As recently as three years ago, the vast majority of the general public had never even heard the term iBuyer, which stands for instant buyer. The iBuyer movement has only existed since 2014. Media and online coverage of this new and faster way to sell one’s home has experienced an uptick in the last year or so. But how is it affecting the metro Atlanta real estate market?
Mark Spain Real Estate, an independent real estate brokerage which annually is named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Atlanta’s Top 25 Real Estate Companies list (based on annual sales production), has some insights, both from an internal perspective and overall market growth. Mark Spain Real Estate implemented its Guaranteed Offer program a few years ago, allowing homeowners to sell their home hassle-free with no showings or open houses and the ability to close in as little as 21 days. Now, it’s hard to miss seeing something about the program, as the firm has billboards around metro Atlanta talking about its Guaranteed Offer.
Because Mark Spain Real Estate’s Guaranteed Offer provides clients similar benefits to selling directly to an iBuyer, company founder Mark Spain monitors how the market is developing around the country. The number of homes sold through programs like Mark Spain’s Guaranteed Offer has increased by over 300 percent since 2015, with the largest growth in the South and Southwest. The average home price in these areas is below the national median home price allowing iBuyers to make strategic investments. Homes under $500,000 also spend less time on the market than higher priced homes, making the investment period shorter.
iBuyers were responsible for 4 percent of home sales transactions in four southern markets in the third quarter of 2019, and 18 markets had a 1 percent or greater share of total home sales and all but five were in the South or Southwest. iBuyers purchased an average of 3.1 percent of the homes sold (compared to 1.6 percent a year earlier). Atlanta came in above the 18-city average at 4.4 percent, which was more than double its third-quarter 2018 rate.* This placed Atlanta as the third most productive iBuyer market in the country.
Selling a home through the Mark Spain Real Estate Guaranteed Offer program provides sellers the protection and expertise of a traditional real estate agent while allowing homeowners to close quickly. In the Atlanta real estate market, the Mark Spain Guaranteed Offer program experienced sustainable growth in 2019 with 628 percent more families selling their homes through a Guaranteed Offer versus 2018. This substantial growth, in just a year, is signaling that more families prefer selling their home hassle-free and believe they are receiving a fair offer on their home.
The Atlanta-based residential real estate firm, which began expanding outside of metro Atlanta to Athens, Raleigh, Charlotte and Nashville a couple of years ago, is also seeing significant Guaranteed Offer growth in its other markets. For example, the Mark Spain Real Estate Charlotte and Raleigh offices are in a near tie for Guaranteed Offer under contract growth in 2019, with 462 percent growth and 461 percent growth, respectively. Raleigh was also named the hottest iBuyer market in the country in the 2019 third quarter with 6.8 percent of the market. Atlanta and Charlotte rounded out the top four, at 4.4 and 4.3 percent.
“A home seller is not required to accept the offer. It’s simply an option,” explains President John Makarewicz. “We have had several sellers in our Guaranteed Offer program who needed to relocate quickly for a new job or who just didn’t want the hassle and the unknowns of having to put their home on the market and be ready for showings on short notice. Certain life circumstances can make a quick sale an attractive option.”
The overall growth of the Mark Spain Real Estate Guaranteed Offer, company wide across all markets in which they have an office, includes a 184 percent growth in requests for Guaranteed Offer and 484 percent more Guaranteed Offer closings year-over-year.
The firm broke the $1 billion annual gross sales benchmark for the first time, ending 2019 with just over 4,200 transaction sides. It has plans to expand in additional Southeastern markets in 2020 and beyond.
For more information on Mark Spain Real Estate or its Guaranteed Offer program, visit markspain.com or call toll free at 1-855-299-SOLD.
About Mark Spain Real Estate (MSRE):
Mark Spain Real Estate is the most trusted name in real estate, earning more 5-star reviews than any other real estate company in the United States. It has earned the No. 1 real estate team in America honor for closed transactions the last two consecutive years, and the company has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America for four years straight. MSRE’s mobile site design took top honors in 2019, being named the No. 1 Mobile Website in real estate by REAL Trends. MarkSpain.com also earned the No. 8 spot in the Top 10 Overall Websites. MSRE was honored in 2017, 2018 and 2020 as one of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top Places to Work. It has earned the Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetter Award the last three years, for being one of 100 metro Atlanta’s top fastest-growing privately held companies. MSRE recently made its second appearance on Atlanta’s Top 25 Real Estate Companies annual list in 2019.
As the leader of such a productive team with cutting edge ideas like its innovative website, Guaranteed Offer program and extensive marketing, Mark Spain was named to the inaugural list of 2019 REAL Trends Game Changers. This list of 50 people who have the potential to change the game of real estate in the coming year, included such honorees as: Gary Keller, co-founder and CEO of Keller Williams International, as well as the CEOs of RE/MAX International, Zillow, Coldwell Banker and HomeServices of America. Mark Spain has also been named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 list of fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by a University of Georgia alumni. MSRE debuted on the Bulldog 100 list in 2018.
* Statistics all from recent Redfin report, “iBuyers Bought More Than 4% of the Homes Sold in 4 Southern Markets Last Quarter,” December 2019