What Are "I" Buyers?

Posted by Larry DeBerry on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at 2:48pm.

As a Realtor, I continue to try to keep up with what is going on in the real estate industry. One of the things that I get questions about is what is "I" Buyers. I will try to explain based on what I've read on this internet way to receive offers on homes for sale listed on a particular platform. Today, there are companies that have programs that allow internet offers directly to sellers without the aid of a Realtor Buyer Agent. These internet platforms, as I understand it, represent the seller only, not the buyer. They have some sort of disclosure that notifies the buyer of their representation agreement based on state requirements. At this point, the majority of buyers want a realtor to assist them with making an offer as well as helping with the process of buying a home. However, there are those who do not. I would think that investors would take advantage of these platforms. Again, my understanding, sellers who have used these programs, receive a lot of low offers and many sellers decide not to re-list with some of these "I" Buyer companies due to that issue. There has been some talk as well that some of these companies use these programs to identify potential opportunities (leads) and use them to generate additional revenue from agents who purchase leads. I was unable to verify this practice so please take that statement with a grain of salt!

Is there an advantage to this type of program? If someone has a property that they need to move quickly and don't care if they receive low price offers, then I guess this might be something they would try. Some of these companies also purchase homes and then resale them for a profit. As an experienced Realtor, I have seen lots of changes in our industry and this is just another one. These companies indicate they are giving the public more options in the way of buying and selling homes. These are "programs" and not the same as when a Realtor works with an individual. Those of you who have used Realtors know that they, the Realtor, give lots of advice to help the client make the best decisions when buying and selling a home. Do I think these companies will last? Yes, I do because there is a lot of money behind these companies that offer these platforms and programs. 

My concern is not the systems that these companies provide but the service that goes along with the buying and selling process. Realtors primary concern is their "client". Buying or selling a home is not like a commodity that you buy or sell over the internet. There are many facets of the home buying and selling process and it has to be carefully watched and completed as required. Realtors are charged with the duty to make sure those things happen. At this point, I am not comfortable with these new "I" Buyer programs but that won't change the fact that these new programs will continue to pop up in the real estate industry. 

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