Rocket Homes Hires Inside Agents and Launches iBuyer Services

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Rocket Cos., The parent company of the nation’s largest mortgage lender, plans to enter the iBuyer and real estate brokerage business through its subsidiary Rocket Homes.

Rocket Homes, which is already licensed as a real estate broker in all 50 states as an operator of a property search site and agent referral network, will hire real estate agents and launch an iBuyer program. ” throughout the remainder of 2021 and into early 2022, ”the company said.

Rocket Homes said that starting in the fourth quarter of 2021, agents working in downtown Detroit will provide seller services at a reduced commission rate of 1.5%. These remote agents will provide advice on the price of the listing, facilitate photos, place homes in the local multiple listings service, negotiate offers, and take care of the paperwork.

Sellers who prefer to work with an agent in their market will be referred to Rocket Homes’ Verified Partner Agent Network, which provides access to agents in 3,000 counties and has helped nearly one million buyers and sellers to this day, the company said. Salespeople who don’t want to work with an agent at all can use Rocket Cos. ‘ ForSaleByOwner.com platform for free.

Whether a client is looking to sell their home on their own, get help from a Rocket Homes agent, or meet in person with our trusted local real estate professionals, we will have unique options and resources. to help every customer. going through the process in a way that’s completely personalized to them, ”said Doug Seabolt, CEO of Rocket Homes, in a statement.

Rocket Homes said a “soon to be released iBuyer program” will be facilitated by third-party partner companies, providing homeowners who want to buy a new home a guaranteed offer on their current home and eliminating the need to make a contingency. to offer.

With direct connections with the subsidiaries of Rocket Cos. Rocket Mortgage and Amrock, a provider of closing and settlement services, Rocket Homes said it aims to provide a “full suite of services.”

Last month, Rocket Homes announced that coverage of its property search portal had expanded to include listings from all 50 states. The company is licensed as a real estate broker in all 50 states and is a member of the MLS where it posts listings, a spokesperson told Inman.

In its latest annual report to investors, Rocket Cos. said Rocket Homes partner agents were involved in 27,400 deals in 2020, up from 30,300 in 2019. But gross revenue rose 6%, to $ 45.6 million. Rockethomes.com averaged 568,500 unique monthly visits last year, up 216% from 180,000 monthly visits in 2019.

Rocket Cos. also revealed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a civil inquiry request to Rocket Homes in May 2020, “to determine whether Rocket Homes conducted activities in a manner that violated RESPA [the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act] and to determine if further CFPB action is required.

Rocket Cos. stated that he “is cooperating fully with the CFPB in this investigation and that he is confident in the compliance processes put in place by Rocket Homes”. The RESPA, which governs compensation for trade references made in connection with a federal mortgage, can be difficult to interpret, the company said in its annual report.

“In some cases, it is not clear how these laws and regulations affect Rocket Homes based on our business model which is different from traditional brokerage houses, and the fact that these laws and regulations were created for rocket homes. traditional real estate brokerage, ”the company said.

A CFPB spokesperson told Inman the office had no comment on the status of the Rocket Homes investigation.

Rocket Homes’ decision to hire in-house agents echoes plans by a sister company of Better Mortgage – Better Real Estate LLC, the real estate brokerage subsidiary of Better HoldCo Inc. – to employ 500 salaried real estate agents in 20 states by the end of the year. About 90 percent of Better Real Estate clients go through the Better Mortgage pre-approval process, Christian Wallace, head of real estate services at Better, told Inman.

Last month, LoanDepot and its agent-matching affiliate, mellohome, announced cash rebates of up to $ 7,000 on bundled services when customers buy and sell with a preferred mellohome real estate agent, fund with LoanDepot and choose the company’s title insurance services.

Email Matt Carter


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