DIY Home Sellers: A New Breed

I come to Real Estate with a background in logistics, and that makes no sense to most folks.

However, if you look at a real estate sale, from the transaction point of view and not from the “sales” point of view, you’ll see it’s pretty much a logistics transaction. We have to ‘move’ the client from step to step, from the moment they list their home until they move onto their next home.

With that in mind, and with a vision of a frictionless, digital, and transparent transaction, we began to build PadBlock.

Through different iterations of our vision, we discovered a new type of client. We are all very familiar with the for sale by owner seller, but we’ve discovered the DIY Home Seller. Allow me to explain.

The traditional FSBO seller wants to avoid paying a real estate agent commission, but they also want to spend as little money as possible to sell their home. In contrast, the DIY Home Seller, will pay for services that they cannot fulfill themselves.

Our clients break down as follows: 51% female -trending younger, and 49% male - trending older; however, all of them above 40 years old. Most, if not all, are working in an office environment. Most have full college education, or some college education. Above all, 100% of our clients spent anywhere from three to six months researching online how to sell their homes without parting with 6% of their hard-earned equity. Nearly all of our clients came to us with pictures for their homes, with a reasonable price in mind, and with a real estate attorney ready to help them with the transaction, in the absence of a traditional real estate agent.

We understand there is a nationwide trend towards DIY, you may have noticed as well.

We don’t know if there is a name for it yet, but internally at PadBlock, we call it a DIY Everything trend. Starting with Home Depot, allowing regular folks to do small projects traditionally outsourced to a professional, to YouTube allowing most of us to research millions of videos showing us how to do small projects, with step-by-step instructions, and even with the option to contact the creator of the video to answer questions as we try to DIY anything from an oil change, to more complex projects. We believe this DIY trend, in addition to the value prop of the traditional real estate agent no longer being as valuable — such as access to the MLS, marketing, contract management — have prompted this new breed of DIY Home Sellers to take action on their own, by leveraging their own skills plus hired professionals.

In our experience, and our transactions, we have discovered a group of clients who are willing to pay a flat fee for MLS access, who are willing to pay for an attorney, and are highly coachable in the process. These folks will pay professionals to provide the services that they cannot handle themselves, but what they are not willing to do, is to pay a percentage of their equity for a service that they don’t value. These folks feel they can show their own home, they can negotiate simple terms, and they can manage a simple contract; besides, there is always an attorney who will catch anything nefarious before closing.

It seems obvious to us, these folks are looking for a digital real estate agent. Which is, in fact, what we are building.

PadBlock is the first Digital Real Estate Agent: 100% digital, transparent, flat fee-based, no frills.

The perfect product for a new client, the DIY Home Seller.

Alberto Marinas

Founder @PadBlock.com

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