, Offered and Zillow a threat to agents. The article sited lower listing fees, faster transactions and an online-based process aimed at millennials.

I suggested the seller do a little homework before making her decision, looking closely at the pros and cons of both options and choose which worked best for her.

Round 2:

If you are facing the same dilemma here are a few questions to help determine the best path of action.

“Will the iBuy company offer fair value for the home?” You may get a quicker close with an iBuyer which might be what you need BUT you may have to give up a little price in the process.

“Is it worth selling your house for a lower price, rather than paying the commissions that come with a traditional listing package?” That’s not an answer you can determine without doing the math, especially when you consider the sale price issue I mentioned above.

After several days, I talked to the seller again. She learned that the iBuyer requires that homeowners commit to repair costs and those “repair costs” are determined by their inspector after the house is under contract.  There is no negotiating on the repair costs.  In a case like this that could be tens of thousands of dollars and non-negotiable. 

Round 3 :

Ultimately, the seller decided to go with me. 

This seller’s home is an almost 100-year-old house in a very desirable historic neighborhood in Charlotte.  Her house has significant dis-repair issues that she is choosing not to fix.  She would prefer to compensate potential buyers with lower pricing.  Which is a very reasonable and smart strategy especially when the likely buyer will want to renovate this beautiful old home from top to bottom.


If you are considering an iBuyer, you might want to check out a new app that gives you a side by side comparison. Charlotte is one of the 21 markets the app is being tested in. It’s called Offer Optimizer by Zavvie. It’s a national instant-offer tool that lets homeowners click a button to compare various options with detailed breakdowns of costs and fees as well as timeframes.

I appreciate the seller was honest in sharing her thoughts so that we could have a good conversation around her goals for the sale. In many cases, real-life agents can boost interest in the property to raise the sale price and help maximize profits. A seller also has access to the agent’s expertise and a strategic plan they may not have otherwise.  In the end, it was a win-win and I think that’s exactly how it should be.