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Realtyless supports those who want to sell or buy a home without an agent

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another article in a series spotlighting participants in the most recent edition of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s {KEC} “What’s the Big Idea?” pitch competition. And, earlier this week, it was announced that Realtyless will participate in the ninth iteration of KEC’s “The Works” accelerator.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

If you’ve ever considered selling a home yourself, but were concerned about lining-up all of the resources you needed – think everything from a photographer to an appraiser, inspector and title agent, then one of the participants in this year’s “What’s the Big Idea?” pitch competition has a solution to that challenge.

Realtyless will be launching officially this month in its initial market – Knoxville – to support those who want to buy their next home or those who want to sell a home. Designed to take all of the pain out of the process, the start-up is a family effort that includes brothers Brandon and Ryan Small and their sister Mariel Small.

“I was the first founder,” Brandon told us in a follow-up interview, explaining that the idea had been germinating for about three years, and the team really started to focus on it about two years ago. “It is a true ‘For Sale by Owner’ service that we are providing.”

The siblings bring complementary skills to the team. Brandon’s background is web design and real estate development, an interesting combination. His sister, who joined the team next, is “more analytical and artistic,” Brandon said. Brother Ryan brought professional programming expertise to the effort, something that is needed considering the size and complexity of the platform.

“We are a highly technical team,” Brandon added as he explained how the site actually operates. “Realtyless is the first and only technology start-up that offers a complete break from the traditional real estate system. There are no real estate agents nor brokerages and absolutely zero commissions.”

So, how does it work?

Obviously, it starts either with an owner who wants to sell a house or an individual interested in buying a house.

  • Both sign-up on the Realtyless site.
  • From that initial action, the owner is connected to several needed professionals – a photographer to take pictures of the house, an appraiser to establish the market value, and an inspector who has examined the house for any problems. All produce either photos or reports that are posted on the specific site for the home. Once those are completed, the owner is ready to accept appointments for those who want to see the property and are judged to be qualified and pre-approved buyers.
  • From the buyer side, the registration process allows the individual to connect with up to three mortgage loan officers (MLO) to secure pre-approval for needed financing. The prospective buyer must select one of the three. “We’ve streamlined the process as much as possible,” Brandon says, adding, “You are not being forced to use one of our lenders.” The individual can actually submit a proposed MLO for approval. That said, a prospective buyer must be pre-approved for a mortgage before being connected to owners interested in selling their homes.
  • There are significant benefits and protections from the Realtyless system for both sides of the process. In the case of the owner, the individual is only dealing with people who are pre-approved at or above the listed sales price. For the prospective buyer, he/she not only knows the appraised amount but also the results of the inspection and the estimated cost of any repairs.
  • Once the owner and buyer have agreed on a price, Realtyless connects the latter to an attorney and title agent to complete the documents needed to finalize the sale.

“Our software guides you step-by-step through the process,” Brandon says.

How does Realtyless make money? There’s a small markup on its services plus plans to offer advertising.

“We plan to start in Knoxville, but expect to expand to nearby cities like Asheville, Chattanooga and Nashville,” Brandon said.

Stay connected with us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Article ideas and other suggestions should be sent to tballard@pyapc.com. Include the name and contact information (phone and email) for follow-up.