It’s a business that is booming south of the border, and A.J. Hazzi believes it can flourish right here in the Okanagan.
It’s called the iBuyer movement, which is essentially the third way to sell your home after doing it yourself or hiring a Realtor. Hazzi, who is Vantage West’s owner and managing broker, is a partner in a new company called Cash Offer Canada, which buys your home quickly and with cash.
“Get an offer on your home within 24 hours,” Hazzi said. “No hassle. No need to list. No inconvenient showings. All you have to do is put your information into a website (cashoffer.ca). The algorithm spits out price, and we send you an offer within 24 hours. Cash offer. No financing required.
“The neat thing about it is it can close in as little as seven days—all cash—and the seller’s in control of the moving date. You can have your money in two weeks but take a month to move out. This really cleans up the whole process.”
The algorithm will analyze all the relevant data and then present an offer worth approximately 90 per cent of the value it assigns to your home. Then again, you’re not paying commission to a Realtor.
“There’s just a one-time, $6,500 transaction fee,” Hazzi said. “So in comparison to a traditional listing, right now the average discount that we’re seeing is anywhere from three and a half to eight per cent, depending on the price point of the house.”
U.S. companies like Open Door and Offer Pad have been in the iBuyer business for several years now, and their market caps are in the billions. Hazzi sees no reason why it shouldn’t work in Kelowna, where there is a portion of the population that has the ability to pay for convenience.
“You’re leaving a few percentage points on the table in order to have full control of the process and to sell your home quickly,” Hazzi said.
The reason why Hazzi believes the business model can work in the Okanagan is because Vantage West guarantees to sell homes in a certain time frame through a third-party appraisal. Hazzi noted that more people are taking advantage of that guarantee these days.
“As the market’s slowly cooled off,” Hazzi said, “many people were calling us and saying, ‘We understand you have a guarantee. Would you guys be willing to just buy our house? We know it’ll be at a discount. Tell me what it would be, and we can skip the hassle and just go right to that offer.’
“When you hear that conversation enough times, you realize there’s people who want to do this.”
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