Rocket cautiously wades into iBuying

Rocket cautiously wades into iBuying
Rocket Companies CEO Jay Farner

When Rocket Companies announced in August that it would be dipping its toes in the iBuying space, the lender didn’t do so with its usual panache. There were no polished marketing promos or commercials featuring celebrities like Tracy Morgan. In fact, news that Rocket would be pushing into iBuying was barely a footnote in the August press release.

Rocket’s low-key entrance might be explained by the company not envisioning itself as becoming a true iBuyer: it will not be buying homes with the help of an algorithm, throwing a new coat of paint on the wall, and then reselling the home for a markup. In fact, Rocket has no interest in buying homes at all. Rocket, instead, would be simply integrating third-party iBuying services on its Rocket Homes platform.

The iBuying initiative is set to be launched sometime in the fourth quarter, though details have been sparse. Rocket declined to answer HousingWire’s questions about which iBuying companies it would be partnering with, the exact nature of its relationship with third-party iBuyers, or how it would generate money from the venture.

What the company has said is that iBuying will be lumped in with several other services on the company’s real estate platform, including “credit reporting, home search, the industry-leading process, on-staff real estate agents, a nationwide network of trusted real estate professionals…along with direct connections to Rocket Mortgage.”

Rocket said its iBuying program will “provide a back-up offer” to sellers.

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