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Introducing new ways to buy, sell and move safely

May 4, 2020 — Written by Eric Wu

For the past six years, I’ve been on the proverbial rollercoaster ride of a startup, with our own set of yearly, monthly and daily highs and lows. Six weeks ago, I would have said that I have become pretty well acclimated to constant toggling between feeling that the world is falling apart and that we are going to change an industry and deliver on our mission.

Then earlier this year, we were all faced with a deadly pandemic that was growing exponentially. We asked our teammates to work from home. For safety reasons, we paused our offline operations. Like many of you, I had a family member and teammates’ families impacted by COVID-19. This certainly wasn’t unique to me or Opendoor as many people I’ve spoken with have had similar stories. But it sure has felt like parts of the world are falling apart.

Life has changed, but our mission at Opendoor has not. Over the past few months, we’ve focused our time on listening to home shoppers and buyers. We’ve heard that moving is nearly impossible. In order to buy, you have to visit occupied homes. In order to sell, you have to allow home visits by dozens of shoppers. We’ve also heard that life didn’t cease because of COVID-19. People are still having kids, getting married, and retiring. People still have a need for a home with an extra bedroom, a bigger backyard, or in a better school district. And we’ve heard loud and clear that safety is the number one priority.

We gathered as a company, and worked to develop new solutions, new products, and new experiences for consumers. We talked about a safe, on-demand, and fully-digital experience to buy and sell a home because we knew Opendoor was one of the few companies that could deliver on this. And we believed this experience was needed now more than ever.

Today, we’re announcing three ways to help people buy and sell safely with fully-digital, contact-free experiences:

  1. Sell Direct: A contact-free way to sell instantly to Opendoor;
  2. Home Reserve: A new way to reserve and move into your new home while we list your current home;
  3. Safer Touring: The ability to virtually tour or self-tour homes to buy.

Sell your home direct: skip the stress, keep it safe
By choosing to sell directly to Opendoor, we give homeowners the certainty of a home sale without the headaches and hassles of listings, open houses or repairs. But most importantly, we’re providing a digital and safe experience for everyone involved. A direct sale to Opendoor now includes a virtual interior home assessment, eliminating any in-person contact.

Our commitment to our customers is to be the safest, easiest, and most certain sale.

Reserve your dream home: move the minute you’re ready
For homeowners looking to buy and sell at the same time, we’re launching a new service, Home Reserve, so our customers can list their current home on the open market and buy their dream home without a double mortgage or a double move. With Home Reserve, Opendoor will:

  • Purchase and reserve a customer’s next home on their behalf, all-cash;
  • Enable the customer to move into the new home; and
  • Safely list and sell their current, empty home on the market.

We love this because it enables buyers to shop the home safely, the customer to move seamlessly, and a contact-free experience for all.

Home buying: reimagined for your safety
Last, we know home shoppers are concerned about visiting occupied homes. We’ve updated our self-touring system to provide buyers with safer and convenient ways to visit homes. Home shoppers now have the ability to see homes virtually through a live video tour. Home shoppers can also unlock and visit vacant homes at their convenience via the Opendoor app, and we ensure that there is only one buyer visiting the home at a time. When buyers find a home they love, they can handle the offer and purchase process completely online.

We believe this is the future of how people will buy and sell a home. We are energized this is happening sooner than we expected. So as of today, I am thankful for that feeling that we are going to change an industry and deliver on our mission.

Sell Direct and Home Reserve will first be available in Phoenix on May 4 and Raleigh-Durham on May 11, and we’ll be rolling the services out to more cities in the coming months. Self-touring will be available in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas and Riverside with additional cities in the coming weeks.