Buying or selling a home can be stressful. Fortunately, some companies are making life a little easier by offering online services to help buyers and sellers navigate the process. One such company is Owners.com. The Cheat Sheet sat down with Owners.com president of online real estate, Steve M. Udelson, for a peek into what their site has to offer homebuyers and sellers.
The Cheat Sheet: When and why was Owners.com founded?
Steve M. Udelson: Owners.com rebranded its digital experience in 2015, and was founded in 1996. Owners.com employs a team of licensed brokers who serve as expert advisors to buyers and sellers and can provide support on all aspects of the real estate transaction. The site provides buyers and sellers control over the real estate transaction process by providing them choice in the services they need.
CS: How is Owners.com different from other real estate services?
SU: If you look at the real estate market today, consumers have the option to go with a full-service broker or attempt to manage a fully independent For Sale by Owner (FSBO) process. Owners.com is different from both of these models; it is a fully licensed brokerage that offers consumers a choice to do some of the transaction work themselves, while also providing advisor support for more complicated or daunting tasks (e.g. appraisal, legal documents). Owners.com is not a “DIY” or “FSBO” service, but a licensed brokerage that allows for end-to-end real estate buying and selling transactions on its online platform.
CS: How much does it cost to use the service?
SU: There are various packages available to home sellers using Owners.com. For example, for $395 a seller can list their home on the MLS, and for $695 also include access to expert advisors for a year. Buyers using Owners.com do not pay a fee.
CS: What are some of the benefits of using Owners.com?
SU: With Owners.com, consumers can avoid unnecessary commission payments (typical commission is 5% to 6% of the real estate transaction). Sellers can get 50% of commission back when selling a home (saving approximately $8,000 on a $300,000 transaction). Some buyers can get a buyer’s premium (up to 1.5% back) when buying a home. Owners.com offers buyers and sellers a choice in the transaction services they want and a customized experience supported by expert advisors. We provide a platform for consumers who want to do a portion of the work to keep a portion of the commission. The Owners.com platform empowers consumers by enabling them to perform real estate transactions end-to-end with an unbundled menu of services and advisor support. Service provided can be scaled up or down.
CS: What is the Trend Tracker Tool? How does it work?
SU: Owners.com’s proprietary Trend Tracker Tool provides consumers with rich data at the hyper-local level to help them make confident decisions in the housing market. The tool provides users with dynamic maps that display up to 10 years of data history and project a year into the future. The Trend Tracker Tool provides home-buyers and home-sellers animated maps that play in a movie-like fashion. Maps are split by neighborhood and illustrate the changing value over time using red and green dots to portray a snapshot of the market. These maps can help sellers determine whether to sell their property and buyers to determine whether buying in a particular neighborhood makes sense. First-time buyers and sellers can utilize this tool to get answers to their questions, such as:
- What are the best towns to buy in now?
- What are the towns to avoid? Which neighborhoods offer the best investment opportunities?
- Are declining values or increasing values in store for my house?
- Which streets and areas of town fared better during the crash? Which are rising fastest now?
CS: Where do you see the company five years from now?
SU: Owners.com is a top 10 U.S. brokerage and our brokers sold 25,000 houses last year. Over the next five years, we see Owners.com transforming the real estate industry by empowering consumers to take control of the process and be rewarded for the work they’re comfortable doing. Because of the significant savings we offer our users, combined with expert advice every step of the way, we are confident Owners.com will grow at an exponential rate over the next few years as a true partner for home buyers and sellers.