Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Real estate deals could go all digital for buyers and sellers

The process of buying and selling a home has always involved a big stack of forms and the famous "closing meeting" where you sign your livelihood away for the next 15 to 30 years.

But a company called Homevana Inc. is striving to simplify this process through the use of "For Sale By Owner 2.0," a free online platform to allow buyers and sellers to complete the deal with "zero commission." Buyers will submit offers online and work the deal with sellers right on up to executing the contract using an electronic signature.

According to Homvana officials, it is possible to sell your home and complete the deal without a real estate agent and for free, with no commission. All of the paperwork and tools needed are available online to close the sale and have complete control of the process from your own computer. Buyers and sellers are connected to each other worldwide - offering a vast collection of potential real estate deals.

Homevana was rolled out in California and partners with Retopia, a national real estate brokerage firm that would like for you to enter into an agreement with them or other Homevana partners for certain services, such as listing your property in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The twosome offers a website and videos for instructions on how to get started using the platform.

Homevana's website makes it clear in the "terms and conditions" that they are not a real estate agent, broker, attorney, or have the authority to give legal advice regarding real estate transactions. They will not give a customer any advice. The California corporation is simply a platform for bringing sellers and buyers together in the digital world for real estate deals.

If this catches on in more locations around the country, buying and selling a home might become just another Internet transaction with our digital devices.

Real estate experts not sold on online services

As more and more of our daily activities are able to be done online, such as banking and buying vehicles, selling or buying a home is no exception.

Although websites are emerging that promise to streamline the process of real estate transaction, some real estate experts say "not so fast" and that sellers should resist the urge of trying to save on a realtor's commission.

The Lubbock Association REALTORS is reinforcing all the things that a good realtor would handle, such as staging your home, showing it a moment's notice, handling marketing and negotiating an offer. The association also warns online customers about the possibility of listing your home for the wrong price and missing out on additional profits.

Because of the large list of contacts and extensive multiple listing service (MLS), the association says as a seller, websites simply can never replace having a real expert working directly for you, especially if the buyer is using one.

Any money that is saved by using an online service might be lost when negotiating against a trained professional.

Visit us on Facebook | Follow on Twitter | LifeFlicks' National and World news