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Seattle Real Estate Blog

Selling Your House to an iBuyer? Better Examine the Offer Closely.

The pros and cons of using an iBuyer to sell your home.

Pros and cons of selling your home to an iBuyer companyAs a homeowner these days, you have many options when it comes to selling your house. Aside from the traditional route of picking a reputable realtor and putting your home on the open market, you can also go FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or sell it to an investor or company. These have been the standard choices for a while now, with the recent addition of what is known as an “iBuyer.” So what does selling your house to an iBuyer look like?

An iBuyer is loosely defined as “a company that uses technology to make an offer on your home.” Which simply means they rely on the data of an algorithm to come up with a price for your home, versus the traditional way of comparing similar recently sold properties. Zillow isn’t the only company that keeps track of home prices, and other companies have leveraged the data in order to start purchasing homes in certain markets. These companies look for houses that are in good shape or need quick fixes in order to purchase them, take short term ownership of the home, make any needed repairs and sell them quickly.

Who are iBuyers?

The four main iBuyer companies are OpenDoor, Offerpad, Zillow Offers and Redfin Now. OpenDoor has been at it the longest (since 2014) and has the biggest market share. According to Zillow’s ATTOM data Solutions, OpenDoor purchased just over 10,000 homes in 2018. Currently, none of these companies operate in the ...

Are low HOA fees always a good thing?

The pros and cons of low homeowner association fees.

Home Owner Association fees, or HOA fees for short, are part of life when you by a condo and the majority of townhomes. Although nobody loves them or walks around wearing a t-shirt proclaiming I LOVE HOA FEES!, they still cover some of the stuff you would have to pay regardless of the type of home you purchase or own.

Note that, for Seattle real estate at least, 99% of house owners do not have to pay HOA dues since they were built before the advent of big cookie-cutter developments and private communities.

HOA fees

Condo HOA monthly fees will usually be a lot higher than those for townhomes and buyers will need to take this into consideration when calculating how much they can afford to buy and pay each month.  For condos in Ballard Seattle dues for a 1-bedroom condo vary between $224 and $265/month and $200 to $994 for a 2-bedroom.

You need to add the homeowner association fees to the expected monthly principal + interest + property taxes + insurance (PITI) payments.

Buyers will naturally be attracted to homes with low HOA fees and be less keen on those with high monthly dues. However, buyer beware, just because the fees are low does not automatically mean it’s a good thing

Just like property taxes, HOA fees rarely go down and usually go up over time and so knowing the financial health of the homeowners association and overall health of the building itself are important. There are certain ...