Redefining the Homebuying Process With Greater Transparency and Better Pricing

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller,May 24, 2022

doorseyFirst-time and experienced homebuyers know or learn the drill. After investigating houses in your destination and budget, you find one you’re interested in. You complete due diligence and if you like the house, put in an offer. You do so without knowing what others have put on the table – the blind-bid. You don’t know if you’re overbidding, underbidding, or in line. Your real estate agent can ask the listing agent what an attractive offer would look like, but there’s no guarantee they’ll tell you or be honest. 

It’s a throw-out-your-best-guess situation.

It’s an unnecessarily stressful arrangement, considering you’ll generally be locked in financially for 30+ years and will need to part with your savings to secure the down payment. As the buyer, you want to go in knowing you’re not overpaying, and that the buying process doesn’t take too long. An extra $10,000 could mean the difference between having funds for closing or not. And if you do choose to overpay as an insurance policy to drive away competition, wouldn’t you want to know the top bid so you can decide how much to overpay? 

listingsLet’s take the same scenario from the seller’s perspective. You have decided it is time to sell your house. You have to keep it neat, make repairs, and have strangers coming into your space, often during an open house. Often, selling your house is a precursor to buying another. If the sale falls through, the deal for your new home falls apart because you won’t have financing. Moving isn’t just a matter of relocating, it disrupts your life. 

What if the process worked like this: You list your house with a minimum price and terms you determine. The minimum price is slightly below your desired sale price—as a means of enticing buyers. Furthermore, all potential buyers are financially vetted so you know they are qualified to buy your house. There is a 10-day due-diligence process for buyers to walk through your house, ask questions, and review an inspection report. At the end of that time, buyers bid on one day, in real time, with full transparency. All bids are visible to everyone. 

Bidding lasts a matter of hours with every bid visible to bidders no matter how many are submitted or how high prices go. If the bidding closes and the desired price hasn’t been met, you retain your home. If at least one bid meets the desired price, the sale is official and signed. Given the auction-esque process, prices can escalate quickly, beyond the initial offer. As the seller, this is what you want. 

For buyers, transparent bidding enables them to make confident decisions based upon clear, real-time updates. You outbid your competitors, or you don’t. And you’ll know where you stand at every step. 

For agents, they get paid when the house sells. Doorsey’s full-disclosure, including seller terms and pre-inspection report, helps eliminate the pitfalls that can happen after a home is under contract, increasing certainty of close. 

Transparent bidding may seem like a radical home-buying process because it is not what we are accustomed to. Why make the biggest financial commitment of your life based off a blind bid? There’s a more rational, equitable process. If that’s not a winning bid, what is?   

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 6/1/2022

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