How to Buy or Sell Your Home with HomeLight

Homebuying—and selling—is a high-stakes enterprise. If you’re selling, you need to choose a great real estate agent and hope the right buyer comes along. If you’re buying, you have to find your dream property and get approved for a mortgage. Showings, down payments, closing costs, brokers fees, title fees—there’s just so much to consider. 

Overwhelmed? If so, HomeLight could help. In this HomeLight review, we’ll explore what the company does and how it benefits both buyers and sellers.

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    In This Piece

    What Is HomeLight?

    HomeLight is a hub connecting all the individuals involved in a home sale. Buyers meet sellers, sellers connect with real estate agents, and real estate agents find buyers. HomeLight is officially a real estate broker, but its services expand beyond that traditional definition. 

    HomeLight combines tech and tradition to determine great-value real estate deals. In layman’s terms, HomeLight help you figure out which real estate agent in your area will get you the most bang for your buck—whether you’re buying or selling a home.

    Is HomeLight Legitimate?

    HomeLight is totally legitimate. The company supports $1 billion worth of real estate transactions every year. They’ve worked with more than 900,000 clients—and it partners with 28,000 real estate agents across the country. Those numbers don’t lie.

    How Does HomeLight Work?

    HomeLight works differently depending on user type. Real estate agents, for instance, create profiles on the site and use it to find buyers and sellers online. We’re going to assume for a moment that you’re a seller or a buyer and not a real estate agent. With that in mind, here’s how HomeLight could work for you:

    • You create an account on the site and tell HomeLight what you want to do. Do you want to buy or sell? What type of home are you looking for? If you plan to sell, what does your current home offer buyers? How quickly do you want to move?
    • HomeLight connects you with a local real estate agent. You get to pick from a pool of highly regarded agents in your area.
    • HomeLight also offers a virtual concierge service. You’ll receive an email from a company rep, who will guide you through the buying or selling process.
    • Buy or sell your home. You can work with your chosen estate agent in a traditional way or buy/sell your house quickly online.

    What Services Does HomeLight Offer Sellers?

    When it comes to selling your home with HomeLight, you have three choices:

    • Find a Listing Agent: You can hire an agent, organize viewings, and accept a good old-fashioned offer from a local buyer. In this way, HomeLight acts like any other brokerage.
    • Simple Sale™: Sell to HomeLight’s cash buyer network.
    • HomeLight Trade-In™: Sell your home to HomeLight.

    HomeLight Simple Sale 

    HomeLight’s Simple Sale option is a pre-approved cash buyer network—a pool of people and companies looking to buy property quickly. You enter details about your home, HomeLight submits your listing to its cash buyer network, and you receive offers almost immediately. If you need to sell your home in a hurry, Simple Sale could be the perfect solution.

    HomeLight Trade-In

    HomeLight Trade-In fully transforms the buying and selling process. Instead of sitting around waiting for the right buyer to come along, you sell your home to HomeLight and snap up another house on the double. HomeLight works in tandem with your real estate agent and when you’re ready to move, the company purchases your current home.

    One of the best things about HomeLight Trade-In is that if HomeLight later sells your home for more than it paid you for the property, you get the difference (minus selling costs and fees). You don’t get shortchanged. Isn’t that refreshing?

    What Services Does HomeLight Offer Buyers?

    For buyers, HomeLight also offers three options:

    • Find a Buyer’s Agent: Find an agent in your area that can help you find the perfect home. You can then work with your agent to find the right house for you.
    • Home Loan Pre-Approval: Get preapproved for a home loan through HomeLight.
    • HomeLight Cash Offer™: Let HomeLight make a cash offer on your behalf.

    Home Loan Pre-Approval

    Pre-approval through HomeLight takes five minutes and has no impact on your credit score. Once you’re pre-approved, a loan officer will help you through the remaining application. HomeLight also completes the financial underwriting process up front, which means you know exactly how much you can afford when you start house shopping. And with no lender fees, you’re saving even more money.

    HomeLight Cash Offer

    Tired of being outmaneuvered by cash buyers? Become one yourself—even if you don’t have the cash. Just let HomeLight make a cash offer on your behalf. According to HomeLight, cash offers are three times more likely to win and can save you 5% on the cost of the home.

    To qualify for HomeLight Cash Offer, HomeLight will verify your income, assets, and purchasing power and then make a cash offer on your behalf. If the offer is accepted, they purchase the home and hold it while you secure financing. Once your loan closes, HomeLight will sell the home to you at the same price they purchased it, plus a 1%­–1.5% fee.

    How Does HomeLight Make Money?

    HomeLight sounds good—but is it too good to be true? How does HomeLight actually make money? Real estate agents pay HomeLight a referral fee when they close sales brokered by the site. If you’re a buyer or a seller, you won’t pay a penny for working with one of their agents. 

    If you decide to use one of their additional features, like Cash Offer or Trade-In, you will pay a small percentage fee. Overall, HomeLight is a risk-free, helpful tool for buyers and sellers. 

    HomeLight Versus a Real Estate Agent

    Traditional real estate is time-tested—so, what are the advantages of HomeLight over a trusted local real estate agent? Well, HomeLight doesn’t necessarily bypass local real estate agents. Instead, the service connects buyers and sellers with real estate agents who fit their needs. 

    Here are three more reasons to choose HomeLight:

    • HomeLight is free for basic services. If you don’t like the real estate agent options you’re offered, you’re under no obligation to choose any of them.
    • HomeLight is easy to use. The interface is clean and intuitive, and you get answers—and offers—in minutes.
    • Move on your own schedule. If you go with Simple Sale or Trade-In, you call the shots regarding moving day. 

    Mortgage Financing Options

    You have a down payment and you know all about closing fees—but what about a mortgage? The right low-interest mortgage could save you a whole lot of money over the lifespan of your loan, so don’t settle. You have two main financing options:

    • Fixed-rate mortgages have interest rates that don’t change over time. If you want a predictable payment, pick this type of mortgage. 
    • Also known as adjustable-rate or floating-rate loans, variable-rate mortgages have interest rates that fluctuate over time. If you plan to pay your mortgage off early, or you think that interest rates will decline, this type of loan might be right for you.

    Here are five tips to help you select a top mortgage:

    1. Find out your credit score before you approach any lenders.
    2. See if you’re eligible for government-sponsored FHA, USDA or VA mortgages.
    3. If you have at least a 3% down payment, look into a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage.
    4. Compare mortgage interest rates.
    5. Apply to several lenders to see what your financing options look like.

    Remember: several mortgage inquiries in a short period won’t dent your credit score. Credit bureaus generally treat this type of shopping as a single event.

    If you’re ready to sell your home or find a great place to live, why not give HomeLight a try? Before you begin, check your credit score and use that knowledge to look for the best mortgage deals.

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