Haus is a startup launched last month by Garrett Camp, Uber co-founder and CEO of Expa Studios. It’s an online platform for making and accepting offers on residential real estate.
What makes Haus different from other home discovery platforms is a goal of bringing transparency and efficiency to the real estate market. By integrating modern digital technology, Haus aims to make the offer review process seamless and transparent to buyers, sellers and agents.
Here’s how it works: The seller’s agent posts the home on the platform and buyers and their agents can make an offer. The offers can be amended and other offers on the property are anonymously shown. This approach lets buyers and sellers know exactly where they stand on an offer.
But this kind of transparency has some downsides.
When every offer is available to view by all parties, it may cause buyers to get into a bidding war and thus drive the price of the home up. It may also drive potential buyers away from a home if they want to avoid a bidding war. Or a seller might not receive the best and highest offer from a buyer if they see buyers barely outbidding the last offer made.
However, by digitizing and organizing offers, Haus takes away the slow and time-consuming task of compiling offers from an agent. It may be a concern that this kind of platform will replace realtors entirely, but Haus sees itself more as a compliment to realtors. Also, it’s still necessary to have a broker’s license to draft up the paperwork.
“Collecting offers and presenting them is a very manual process, the way that town car companies would pick up a phone, write the fare on the board, and send the next available driver to that location,” said Camp. “It just seems much more efficient for agents to use a platform to coordinate all of this information automatically.”
For anyone who has taken an Uber, you can understand how this relates. Uber replaces the traditional town car industry by utilizing technology to replace the process of matching a driver to a passenger automatically. This is essentially what Haus is doing. The platform seamlessly connects buyers and sellers with the buying process.
By saving time for realtors in the negotiation process, Haus will eventually charge from the broker fee, however the service is currently free.
With its pros and cons, it’s still up in the air whether this new platform will prove its worth in the real estate industry.