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SideDoor – Another Attempt to Sell Homes without Agents


I came across SideDoor this weekend, with the following value proposition:

Sell your home directly to buyers. No agents or their fees.

More context in their video:

Given the context here, I’d be curious to hear what’s unique about SideDoor’s approach? Where are they going to succeed, where others haven’t?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • I love startups, but I think if there’s anything we’ve learned over the years in real estate, you should come in swinging for the fences if you’re going to challenge the entire business model. The storytelling/video just not very compelling, imo. I think that when the time is right for a concept like this (which isn’t new) to really take off, that it will have a lot more velocity going for it at launch. Most startups in this vein shift to a much friendlier agent model (see Reesio) or disappear like Allre (acquihired by auction-com)

    • Shelley Janes

      Hi Greg! I agree completely about swinging for the fences. Thank you for continuing on the discussion in a legitimate way.

  • I know there is a market for FSBO because we offer a FSBO program and our FSBO listings normally sell fast and our sellers love it. However, I think you still have to be listed on the MLS. I don’t think just listing on Zillow and Trulia packs as much marketing power, and we also recommend our FSBO’s still pay the standard 2.5% buyer’s agent commission.

    Without maximizing the exposure by putting it on the MLS you would have less demand and might have to settle for a lower price.

  • “Whatever I said the last 20 times this same model with a slight twist came out.”

    Sometimes it makes me wistful for a down market where only real business models fly.

    • Shelley Janes

      Hi Sam! I can see why you would say that from the outward appearance of our tagline. Being a savvy business owner yourself, I’m sure you know there’s more than what meets they eye here. Thanks for your opinion!

  • Shelley Janes

    Hi! This is Shelley the CEO and Founder of SideDoor. I love that you
    covered us. Thank you Drew! I am a previous realtor myself and have done
    fix n flips and have had investment properties. I came up with SideDoor
    after years of seeing others struggle with FSBO. They are completely
    unserved and deserve to have more power in their sale. I’m happy to
    answer any questions on how we are different from competitors and what
    will make us win. We will not shift to a friendlier real estate model as
    we haven’t seen that work with any competitors… you can’t reform a
    broken system from the inside out when you come to rely on it for your
    revenue… you have to create a whole new system. Which is what we are
    doing. I so appreciate all the comments below! Thank you all for your
    insight and feedback.

  • Awesome to hear from you @shelleyjanes:disqus – I like your narrative in the comments, especially “they are completely unserved and deserve to have more power in their sale” Great sentiment.

    I’d love to hear more about how you’re different from competitors. I checked out most of the website and looked at other press I could find already, and it’s not entirely clear to me. Thanks for being open for comments.

    While I’m a fan of a lot of real estate startups, I am pro-realtor, and must admit that it will be hard for you to gain much support from the industry (not that you’re trying to gain it) given the marketing messages that I have seen.

    I don’t quite understand the hero video, with the couple. She mentions Zillow and then says “it makes sense that there would be something for real estate as well.” Makes the storytelling a little confusing for me.

    The Airbnb analogy is close, but making a connection to the benefit its users gains vs. what SideDoor’s users gains seems like a bit of stretch. Perhaps I just need some help to see it.

    Wishing you luck, I will be following your journey.

    • I’ll be following the journey as well. Curious to hear more about what’s going to differentiate Sidedoor in the eyes of consumers.

  • Hey @shelleyjanes:disqus The fsbo market may be underserved, but they don’t “deserve” anything. Pet peeve of mine, is I think that’s a word with no place in the human language –

    • Shelley Janes

      Hi @drewmeyers:disqus, they are not under-served, they are unserved. There’s a difference.

      • Well even if unserved, that doesn’t mean they deserve anything. Aside from shelter, food, and clothing… deserve is a word the world could do without 🙂

      • Here is what we serve to FSBO sellers:

        I find it appeals to certain people and they are actually very excited about it. As you know FSBO works if priced right, we just had one that went into escrow in 3 days, and of course the seller is very happy.

  • thanks its really nice

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