Table of Contents
Every solution should begin with a problem in mind. We knew we wanted to build a better home buying experience to match the changing needs of the modern home buyer, so we began with compartmentalizing the numerous symptoms of the disease that plagues the industry.
Complex & Opaque Process
One of the fundamental reasons why buying a home sucks so much is because of how complicated the process is. The traditional method of buying a home was established by the National Association of Realtors in 1908, making buying a home one of the most archaic processes in modern history that over 6 million Americans undergo every year. It is ridiculous how daunting and overwhelming buying a home can be.
While not all of the different moving parts of the process are redundant, some of which are genuinely set up to protect you as the home buyer, there are many aspects which need to be entirely refreshed to meet the needs of the modern home buyer.
We write elaborately and regularly on the home buying process (such as How to Buy a Home in Texas, No-Bullsh*t Guide to Closing Costs and Do You Even Mortgage Bro). We are only able to produce as much content as we do on this topic because, depending on where you are shopping, the standard practices, regulations, third parties involved (someone who isn’t directly selling or buying the property), cost, etc can vary drastically. Of course, you wouldn’t need to understand these differences unless you’re shopping in multiple markets – you would only need to understand the nuances of your locality.
In general, the home buying process looks as such:
Search > Visiting Open Houses > Submitting Offers > Negotiating > Closing
The closing process can then be further broken down to include the financing, title search, inspection and finalizing/document signing steps.
The Hutsy Process
In an ideal world, all of these different moving parts work seamlessly, and you won’t notice the burden of the complexity of the transaction (after all, an airplane is massively complex but you never have to wonder how the engine, wings, tail, fuselage, landing gear, etc work separately – you have the luxury of just being concerned with whether you have a pleasant experience during your travel).
This is the expectation of the modern home buyer, one who is accustomed to a high level of comfort in most other experiences around them – to be undaunted by complexities in processes, yet benefit directly from the intricacies that protect them and keep them afloat.
Because of the nature of the home buying process (as opposed to, say, an airplane), the home buyer needs to stay involved in many of these steps. Your involvement can range from needing to legally sign off on steps, having to pay closing costs to third parties and even making decisions with regards to new information that may arise during the process (such as negotiating repairs when a moldy roof shows up on an inspection report).
Essentially, a real estate transaction boils down to the transfer of information that leads to the exchange of money for property. In the perfect scenario where every party involved is omniscient, the transaction will flow exponentially faster, but this isn’t possible, hence contributing to the slow down of the transaction. For example, the banker needs to collect information about the buyer in order to underwrite the loan; the inspector needs to collect information about the property being sold and convey it to the buyer (and seller); and the buyer and seller need to exchange information about each other in order to establish trust to proceed with exchanging money for the asset.
Furthermore, the modern home buyer deserves a clear understanding of their progress in the transaction, as well as how much they would have to pay out of pocket (or how much their mortgage payments will be affected because of the different services and products that arise in the process). They should also be able to access this information at their fingertips, akin to the level of convenience afforded by other progressive/refreshed experiences around them.
This leads us to the next problem – fragmentation.