Dear Money Lady Readers: I discovered something new and want to share it with you. Do you know what an iBuyer is? I didn’t.
More popular in the USA, an iBuyer (instant buyer) is a real estate firm that uses technology to buy and resell your home. When you sell through an iBuyer, you receive a cash offer without the traditional hassles of staging your home and showing it to potential purchasers. This solution to selling works because it is simple and extremely more convenient. The iBuyer company purchases your home for the market value based on an approved appraisal and then takes on the burden of owning, marketing, and reselling your home. Now you may be thinking that this is a way for someone to profit and “flip” your property – but apparently, it is not. The aim of the iBuyer is to find the next buyer, providing the vendor with the cash sale proceeds, and then charging a service fee, (typically similar to a normal real estate commission fee). Sound intriguing?
The economy is so far from the one that we were used to pre-Covid. Today we are all experiencing a historically high housing market, supply chain challenges, rising immigration, instability in the stock market, and a new work-at-home culture. The high demand for housing and low inventory seems to be keeping builders and realtors extremely busy across the country. Canada has now increased its immigration target from 10,000 to 411,000 in 2022, which we anticipate will add further pressure on expanding the housing market. So, if you are planning to sell your home this year, could an iBuyer be right for you?
There is one iBuyer firm in Canada located in Edmonton, Alberta called Sweetly Real Estate, (sweetly.ca). This new real estate firm has, like all other iBuyers, their own financing process to introduce the iBuying concept to all of Canada. Sweetly buys homes at market value and simply deducts the real estate fees from the price. Their service lets homeowners sell without any public showings, allows them to control their closing/moving day, and can eliminate the need to service two mortgages at the same time or qualify for bridge financing.
Now you may think that buying or selling your home directly with an iBuyer, eliminates the need for a real estate agent. According to our new Canadian iBuyer, Sweetly Real Estate, it does not. Sweetly uses licensed realtors across the country to facilitate transactions for their customers, paying them a referral fee or a commission. According to Ed DePrato, the Broker with Sweetly Real Estate, they have seen a 400% growth in its sales year over year even during the pandemic. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Sweetly Real Estate is a low-ball buyer. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we were a lowball buyer, nobody would ever sell us their home.” says DePrato. “Sweetly pays market value. Customers simply need a current appraisal, and we’ll pay that, less our fee.”
Only you will know if an iBuyer is right for you. It seems many Canadians are considering this process to reduce the stress of buying and selling, even now, in a high housing market. We must remember that change is inevitable. It will be interesting to see if this new concept revolutionizes the way we buy and sell real estate in the future, especially with the younger generations.
Good Luck & Best Wishes,
ATML – Christine Ibbotson
Written by Christine Ibbotson, National Radio Host and Author of 3 finance books plus the Canadian Best-Selling Book “How to Retire Debt Free & Wealthy” www.askthemoneylady.ca or send a question to [email protected]