The term “iBuyer” may not be familiar to the consumer., but most have heard of OpenDoor, Perch, etc. I like to define “iBuyer” as an Institutional Buyer, aka sharks. They sell convenience to the consumer. If the consumer doesn’t realize their real risk (and most don’t), it can look very tempting.
Here’s a realistic view of what convenience costs for a house selling $270,000.
Institutional buyers are short term investors
The iBuyer isn’t going to make a profit by carrying houses on their balance sheet. These investors are taking advantage of a seller’s market. In San Antonio on average, homes sell in less than two months. Mostly, iBuyers are flippers.
Institutional buyers have all the power in the transaction
In Realtor® represented transactions, the Seller can negotiate repairs after the Buyer inspection. Typically, these repairs cost less—sometimes much less—than $3,000. The Seller can decline. And in our market where multiple buyers are vying for houses, buyers may not ask for any repairs.
With an iBuyer contract, the Seller has already agreed to make any repairs required by the iBuyer. Inspectors are required to note every deficiency, so there will be a lot more expense in meeting iBuyer required repairs. (I also wonder if those repairs get made.) The Seller has signed away their ability to negotiate.
Institutional buyer service charges are higher than Realtor® representation
Just remember that the iBuyer is not working for you and wants to mitigate all costs. I expect those costs include the ones they will incur when they sell your house. A good Realtor® absorbs the marketing costs by being good at their job and earning new business. Regardless, the typical actual service charge is higher than Realtor® representation. (See above: $16,200 versus $23,085.)
Below is an artist’s conception of one of the projects at San Antonio Hemisphere Park. I had the opportunity to attend a presentation about the Hemisphere Project given by Anne Krause of the Hemisfair Conversancy. I came away very impressed. Anne told us that the designers were asked to attend Fiesta. This was to understand the character of our City. They experienced the importance San Antonio places on family-centered and community-centered activities. The plans include transferring mature trees into the park (some trees are already thriving after their transfer) and toe-dipping water features. Much of the work is funded by philanthropic contributions (which Anne indicated is already substantially more than the $20MM from the approved bond issue).
For the Kiddos
Our tour started at the already completed Yanaguana Park which was a delight to us 30 adults—we spilled out of the bus and immediately started climbing on the equipment. The park is designed for all ages of children and youth with interests ranging from the active to the more cerebral. From “monkey bars” to building with the “tinker toy” blocks as big as a toddler to a “pick up game” of chess. There are even outdoor movies in the summer.
A Couple Pictures of Hemisphere Park
Artist’s conception of one of the parks in the Hemisphere Project. The plans are still evolving, but this will give one an idea what to expect.
At Yanaguana Park. A leopard crouches to spring upon a cormorant (from the Yanaguana creation story).
Sales have continued to trend up over 2017 as we’ve seen it in the last 6 years. Year-over-year, the median sales price has been increasing at a rate of about 6-7% over each of the last 3 years.
Sales By Year
Total sales by year over the prior 3 years were reports as follows. Data for 2017 is not in yet.
- 2014: 24,812 (+5%)
- 2015: 27,256 (+9%)
- 2016: 29,508 (+8%)
Below the graph, I’ve included data for the last month to give you a thumbnail view of the San Antonio market.
A Graphic View
The data is from the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Services which often includes sales outside of Bexar County. For information about your neighborhood, contact me and I’ll provide a market analysis for just your area.
5 Weeks of San Antonio Sales Data
Week in Sales: November 27 – December 3
- Total Sales: 520
- Average Sales Price: $264,318
- Median Sales Price: $230,000
Week in Sales: November 20 – November 26
- Total Sales: 247
- Average Sales Price: $256,502
- Median Sales Price: $205,500
Week in Sales: November 13 – November 19
- Total Sales: 405
- Average Sales Price: $265,372
- Median Sales Price: $221,900
Week in Sales: November 6 – November 12
- Total Sales: 270
- Average Sales Price: $252,286
- Median Sales Price: $202,500
Week in Sales: October 30 – November 5
- Total Sales: 514
- Average Sales Price: $260,355
- Median Sales Price: $215,600