Homenova Inc. a corporation set out of Toronto Canada is a new entrant to the “For Sale By Owner (FSBO)” sector. The company provides a technology platform which connects buyers and sellers for the purpose of selling their home without a real estate agent.
It is quite an exciting concept, as the process today is undertaken manually. Home sellers contact a real estate agent, who puts them on a database, which is reviewed by other real estate agents, who bring buyers. In a sense, it is all backwards – if home listings are available online, and home sellers can contact home buyers directly, then why need the real estate agents at all.
Homenova is set to disrupt this process by allowing the home sellers to directly list their properties on the technology platform. The buyers, on the other hand, can contact the sellers directly through the technology platform. In a sense, it can replace the existing MLS system by allowing people to list their houses for sale.
Listing For Sale By Owner on Homenova requires six steps. Basic, location, features, photos, description and price. Once the six steps are completed, the property can be listed. The platform also provides other simple yet revolutionary features. It has extensive integration with Google maps, essentially showing both aerial views of the property and street view. It generates a brochure for your property to use. It has a built-in messaging platform that emails when buyers message through the platform. It allows to setup open house and advertises them to prospective buyers.
For buyers, it allows multiple ways to search for properties, through maps, filters, and a chat system. Both sellers and buyers can login using their email, facebook or google plus, which offers a trusted way for only verified users to communicate. This approach helps to eliminate a lot of unwanted spam and solicitation.
While the benefits to home sellers and buyers is the extensive functionality and ease of use, the biggest advantage is the savings. Using the Homenova platform helps to save up to 6% of the property value. On an average property value, this is $30,000. Considering the savings are in tens of thousands of dollars.
In regards to the market, there are no current direct alternatives to this product. There is, of course, the MLS system which is used exclusively by realtors. There are also “flat fee” listing websites which take an upfront fee to list the home. However, both of these technologies rely on a third party to do the listing and generate the information for the lister, as opposed to an automated system or the owner directly.
As an alternative, there are also classifieds websites which allow to list. However, those classified websites are not specifically targeting real estate market.
Therefore, at this stage of the game, the homenvoa real estate technology platform is truly a unique offering. Time will tell whether there is a demand for such a technology offering or whether people will continue to rely on third-party service providers to do their home sale for them.