Sundae Review: Is It the Right Real Estate Platform for You?
- Sales close in as few as 10 days.
- Sellers list homes as is, with no repairs or remodeling required.
- Sellers can get a $10,000 advance on their pending sale.
- Homes are fully vetted.
- Expert advisors assist sellers and investors with their sales.
- The buyer's premium reduces the seller's net proceeds.
- Sundae operates in a limited number of markets.
Sundae is a real estate marketplace where sellers market their homes to a network of investors willing to purchase properties in as-is condition, usually with cash and no contingencies. Closings typically occur within 10 to 60 days, depending on the seller’s preference. Although Sundae is a licensed real estate broker in Texas, it works differently than traditional real estate brokers in that the homes on its platform are off-market, so buyers and sellers connect directly.
How Sundae Works
Your experience with Sundae and the features available to you depend on whether you’re a seller or a buyer.
How Sundae Works for Sellers
Once you decide to list your home for sale, you contact Sundae to speak with a customer advisor who arranges to have a market expert visit your home to perform an inspection and gather property details. You’ll also submit property disclosures and sign an agreement that gives Sundae the exclusive right to advertise your home for sale.
Sundae evaluates the condition of your home and repairs needed to make it like new, and then sets a price based on the after-repair value.
You can expect to see your highest offers within four business days after the inspection and documentation requirements are complete. Accept the offer you like best and decide when you want to close. You can schedule the closing to take place in as many as 60 days or as few as 10 days after you accept the offer — most investors pay cash, so there’s no waiting for loan approval. In the meantime, Sundae does, in some cases, advance up to $10,000 to sellers who need funds before closing.
How Sundae Works for Investors
Sundae property listings are only available to members, and how many markets you can buy in depends on your membership level:
- Essential: Free membership that lets members see all listings but purchase in just one market.
- Edge: Edge members pay $159 per month and can purchase in up to three markets. Other perks include auto-escalating offers, the ability to see how your bid ranks among all bids and a mobile app. In addition, Edge members get a five-day closing guarantee with Sundae Funding.
- Edge+: Edge+ members pay $399 per month for perks Edge members receive plus the ability to purchase in any market Sundae covers.
All members are assigned an investment advisor to assist with the sale process.
Each property listed in the marketplace has a property packet with disclosures and any other information you need to make an informed decision about bidding. The seller typically has four days to review offers. Your investment advisor will let you know if yours is accepted. If it is, you’ll submit your deposit payment and enter into a purchase agreement with the seller.
Key Features of Sundae
Most home sellers and many investors are unfamiliar with a real estate platform like Sundae. Here’s an overview of key features to help you decide whether Sundae might be right for you.
In addition to the membership fee Edge and Edge+ members pay, investors have a buyer premium deducted from their bid. Sellers only see the net bid, after the fee is deducted, so the premium effectively reduces your bid. In addition, Sundae collects a $1,000 administrative fee from successful bidders. Buyers are also responsible for all closing costs.
Sellers don’t pay out-of-pocket fees to list and sell a home with Sundae. However, Sundae deducts the buyer’s premium from the buyer’s bid and then shows the seller the net bid — the amount left after Sundae deducts its fee, the amount of which is not disclosed on the website. So even though you won’t pay Sundae out of pocket if your home sells, the buyer’s premium will reduce your net proceeds by paying you less than the buyer offered to pay. Therefore, Sundae’s claim that sellers “pay ZERO fees” is somewhat misleading.
Although Sundae appears to be expanding fairly quickly, it currently accepts homes in a limited number of metropolitan areas located in these states:
Sundae is geared toward homeowners who need to sell quickly, perhaps to ward off foreclosure, or because of divorce or an inability to make necessary repairs. The condition of the home is not an issue on Sundae. There are no showings or contingencies, and you get to set the closing date within a 10- to 60-day window.
In addition, Sundae collects the bids over a short, four-day period, reviews them on your behalf and sends you just the highest ones. It’s a quick, streamlined process. And it could result in a higher sale price because your home is marketed to investors who are specifically looking for — and are willing to compete for — distressed properties. In fact, Sundae offers a high-price guarantee. It’ll pay you $1,000 if you sell your home for more than your Sundae list price.
For sellers who qualify, the $10,000 advance on the sale proceeds is a nice perk that could go a long way toward easing the transition into another home.
Buyers have several membership options to choose from, making Sundae suitable for both casual and professional investors. The buying process is straightforward. Properties are priced by market experts rather than homeowners, so prices are more apt to represent after-repair value less the cost of repairs and a fair margin. In addition, the bidding process and the as-is, no-contingency policies mostly eliminate the need to negotiate, which is why offers can be approved in four days or less.
While Sundae’s investment advisors don’t represent buyers in the sale, the guidance they provide — especially with preparing the sales agreement — should keep transactions on track and avoid costly mistakes. Investors also have the option of financing their purchase through Sundae.
How Sundae Stands Out
Sundae stands out for its unique place in the real estate market. Unlike the typical company that buys distressed properties directly from homeowners, Sundae provides some of the same benefits sellers receive when they list their homes on the regular market: a large pool of prospective buyers and enough competition to earn them a fair price for their home.
How Sundae Compares to Competing Real Estate Platforms
Sundae is just one of several real estate platforms that have sprung up in recent years. Here’s how it stacks up against two of its competitors.
Sundae vs. Opendoor
Whereas Sundae markets homes to investors, Opendoor buys homes directly from their sellers. The process is simple — sellers submit a video walk-through and can get an offer immediately. But Opendoor focuses on properties that are already in good condition, so you might not get an offer if yours needs repairs.
Sundae vs. HomeLight Simple Sale
The same company that matches consumers with top-producing agents also has a platform where you can sell your home on your own, without putting it on the traditional market. Simple Sale is very similar to Sundae except that you don’t get a local market expert to evaluate your home, set a realistic price and ensure that disclosures are in order. Also, Simple Sale doesn’t disclose fees for buyers or sellers on its website.
How To Apply To Sell or Buy a Home on Sundae
Sellers can call 800-214-4426 to speak with a customer advisor who can get the ball rolling. You can also fill out a form on the website with some basic property and contact information, and someone will call you.
Investors need a membership in order to purchase a home on Sundae. There’s no cost to create an account on the Sundae website. Once you have a free account, you can upgrade to an Edge or Edge+ membership from your account settings if you’d like the option to purchase homes in multiple markets.
Who Sundae Is Best For
Sundae is best for sellers who want to sell their home quickly, in its current condition, with a minimum amount of fuss and no out-of-pocket fees. Cash buyers looking to invest in vetted properties in need of rehab are also likely to be pleased with Sundae.
Sundae is a worthy competitor among real estate platforms. Cash offers with no contingencies let most sales close quickly. What’s more, Sundae advisors fully vet the homes, review bids and provide support every step of the way.
Sundae FAQSundae takes a straightforward approach to connecting real estate sellers with investors looking for distressed properties, but you might still have questions about how it all works. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Sundae real estate marketplace.
- Who owns Sundae?
- Sundae is owned by its co-founders Andrew Swain, who serves as president and chairman of the board, and Josh Stech, who serves as CEO and board member. The pair founded Sundae in 2018.
- What is Sundae's business?
- Sundae is an intermediary between real estate sellers and investors.
- What is the Sundae marketplace?
- The Sundae marketplace is the digital platform where sellers list homes for sale and investors bid on the homes they wish to purchase.
- Is Sundae a wholesaler?
- No. Sundae provides a platform where sellers and investors connect with each other directly. It does not purchase or flip sales contracts.
Information is accurate as of July 17, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Sundae. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Sundae.