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How Opendoor makes handling repairs easier

Reading Time — 7 minutes

November 10, 2018

Reading Time — 7 minutes

November 10, 2018

Dealing with repairs is stressful, and the questions are endless: should you replace your aging roof, or sell your home “as is”? Do you really need to invest in fresh paint and new carpet to get a strong offer?

Opendoor buys and sells thousands of homes per month. We’ve simplified the repair process so home sellers have more certainty and control.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How repairs work in a traditional sale

  • How Opendoor handles repairs

  • Get started working with Opendoor

How selling to Opendoor compares to a traditional sale explained in two minutes

See what Opendoor can offer on your home. Or learn more about how selling to us works.

How repairs work in a traditional sale

When you sell your home the traditional way, you’ll usually do two rounds of repairs. The first round happens before you put your home on the market—you’ll invest in repairs to get your home “show ready” for open houses and showings.

Round 1: Home preparation

This typically involves fixing visible defects that might deter a buyer from making an offer. Some home sellers even opt to pay for a home inspection before listing. Others take on larger renovation and remodeling projects in hopes of increasing their home value; however, not all home improvement projects are created equal.

Round 2: Buyer home inspection

The second round of repairs happens after you’re in contract with a buyer. Your contract will likely include a “repair contingency,” or a written agreement between you and your buyer on how any needed repairs will be handled. The terms of the contingency vary, but in general, the buyer will have a specified amount of time to conduct a home inspection.

In the traditional process, if repair requests arise from the buyer’s inspection, you have three options:

  1. Make the repairs yourself

  2. Give the buyer a credit to cover the costs

  3. Refuse to do the repairs

If you refuse the repairs, most contracts will allow the buyer to walk away from the sale without a penalty. This is why there’s often pressure for sellers to compromise because it means they’ll have wasted not only their time but all of the effort, and costs, that went into getting an offer.

Keep in mind, buyers are often suspicious of homes that have long days on market or get re-listed after a deal falls through. This can signal that the home needs work.

See how the costs of selling to Opendoor compare to a traditional sale.

The Opendoor home condition assessment

When you sell to Opendoor, you only need to think about repairs once. Because you don’t need to list your home to get an offer from Opendoor, you don’t need to spend time and money worrying about the fresh paint, new carpet, and curb appeal you’d normally invest in to get your home “show-ready”.

We’ve streamlined the repair process so it offers more convenience and control, allowing you to move on your timeline and skip the work.

Here’s an overview of how Opendoor handles repairs:

1. Schedule a free virtual assessment

If you like our offer for your home, we’ll work with you to schedule a free virtual assessment. We’ll have a video call so you can walk us through your home’s interior. After that, an Opendoor Estimator will assess the exterior of the home.

2. View your assessment results online

5-7 days after the assessment, we’ll let you know if repairs are needed. If they’re needed, we’ll ask for a credit and deduct the costs from your net proceeds. You’ll have the opportunity to review the amount with your Experience Partner. If you disagree with our repair asks or think it’s too high, you can cancel your contract with no penalty prior to closing.

3. Skip the work and relax

You get to relax and focus on your next home. We handle the repair work after you move out so you can skip the headache and move on your timeline.

→ Also buying a home? Learn about trading-in to save money and control the timeline.

What are we looking for during the home assessment?

We verify the home information you provided when you requested an offer, and we also look for items that are broken, in poor condition, or can affect the safety, structure, or functionality of the home.

We are not looking to charge you for upgrades. We’d ask for a repair to replace a cracked kitchen countertop. We would not ask for a repair to replace a Formica kitchen countertop with granite because that’s considered an upgrade.

Instead, examples of things we might look for include issues with the roof, windows, foundation, flooring, electrical, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and a/c systems), and major appliances. Here’s a list of common repair items our Estimators find.

Our goal is to charge only what’s necessary to complete repairs and to pass any discounts we receive from our vendor partners directly to you.

Unlike a flipper who makes money buying homes “as is” and renovating heavily to mark up the price, we buy homes in good condition and try to make minor repairs.

Our business model is to make a competitive offer and charge a fee for our service. The service we provide is the certainty of an all-cash offer and the ability to move on your own timeline. We’re also dramatically simplifying the process for a better customer experience overall.

→ Curious about our business model? Learn how Opendoor makes money.

So what are the benefits of Opendoor’s simplified repair process?

You skip the hassle.

Avoid managing repairs like searching for contractors, managing timelines, doing the work yourself, and all the stress that goes with it.

We do the work. You think about repairs only once.

You don’t need to invest in repairs and prep work to get your home “show ready”, and you also avoid all the things that can go wrong when you manage repairs yourself. For example, there are often unforeseen costs that affect your wallet and timeline like a pipe bursting or a minor issue that uncovers something bigger.

With Opendoor, if there are unforeseen circumstances which result in additional repairs, we eat the extra costs. We don’t charge you after the fact. At this point, you’ve already moved into your next home.

No out-of-pocket costs.

If you sell the traditional way, you may find yourself paying for repair expenses out of your wallet, which can stress your finances at a time when you’re likely focused on buying your next home. We deduct repair costs from your net proceeds, not your pocket.

You’re in control.

You’ll know our repair ask and your estimated net proceeds before closing. If you change your mind or disagree with our repair request, you can walk away with no penalty prior to close.

Getting started is easy

Start by requesting an offer, the process is simple and takes about ten minutes. After you tell us about your home online, our goal is to have a competitive, all-cash offer in your inbox in 24-48 hours (market dependent).

If you like the offer, you can then schedule the home condition assessment when it’s convenient for you. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak with a dedicated Opendoor Expert one-on-one. And if you’re working with a listing agent, then your agent will be your primary point of contact about our process and repairs. We respect the agent-client agreement.

See what Opendoor can offer on my home

By Joseph Gomez

→ How Opendoor’s costs compare to a traditional home sale

→ Most common misconceptions about Opendoor

→ How Opendoor makes money