New Report Reveals the True Cost of Selling Your Home to an ‘iBuyer’

Perhaps you’ve heard about the new concept in home selling called iBuyers. Open Door, Zillow Offers and OfferPad are offering this way of selling your home. Basically, these firms use their own cash to buy your home and then re-sell it for a profit.

If you’re a seller who needs to sell quickly and you’re not worried about getting top dollar (or paying less in fees), the iBuyer model is an option that may not otherwise be available to you. You avoid the uncertainty of not knowing how long your home will sit on the market — or whether it will sell at all.

A company called Collateral Analytics has published a study of 4,000 iBuyer transactions in Phoenix which outlines the costs to sellers and the earnings vs. risks for these iBuyer companies. The report’s title is “iBuyers: A new choice for home sellers, but at what cost?”  It was released two weeks ago. To read the full report, click on this link.

   The last paragraph in the report is a good summary of their findings: “These preliminary empirical results suggest that sellers are paying not just the difference in fees of 2% to 5% more than with traditional agencies, and a generous repair allowance, but another 3% to 5% or more to compensate the iBuyer for liquidity risks and carrying costs. In all, the typical cost to a seller appears to be in the range of 13% to 15% depending on the iBuyer vendor. For some sellers, needing to move or requiring quick extraction of equity, this is certainly worthwhile, but what percentage of the market will want this service remains to be seen.”

In May I got a call from a couple which was under contract with OpenDoor for $548,500, but with a 7% “service charge” and $38,563 for “repairs found in assessment.” This way of doing business annoyed them enough that they terminated with OpenDoor and listed with me at $498,000, selling for $507,000, which netted them more.

Above is one of 3 charts in  the report. The analysis is from Phoenix, where OpenDoor began buying homes in 2016, because they didn’t come to Denver until 2018.

I’ve written in the past about companies which will buy your home “as is” for cash without putting it on the MLS. Then they flip the property to a new buyer for a profit — profit that you gave up  by doing business with them. The same is also true with iBuyers.

Bottom line: Unless money is no object for you, you’ll do better listing your home with a full-service traditional brokerage like Golden Real Estate. Call any of us at the phone numbers below!

Coming Soon: Remodeled Home in West Denver

Professionally remodeled, this is like a new house at 735 Perry Street. It goes on the market soon for $368,000. It has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, and everything is upgraded! New electric panel and electrical wiring, new plumbing, new heating and central air conditioning, new roof, siding, flooring, lighting, bathrooms, kitchen, appliances, master bedroom suite, it’s all new. It also has an on-demand tankless water heater. The fenced yard is spacious, with a storage shed and a sprinkler system. Enjoy the large 24’x10′ covered patio, perfect for entertaining. The Lakewood Gulch Trail crosses Perry St. two blocks  north of this home and the Perry St. station of the light rail’s W Line is just two blocks farther north in the Lakewood/Dry Gulch Park. This home will be on the market next week. Meanwhile, call listing agent David Dlugasch at 303-908-4835 for advance information.

Further Price Reduction on Fully-Equipped Horse Property Near Downtown Golden

How does this sound?  A fully-equipped 0.92-acre horse property, 4 miles from downtown Golden, with 3-stall horse barn and 5-bedroom home with 3-car garage, now only $741,000. See pix & details at JeffcoHorseProperties.com.

Just Listed: Rare Patio Home Near the Arvada Center

This 2-bedroom patio home at 8242 W. 67th Drive is in the Meadow Ridge patio home community just a few blocks west and one block south of the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities. It was just listed for $595,000. There are only 41 patio homes in the community, which was built by Designer Homes LLC, which has a 99 score from BuildZoom. And this is a fabulous home with high-end finishes. Every light fixture, for example, is a work of art, not the typical tract home builder light fixture. Be sure to look for them! Even the garage is beautifully painted and super clean! If you’re like me, you’ll also appreciate the full unfinished basement. Overall, I was super impressed, and I know you will be, too! True patio homes like this with zero outside maintenance are hard to find these days. View my narrated video tour at www.ArvadaHome.info, then come to the open house on Saturday, August 24th, 11am to 2pm or call Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing.

South Lakewood Condo Just Listed by Andrew Lesko

Rarely do these condos come on the market! This 2-bedroom 1-1/4-bath, 1,015- sq.-ft. condo at 10930 W. Florida Ave #618 is located in West Lochwood. It was just listed for $228,000. The Lochwood Landings condo community is surrounded by 5 lakes, including  Kendrick Lake Park & Cottonwood Park and numerous nearby hiking and biking trails. Walk to King Soopers, Starbucks, and many shops and restaurants. This condo is move-in ready, featuring fresh paint and newly installed carpet & flooring throughout. This is a desirable, second level, end unit with a southeast facing, covered balcony. It includes one reserved parking space and ample visitor parking. The most recent sales in the complex have been at or above $250K, making this an exceptional opportunity for a first-time buyer. You can view a narrated video walk-through at www.LakewoodCondo.info. For a private showing, call your agent or Andrew Lesko at 720-710-1000.  Open Sunday, August 25th, 11-3.

LED Lighting Has Some Health & Vision Side Effects Worth Considering

In my July 18th column, online at www.JimSmithColumns.com, I wrote about my favorite home improvements, including the adoption of LED lighting, which I prefer to CFL lighting and is far more energy efficient than incandescent lighting. In particular, I wrote glowingly, so to speak, about “daylight” LEDs — the whitest light available, so well-named for how it matches the color of bright sunlight.

In our office, I replaced all our “soft white” LEDs with “daylight” LEDs to match the color of sunlight coming through our four Velux sun tunnels.

A reader of that column alerted me to some recent research which showed “daylight” LEDs to be harmful to vision, exacerbating macular degeneration, and disruptive of our circadian rhythm (important for good sleep) specifically because it simulates full natural sunlight.

I urge you to Google “daylight LEDs and health,” as I did, and you’ll find that one of the top links is for a June 2016 American Medical Association policy statement (adopted unanimously at their annual meeting) warning about health and safety problems associated with white LED lighting, so common now in the lighting of American streets.

It was right after learning of this research that I bought a new HP laptop computer and noticed that it offers a “nightlight” setting which automatically changes the screen lighting from white to yellow LED light at sunset.  It made me wonder why I was so late to learn about this issue!

The reader who alerted me to this topic suffers from early stage macular degeneration. He said he has replaced all the LED lights in his home with incandescent bulbs. I’m satisfied that changing back to the lower “color temperature” LEDs will be enough. I have noticed that some LED fixtures (like the ones I installed in our conference room) have a switch allowing you to choose between “soft white,” “warm white” and “daylight” temperature settings.

Just Listed: Kinney Run Townhome in South Golden

This gorgeous 4-BR, 4-bath townhome at 916 Homestake Dr is located in the Kinney Run townhome community, a short walk from the Colorado School of Mines and historic downtown Golden, making it a great investment opportunity. It was just listed by Andrew Lesko for $538,000.

The main level features expansive hardwood flooring, new stainless steel appliances and new granite countertops in the kitchen. The main floor layout features a living room with wood-burning fireplace, dining area and family room area off the kitchen. This home has been freshly painted & features new carpeting in the upper & lower levels. Enjoy the private, north facing deck with winter views of South Table Mountain and Castle Rock. Upstairs features the master suite with updated master bath and walk-in shower as well as another large bedroom and full bath. The basement features a full bath as well as the 4th bedroom. There is a 1-car detached garage with an adjoining parking space. View a narrated walk-thru at www.GoldenTownhome.com. For a private showing, call Andrew Lesko at 720-710-1000. Open Sat., Aug. 17th, 11 to 3.