Opendoor CEO Eric Wu said in March that agents needed to face up to automation and accept an “adviser” role. Now it looks like the company is pivoting back to humans.
The iBuying start-up announced a new program Tuesday that will refer some of its seller clients to partner real estate agents outside the company, Inman reported.
The “Opendoor Agent Partner Program” will refer sellers whose property falls outside Opendoor’s requirements for all-cash offers to “Agent Partners,” the company announced in a blog post. The new program is the result of four years of consultation with agents, Opendoor said in the post.
While Opendoor’s requirements for an all-cash buy vary depending on the market, they generally purchase houses valued between $100,000 and $500,000, built after 1960 and located on a maximum lot size of half an acre, according to their website.
Agents who want to partner with Opendoor won’t pay upfront for the referrals, the company said, but will pay a referral fee when a sale closes. The fee averages one percent of the property sale price, unless otherwise noted in the agreement, Inman reported.
The announcement of Opendoor’s new program comes as rival company Zillow pivots from an advertising-driven model to home flipping through Zillow Offers.
Earlier this year, Opendoor removed the “Buy It Now” button from its website and app, following complaints from realtors outside the firm.
In September 2018, Opendoor got $400 million in funding from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. They acquired Open Listings, a discount brokerage that offers homebuyers a 50 percent rebate on a buyer’s agent commission, allowing the company to employ buy-side agents and work with agents from other brokerages. [Inman] – Decca Muldowney