How Do iBuyers Judge the Condition of a Home?
Updated: Mar 27
Here’s a common scenario: A homeowner has a high need to sell a property, for various reasons. They have been informed that iBuyers can help them move fast and get a cash offer, only to end up receiving an offer much lower than they’d hope for, or no offer at all.
Why is that? What is the method to an iBuyer’s approach?
When iBuyers are judging the condition of a home, there are three main criteria that they use to determine whether—and how much—to offer. These are condition, aesthetics, and financial status.
iBuyers are not flippers seeking to buy any home. They are looking out for items that are broken, that are in poor condition, or that would affect safety. Everything is a cost-benefit analysis. They want to identify potential problem areas to evaluate whether the property acquisition is worth the risk, or if it’s better to move on to the next house.
They will be paying special attention to:
● The foundation
● The roof
● The age of important systems, such as the HVAC
● Any safety issues, specifically electrical or fire-related
As iBuyers look at the condition of the house, they will be determining 1) whether to make an offer and 2) how much to factor in for any needed repairs. The more you know your house, and the more aware you are of any problem areas, the better position you’ll be in to evaluate an offer you receive. Having your own contractor fix any obvious issues may pay off in the long-run.
One of the benefits of going with an iBuyer is that you don’t have to get the house into show-ready shape. You don’t have to do open houses, stage, or even completely declutter. iBuyers are looking to sell the house soon after acquiring it and are identifying the quickest path to market. A home that is extremely dated or that has a high degree of clutter may cause an iBuyer valuator to pause or lower an offer. Sellers may benefit from sweeping through the house with the eye of a buyer and make the iBuyer valuator’s job a little easier. If the path to market feels long, it will likely affect any offer received.
If a home has already entered foreclosure or another similar financial challenge, it can affect whether an iBuyer can make an offer. Sellers should assess their financial status, and how it affects the home sale. If a foreclosure is on the horizon, being aggressive and seeking an offer early can be a good strategy.
iBuyers offer convenience and can move very quickly, but there are many factors associated with how they judge a house. Besides these features about the house itself, there are market factors that can influence an iBuyer’s interest in a house. If an area is highly saturated with iBuyer offers, or if the market was slowed in an area, that can affect a house’s desirability. Like any traditional sale, iBuyer purchases are affected by the market.
A savvy seller will analyze the motivations of iBuyers and make adjustments to the property to maximize their return. Additionally, working with an iBuyer expert, such as a Keller Offers certified agent, can help a seller increase the salability of their home, while being able to properly analyze any offer that comes in!