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26 | M R EP O RT FEATURE Awareness of Alternatives Is Giving Real Estate Professionals Better Insights Into Home Sellers I n today's environment of rising inflation, global supply chain issues and low housing inventory, many sellers are looking for the fastest and least stressful option when selling their home. Sellers want to capitalize on the hot sellers' market and additionally receive a higher price than pre- pandemic prices. When compar- ing sellers from different genera- tions, younger generations like Gen Z and millennials are looking at alternatives when deciding to sell their homes. This awareness is leading industry professionals to see this alternative movement as more than a trend—rather, this is a fundamental reshaping of the traditional home-selling model. found that 60% of home sellers chose their method of selling because their believed it would be fastest and 57% chose it because it would be the least stressful. The Impact of Zillow W hile these alternatives, like iBuying, have skyrocketed in popularity, this fast-growing market segment has hit some bumps along the way—including, recently, Zillow's announcement of the shutdown of its iBuying services. Nevertheless, the pace of the iBuying sector's growth continues. However, iBuying firms are finding it incredibly hard to become profitable. Even with last year's record-high home prices, Zillow continued posting massive losses. The company's recent exit from the space is indicative of its algorithm-valuation metrics, which supplemented the suspicion the company was overpaying for homes and selling them below cost. Zillow likely entered the market too quickly, as they were competing against other iBuyers such as Opendoor and Offerpad that have been doing this for years. Zillow's exit may have altered potential home sellers' per- ception of iBuying, leading them to believe that the issue that led to Zillow exiting was due to the iBuying practice itself, rather than the specifics of Zillow's situation. Alternatives Are Here to Stay U ltimately, as we continue to navigate return to office struc- tures and new COVID-19 variants, the demand for a virtual, fast, and easy home selling option will con- tinue. Due to these current factors, iBuyers right now are positioned at the forefront of the alternatives movement for homeowners. While companies are fielding volumes of new customers as homeowners consider other op- tions available to them, we believe that as we continue into the new year, alternatives will continue to slowly pick away at the tradition- al real estate agent route and will eventually be a widely considered option by sellers of all genera- tions. However, to truly unseat traditional real estate agents, iBuy- ers will have to invest significant money, time, and effort to develop on-the-ground resources that traditional agents have used so successfully to build their leader- ship of the sector. MATT WOODS has spent his 25-year career building real estate and financial services organizations. While in college, Woods and fellow co-founder Evan Gentry started MoneyLine Lending Services, which they grew from a traditional mortgage company to be a pioneer tech-based service provider to financial institutions. After selling the company to Genpact, a spin-off of GE Capital, Woods stayed on as President of Genpact Mortgage Services. He led the division of the publicly traded company through its international expansion, scaling from one location in California to four domestic and three global delivery centers in India, the Philippines, and Guatemala. Woods went on to join loanDepot, the nation's second-largest nonbank lender, where he helped establish Mello Home, a real estate agent matchmaking service designed to retain homebuyers who had been pre-approved through loanDepot. His vision for is to simplify the real estate journey through the utilization of big data and AI. DS News is the only publication in the country solely dedicated to providing default servicing professionals with news and content focused on their industry. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Connect with us online at SUBSCRIBE TO THE LEADER IN DEFAULT SERVICING NEWS THEFIVESTARINSTITUTE

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