Wendy Gilch, founder of Selling Later, offers one of the most interesting perspectives on deception taking place on the Internet in online real estate sector.
“While viewing properties on Opendoor (one of the biggest ibuyers in the United States), we noticed that homes sold directly by Opendoor (homes they purchased recently and relisted) left out sales history in their listing. Specifically, the sales history that included how much Opendoor paid for the home a month or two prior.”
The way consumers typically search for homes is on Google where companies compete for placement of real estate references against a specific address (such as the one mentioned in her article, located at 9330 Hampshire Park Dr Hampshire, Tampa, FL 33647) but what do these companies typically attribute to these web references?
The quality of this information says a lot about a specific real estate model.
Opendoor Brokerage, for example, hides recent home sale history information. This particular home was sold to Opendoor for $488,900 on November 12, 2021, now up for sale at $606,000, but the $488,900 figure is omitted from this listing (likely on purpose) so that the new buyer doesn’t see this massive price difference.
Opendoor Brokerage, further, price fixes rebates for “Opendoor Partner Agents” (random third-party brokerages) at 1% (or $6,060 in this case,) so that it can collect a massive kickback from the transaction. Price fixing is a felony in the United States.
On the open market, for example, for that same home, a home buyer can receive up to $9,163 commission refund according to my platform if the home is purchased for $610,900
In summary, Opendoor Brokerage listings hide information from buyers about past sales history in order to deceive them, the company blatantly violates Sherman Antitrust Act, RESPA, FTC Act, and a number of other fair advertising regulations when it price fixes services of its direct competitors via the Internet.
This is commonly referred to as wire fraud.
#realestate #advertising #antitrust