Are you looking to relocate soon but worry you won’t sell your current home in time? Trying to balance buying and selling at the same time is a common issue faced by homeowners, especially if you need the profits from the sale to make your down payment on the purchase.
Flyhomes aims to help homeowners solve this dilemma by offering a buy-and-sell solution that allows you to conduct both transactions simultaneously. It can also be used to simply buy or sell a home. Read on for everything you need to know about the company.
What does Flyhomes do?
Flyhomes is an online real estate platform that buys and sells houses. It has its own team of agents and mortgage loan officers, and it can enable all-cash offers for clients trying to buy in competitive markets. Sellers can list their home with Flyhomes as well. One of its key features is a buy-before-you-sell option that can help clients buy their next home first, before selling and moving out of their current one. (As it promises on its website, “Buy first, then sell — so you don’t have to pay the movers twice.”)
Flyhomes for sellers
The platform offers what it calls an “all-inclusive listing service” to help you sell your home. Each seller is assigned a local agent who can coordinate with the company’s network. Here’s a breakdown of the process:
- Home prep: Flyhomes gets your home show-ready, including cleaning and staging, in “as few as two weeks.”
- Marketing: It promotes your listing through targeted online ads, emails, signs and flyers. This includes taking professional photos and creating virtual tours.
- Showings: It hosts open houses and coordinates with other ones nearby to maximize foot traffic and attract the most house-hunters.
When you sell with Flyhomes, you do still have to pay real estate commissions — typically 2.5 to 3 percent of the purchase price to the company (as the listing agent) and another 2.5 to 3 percent to the buyer’s real estate agent.
Flyhomes for buyers
To help buyers in cities with fiercely competitive real estate markets, Flyhomes can help you make a cash offer. Here’s how the cash-offer purchase process works:
- Work with their team: Buyers get pre-underwritten for a home loan through Flyhomes Mortgage, then house-hunt with a dedicated Flyhomes agent and secure a loan through a dedicated Flyhomes loan officer.
- Make a cash offer: Once you find the home you want to buy, you will make a cash offer to purchase it. The funds come in the form of a short-term loan from Flyhomes Mortgage.
- Close and move in: The company promises a payout and closing in as few as 10 days. Once the home is yours, it will refinance your short-term loan into a long-term mortgage. (Keep in mind that this requires two sets of closing costs.) You can also use the lender of your choice if you prefer, within three months.
If you need to back out of a purchase after the seller accepts your offer, as long as all contingencies have been met, Flyhomes says it will buy the house themselves so you don’t have to. If they are able to sell it for a profit, they will return your earnest money deposit. In addition, if a primary residence purchased through the platform doesn’t fit your needs within the first year, the company will handle the cleaning, staging and listing to get it off your hands.
‘Buy Before You Sell’
Flyhomes’ “Buy Before You Sell” program lets you buy your next home before selling your current one, so you’re both buying and selling homes with the company. This lets you avoid having to pay both mortgages at once for a period of time, and it also means you don’t have to move out until you have a new place to move into. All the guidelines for buyers and sellers above apply to this program, with the additional guarantee that your home will sell — if it still hasn’t after 180 days, Flyhomes says it will buy the property for 80 to 90 percent of its market value. If you are using a Flyhomes cash offer with this program, you will be charged a fixed daily fee for the amount of time the company holds the home, typically between $100 and $200 per day.
How does Flyhomes make money?
Flyhomes is a brokerage, and it collects the same 2.5 to 3 percent commission that a real estate agent would normally make on a transaction. It also generates earnings through its mortgage company (which offers home purchase and refinance loans) and its title and escrow service, Flyhomes Closing.
“Buy Before You Sell” customers who are also making a cash offer through the company are charged a $100 to $200 dollar per day holding fee. In addition, if a “Buy Before You Sell” customer’s home fails to sell within the set time frame, Flyhomes only repays the client 80 to 90 percent of the home’s market value — presumably making the extra 10 or 20 percent whenever it eventually sells.
Flyhomes service areas
As of January 2023, Flyhomes operates in just six states:
|California||San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, Fremont, Pasadena, Oakland, San Gabriel|
|Colorado||Denver, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Parker, Boulder, Westminster, Arvada, Thornton|
|Massachusetts||Boston, Quincy, Cambridge, Somerville, Maiden, Newton, Winchester, Medford|
|Oregon||Portland, Beaverton, Gresham, Forest Grove, Troutdale, Tigard, Hillsboro, Tualatin|
|Texas||Austin, Dallas, Houston|
|Washington||Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Bothell, Kirkland, Issaquah, Renton, West Seattle|
Flyhomes pros and cons
- Make a cash offer: Flyhomes enables all-cash offers for buyers, to make their bids more attractive to sellers.
- Avoid paying two mortgages: The “Buy Before You Sell” program lets clients purchase a new home before having to sell their current one, so there’s no need to pay both mortgages at once.
- Close quickly and fuss-free: Buyers can choose a closing date as soon as 10 days after their offer is accepted. Sellers can sell their home faster than with a traditional transaction as well, and without having to stage it.
- Limited availability: Flyhomes operates in only six states – California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
- Fees: Sellers pay a 2.5 to 3 percent commission fee to the company. In addition, if you use the Buy Before You Sell option with a cash offer, you’ll pay a fixed daily rate between $100 and $200 each day your home sits on the market.
- Closing costs: Flyhomes clients pay their own closing costs. If you’re using the cash-offer option you pay closing costs twice: Once on the short-term loan that provides the cash, and again on refinancing that loan into a longer-term mortgage.
Flyhomes isn’t the only option if you’re looking for a company to buy your house. Many competitors, like HomeLight, Knock, Opendoor and Orchard, offer comparable programs to “Buy Before You Sell,” and most of them operate in more areas than Flyhome does.
Flyhomes vs. real estate agents
When you hire a local real estate agent to sell your home or help you find a new one, you’ll typically interview multiple candidates to find the one you click best with. With Flyhomes, you are assigned one of their in-house agents. Since the process is more streamlined, you likely won’t need the level of personalized service you’d want in a traditional sale, but it’s something to consider. In addition, working with Flyhomes does not save you the money you’d typically pay an agent in commission fees — the company draws a 2.5 to 3 percent commission, which is the same as an agent would make in a traditional sale.
Bottom line: Should you use Flyhomes?
Flyhomes can be a good option if you want to relocate without having to move into a temporary living situation before buying a new one. It can also be a big help to buyers in super-competitive markets, where a cash offer can help you stand out from the other bidders. However, it only operates in a very limited number of markets, and while it might save you time, it likely won’t save you much money.
Flyhomes does not charge a fee to use its services, technically. However, it does collect the same amount of commission that would usually go to a real estate agent — typically 2.5 to 3 percent of the home’s purchase price. The customer also pays their own closing costs, and there are additional fees involved in using the “Buy Before You Sell” service.
Not exactly. Flyhomes does buy and sell homes through a mostly online process, but unlike an iBuyer, it is not necessarily focused on flipping homes for profit at maximum speed. The company prides itself on simplifying the home selling and buying processes for its clients.
Yes. Flyhomes was established in 2016 by Tushar Garg and Ryan Dibble, both of whom worked at Microsoft before co-founding Flyhomes. The company is based in the Seattle area and has raised nearly $200 million in venture capital. It has bought and sold $3.7 billion in homes. Its leadership team and board of directors are listed on its website.