Many Seattle home buyers recall the stories with a touch of agony. They’d tidied up their finances and secured mortgage pre-approvals—and still failed to trump lower, all-cash offers that provide listing agents and sellers with quick closings and, in turn, priceless peace of mind. But what if everyone had enough money in hand to submit liquid bids?
That’s the idea behind Flyhomes, a Seattle-based startup that helps prospective home buyers make all-cash offers by fronting the money for those property-seekers. After an introductory meeting and some mortgage pre-qualification, the techie real estate brokerage can nab its buyer’s desired home, drawing from the more than $162 million the company has raised since 2015. Then customers have time to explore mortgage options before they buy the property back from the company at the same price. Flyhomes just takes a standard agent cut, according to company CEO and cofounder Tushar Garg.
Like other real estate disruptors, Flyhomes capitalizes on the fact that closing on a home can be a headache for sellers and agents, who weigh competing factors of time and price. A speedy, certain close is the greatest benefit of an all-cash offer, according to Jeff J. Reynolds of Windermere Real Estate. Conversely, a significantly higher financed offer—say, $1.2 million versus $1 million in cash—will still often triumph. “There’s always this breaking point,” Reynolds says. Because, sometimes, the top price really is the most attractive one.