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How Opendoor and Bernie Lake worked together to fulfill a promise to a friend

January 4, 2018 — Written by Tiffany Chi

When Bernie Lake’s best friend Don passed away, he was left with a great responsibility. Don had known his upcoming heart surgery was risky, so he had put his affairs in order. He asked Bernie to be the executor of his will, which included selling his Roswell, Georgia house.

Bernie took his last promise to his friend very seriously. “It’s a very sacred obligation,” he said. He felt a responsibility to sell the home for as much as he could for Don’s sons, who lived out of state. The problem was he knew it would be no easy sale.

A house requiring repairs

Don had bought the house about 40 years ago, and it needed some work to get sale-ready. Bernie didn’t want to spend the money out-of-pocket to make repairs and upgrades, so he decided he would look into different options for selling the home as-is. 

“I’ll always have a warm spot for Opendoor because it really made my difficult situation easy.”

One day while Bernie was working on cleaning out Don’s house, he got a piece of mail from Opendoor introducing a new way to sell a home. The letter caught Bernie’s eye—he was amazed at the possibility of going online, entering information about a home, and getting an offer back within 48 hours. He thought Opendoor could be a great solution for selling Don’s house.

Bernie requested an offer from Opendoor and was happy to find the offer matched what he thought the home was worth based on his research. However, he didn’t want to just take the first good offer he got. Because he felt a responsibility to get the best offer he could for Don’s sons, he wanted to research all the options before choosing one. Bernie decided he would contact a few realtors and investors to see what they had to offer, using Opendoor’s offer as a baseline. “It was my obligation to do the best job that I could,” Bernie said, “so I did the legwork and met with the realtors and investors and went through the whole process.”

The search for the best offer

Bernie spoke to 3 realtors and 5 investors. “The realtors recommended listing the house for less than Opendoor was offering and then they wanted their 6% commission on top of it,” Bernie remembers. Plus, if he listed the home on the market, there was the added cost of needing to make mortgage payments on the house until it sold. The investors he spoke to also offered less. “None of them matched Opendoor’s offer. They didn’t even come close to it–not within $20,000.” he recalls. Bernie took his research and the multiple offers he had gathered and presented it to Don’s sons. He recommended they sell to Opendoor. “Without a doubt, it was the best deal,” he told them.

Don’s sons agreed and they decided to sell to Opendoor. At first, Bernie was a little nervous about the home assessment. He knew Don’s house needed work, and didn’t want to be locked into the sale if he felt Opendoor’s repair credit request was too high. He spoke to his home advisor, Emma about his concerns, and she reassured him that he had the option of canceling the sale without penalty if he felt the repair requests were unreasonable. “I asked her, ‘whats my obligation?’” Bernie recalls, “She said there’s no obligation. It made me feel so comfortable.”

The home assessment went smoothly and came back with a lower repair cost than Bernie expected. “I was very pleased. I thought it was extremely fair. They found 3 or 4 things that had to be fixed.” Bernie had sold a home before and gone through a buyer’s inspection, so he knew what to expect. He was reassured by the fact that Opendoor didn’t ask for anything cosmetic, but only charged for necessary repairs.

Soon after, Bernie was able to close on Don’s house and pass the proceeds to Don’s sons. Since the sale, Bernie has recommended Opendoor to many others. Beyond providing Bernie with a smooth home sale, Opendoor helped him fulfill a promise to a friend. “I’ll always have a warm spot for Opendoor because it really made my difficult situation easy,” he said.

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