About Opendoor

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Dec 14, 2019

Opendoor is a tech-based real estate company that can buy your home in as few as 14 days.

The company has streamlined their buying process to cut down on the wait times that you encounter with a traditional sale while charging purportedly low fees and cutting down on the unknowns you’d typically face.

For anyone who has sold a home, a service like Opendoor is an inviting one. A home sale often requires a lot of work and stress on the seller’s part.

If your home needs work, you have to call contractors and handymen, negotiate the prices and oversee the repairs. An inspection may reveal serious issues that could hold up your sale. Buyers could back out of a sale because their financing falls through.

You can avoid all of this, Opendoor says, by using their tech-driven process to sell your home in two weeks. Furthermore, Opendoor allows you to back out of the sale up to three days before closing without paying a fee or losing earnest money.

In our review of Opendoor, we’ll examine how the company’s buying and selling services work, talk about the fees it charges, give you an overview of what customers are saying about their selling experience with Opendoor and compare Opendoor to its main competitor, Offerpad.

Selling with Opendoor

Opendoor’s selling services are available in 20 cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Portland. They typically buy homes that meet the following criteria:

  • Between $100,000 and $500,000
  • Built after 1960
  • Maximum lot size of 0.5 acres (may be bigger in certain markets)
  • Not in a flood zone
  • Has solar panels you paid for or, in the case of a lease, will pay off before closing
  • Not bank- or government-owned
  • No in double escrow

The Opendoor sale process takes place in several steps that we will detail below:

Application

We filled out an Opendoor application to understand what the process is like. Most of the questions the site asks you relate to the features and condition of your home and the things inside it.

For example, the application will ask you about your appliances and what condition they’re. If your appliances have extensive cosmetic flaws, this may reduce the price Opendoor offers you.

The application will ask you about the condition of the walls, carpet and flooring your home, as well as to inquire about any room additions in your home.

Once Opendoor obtains all the necessary information from your application, they will compare your home to other similar homes that sold recently in your neighborhood. This is a universal step all real estate agents and companies take when determining home value.

Opendoor will check other metrics including neighborhood trends to finalize how much they’re willing to pay for your home. They will send you a buying price within 24 hours and the offer is good for five days.

Screenshot of Opendoor’s quoteScreenshot of the quote I received for my home.

You’ll see that Opendoor gives you their price after fees versus a traditional sale’s price. They break down the price difference further by showing you an itemized list of fees. As you can see, they predicted their fees to cost me 7.46% versus 10.46% I’d pay by using a real estate agent.

Finally, Opendoor does not negotiate their pricing unless you can provide compelling evidence that your home is worth more than what they quoted you. This evidence would include information you may have forgotten to include in your application that would boost the home’s value.

Assessment

If you accept Opendoor’s offer, the company will send an inspector to your home to assess the house’s overall safety, cleanliness, and functionality. The difference between this inspection and the on during a traditional sale is what happens afterward.

Traditional inspection results in the buyer coming up with “contingencies,” which is a list of things they want to be fixed before they buy the home. As a seller, you can negotiate the contingencies or accept them.

However, when you sell your home to Opendoor, you forfeit the right to bargain over contingencies. Furthermore, all the repairs Opendoor does will happen after you move out. Therefore, it’s very difficult to confirm that Opendoor actually made the repairs you paid for.

Also, you give Opendoor the license to charge you for whatever repairs they deem necessary, which may end up costing you more than what you’d have paid if you negotiated contingencies with a buyer in a traditional sale.

Closing Day

“Closing day” refers to the final step of your sale after all repairs are made, financing is secured and Opendoor agrees to buy the home. In many cases, closing day for a traditional sale can take a couple of hours. Opendoor says their closings can take as few as 20 minutes.

This expedited closing process fits with the company’s overall emphasis on providing a quick home sale that eliminates the hassle of traditional sales.

Takeaways

Opendoor’s process is radically different from the traditional way of selling a home. Normally, you’d have to find a real estate agent, make cosmetic changes to your home, remove all your furniture if you decide to bring in a stager, stress out over the appraisal and inspection and then hope your buyer’s financing doesn’t fall through.

Furthermore, the most recent data indicates that the entire sale process takes an average of 47 days.

Opendoor offers the distinct advantage of getting a math-based offer, a list of fees and a sale process that focuses on efficiency. While it’s a drawback that you give Opendoor the right to make all necessary repairs and thus cut into your sale profit, they do all the work with their own contractors.

