As with most homeowners, much of our equity was tied up in our current home. It was not equity we could tap into until we sold the home. Fortunate for us, Allen Edwin partnered with MarketPlace Homes and offered a program that allowed us to build our home with no money down, other than a small earnest deposit and then later, the lot transfer fee. The program also lessened the overall risk, since MarketPlace will buy your home for 90% of market value if they cannot sell it. They also take a reduced 1% commission to help you sell — instead of the standard real estate commission.
We were introduced to and signed up with MarketPlace at the very beginning of the Allen Edwin new-home-build process. I spoke to our MarketPlace rep at length about the process and she was fantastic in answering any and all of the questions I had in a very clear manner to start.
First, MarketPlace does NOT want to buy your home. This means, that they will put you in the best position they can to sell it. They sent a photographer to our home to take professional photos. We followed their advice on staging and made the house as presentable as possible. In the end, the listing was beautiful, down to the photographs.
They also gave advice for “when” to list the home, which is so critical. If you list too early, you risk not having enough overlap and if you risk to late, you risk having too much overlap. Our main contact at MarketPlace Homes was great at setting a timetable for this. MarketPlace and Allen Edwin kept in communication during the whole process to get the timetable as on-point as possible.
Once the house is listed, MarketPlace Homes representatives will call to schedule showings of your home with different realtors. We were fortunate to have a great amount of interest and got smart about setting a time-range for showings. Initially, we would schedule them as they came in but reality set in very fast and moving a family of 5, plus 3 dogs out the door at a moments notice proved to be unrealistic. So, we started blocking off great chunks of time to make sure that whoever wanted to see the house, could.
Huge thanks and a shoutout to the MarketPlace Homes call-center! Y’all rock!! They kept everything running super smooth with the scheduled showings and were so pleasant to work with.
The Downside to MarketPlace Homes
One of the most stressful parts of the process for us was the lack of communication with our listing agent (not the main MarketPlace Homes contact). She was professional on the phone, which was to be expected but there was a lack of communication overall. We were not at all in control of the process, down to the bids. She picked the offer that she felt was best and didn’t consult with my husband or me on any of the other offers. She also didn’t give us a whole lot of information about the closing process. There were some key pieces of information we needed to know before closing, that was not communicated to us until the very last second. Like for instance, the buyer’s title agency had reached out several times to get some paperwork and information from our listing agent without any response, so it was something we had to take care of ourselves at the closing table.
At the end of the day, we had to remind ourselves that MarketPlace was only taking a 1% commission to sell our home, so perhaps that meant we had to sacrifice some control and good customer service from the listing agent in the process.
Final Thoughts on MarketPlace Homes
Despite our listing agent experience, the overall experience with MarketPlace Homes was positive. They did what was needed to help us sell our home and it sold very fast. The professional photos helped immensely. The timeline was darn near perfect and we were able to obtain occupancy for 30 days, while our new home was being finished. In the end, it worked out very well.
However, if I had to offer any piece of constructive criticism to the MarketPlace Homes program process I would say that because they also get a commission on the home that you are building with Allen Edwin, some parts of the process could be a little friendlier and more communicative. When you sell your home and have no control over a process that is in and of itself anxiety-inducing, good communication and inclusiveness in the process can work wonders to ease that.