Because Opendoor listed this home for $1,100,000 right after they bought it for $1,081,000 (and did no improvements), it must have meant that they thought they stole it. The market thought otherwise, and some might think they were lucky to get what they did.
If you can’t make a profit flipping houses in this market, well then yeah, you should probably stop (hat tip G.A.!)
Real-estate firm Zillow Group is exiting the home-flipping business, saying on Tuesday that its algorithmic model to buy and sell homes rapidly doesn’t work as planned.
The firm’s termination of its tech-enabled home-flipping business, known as “iBuying,” follows Zillow’s Oct. 18 announcement that it was halting all new home purchases for the rest of the year. At the time, Zillow pointed to labor and supply shortages for its inability to renovate and flip houses fast enough.
But Chief Executive Rich Barton said Tuesday that Zillow had failed to accurately predict the pace of home-price appreciation, marking an end to a venture the company once said could generate $20 billion a year.
“We’ve determined the unpredictability in forecasting home prices far exceeds what we anticipated and continuing to scale Zillow Offers would result in too much earnings and balance-sheet volatility,” Mr. Barton said in a statement.
Zillow’s share price was down about 12% in late trading on Tuesday, but before it announced the decision to end home flipping.
The move represents a big hit to Zillow’s top line. Home-flipping was the company’s largest source of revenue, but it has never turned a profit.
Zillow, which will release earnings later on Tuesday, said it would report that its home-flipping business, Zillow Offers, lost $381 million last quarter, resulting in a combined loss of $169 million across all of Zillow. The company said it also plans to cut 25% of its workforce.
Zillow has an inventory of more than 9,800 homes across the U.S. that it is currently shopping to investors. There are another 8,200 homes in contract it has agreed to buy. Thecompany expects to lose somewhere between 5% and 7% on these homes, the company said.
Starting in the summer, competitors such as OpenDoor and Offerpad began to pull back from home purchases in one of the biggest home-flipping markets, Phoenix, as the red-hot pandemic market began to cool.
But Zillow accelerated, according to an analysis of sales records by real estate tech researcher Mike DelPrete, scholar-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder. Zillow also paid significantly more than those competitors for each home it purchased, buying homes priced $65,000 above the median on average, according to Mr. DelPrete’s analysis.
By October, the company had listed 250 Phoenix homes at an average price discount of 6.2% below what it had paid for them. Mr. DelPrete called Zillow’s price blunder “a catastrophic failure.”
A wider look at Zillow’s national performance by analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets found it had listed 66% of homes at prices below what it had paid for them, with an average discount of 4.5%.
Zillow said it expects that the wind-down of its home-flipping outfit will take several quarters.
Here is who is providing the floor to the residential real estate market:
Wall Street has made a mountain of money available to house flippers, and selling move-in-ready rehabs has rarely been easier. The challenge is finding beat-up and out-of-date properties that can be renovated and resold for a profit.
“Investors like me, we’re like ants on a sugar hill all fighting for the same projects,” said Ed Stock, who started fixing and flipping houses on New York’s Long Island after the 2008 mortgage meltdown. “It’s the greatest time to be in this market; it’s just hard to find the inventory.”
The ibuyers are borrowing money like crazy to build their inventory of homes to flip. Opendoor doesn’t have the brand-name awareness of Zillow, so they are advertising a lot and buying homes directly off the MLS. Zillow has everyone’s email address so they are able to reach their users directly. Both have been fairly well-compensated during the 12-month frenzy – will it continue? From this article:
Opendoor Technologies Inc., which buys homes from consumers and lists them for resale, is in talks with lenders for a new revolving credit facility of roughly $2 billion, according to people familiar with the effort.
The company, which is rapidly accelerating the number of homes it purchases, plans to use the proceeds to help increase acquisitions, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.
A representative for Opendoor declined to comment.
Opendoor, led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Wu, pioneered a data-driven spin on home-flipping known as iBuying. After the company buys a home, it makes light repairs and seeks to resell it, profiting by charging sellers a 5% fee for the convenience of an easy sale.
The company acquired 8,500 homes in the second quarter, more than double the number it bought in the first three months of the year, according to an statement Wednesday. It also had roughly 8,100 additional houses under contract at the end of June.
Opendoor uses debt to fund acquisitions, and had just under $4 billion in borrowing capacity under existing revolving credit facilities as of the end of June. The company had drawn $1.8 billion on those facilities, according to a filing.
Zillow Group Inc., Opendoor’s main competitor, has also moved to increase its firepower for home purchases. The company borrowed $450 million through a first-of-its-kind bond offering earlier this month.
