Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Homie?

    Homie is a peer-to-peer marketplace where buyers and sellers of homes can meet, negotiate, and transact, saving both sides tons of money. We build technology that streamlines the whole buying and selling process, from contract to close. Typical commissions fees when using real estate agents can be up to 6%, which is $18,000 on a $300,000 home. You and the seller should decide how to share the savings. Homie makes sure you both win!

  • How much are agent commission fees?

    Typically 6% of the home’s selling price. 3% goes to the seller’s agent and 3% goes to the buyer’s agent. Homie’s goal is to help both buyers and sellers save thousands of dollars.

  • Why use Homie? Aren’t buyer’s agents free since the seller pays the commission?

    Using an agent isn’t free because the agent commissions are included in the sales price of the home. Using Homie, you don’t bring a buyer agent to the table. Homie gives you software tools and a real estate attorney to help with the paperwork so you don’t make the seller pay anything extra.

  • I want to buy a home on my own, how do I get started?

    Browse our listings in the area where you want to live. If you don’t find the home of your dreams listed on Homie, you can search other sites like Zillow, Trulia, and the MLS. Once you find a home that fits your needs, use Homie to schedule a tour and make an offer. Our technology will guide you and help you get prequalified for a loan so you have an idea of what kind of home you can afford. To get started, sign up for our Buyer Assistance Package.

  • I already have an agent, can I still buy a home listed on Homie’s website?

    Yes. You can still make offers on homes advertised on Homie and use your agent to do that for you.

  • What is earnest money?

    Earnest money is a deposit that you make as a buyer to confirm the contract and show the seller that you are serious about your intent to purchase the home. Earnest money can be returned to you or forfeited to the seller depending on the terms of the purchase contract and whether you decide to move forward with closing once a contract is in place. As a buyer, make sure you understand the terms of the earnest money deposit and the circumstances under which you can cancel the contract and retain the earnest money. Your Homie real estate attorney will walk you through earnest money and the rest of the contract prior to submitting an offer.

  • Can Homie help me get prequalified?

    Yes, Homie’s got your back. We have amazing partners that will find the best loan for you. Sellers prefer offers from pre-qualified buyers, so you should get pre-approved.

  • What if I don’t understand something when I’m filling out my forms?

    Don’t worry, we got you. We have a staff of real estate attorneys ready to answer any questions you may have. Just email us!

  • How can I save up to 3% when buying a home?

    On a For Sale By Owner Home
    If the seller of the home is not using an agent, but is willing to pay a buyer’s agent commission, they often increase the list price of the home to cover the commission cost, so if you come without an agent, you can negotiate a lower price on the home. In some cases, the seller is not willing to pay a 3% commission to a buyer’s agents, in which case the buyer would be responsible for paying their own agent.

    On an Agent Listed Home
    If the seller of the home is using a real estate agent, the seller typically agrees to pay a commission equivalent to up to 6% of the final sale price of the home. That commission is typically split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent, with each being paid 3%. Because Homie doesn’t charge commissions, your offer will be very attractive to the sales agent if they decide to keep all 6% for themselves. The more likely scenario is that the seller’s agent will keep 3% and not charge the owner the other 3% of the commission, thus making your offer more attractive since the homeowner is saving the extra 3%. In this scenario, the sales agent makes the same amount of money they would have made had you brought an agent. It’s a win for all involved.

  • What are some tips for buyers?

    Not using an agent helps you get a better home price and could save you thousands of dollars. Generally, home sellers will pay up to 3% in commissions to a buyer’s agent for bringing them a buyer. When you buy a home without the help of a buyer’s agent, you can negotiate with the home seller to lower the sale price of their home because they won’t have to pay the 3% commission to a real estate agent.

    Know what your dream home is worth. Homie has partnered with certified appraisal companies and can get you a “Value Report” for a small fee. The Value Report will include the price at which similar homes in the same area sold and an estimate of the value of the home you are considering. You can use this information to make an educated offer on the home.

    Amount of Earnest Money. The average earnest money deposit is 1% of the home’s sale price. When making offers, offering more earnest money makes your offer stand out and shows that you’re serious. You have to have the available cash to cover your earnest money deposit because you will have to deposit this amount with an title/escrow company when your offer is accepted.

    Get prequalified as soon as possible. Whenever you buy a home this should be one of your first steps so you know how much you can afford and it signals to the seller you’re able to afford their house if you make an offer.

    If you need help getting prequalified, email us at support@homie.com.

  • How do I get started?

    Click "List Your Home" to start the signup process. Fill in the basic information about your home and enter your payment information. Once you complete the signup process, we’ll send you a yard sign and we’ll reach out to schedule a time for a photographer to take photos of your home and start building your ads. Once the listing is live, people can use Homie to schedule tours of your home and make offers. Contact us if you have any questions about the signup process.

  • How do I get photos of my home?

    If you advertise your home for sale on Homie, we want it to look great when we feature it online. We include professional photography as part of our advertising package. We will contact you within 48 hours of the time your home advertisement goes live to schedule an appointment for our professional photographer to come by. It’s proven that homes with professional photos sell faster and for thousands more than those with cell phone pics.

