iBuyers vs. Realtors—What’s the Difference?

If you’re looking into selling your home, you are likely very familiar with the term, Realtor. You may not be as familiar, however, with another, increasingly common term associated with selling, iBuyer. In this article we’ll go over what an iBuyer is, what a Realtor is, and the key differences between them, so that you can make the best decision regarding who to work with. Let’s start with iBuyers since they’re newer to the market.

What are iBuyers and why do they exist?

When it comes to selling your home, you have a few key decisions to make—and those decisions will depend on your goals for your home sale. Most homeowners have three factors in mind when selling their home: time, stress, and money. Generally, homeowners want to sell as fast as possible, for as much money as possible, with as little stress as possible. But when it comes down to which of the three is most important, homeowners have different priorities.

iBuyers came about to address the needs of homeowners who want or need to sell as quickly and painlessly as possible. Simply put, iBuyers use tech and data to make an instant, all-cash offer on your home. Each iBuyer operates differently, but most estimate the value of your home to make an offer. They then take on all homeownership responsibilities including paying taxes and utilities and, of course, marketing and selling the home.

iBuyer with an all cash offer

In most cases, iBuyers significantly reduce the profit homeowners receive from their home sale because they take on all of the risk associated with selling. To maximize profits, iBuyers will frequently take on repairs and renovations to sell a home for more, essentially flipping each home they purchase.

Making significantly less money on your home sale doesn’t sound ideal, but for many homeowners it’s worth it to save themselves the time and money associated with a more traditional home sale process. Depending on the market, a home sale can take 30-45 days to close—and that’s after you’ve accepted an offer. According to Realtor.com, the average days on market was 56 in August of 2020, which was a strong, seller’s market. For homeowners who don’t have 45-100 days to wait for closing, selling to an iBuyer can be an attractive option.

What are Realtors, and how long have they existed?

According to Curious History, real estate brokers have been around since around 1900. The National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, which later became the National Association of Realtors, was then founded in 1908. The Association’s members were identified as Realtors® starting in 1949. All this to say—Realtors have been around for quite a while. We all generally know what a Realtor does, but many people don’t understand that Realtors® are:

  • Trained in pricing strategy and negotiation
  • Able to understand how the economy affects the real estate market
  • Experts in marketing both themselves and their listings
  • Knowledgeable about the entire home sale process from listing to closing
  • The most sought after resource for buying and selling homes

iBuyer vs. Realtor

There are actually more differences between Realtors and iBuyers than similarities. In fact, the only real similarity between the two is that they provide a solution for homeowners to sell their homes. That being said, let’s dive into some of the key differences between the two.

Realtors

  • Work with you to sell your home
  • Are incentivized to help you sell for more
  • Will help you find a buyer

iBuyers:

  • Purchase your home from you immediately, with an all-cash offer
  • Are incentivized to purchase the house at low price point so they can profit from the sale
  • Will take on home improvements to find a buyer once the home is out of your hands

At the end of the day, an iBuyer will offer a homeowner a quick, painless sale—but you will profit less. A Realtor® can cater to your specific home sale needs. If you need to maximize profit, they can help you by partnering with Curbio to take on pre-listing home improvements (with all payment deferred until closing). If you need to sell quickly, they’ll work with you to address any glaring issues and price a little lower to speed up the sale.

Who should you work with?

This key decision will depend on your goals for your home sale. If you need to sell your house immediately, an iBuyer is likely your best bet since iBuyers specialize in instant cash-offers. If you have time or need to squeeze every ounce of equity out of your home sale, however, working with a Realtor is most likely the better option.

In addition to working with you to market and sell your property at a higher price point, your Realtor® can work with Curbio to take on pre-listing repairs, refreshes, and renovations that will maximize your profit from your home sale—without any upfront cash or labor from you. Oh, and we don’t charge interest or fees, give you a time limit for your home sale, or run credit checks. Bring us up with your Realtor® to get started!