Zillow’s recent activity has been more consistent than Opendoor’s, so let’s look at the Zillow numbers to see if the convenience they offer sellers is paying off. Zillow currently owns 138 homes in San Diego County, and of those, 72 are active listings and 38 are pending. They have sold 48 homes this year – here are the 13 they have closed since July 1st:
List Price on the Flip
They have a consistent 2-month turnover between the day of purchase, and the day of sale, so it’s a quick $553,600 profit, or an average of $42,585 per sale – though they had to pay out close to half of that in buyer-agent commissions (all fix-ups are included in their purchase prices). It’s a good thing that sellers aren’t in a hurry – Zillow is currently six weeks behind in responding to purchase requests.
Sellers are leaving some money on the table, but as long as Zillow is flipping every home, buyers will still have the same amount of inventory to consider – it’ll just be at a higher price.
Josh came down from Beverly Hills to round-trip the Razor house, which had sold for $14,097,000 in 2011. It closed yesterday for$20,800,000.
The previous sale did have some hair on it:
Public documents show what the new owner paid is lower than liens on the home, which totaled about $22.7 million. Burns, who expressed interest in the home about seven months ago, initially offered more than $16 million but in October dropped it to $13.9 million. He won out with his new bid after negotiations that resulted in concessions from some of the lienholders.
Here’s a sample of Burns’ negotiating skills in an Oct. 20 letter addressing Leslie Gladstone, the trustee in the Cooksey bankruptcy case:
“This new offer is lower than my first offer because the lack of other qualified buyer offers over the last months of heavy advertising proved that my past offer was above the Fair Market Value of the property,” he said.
Burns continued to say: “The First Mortgage Holder (Bank of America) will need to ultimately decide if it wishes to own this property, or if they would like to achieve their maximum recovery now and be free of the expense and liability of owning a property that has been the white elephant for four years.”
A court record dated Dec. 7 shows Gladstone agreed with Burns’ argument on the distressed home.
“This immediate relief is appropriate because Bank of America will foreclose on the Property if the sale does not close prior to December 31, 2011,” said Jeffry A. Davis, attorney for Gladstone.
The property, the work of renowned San Diego architectural designer Wallace E. Cunningham, is unfinished and has never been occupied. The new owner plans to work with Cunningham to complete the design.
The seller did install a kitchen, and staged it nicely – and included the photo above which helped disclose a possible annoyance with the property/location – you get the paragliders flying by:
Here is the Visa commercial that featured the home:
Remember my listing in La Costa that closed in December? These are my ‘before’ photos above. The new owners have already turned it around and have it back on the market on the range $899,000 – $950,000. I don’t think they will have any trouble:
Brava closed yesterday, after a whirlwind of activity – here are the MLS stats:
We received 13 cash offers, and went through five escrows to get one to stick. Each time one would fall out, I went back to all of the other contenders to give them another chance to buy it.
Buyers would say that they had reviewed what’s needed (new kitchen, 3 bathrooms, windows, flooring, etc.), and were comfortable with the project.
Of the four that cancelled, three dropped out altogether once they did more extensive research.
Only one tied up the property, and then, after a few days, tried to work me down on price. They are looking for the desperate sellers and agents, and hope to convince you to drop another $20,000+ just get it over with.
It was Mr. T who tried to get me to cave, and he had agreed to pay $665,000. After further review, he wanted to drop the price down to $645,000.
But instead of just taking it, I went back around to all the other contenders and offered them another opportunity.
A different buyer agreed to pay $655,000, and Mr. T. held his ground, and backed out. But then the $655,000 guy cancelled, and in the next round Mr. T wanted to drop again, this time down to $635,000.
I got another buyer to do better.
We closed at $650,000.
It’s more work to keep all the contenders engaged, and keep tempting them to buy the house during our five-week adventure. But this is what I do for my sellers – I’m going to everything I can to get you that extra $15,000.
The buyers cancelled the second escrow on Brava yesterday.
We have had a dozen cash offers, so after the first cancellation I went back to the others and got them to bid it up to $690,000, which is a miracle when the highest offer was $675,000 in the first round.
Other agents since have said, ‘oh, you picked the wrong buyer’. But I’m going to give the high bidder a chance to close every time – I think I have that obligation. If they would have stuck, I would have been a hero.
There is more of a chance that end users will hang in there, but with flippers it tends to be cut-and-dry, and all about the money. There has been some concern about the 2019 market being soft(er), but it’s not stopping them from wanting to buy. They just want to fine-tune the price!
This is a neighborhood with zero lot lines, which you can see in this photo (in yellow). Each home has the exclusive use of one side yard, instead of splitting both sides. You can touch your neighbor’s house, but it does give you more usable space.
I don’t think there will be a noticeable discount needed for the flipper to resell a zero-lot-line house. There are several neighborhoods in Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Carmel Valley that have the zero lot lines, so it’s not that rare.
The latest from Altos data @mikesimonsen: financial markets are correcting dramatically + #mortgagerates are at their highest in 2 yrs. How quickly will this impact #homebuying decisions?: https://hubs.ly/Q012SS230
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!