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How Is Sundae Different From an iBuyer?

August 14, 2020 | Joey Campbell Joey Campbell

Like iBuyers, Sundae offers the convenience of selling without an agent. But Sundae is different in that it focuses on distressed houses that typical iBuyers won’t consider.

Many terms in real estate are incorrectly interchanged with one another. As more people consider selling their home in non-traditional ways, you’ll often hear the terms iBuyer and off-market buyer.

While these words are sometimes used in place of each other, do they mean the same thing?

In simple terms, no.

An iBuyer is a homebuyer that offers sellers a way to sell a house online without using the conventional real estate process. So an iBuyer is one type of off-market buyer, but iBuyers have their own unique way of doing things. And though their approach offers convenience, it isn’t ideal for every homeowner.

This leads us to a second question: is Sundae an iBuyer?

Again, the answer is no, not really. Sundae is a marketplace connecting home sellers with a large network of investors and cash homebuyers, ensuring that homeowners get the highest possible off-market price for their home. Because Sundae connects homeowners with off-market buyers, thus avoiding the traditional real estate market, there are some similarities to an iBuyer. But Sundae is different from an iBuyer in several important respects. Here’s how. 

Focused on damaged and dated homes

If you’re a homeowner interested in non-traditional options for selling your home, it’s probably because you’re either in a hurry or you’re concerned your house won’t sell listed with a realtor.

Perhaps your house needs upgrades or repairs, and you don’t have the time or money to fix things in order to sell it for top dollar.

At Sundae, we focus on distressed homes that haven’t aged as well as others. We believe that too many sellers lacking the resources to renovate an older home deserve a reliable way to sell for a fair price.

We help these homeowners by promoting their house to a network of thousands of potential buyers. Making their house available to a marketplace of investors ensures they get the best off-market price possible. 

Many iBuyers, on the other hand, are in a bit more of a hurry. They overlook homes that need a little extra work, putting their energy into buying homes they can sell fast.

But even if an iBuyer says no to your home, that’s not the end of the game. Not all off-market buyers are the same. In fact, many of our customers come to us after being rejected by an iBuyer because their property requires too much work.

Read more: How to Decide if Sundae Is Right for You

Bringing the process to you

One of the biggest differences between Sundae and an iBuyer is the initial approach each takes to assessing your home.

At Sundae, we send out a Market Expert who takes the time to walk through your home with you before presenting an estimated offer range. We factor in all the individual needs of your home, while also spending some time to understand what you’re looking for in the transaction.

We pride ourselves in being transparent and explaining how we came up with the estimate. If our Market Experts don’t think selling your house on the Sundae marketplace is the right move for you, they’ll tell you so. But if you decide to move forward, we’ll give you the opportunity to receive multiple bids to buy your house from vetted property investors. In some cases, the offers you receive will come in higher than our initial estimate. But there is never any obligation to sell. The choice stays in your hands.

In contrast, iBuyers often make most of their offers before they see your home. They rely almost entirely on market data and pricing formulas that don’t require someone coming to tour your home in person.

After you’ve reached an agreement, a home inspection takes place. Because this in-person assessment only happens after the initial offer, many iBuyers find a substantial amount of additional work needed on the home. This leads to price changes later in the game and, at worst, can kill a deal. 

See also: How Sundae Calculates Your Offer

The price is the price

The iBuyer model works because the initial price is so attractive.

In fact, some research suggests that iBuyer sales prices come very close to matching full market value. Even when iBuyers discover additional repairs during the home inspection, they’ll often negotiate a fair and reasonable price adjustment.

But iBuyer services are not free. In fact, iBuyer fees may cost around 15% of the home price when all is said and done. That’s more than working with an agent.

The true value in dealing with most iBuyers is convenience. 

At Sundae, there are no fees or costs to work with us. Zero.

We take care of all closing and transaction costs, and there are no agent commissions of any kind. It’s true that the final price you receive takes into account the estimated work necessary to get a house into market-ready condition. But the price you see from our marketplace is the price you get. No strings attached.

Further reading: How to Calculate Net Proceeds From a Home Sale

Prioritizing the needs of the seller

While you could argue that all off-market sellers emphasize an easy process, underlying priorities aren’t always the same.

iBuyers hold great appeal to the rising generation of consumers who feel comfortable doing everything online. They market themselves as a quick and easy way to sell your home, doing most of the work from your keyboard.

When the details align, it makes a lot of sense.

However, iBuyers need heavy volume and quick buy-sell turnarounds to maximize the bottom line. They want a large number of market-ready homes that they can sell themselves, fast. By the nature of their business model, they’re not focused on homes that need extra repairs. Rather, they’re focused on helping those who want to sell an already livable house in a hurry.

At Sundae, our mission is to help homeowners get the best outcome when it’s time to sell a house that needs some love.

We put the seller’s needs first. Our priority is to fill an unmet need in the real estate market for sellers whose homes don’t have an easy sale. And we think profit will come from doing the right thing.

Related: Homebuyers With Heart

Adding a personal touch

Whether it’s the state of the house itself or the circumstances around the need to sell, Sundae provides a viable solution to customers regardless of how tough times are. We strive to create a personal connection that establishes trust by being transparent in our process.

Buying homes as is means investors in our marketplace are willing to take on the repairs. But that doesn’t mean they are going to gut the home and create an unoriginal big box store remodel.

Sundae treats every home with care and respect, not as a commodity or a number on a spreadsheet. We strive to make sure our investors maintain and restore the home’s original charm. The goal is to prepare the house for the next family, providing much needed move-in ready inventory without the need for cookie cutter development. 

Learn more: Sundae Customer Story: Making Mom Proud

Traits we have in common

As different as we are from iBuyers, there are a few characteristics we share.

If you’re looking for a quick turnaround time to get an offer on your home, we both provide that service. Sundae Market Experts will prepare your house for our marketplace so that you can get multiple cash offers in hand within a few days. There’s no complicated surveys or forms to fill out to get your initial offers. It’s a one-to-one point of contact.

Like iBuyers, we also use data and technology to help us provide our customers with a competitive offer estimate. We’re even happy to share with you the details of how we come to that number.

At Sundae, we have a full understanding of the market in your area before you meet us in person. We combine this information with our Market Expert’s assessment to help you understand what the market is likely to bear.

Further reading: Sundae FAQs

Why work with Sundae?

Needing to sell your home fast, without having to fix and stage it, shouldn’t put you in a stressful and uncertain position. Avoiding the traditional route of listing your home on the market can be very rewarding when working with someone who has your best interests at heart.

While there are many off-market buyers to choose from, Sundae is the only marketplace that puts your home in front of hundreds of vetted homebuyers active in your area.

Rather than talking to multiple investors one by one, working with Sundae means we do the heavy lifting. We give homeowners maximum exposure to off-market property investors, thereby ensuring that you’ll see the best offer anyone is willing to pay for your house. 

Contact Sundae today to learn how we can help you get a great outcome.


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