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Off Market Sales: The Hottest New Trend for Selling a Home in the Bay Area

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September 14
20:43 2023
Off Market Sales: The Hottest New Trend for Selling a Home in the Bay Area
Selling a house in the Bay Area directly to a cash buyer is becoming popular

The way that homes are bought and sold in the USA has changed little over the past 115 years. That’s how long the National Association of REALTORS has been around. Since then, almost everything in America has undergone a radical transformation…except the way homes are sold.

The real estate industry has been ripe for disruption for at least 20 years. That’s how long Redfin has been around. Zillow started in 2006 with hopes of transforming the industry, yet has done little to fundamentally alter the home selling process.

Yet homeowners across the country – and certainly in the Bay Area – yearn for a simpler, quicker, and more straight-forward process…with lower fees. The “traditional” method of hiring a REALTOR® and paying them a hefty commission has several drawbacks for which the market is clamoring for solutions.

Those drawbacks are well-known: the disruptive open houses and private showings, loss of privacy, the uncertainty of the timing and sale price, not to mention the time and expense that typically go into homes to get them “market ready” makes the process cumbersome.

However, there has always been an alternative to the “tried-and-true” way to sell a home: selling off market directly to a private buyer. This route has several advantages: homes are typically sold completely as-is, with few interruptions and almost no loss of privacy. Closing dates are flexible, and in most cases, the seller can simply take whichever of their possessions they want to keep and leave the rest for the buyer to dispose of.

In bygone times, finding direct buyers was hard. Nowadays, it takes but a moment on Google to type in a quick search like “sell my house fast san jose.”

This will turn up dozens of private buyers. Some are one-man operations, or “mom and pop” businesses. Others are more-professional LLCs that operate on a larger scale. Many parts of the country are serviced by publicly traded “iBuyer” companies that buy and re-sell thousands of homes per year.

All of these direct buyers generally offer very favorable terms to homeowners. They make it easy to sell on any scheduled, with a date certain.

Even so, perhaps only 5% of homes nationwide are sold to direct buyers. That’s because these buyers typically pay less than “fair market” prices. These buyers expect a gross profit of 10-15% of the resale price, which for most homeowners is more of their equity than they’re willing to part with.

Nowadays, some REALTORS incorporate “direct buyers” into their business models, offering to connect homeowners with several local, trusted private buyers, providing multiple direct offers for their clients to consider. Homeowners can then have their pick of these offers or decide to explore selling for maximum cash out via the open market.

Seb Frey is a REALTOR in Los Gatos, California who offers this service via BayAreaBuyers.com. Mr. Frey has been serving Bay Area homeowners for 20 years. He can be found online at SebFrey.com.

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