The online realm is starting to takeover even the most traditionally offline events—such as buying a house. A new startup company known as SQFT has adopted a groundbreaking new way for homes to be bought and sold by creating a real estate app that lets buyers and sellers conduct every aspect of the home-buying process directly from their mobile device.
By using SQFT technology, sellers are able to create free home listings that instantly post to Zillow , Trulia and over 450 other real estate sites, while also being able to schedule showings, make offers, and complete the closing using only the app. Thanks to this innovative concept it is now possible to sell your home without ever leaving it!
“Another added benefit is that you can also save thousands of dollars,” says CEO James Simpson. “Instead of the traditional 6% closing costs, the platform slashes commissions down to below 2%, so if you bought a house for $2 million in New York, you’re saving $80,000. From listing the home to making offers directly to the seller, to signing the contracts, everything is done from your mobile device.”
As of their launch, SQFT has four NYC listings:
• 51 Greene Street ($3.7M)
• 16 N Front St, New Paltz ($369K)
• 406 Saratoga, Fishkill ($325K)
• 20 Pine Street ($970K)
Moreover, by studying how this app works, young people can gain a deeper understanding of real estate–something that will prove invaluable for anyone who hopes to make a living in this field–or having anything to do with property ownership and/or development in general. Thus, this is also an excellent virtual tool for those who are seeking to learn some basic facts about the day-to-day realities of the realty business.
Recently, SQFT CEO James Simpson spoke with this Examiner about this amazing new system:
Meagan Meehan (M.M): How and when were you inspired to start your company?
James Simpson (J.S.): I sat across from a potential seller of a $17 million dollar ranch who asked: “Does it really cost $1 million to sell this property?” It triggered my long term view that realtors value in the equation is becoming harder and harder to justify. Thanks to the incredible education over the past ten years the consumer has received through real estate sites like Zillow and Realtor they are armed with vast knowledge and need little to no market input. Add to that the idea that many sellers/buyers want to have more control and ownership in the process, and the idea for SQFT was born.
M.M: Why did you choose the name SQFT?
J.S.: We wanted a name that feels current, hip and fun. It implies the main concept of SQFT for sale and it feels like the appropriate name for a technology based real estate brokerage
M.M: How does your app work from a user’s perspective?
J.S.: The App puts control of the process in the seller’s hands. We are hearing “throw it up on SQFT if you want to sell!” The idea that a seller can choose the ‘how’, the ‘when’ and the ‘how much’ on their own without having to engage in a long contracted relationship with an agent is a freeing experience. They create a listing, attract buyers, schedule showings, and receive and respond to offer through the App…All on their own time and their own control. We are there as their broker to assist and support. They get to act as their own real estate agent but have the backing of a broker.
M.M: Thus far, what has been the most rewarding part of building this platform?
J.S.: Saving sellers’ money and having them say: “Finally, someone looking out for my interest and equity rather than just their own commission.”
M.M: Where do you hope the company will be ten years from now?
J.S.: We see it as the modern brokerage model for the Millennial age. We see it as the future method for people to exchange home ownership.
M.M: How do you see SQFT impacting the New York real estate market specifically?
J.S.: We see it providing tremendous savings for seller and buyers in New York. It is particularly powerful in New York as the state law requires lawyers to draft the contract once buyer and seller have a verbal agreement. The value proposition for a New York agent is ever more difficult to justify when they don’t really assist with any of the contract work. Through SQFT, once buyer and seller agree through the App, they then hand it over to lawyers as standard but save a fortune.
M.M: Are there any special challenges working in real estate in New York?
J.S.: In general, I would say the biggest challenge is feeling confident that a deal is solid and stable while waiting for a the lawyers to create the contracts. It is a period of vulnerability for both parties. In other states in the country, once buyer and seller accept a contract through state approved forms, the deal is stable. Our platform allows some stability in New York for once buyer and seller agree, further or future negotiation is suspended pending attorney contracts.
M.M: Is there anything you would like to add and/or is there one SQFT feature you would like everyone to know about?
J.S.: The freedom to be your own agent! You own the real estate, now you can own the seller process as well.
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To learn more about SQFT visit the official website and Twitter.