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The exposure of Opendoor’s $62 million scandal.

Opendoor’s $62 Million Settlement: Unveiling the Risks of Alternative Real Estate

In a recent development that’s flown under the radar, real estate giant Opendoor has agreed to shell out $62 million to settle a lawsuit alleging it duped sellers into accepting lower offers than they could’ve snagged on the open market. This case sheds light on the potential pitfalls of alternative real estate avenues and underscores the importance of grasping how these outfits operate.

The Business Model of Real Estate Alternatives:

When it comes to alternatives like Opendoor, they typically rake in cash through hefty fees and playing with prices. Despite these tactics, many of these companies struggle to turn a profit on deals. As sellers, it’s crucial to weigh whether you’d rather stick with a traditional real estate agent who takes a commission but hustles to get you the best deal, or opt for an alternative that might lowball you on price and tack on extra fees.

Opendoor’s Deceptive Moves:

Opendoor often pitches sellers with data suggesting they could pocket more cash by selling through its platform. Yet, plenty of sellers have come forward with stories of getting shockingly low offers from the company. Case in point: one seller shared their story, revealing they sold their home on the open market for $59,000 more than what Opendoor offered, proving that enduring an open house was worth it.

The Connection to House Flipping:

Many fintech companies in the real estate game are basically house flippers. On average, these flips in the U.S. bring in about $66,000, down from over $70,000 in 2022. These companies have found a sweet spot in flipping homes and could fill the gap left by agents if lawsuits against traditional realtors keep coming.

Maximizing Your Home’s Value:

To make sure you’re getting top dollar for your place, the best move is to list it on the market and spread the word. As one seller wisely put it, “Open Door/Ibuyers = Investment buyers, which aren’t known for paying market rate. Plus they charge 5%, so there are no real savings on commission, even though they call it a ‘service fee.’ The best way to squeeze out the most ideal price and terms is to put it on the market and let EVERYONE know it’s up for grabs.”

The Changing Landscape of Real Estate Commissions:

The real estate scene finds itself in a tricky spot, with realtors accused of driving up prices for buyers because of their commissions, while alternative ibuyers are accused of pushing prices down with their tactics. To address these concerns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have tweaked their rules on seller’s commissions, allowing them to be negotiated and go beyond the previous 3/6 cap if the excess is funneled into commissions, up to 9%. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees FHA and VA loans, is expected to follow suit.

The Influence of Lawsuits on Mortgage Guidelines:

Believe it or not, juries with little know-how about mortgage guidelines and policies have been given the power to change well-established guidelines through the influence of ambulance-chasing lawyers. This has resulted in millions, if not billions, of dollars being diverted from lenders and realtors into the pockets of lawyers.


As the real estate world navigates choppy waters, it’s vital for sellers to be aware of the potential risks tied to alternative real estate paths. While traditional realtors might have their own hurdles, putting your home on the open market and letting the market set the price remains the most effective way to ensure you get the best deal possible. And as for the ongoing legal tussles and their impact on the industry, only time will reveal how the landscape will shape up.

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