Utah's Homie roils real estate with new business model

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  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2017 7:07 a.m.

    It's hard to know if this business model will stand the test of time. Currently Utah is in a boom cycle and anything thrown on the market sells immediately.

    Let's see how this idea weathers a few down cycles before making a judgement!

  • B-Real2 Saratoga Springs, UT
    June 25, 2017 8:15 p.m.

    I've been loving this business model since I first started spotting their billboards on I-15. I haven't used realtors in recent transactions and the other side of the transaction always recognizes it and cuts the price accordingly. Realtors that exist in the future will make $1000-$2000 flat fees. The percentages will dissapear. As others have said, you can take a 3-6 week course to become a realtor and then overnight you have the ability to earn $500+ per hr worked on the deal. So someone can go to the best medical schools and specialize and leave college after 12-16 years, hundreds of thousands in school loans, and have the chance to earn $100-$250 per hour. Or you can go get a "license" as a realtor and make more money per hour. This dated model has created plenty of suckers. Everyone in the job market should spend time and get a license. It's the most lucrative 3 weeks you will spend in your entire life. Nothing comes close that I have heard of. If we were all realtors there wouldn't be a need for them. And fine by me, we'd all be saving our 6%. For people that you likely just met and will never speak to again. If we're going to give 6% of our money why not give it to charity?

  • bricha lehi, ut
    June 20, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    I would have to agree with the consensus that my first real estate agent shouldn't have received his 3% (he gets 3%, and the other agent gets 3% generally). Our home was of such a small amount that he didn't want to spend ANY time dealing with us.

    The last agent I used earned every penny he got, I wouldn't have had it any other way. He went above and beyond explaining everything, including any option we were wanting to take as the negotiations became a little complicated. Homie may be a good option, but for me I can't imagine doing anything other than using my agent.

  • Justin M Sacramento, CA
    June 18, 2017 11:04 p.m.

    Sadly, what will keep this from being expanded in many states (and I count mine as top of the list in regulating this out where possible) is the made by the state in real estate licensing fees and taxes on realtors and businesses. But if faster turnover of properties is a result, the state can get access to increased property taxes faster. While there is "concern" over prices being too high for many to buy, dropping the cost by that much will remove a huge barrier to entry. However, money talks (to politicians)...

    I purchased a mid 400K home in 4 days. It's hard to imagine the fees associated with the transaction amortized over that time. That said, my realtor was present for the numerous inspections (I was at the whole house inspection), provided me links to good people in finance and other trades when I needed them, and I leveraged his long experience in the industry and the relationships he had to help me land a house in a very competitive market.

    If Homie's paperwork can survive litigious buyers and sellers, then the risk is minimized. Having a lawyer available is fantastic!

    But I agree, this is a very disruptive (and overdue) technology. I for one welcome it!

  • dell San Antonio, TX
    June 18, 2017 10:36 a.m.

    The problem with realtors is that there are essentially no barriers to entry (6-12 week course and a test makes you a realtor). This results in oversupply of realtors so that they need the 6% commission to survive because those commissions get spread out between a bajillion realtors to the point that very few realtors make a good income. The RE industry needs to evolve and limit the number of realtors so they can all survive on a more appropriate commission like 2%. (btw you're overpaying if you agree to 6% to sell your home, real easy to find full service for 4-4.5% these days)

    June 18, 2017 10:26 a.m.

    Great idea. I think two people could easily build a similar app, have fewer employees and charge $75 up front and $299 at closing. I think I'll look into it.

  • UtahSam Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 18, 2017 10:16 a.m.

    This is the free market at work. Innovation, alternatives, competition etc. However, we are naive to think that this spells the end for Realtors. When offerings like turbo tax or HR block came around, did it spell the end of your corner CPA? Homie will help to "cull the herd". Don't lump all realtors as the same. Many go above and beyond in their service and time while others are content to simply list on a website and hang a sign. If anything, Homie will push realtors to be creative and expand their services. In the end, we the consumer wins. More options and more value. It is laughable that people complain about the commission when they are content to pay 40%+ markup on consumer goods like furniture, electronics, and food. I have had the privilege of working with many different realtors in my career. Not all have provided commiserate value, Because of that I didn't use them again. Others went above and beyond in their efforts and work. I was happy to pay them for their efforts.

  • TurtleWorks Orem, UT
    June 18, 2017 9:36 a.m.

    Wonderful idea. I will use Homie on my next home sale.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 18, 2017 8:44 a.m.

    Remember when we heard that robots were going to take away our cushy jobs?

    It's your turn, realtors.

  • Cheerfulrebel Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2017 6:21 a.m.

    I've bought and sold many homes without an agent. Some transactions went just fine, no hiccups. Others had more complexity. I would have loved something like Homie then. To have an actual real estate attorney help with the negotiations, the paperwork and the occasional title company or appraisal surprise would have made it all so much easier. I love this model. Get the help you need, and pay a reasonable flat fee. Love it!

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    June 18, 2017 5:18 a.m.

    I have long thought that this was an industry ripe for disruption. Once the ability to control access to MLS was gone, agents had little to offer. I have some good friends in that industry and I feel for them personally but this is inevitable. Unfortunately, it sounds like it will result in another arrogant tech multi-millionaire in the Valley.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    June 17, 2017 10:33 p.m.

    YES!!!! This will be the end to the ridiculous 6% commission. That might have been reasonable when houses were selling for $25,000 decades ago. But just like was mentioned NO realtor is working hard enough to make $24,000 in commissions when the $400,000 sells in 3 days.

    The real estate industry is already reeling from this one. Homie grows by the day. I've checked their site each week and it seems like the listings are growing exponentially.

    I love the never ending realtor line of "the contracts are scary. You can get way off track." It is a total lie. I sold my last house FSBO and sold it for $10,000 more than the realtor wanted me to list it for. It sold in 2 weeks. It was so easy. I found the buyer. They got the loan. We went to the title company who took care of ALL the paper work. I walked out with my check and didn't pay any commission to any realtor.

    Don't live in fear. I have no connection with Homie but I like what they are doing. It is going to change the industry. It already is.

  • Ben25 Lehi, UT
    June 17, 2017 9:14 p.m.

    Thank you! If there was ever an industry that needed disruption by technology, it's home sales. 6% commission is ridiculous.

  • Mango1234 Hurricane, UT
    June 17, 2017 7:53 p.m.

    Bruce1, I'm curious...what do you do for a living?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2017 7:49 p.m.

    What a great idea!

    The real estate agent commissions are one of the biggest scams in the country, and it is about time the free market comes up with an alternate process. People can still use realtors if they want to, but they are not forced to by what has been a monopoly.

    Now, if we can just keep government's fingers out of this so they don't mess it up!

  • bruce1 SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    June 17, 2017 6:16 p.m.

    The Realtors make way too much. Good on Homie, hope it takes off.