Selling a house? Diving into real estate just got a little easier with SQFT, a new app that helps owners sell homes and cut closing costs.
CEO and Owner James Simpson worked in the real estate industry in California for 15 years, but it wasn’t until he moved to Colorado in 2010 that Simpson discovered many agents don’t show homes themselves — and that sellers could do this on their own.
Starting in Colorado, SQFT quickly began expanding outside of the Centennial State, and because the San Antonio real estate market is booming, Simpson felt the need to pay attention. "Due to the rapid growth of San Antonio, we are excited to grow our SQFT presence. San Antonio’s population has grown steadily in recent years, nearly twice as fast as the rest of the country. This brings more people into the housing market on both the buying and rental side, which is why Forbes listed SA on the 2015 Best Buy Cities report," he says.
SQFT makes it easy for San Antonians to sell their homes, helping to minimize the closing costs associated with selling.
"I figured there are enough people who are cost-sensitive and know enough to sell their own home," says Simpson. "That said, I don’t see full service going away, I just think [SQFT] offers more options to sellers."
Simpson explains that the options were either pay 6 percent to have a listing agent sell your house or put your house up for sale alone.
"SQFT is a legal brokerage firm, but the difference is that we are standing in the background on behalf of the seller rather than having independent agents that take the listing property. We stand behind the seller himself supporting throughout the process and empower them to act on their own behalf," he explains.
How does it work? The seller creates the listing through the free app and SQFT sends it out to real estate sites such as Zillow and Trulia. Buyers who use the app will then see the house listed on SQFT. You can schedule house showings and make offers through the app. The best part? SQFT takes care of the paperwork for you.
"Most sellers know what the market is and what the value of their home is; they are good at showing and negotiating," Simpson says. "It’s the paperwork that can be daunting so we get them from that point, from contract to closing."
Instead of paying 6 percent for a listing agent, SQFT charges 1 percent. Simpson explains that fee applies only when the listing sells.
"I think that we have designed [SQFT] with the millennial in mind as they become the primary consumer of real estate over the next five years," Simpson adds. "That said, it’s not exclusive to them; we appeal to all demographics."
Of course some will always prefer the original model of handing over a listing to a broker and letting them do all of the work. But for those who like to be involved, SQFT has taken buying and selling to a whole new level.
SQFT's corporate office is in Colorado, and there are affiliate brokers in the nine states — Texas, California, Tennessee, Montana, Utah, Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, and New York — in which the app is currently available. The innovative company also has plans to expand with an office in the Austin-San Antonio area.
SQFT is currently available for the iPhone; an Android version is in development.