iBuying has all but ground to a halt.
Since the first COVID-19 shelter-in-place order was issued a few weeks ago, Opendoor, Offerpad, Zillow Offers and Redfin Now have all put their online homebuying operations on hold, citing the market’s uncertainty and the difficulty of accurately pricing properties at this time.
While these pullbacks have certainly limited the options for Americans looking to sell a home right now, they haven’t eliminated online selling solutions entirely. In fact, one major player is still actively buying homes.
According to its CEO, HomeVestors—formerly called We Buy Ugly Houses—has transitioned to a virtual process and is continuing to buy homes across the nation. They’re also opening up new franchises to expand business even further.
“Our franchises have successfully bought houses consistently since 1996,” CEO David Hicks says. “When a seller has a need to sell their house, we want to be available.”
That includes “during crisis times as well,” according to Hicks.
Though HomeVestors had previously conducted in-person consultations with sellers, the company is now offering a more digitized experience. Instead of meeting with their local HomeVestors representative, sellers reach out online or via phone. They’ll then set up a virtual meeting with the market rep, and the process goes on from there.
As unemployment rises in the wake of COVID-19, more and more homeowners may need to use services like HomeVestors to stay financially afloat. According to Hicks, the company is specifically looking for properties that can be improved—older homes, houses that need significant repairs, or ones that need some updating in order to be marketable in today’s market.
But that’s not a hard-and-fast list, and homeowners are encouraged to set up a virtual consult if selling their house is a priority.
“Nearly half of home sales annually occur between March and June, but the safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting economic decline are going to have a significant impact on that figure this year,” Hick says. “We hope that we can provide some peace and continuity as we all navigate this uncharted territory.”