The company is removing the headaches of a stressful situation, especially if you have to sell your home quickly.

Buying with Opendoor

While buying a home through this service isn’t as big of a part of their business as selling, they offer a distinct advantage if you’re prepared to sell to them and buy a home in any of the 20 areas where they operate.

Opendoor has a trade-in option through which you can sell your home to them and then put your sale proceeds toward a home that you buy from them, too. By doing this, you’ll save up to 1.25% in fees and you get to deal with one company instead of multiple agents and real estate firms.

Opendoor’s Fees

Opendoor makes it clear that their typical home sale charges around 6.4% in fees, whereas going the traditional route will cost you 7% to 10%. These are averages, though, and Opendoor’s fine print says their fees can range from 6% to 14%.

Here is a quick list of fees Opendoor would charge me for the offer they provided:

Buyer Commission: 3%

This is a commission that Opendoor will pay to the agent of the person buying your home when Opendoor sells it. This is a drawback, as the point of using Opendoor is to skip a fee like this that you’d pay in a traditional sale.

LIsting Costs: 2%

This is a fee Opendoor charges to get your home ready for sale (prepping, staging, listing). Interestingly, Opendoor estimates you’d spend around 1% getting the home prepped on your own, which means you’re paying an additional 1% to have Opendoor do it for you.

Closing Costs: 1.5%

These costs are what you pay to have the home’s title researched and transferred to the new buyer or their bank, holding the home in escrow and finalizing all the paperwork needed to sell the home.

Opendoor notes this fee is an estimate and will be finalized 3 to 7 days before closing. They point out you may pay around a 0.3% additional fee if you live in an HOA neighborhood.

Convenience Charge: 1%

This is a fee you pay for using Opendoor. Their website says its what they charge “to deliver a hassle and stress-free experience.” Keep in mind that, in my case, I’d already been paying an additional 1% in listing costs so they can take off my hands the hassle of staging a home.

Repair Charge: 1.7% to 3.9% (On Average)

The final charge in Opendoor’s list of fees is the repair charges they estimate once they do an assessment of your home.

These charges reflect repairs they think the future buyer will ask for when Opendoor tries to sell the home. In other words, they are making you pay for repairs they should be paying for when they sell the home.

Opendoor didn’t give me a quote for repair costs because they did not do an assessment. However, its site says the typical repair request is between $3,400 and $7,800, which would be an additional fee of 1.7% to 3.9%. This would boost my fees from 7.5% after closing costs to 9.2%–11.4%.

Takeaways

Opendoor’s fees could be lower than a traditional sale in specific situations:

  • You’re paying the mortgage on your unsold home while living in your new home.
  • Your home needs just a few, inexpensive repairs.

However, this isn’t always going to be the case with a traditional sale. For example, if you live in a hot real estate market, there’s a really good chance your home could sell within days of listing it. The buyers will most likely pay at or above market value.

In this scenario, you wouldn’t pay overlapping mortgages. Second, hot markets tend to result in backup offers on homes, which means a buyer is less likely to press for a long list of repairs if they know someone else has made a backup offer and will buy the house.

Appraisal

And, the other factor here is their appraisal of your home value. Even if Opendoor’s fees are lower than a traditional sale, you may not bring in as much money because they may undervalue your home, said James McGrath, founder of NYC-based listing site Yoreevo.

“You‘re not going to get as good a price by selling to Opendoor,” McGrath told us. “Presumably they are working on improving their algorithms to lower risk and raise their offers but for now, if focusing purely on price, you’re going to be better off putting the home on the market and offering it to all buyers.”

We heard a similar opinion from Ben Mizes, a Realtor and founder of Clever, a company that pairs home buyers and sellers with real estate agents that offer lower commission rates.

“While Opendoor is known to offer mostly fair prices, they do not negotiate so it’s very likely that you will get a better offer on your home by using a traditional real estate agent.”

I wanted to know how Opendoor’s appraisal compared to other sites, so I found algorithm-based appraisals from Redfin, Zillow and dug up an estimate my realtor did a few months ago (home valuations in my area have gone up since then):

  • Opendoor: $198,700
  • Redfin: $217,259
  • Zillow: $200,707
  • My realtor: $228,000

These comparisons show that Opendoor offered the lowest price even though comps in the same neighborhood sold for $5,000 to $16,000 more, were older and had smaller living areas.

