In 10 years of marriage I concur buying and selling a home is the #1 most stressful decision to make as a couple. Ok, maybe it’s not THE most stressful but for this article; it is. Recently we were living in Arvada, Colorado and just relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah. It was time to sell our home of two years and before we called a listing realtor I got served a facebook ad for SQFT.

SQFT app
This isn’t the actual ad, but you get the idea.

I was intrigued with the idea that I could possibly list my home with an iPhone app. I dug into their website to learn more and to get an idea of cost for their service.

Here’s what I learned (and what I pitched to my wife):

  • They charge 1% of the sale to list and 1% to the buyers agent (normally you pay 6% just to list the home).
  • You literally list your home using their app.
  • They were only serving Colorado and New York at the time. Recently they’ve just expanded to more states.
  • They’ll send a pro-photographer to take photos. Because mine weren’t that great.
  • They’ll send a sign for the front yard. A kid in a ford ranger literally dropped it off in like 2 days.
  • They will be there for 5 showings, if you want.
  • Your home is listed on MLS, Zillow, Redfin, and all the major sites with their service.
  • They are basically re-inventing the real estate industry as we know it by putting power into the home owner and buyer.

All Hail Marla!

Then I called Marla. On the app there is a help button that says to call if you have questions. Marla seriously is on top of it and explained the whole process super well and even up until closing was there every step of the way. I can’t thank her enough for all her hard work and diligence to help us sell our house so we could make a smooth transition to Utah.

Ok, so what now?

sqft

We signed with SQFT to list our home. To be honest we had some butterflies in our stomachs because we literally didn’t meet any of the people at SQFT in person so we weren’t really sure how it was going to go. When we reviewed comps and looked at the market we knew Denver was HOT and that we’d see a lot of interest.

With student loans, car loans, kids, and everything else we felt the risk to list our home on an iPhone app was worth it because our goal for the last 5 years has been to get out of debt and pay stuff off. We went with our gut and it proved successful.

Showing The House

We didn’t take SQFT up on having them show the house. Given the market in Denver we knew the house would go fast so we thought we’d just do it ourselves. After all, my wife and I basically dug out the whole back yard by hand, re-did the main floor with new flooring, and countless other upgrades throughout the whole house. We aren’t ones to shy away from some good ol’ fashion DIY projects.

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Here is the dirt pit we had when we bought the house.
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Here is the after of completely digging out the backyard and installing a patio and grass.

Showing the house was simple. I’d get a text on my phone with a time and date of when a buyer wanted to see it, I’d reply with Y or N depending on if that time worked.

We shuffled the kids in an out of the house for 3 days and after 15 showings we settled on an offer and were under contract.

At this point in the process we still haven’t met any SQFT employees in person. And my dear friend Marla was as busy as ever lining up paperwork for us to Docusign and fill out. The state of my mind at this point is currently blown. Did that just happen?

Wrapping Up Closing

The SQFT team took great care in all the negotiations just like a realtor would. Uhmm because they are a realtor. The main difference with them is they’ve basically ‘uberized’ the process of realty to the point of pure genius. They’ve figured out a way to keep overhead low and have the home owner do a portion of the work to keep them focused on what they do best.

Is Listing Your Home on the SQFT App Right for you?

8-NOOgIT

I don’t know, is it? Tell me this. What was the last DIY project you did? Do you like the idea of getting your hands dirty to save money? Can you wrap your head around some uncertainty? Consider the following before going with SQFT:

  • Is SQFT offered in your state? I’ve told a lot of people about our experience and people are amped to sell their home with their service. But some have to wait until they provide service in their state.
  • Paying a lower commission is great but it does come with some work. I literally didn’t meet a SQFT employee until we were at the closing table to sign papers. Personally, I didn’t care. If you need a warm and fuzzy realtor to hold your hand and be there every step of the way, maybe SQFT isn’t right for you.
  • What is the real estate market in your area? For us, it was hot. I mean seriously hot. And with the family goals we had in place I wanted to squeeze every last bit of equity out of that home. We did, and it’s because we took a risk. Your results will vary but consider the market.
  • Ideally you’d pay 2% total commissions; 1% for selling agent and 1% for buying agent. This isn’t a promise since your buyer may have to find a home that the seller is willing to pay for their agent fees. Consider this as you make your decision. But still, 1% to list is a massive savings.

Download the SQFT App 

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 4.29.27 PMAt least download their app to check it out. It’s a pure genius way of selling a home. Let me know your thoughts on selling your home this way in the comments below. Scary? Cool? Share your thoughts and I’ll do my best to answer your questions on our experience.

UPDATE

usa today

USA Today featured my story here.

Denver-Post-logo

The Denver Post featured my story here.

DISCLOSURE: SQFT is not paying me or offering me gifts to write this post about their service. All of these opinions are mine. For us it was a great experience and I’m happy to share that with prospective users of their service. Real estate markets vary so your results will vary but they’ve made a great product and service that people should know exists as a viable option to sell their home.