If you have driven on I-15 in the last few months you may have noticed 2–3 billboards lined up one after the other asking you if your real estate agent reimbursed commissions? Or telling you that they can get you thousands of dollars while an average agent will get you a gift basket. The anti-agent marketing that Homie is putting out is interesting and cute at best, dangerous and misleading at worst. I want to set the record straight about Homie, their pros and their cons IN MY OPINION so that those of you who may be on the fence about using Homie can have some more info to think about
The first time any of us heard about Homie was in regards to being able to sell your home without having to pay a commission to an agent. You could save thousands, right? Well not so much, it turns out many sellers actually lost money and got themselves into trouble when they didn’t know how to handle certain hiccups during the transaction. One simple example of this was a case I heard of where a buyer had submitted an offer not requesting any concessions (closing costs) or a home warranty. They had made their offer and intentionally did not request those concessions to be more competitive in a multiple offer situation. When they approached closing the seller sent the buyer an addendum saying they would pay $3000 in closing costs and a home warranty. The seller believed that it was the sellers responsibility to pay half of the buyers closing costs regardless of if they were requested or not. The buyer signed the addendum and the deal was closed. A seller with an agent would never have sent that addendum.
Showing the home can be tedious as well since Homie does not install a lockbox but rather has the showings scheduled directly with the seller. If the seller is unavailable to open the door then the home cannot be shown. The platform claims to offer real estate “attorneys” to help with documents and addenda, but as you saw in the past example that doesn’t seem to be the case. Sellers often are confused about addenda and wording of the REPC and that can open the door for issues.
Selling a home with Homie is NOT Free. The platform charges a flat fee of $898 dollars to list your home $299 of that is due upon listing, and the remaining $699 is due at closing. That $299 is paid and is non refundable, so even if your home does not sell you still paid Homie $299. Not to mention the contract that they put you in which prohibits you from listing elsewhere.
BUYING WITH HOMIE
The latest offer from Homie states that they will reimburse the buyers agent commission to you after you close. They phrase it in a way that makes you believe that you will recieve a 6,7,8 thousand dollar check upon closing. NOT THE CASE! As with most contracts the catch is in the fine print. First of all no lender is going to allow any buyer to receive a check from the title company for the agents commission. Ever. Secondly the fine print says that the rebate is subject to lender approval, odds are you won’t get it. Third of all the rebate if approved could only be used towards closing costs and up to a certain limit set by the lender. So no, you will not be getting a $7000 check upon closing. It’s not true.
Homie will not accompany you to show homes, they will not send you lists, they will not contact agents for you. You as the buyer will have to contact the listing agent and see when they can open the door for you. Homie explains this by saying “this is how we fund our rebate program.” By not doing a damn thing. You are on your own. I can promise you one thing, if you want to see the home of your dreams but the listing agent can’t show it to you today but another buyer has an agent with a key and they can get in this afternoon you will lose. Every time. Let me repeat that, you will lose. Every time.
Is Homie evil? Not at all. I actually think that if someone is educated and experienced in transacting real estate this may indeed work for them. The average joe and sally though would not be wise to embark on this journey alone. Agents have tremendous value. The work, expertise, education, and ethics rules that we live by are increasingly valuable. No matter how fast you can type into Google I guarantee you that I know more about real estate than you do. In this digital age we are getting used to just googling the answer to any question and figuring it out. Some things however, like root canals, hot dog eating contests, and the single greatest investment most of you will ever make, are best left to professionals.
In my opinion Homie is a platform for ADVANCED and EXPERIENCED buyers and sellers. So how can you know if you fit into that category? Let’s test you…
Without googling or asking your dad, see if you know what these real estate terms mean and if you could explain them to your friend…
Due Diligence Deadline
Those are just a few…Success? If not, get an agent
Test 2… Have you ever filled out a REPC before? How about a listing packet? If not…
Get an agent!
If you don’t… you will lose