My analysis of Opendoor’s appraisal indicates that even though their fees might be lower than a traditional sale, I’d make considerably more money from my home sale if I chose to sell the home through my Realtor.

What this tells me is that Opendoor probably isn’t the right fit for you if you have time to sell your home and want to maximize your profit, either because you have a lot of equity or you recently bought your home and don’t have much equity.

When you couple the possibility of a lowball appraisal with selling fees of up to 14%, you could lose out on a lot of equity if you choose to use Opendoor instead of a real estate agent.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

Opendoor has hundreds of reviews on HighYa.com, with readers giving the service an average of 3.8 stars. Around seven out of 10 readers would recommend Opendoor to a friend. We’ve included a summary of reviewers compliments and complaints below:

Compliments

  • Fair pricing: Multiple reviewers said that Opendoor’s offer price was near, at or above what the fair market value was for their home.

  • Good customer service: We read several times that Opendoor’s customer service reps were helpful and willing to answer questions. Also, we read that Opendoor reps were flexible with the closing process when the seller ran into problems with the home they were hoping to buy after their sale or had to reschedule a walk-through.

  • Smooth transaction: Several reviewers expressed initial skepticism about Opendoor’s service but found that skepticism unwarranted after going through a clean, quick sale with Opendoor.

Complaints

  • High repair bills: Several customers complained that Opendoor charged them for a litany of repairs big and small, resulting in thousands of dollars in required charges. Others said they felt the repair requests were excessive.

  • Poor communication: Multiple customers said that communication with Opendoor was difficult, whether it was coordinating repairs of their home or finding out what was happening with a delay in their closing.

  • Lowball offers: Several negative reviews focused on how Opendoor gave them an offer that was significantly below a Realtor’s estimate or the fair market value.

Opendoor vs. Offerpad

If your goal is to either sell your home fast or skip all the hassle of a traditional sale, then Opendoor and Offerpad are the two leading options you have.

Both services take you through the same process: application, assessment, and closing. They both use their in-house algorithms to calculate your home’s value, then assess the home and quote you for repairs.

The main differences between the two services are:

  • Offerpad price offers are good for four days instead of five

  • Their fees are an average of 7% compared to Opendoor’s 6.5%

  • Offerpad limits cancellations to happening up to the point of the quote for repairs on your home, whereas Opendoor allows you to cancel up to three days before closing

  • Opendoor will allow you to stay in your home for up to two weeks after closing (for a fee) while Offerpad limits your extended stay to three days after closing (for free)

In our opinion, these key differences make Opendoor the ideal choice if you want flexibility. The company allows you to cancel far later in the process than Offerpad.

Also, Opendoor lets you stay in your home for two weeks after closing, which could be crucial if you’re buying a new home and closing is delayed.

The Bottom Line: Is Open Door a Good Fit for You?

Based on our analysis, Opendoor is right for you if you find yourself in the following situations or situations similar to them:

  • You accepted a job offer in another city or state and start in a couple of weeks
  • You found the home of your dreams and need to sell your current home
  • You have to downsize your home suddenly
  • You want the convenience and speed of Opendoor’s process and don’t care about the price

In each of these situations, you will benefit greatly from Opendoor’s efficient closing process. If you’re relocating for a new job, found your dream home or need to downsize, Opendoor can buy your home in as little as two weeks.

This means you’ll have a big burden lifted when you move into your new city for work or you await the closing of your home purchase. If you’re in this situation or a similar one, Opendoor is a smart choice, says Colby Hager, owner of San Antonio-based Capstone Homebuyers.

“Opendoor’s greatest strength, in the mind of the home seller, is their ability to close on a set date for a set price. Especially when new homeowners are moving to another house, this is a major benefit.” Hager told us. “It can also be a great tool for homeowners who need to sell on a tight timeline a house that needs minimal repairs.”

In general, Opendoor is an excellent option if you’re in a jam and need to sell your home quickly. However, if you have time to go the traditional route, there’s a very good chance you could earn more money from your sale via a higher appraisal and similar fees (if not lower) than what Opendoor would charge you.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Opendoor:
  • 231 Customer Reviews
  • 72% Recommend This Company
3.9 out of 5
5 star: 66% 4 star: 4% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 4% 1 star: 23%

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  • Watch out for the opportunistic algorithm.

    • By Josh,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jun 28, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Part of their proprietary algorithm seems to be a penalty for not accepting their offer.

