Coronavirus pandemic exposes weaknesses of iBuyer model


The $1.6 trillion real estate industry is a tempting target for disruptors. Hundreds of companies have developed thousands of solutions to automate different parts of the process, making the experience better and faster in many ways. But these are mostly incremental improvements — streamlining valuations or verifications, or creating mobile ways to apply for a loan. All worthy endeavors, but not truly disruptive. One of the most recent efforts to overhaul the business of residential real estate is iBuying, spearheaded by Opendoor. What iBuyers provide, first and foremost, is certainty. Instead of listing their homes with an agent and hoping for the best, sellers can input property information and get an instant cash offer within 24 hours. If a seller accepts that offer, they can skip making repairs and choose their closing date.

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