Whether you have gone through the arduous process of buying a home or not, you are probably well aware that it is a costly endeavor. In addition to paying for the price of the property, you have fees upon fees to contend with — something that makes homeownership too expensive for a number of people. One company, however, is deciding to break down that barrier and turn the process on its head — by paying its customers to buy homes.
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“We’re just customers ourselves,” explained Judd Schoenholtz, the CEO of Open Listings. “I’ve gone through the homebuying process myself five years ago. My co-founder had gone through the process in New York, and I think we found that the entire thing was very frustrating.”
The frustrating process Schoenholtz is referencing is a tedious one — and it’s definitely not cheap. When someone falls in love with a house on the market, there’s a long and complex process required long before you ever get the keys, one that usually involves realtors adding a serious chunk of change to the bottom line at closing day.
Open Listings decided to make it easier for the buyer, opting to marry the convenience of online shopping with the cost-cutting measures that come with cutting out the middleman. Touted as “a TurboTax for real estate,” the platform allows buyers to save on commission costs and do the legwork themselves.
“We solve an affordability problem,” he explained. “In terms of the fees, beyond the actual cost of the home, the biggest fee that buyers are paying is a fee to the real estate agent, so we cut down this large fee in half for buyers just right off the bat.”
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