    The initial offer I requested out of curiosity, and the number price was actually fair, but I disagreed with their market risk percentage (4.5%).

    So I talked to the agent, forwarded a dozen pictures to show the house was ready (actually planning to list in the next few days) to see if the offer would increase, or the market risk would go down. The second offer came back, $6k less on the offer and market risk raised to 5% (this was inside of 2 days).

    Fast forward, my house has been on the market a few weeks, and I noticed that my estimated value on Zillow had gone up by about $20k from when we had listed based on comps. Since Opendoor's offer was pretty close to what Zillow had estimated initially, I figured if their offer scaled with Zillow, then even with their 'market risk' percentage, it was actually within the range of what I'd consider an acceptable offer. So I submitted for an offer again. (This was a Saturday). I waited and hadn't heard anything by Monday morning, so I submitted again.

    Finally, today, I received two offers, 6 hours apart. Each was about $6k less than the one before, and each had about .5% increase in market risk, so despite the market value improving, their offer decreased by about $18k, and market risk went from a high 4.5% to 6%. Dropping $6k in value and 0.5% increase in Market Risk within 6 hours.

    So if you get an offer, and are on the fence at first, just know that if you come back later, they're going to take advantage of your desperation.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • NEVER use this company!

    Overall Experience:

    All of the good reviews are made up from people who work at Opendoor. They are the worst. They take 8%-12% fees! That's twice as much as what realtors take, and realtors are much better than Opendoor. No one can replace an agent. Just no one.

    I can't even begin to tell you how awful Opendoor is. They wrote me an offer for $70k under the market price. I didn't accept, and then I put my house on the market for $85k more, and it went under contract in three days. A friend of mine used Opendoor to buy a property, and they told her everything was fixed and repaired with no issues. She still got her own inspector and they found SO many issues, including issues with the things they said they fixed. She backed out immediately.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jun 15, 2018

      Company Response from Opendoor

      We know you have a lot of options when it comes to selling your home, and we’re sorry to hear that our fees were higher than you were expecting.

      For more information about our fees, you can visit the fee page below - https://www.opendoor.com/w/faq/what-does-it-cost-to-sell-to-opendoor/.

      Please know that we’re actively working on ways to lower our fees and pass savings along to our customers. We truly appreciate your feedback and we are glad to hear you were able to sell your home in a timely manner on your own. Good luck with your next chapter!


  • Don't believe the price they offer you

    • By Donald M.,
    • Raleigh, NC,
    • May 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This company comes across as a homeowner's dream. Do NOT believe this! After an inspection, they come up with ridiculous demands and outrageous prices to mitigate imagined problems. That initial price you offered is only a starting point and not to be believed. Don't waste your money making last-minute repairs because their list will be unreasonable. Take your chances on the open market; you will do much better.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jun 15, 2018

      Company Response from Opendoor

      At Opendoor we aim to offer market value for your home and take a service charge that enables us to provide a streamlined experience and world-class service from offer to closing. As part of this process, we work hard to ensure that our repair asks are transparent and fair to all of our customers.

      You can read more about the types of repairs we commonly ask for here:

      https://www.opendoor.com/blog/what-to-expect-from-opendoors-home-assessment-and-repair-process.

      Please feel free to direct message us if you believe we have overlooked something and we will be happy to take a look. Know that your feedback helps us to create an even better experience for all of our customers moving forward.


  • Low offer price and high fees

    • By Sekhar,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jan 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I received mail from Opendoor and I submitted details online. Their offer is 5-10% lower than the market price and overall the fee is 15% (including 6% broker fee, 6% service fee, etc.).

    It is not worth it to sell your home to Opendoor. Waste of time.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Insulting offer

    • By David N.,
    • Georgia,
    • Dec 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My home appraised for $190K and they offered me $164K.

    A very insulting offer and a waste of my time. They even acknowledged that other homes in my subdivision sold for at least $180K with comps they disclosed with their miserable offer. A total epic fail!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Complete waste of time! Fraudulent inspections!

