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By: Kelly Leighton on in

Should Realtors® worry about the impact of iBuyers?

Have any of your potential clients been wooed by the prospect of using an iBuyer?

Popping up across the country, websites like OpenDoor and Zillow allow homebuyers to sell their properties directly to the site, leaving out all of the hassle of putting a home on the market. Of course there is a downside though. IBuyers typically offer less than a home would fetch on the market. As a Realtor®, should you be worried about iBuyers?

“IBuyers are a part of the changing landscape of real estate investment. Traditionally, Realtors® adapt to, serve and profit from real estate investors. Morgan Stanley predicted that by 2030, iBuyers would constitute 3 to 5% of the over all market. That’s not a large enough segment to threaten anyone. In fact, many Realtors® in the 20 iBuying markets have found ways to work within the iBuyer structure to represent consumers interested in investigating the pros and cons of the market, and a number of real estate firms have decided to engage and participate in the process, either as agents or iBuyers,” said Bill Lublin, a well-known Pennsylvania Realtor®, who has spoken both across the country and across the globe on real estate and technology.

Think about what you, as a Realtor®, can offer homesellers that this technology can’t and provide that. Show your worth.

“We have to remember, that as real estate professionals, we provide information and guidance for consumers, customers and clients. In order to do that, we need to be educated. Understanding the worlds of Proptech and Fintech is crucial to the success of today’s Realtors®,” added Lublin.

Another issue that has popped up is the possibility of squatters. In Arizona, one couple was found living in a house left vacant after being purchased by OpenDoor. Because it was advertised on the site, the family correctly presumed it was empty and set up house there, until being discovered by potential buyers.

As of right now, Lublin doesn’t believe iBuyers are going to strongly impact the real estate industry.

“Only a small percentage of people actually end up selling to iBuyers, but there’s a lot of interest in finding out what an iBuyer will offer. People want to have an idea what they can sell for, but they still want to be guided through the process by someone knowledgeable – and that’s a Realtor®. Embrace the process, understand the process and be prepared to explain to consumers the benefits and drawbacks of the process. According to a recent study done by Collateral Analytics, sellers lose 13 to 15% by selling to iBuyers. Most people don’t want to leave that kind of money on the table, and there are even more people who can’t afford to. Just stay focused on our job- helping sellers get the highest price and best terms for their homes – and keep being awesome,” Lublin said.

2 Responses
  • October 1, 2019 at 7:34 am Melanie McLane says

    Great input, Bill Lublin!

  • October 3, 2019 at 11:26 am Michele Buck says

    I have to disagree with Collateral Analytics estimate of seller’s losing 13% to 15%. IBuyer site’s fees and “repair credits” generally run 13% to 15% on top of their offers being below market value in order to make a profit on their flip.


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