A new app called Reali that’s backed by San Francisco Bay area real estate investors Amit Haller and Ami Avrahami is the latest in a long line of technological innovations that wants to kill off the real estate pro for good. Reali's founders say they want to ‘cut out the middleman’, so to speak, and to that end is offering an app that lets buyers and sellers take care of every step of the process themselves, with expert assistance just a phone call away.
For buyers, all you need to do to get started with Reali is submit your mortgage pre-approval documents through the app. Those documents will be verified by a human employee, and once done buyers are free to start browsing all the homes listed on the app. Once they find a property they like, they can schedule what Reali calls an “on-demand open house” at a time convenient for them.
But Reali gets even better once the open house starts. The app is able to unlock the door to the house by itself, and Reali homes are fitted with Bluetooth beacons at strategic spots in the home, which can beam information directly to the buyers handset as they’re walking around inside. Reali also offers real-time chat with one of its experts for those who need more information.
Even better, if buyers like what they see, they can submit an offer directly through the Reali app. That allows sellers to view all bids in on handy place, and they can also negotiate with buyers directly via the portal. For other buyers, they’ll be kept up to date with counter offers so they can respond in a timely fashion.
The last thing Reali does is take care of much of the paperwork needed to buy a home. And because it has removed a lot of the legwork needed to sell a house, Reali only charges a flat $2,950 administrative fee. The 2.5 percent of the selling price that is the typical buyer’s commission has the $2,950 taken out of it and the rest goes back to the buyer as cash back at close of escrow. On a $1.7-million home, Reali estimates that rebate to just shy of $40,000.
That might seem pricey, but there’s good reason why. For now, Reali is only available in Palo Alto, where the average home price exceeds $1 million.