And sales are up overall in the area as more people have been attracted to the state’s booming tech scene, outdoor recreation offerings and family-friendly, low-cost living.
Will Homie be able to meet with the same success in other markets? “We looked at a lot of different markets in the U.S. and identified the ones that make the most sense,” Hanna said. “We had some of the biggest demand in Phoenix.”
Phoenix also has a lot in common with the Wasatch Front. It’s a hot market with a lot of growth potential and the same type of tract housing is popular in the area. You don’t need a human to show you the same house over and over when one is like the next and it’s more about negotiating price.
As mentioned above, Homie also handles a lot of the legal paperwork, and even offers the financing, should you need it. On top of that, the startup provides inspectors, appraisers and other services. “It’s really a one-stop digital shop” for home buying, Hanna told TechCrunch.
For young, upwardly mobile families like my cousin’s, it seems like a good solution that could take some of the hassle out of the process and keep more change in your pocket.
Homie does charge a fee of roughly $1,500 per transaction, but that’s pennies compared to the possibly $18,000 you might pay the realtor on a $300,000 home, for example. According to Hanna, customers are saving about $10,000 on each transaction and have saved more than $17 million since Homie launched its services.
But the platform might not work as well in a market like San Francisco, where all the homes are pretty unique and are going for top dollar with not a lot of room for negotiation. That’s where a bot may not be the best choice for getting the home of your dreams.