    • By Didi K.,
    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Dec 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I scheduled a number of home inspections but was told that I would not need to be home during this process. Then, I learned that this requirement does not apply to my state. The inspectors spent less than two minutes on my roof, five minutes in my garage and two hours inside a condo that is less than 1,000 square feet. The lead inspector claimed he could not complete the inspection because of boxes blocking him, but he never mentioned it to me, and I was right there and eager to help! I was never informed of this problem until it was time for him to leave. He spent more time smoking on my patio and on his phone than in my place. I was told that a reinspection would need to be scheduled and that all contents would need to be removed, and that their original offer would be reduced by $10,000. In the meantime, I received two more offers by their competition, with moving assistance and additional perks. We are closing on a lovely OfferPad home today! The OfferPad staff was so kind, professional, and willing to negotiate a fair price without the lies, drama of Opendoor. Max, Mallory, and Sam from Opendoor - you are liars and crooks! God have mercy on you all!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 3, 2019

      Company Response from Opendoor

      Hi Didi,

      We are sorry for what sounds like a frustrating experience. Our team would like to take a look at what happened and make sure all issues are escalated and addressed by the proper teams. Please email community@opendoor.com with the address of the property and any additional feedback you would like to share.


  • Run away when you see an Opendoor sale

    Overall Experience:

    I was looking into buying a house in Arizona, and I didn't want to waste time. I saw a house with Opendoor on the door, and I accessed the house with their code. Note: They now had my contact information.

    I liked the house, and put in a CASH, full asking price offer with 21 days closing. It doesn't get better than that. We sent the offer over, and we got an acknowledgment back that the offer was received. We waited. And waited.

    The time period expired, and my realtor called Opendoor. They claimed they never got the offer. Then, they said they'd look into it and would submit a counter offer, and give us a slight price break (even $200 on a $358,000 house would have been thoughtful). Then, at the end of that day, we get an email ASKING US to re-write the exact offer, at the same price as the first offer. So much for them doing what is customary and writing a counter offer.

    Why are they doing this? I suspect that they are contacting others who texted them for the code and were shopping for a higher bidder. There is no other reasonable explanation. I walked away from it. No house is worth playing games. If you see Opendoor, walk away.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Horrible experience

    • By Nancy C.,
    • Temecula, CA,
    • Jan 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was very happy to go into contract with Opendoor based on the reviews and advertising, however, I was severely blindsided by the assessment. The team of 10 descended on my home as if they had already owned the property. The roofer "expert" removed tiles from my roof and took pictures and did not replace the tiles removed. So, I had to call my homeowners insurance and file a claim. We had several days of rain. They were in my home for over three hours and moved and processed it as if it was a crime scene. Then on top of the 26 thousand upfront fee, they tried to charge me 21 thousand dollars for "repairs." They refused to negotiate anything, and now I have to pay for an attorney for the "assessment" process. They are criminals. Please save yourself and go with a realtor and reputable company. They're not reputable or honest.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 22, 2019

      Company Response from Opendoor

      Hi Nancy,

      We apologize for what sounds like a frustrating experience. Would you be able to send an email to community@opendoor.com with more information so we can take a look at what happened here? Thank you!


  • Dissatisfied experience

    • By Barbara T.,
    • Raleigh Durham, NC,
    • Dec 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I recently purchased a home that Opendoor was selling. Opendoor does not follow through on due diligence items, lies about repairs that were deemed necessary, does not complete work they agreed to do, does not respond to realtor emails in a timely manner. Buying a home should be a wonderful experience. They did not close for me on time due to several errors on their part. I received deed five days after closing and repairs are still not made three weeks later. Opendoor is a complete disaster and I would never recommend using them to anyone, buyer or seller.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Jan 3, 2019

      Company Response from Opendoor

      Hi Barbara,

      Would you be able to email community@opendoor.com with more information? We would like to look into your issue further. Thank you!


  • Waste of time

    • By Frank,
    • Texas,
    • Nov 3, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Sent me postal letter stating an offer range and interest in buying. I wasted time trading emails and providing information. They then made up some excuse and said not interested after the initial letter declaring otherwise. Find an agent or sell it yourself. Don't waste your time.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Parents bought from Opendoor

    • By HL,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Mar 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I just wanted to give the other side of the experience.

    My parents bought a house from Opendoor and had to go through multiple inspections. Although the house is supposed to be move-in ready and no repairs needed, the house had items exposed through my parents' inspector. Although they agreed to repair them and said they sent their contractor to make the repairs, my parents paid money for their inspector to check again and found that the repairs had not been done or had been short changed. They rely on their contractors (or want to just give you money and put the repairs on the buyer) and their contractors take advantage of every little oversight!

    It was not a good experience! It took multiple tries to get them to make any actual repairs and multiple expenses to my parents to keep having the lack of repair re-inspected. It is a nice concept, but they need to provide better oversight or get better contractors.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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