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Definition: iBuyer

(Instant BUYER) A real estate company that buys homes from sellers who sign up online. After receiving a description of the property, the iBuyer makes an offer to the seller within a couple days, which may even include the cost of moving. The iBuyer process appeals to people who have changed jobs and need to sell quickly. However, the iBuyer is in business to make a profit, and the offer price is lower than the current market value of the home.

In the 2017-2018 time frame, organizations such as Zillow, Opendoor and Offerpad entered this business initially in the Phoenix and Las Vegas markets. However, nationwide coverage is expected within a few years.

The process is not entirely online. After an offer is accepted, an inspector does come out to examine the property. iBuyers purchase the homes and then sell them online as well but often at a smaller profit than regular house "flippers." Traditional real estate brokers have also entered the field.