  • Do I have to pay the buyer agent commission if they bring an agent?

    You decide whether you will pay a commission to an agent who brings you a buyer. Most sellers choose to offer a commission to buyers’ agents to get as many potential buyers in the door as possible. You should evaluate all offers against each other and choose the one that is best for you, regardless of whether there’s an agent on the other side. If you’re not willing to pay a buyer’s agent commission at all, buyer’s agents may not always bring sellers to your house if they don’t think they will be compensated.

  • Do I need to use the MLS?

    No. Our standard advertising package does not include a listing on the MLS and most sellers find that they get plenty of views, tours, and offers without being on the MLS. We do offer a listing on the MLS as an additional service that you can add through one of our outside partners for around $200. Posting on the MLS will attract more buyers' agents that will require a 3% commission. Most of our sellers choose not to list on the MLS to give themselves a better chance of avoiding those commission fees.

  • I decided not to sell my house anymore can I remove my listing?
  • How can I price my home appropriately?

    As part of our advertising package, we provide you with a home value report. This value report will give you an estimate of your home’s value in the current market based on publicly available data for recent home sales. You decide if the upgrades, condition and other special features of your home merit a price above or below the estimated value we provide. You can use sites like Homie, Zillow, Trulia, and the local MLS to get a good idea of currently active listing prices for other homes in your area. Pricing data from these different sources can help you come up with the right listing price for your home.

  • What if I don’t understand something when I’m filling out my forms?

    Don’t worry, Homie’s got your back. One of our attorneys can answer any questions you have. Just email us.

  • What are some tips for sellers?

    Get professional photos. Great photos help sell a home faster and are a major driver of traffic to your home.

    Be responsive to offers. Most offers include a response deadline of several hours to several days. Don’t let a buyer get away.

    Get a home inspection before you put your home up for sale and consider sharing the home inspection with interested buyers. An inspection can help because you may be able to correct issues before you get an offer. If you share your home inspection with likely buyers, you can also likely eliminate one of the buyer contingencies that would allow a buyer to get out of the contract if their home inspection reveals some unknown defect.

    Offer a discount on your home compared to others for sale in your neighborhood. You’re already saving at least 3% by using homie, and if your buyer does not have an agent, you could be saving even more. This gives you power to lower the price of your home compared to other similar properties and still come out ahead. A lower comparative price means your home will sell faster and get more and better offers than other similar homes. It all depends on how fast you want to sell your home.

  • I’m an agent. Does Homie work with real estate agents?

    Yes! We work with agents—in fact, we can even make things easier for you.

  • What’s the deal with homes for sale on Homie?

    We help FSBO homeowners so you don't have to do extra work.

    We work with the do-it-yourselfer, but they’re not all on their own like some of the FSBO sellers you may have encountered in the past. Our customers work with our real estate attorneys to review and understand offers, put together any counter offers, and prepare and send all disclosures. Our software prompts sellers to engage a title company and make sure to meet all contract deadlines. Lots of agents tell us this works great and they prefer working with Homie sellers over traditional FSBO sellers because they didn’t have to do the work for both sides of the transaction.

    Buyer Agent Commission

    Each Homie customer decides whether they will pay a buyer agent commission. Our users are typically happy to pay a buyer’s agent commission if you bring them a buyer and a great offer.

    Tour Scheduler

    Homie makes scheduling tours as easy as sending a text message. Just click “Request a Tour” on the listing page for the home you want to tour, then fill out a brief form and choose times that work for you and your client to tour the home. Once the seller accepts a time that works for them, you will get a text message confirming the appointment. Learn more about tour scheduling.

  • How do people use Homie to purchase a home?

    We Help Unrepresented Buyers

    When someone uses Homie to make an offer, you won’t have to do any of the extra work that often comes from working with unrepresented buyers. These buyers use our real estate attorneys to help them write up the real estate purchase contract and any necessary addenda and counteroffers. Our software also shows our customers when and how to schedule home inspections, order home warranty plans, progress to closing, and meet contract deadlines.

    Offers from Homie Customers

    Buyers use Homie to make offers in hopes that their offer will be more attractive since the listing agent doesn’t have to split the 6% commission with a buyer’s agent. With an offer from a Homie customer, it is up to the homeowners, you as the listing agent, and the buyers to negotiate how that extra 3% gets distributed. In many cases, agents and buyers have determined that a Homie customer’s offer was the best offer because it put the most money in the homeowner’s pocket, while still saving the Homie customer money too.

  • I received a tour request text message, what should I do?

    Our automatic tour scheduling tool is designed to reduce the phone tag that is often involved in trying to schedule home tours. When you receive a tour request text or email, you are given several times when interested and qualified buyers are available to tour the home. You simply select the time that works for you and your client by tapping on that time block on the calendar. You don’t need to set up an account to respond to tour requests. Simply use your smartphone and verification code that came with the tour request to accept or decline a tour request. Learn more about tour scheduling.