Agent-powered Homeward Expands into Hot Tampa Market
TAMPA, Fla., May 10, 2022 — Homeward, a modern home finance company that enables real estate agents to give every client the negotiating power of cash, has expanded to Tampa.
As a top emerging housing market, Tampa was a natural next step for Homeward's expansion which already operates in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, and other markets in Florida. Real estate agents and their clients will benefit from Homeward's Cash Offer products, as median home prices have surged 29% year over year in the region.
This announcement comes on the heels of Homeward's continued expansion and a successful Series B fundraising round in May 2021. The startup secured growth capital of $371 million, including $136 million in equity and $235 million in debt to accomplish several growth goals.
In the first quarter of 2022, 33% of homes sold in Florida were cash sales, representing a 20% year-over-year increase. An unsurprising surge, as cash offers are four times more likely to beat financed bids.
"Our Homeward Cash Offer makes homebuying a reality for more clients. By removing contingencies, therefore creating more certainty in an offer, and keeping the agent at the center of the transaction, homebuyers can compete" says Tim Heyl, Homeward's CEO and Founder. "We know that cash is king in this market, but not all cash offers are built the same. Most cash offers — including those from iBuyers — focus on speed and end up with the buyer paying a premium. At Homeward, we're committed to bringing the cost down for the client while streamlining the transaction."
The Homeward Cash Offer was designed to eliminate the limitations of the traditional financed offer. By partnering with real estate agents, Homeward will make a cash offer on behalf of the agent's client. Then, clients obtain a mortgage, from Homeward or the client's preferred lender, and buy the home back from Homeward.
Tampa is the third most popular city that Americans are trying to move to in 2022, behind Phoenix and Miami — markets that Homeward currently operates in.
"In competitive markets like Tampa, the traditional buyer is fighting to be considered alongside big investors that have the cash and ability to scoop up the limited inventory available," said Brian Gubernick, Chief Real Estate Officer at Homeward. "By eliminating the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, we're giving our Homeward clients the key to winning an offer without sacrificing their peace of mind. On the flip side, sellers are able to close swiftly and smoothly without worrying about financing falling through."
A one-stop-shop for homebuying
The Homeward Cash Offer is composed of two distinct products — Buy before you sell and Buy with cash. Both involve two key steps. First, Homeward buys the home with cash. Then, after a client obtains a mortgage from Homeward or another lender, clients buy the home back from Homeward.
Clients who need to sell their current home before buying a new home can use Buy before you sell. This gives them the competitive advantage of cash to secure their next home, plus the ability to move into the new house before they list their old home. This empowers clients with confidence and certainty they need to put their old home on the market, without worrying about where they'll live next.
For clients that don't have a home to sell, Homeward's Buy with cash solution makes a buyer's offer more attractive to sellers by upgrading it to cash. Clients use Homeward's funds to remove contingencies from their offer, negotiate with more power, and close faster — all with their preferred agent.
Homeward also offers adjacent real estate services, Homeward Title and Homeward Mortgage, allowing clients to simplify the buying process while helping them save money on closing costs.
"Instead of working with three separate companies, clients can bundle their real estate transaction with Homeward, saving them time, money, and effort," Gubernick says.
Keeping the real estate agent at the center
Ranked as the eighth-hottest metro area for investors, 24% of transactions in Tampa during Q4 2021 were categorized as investor purchases. As investor purchasing grows, real estate agents must find new ways to help their clients compete.
"Homebuyers and their agents are facing an outsized need for innovative solutions to the ever-growing problem of limited inventory and rising prices," Gubernick says. "Homeward is not only innovating on the homebuying process for the client — we're keeping the real estate agents central to our business. Preserving the agent-client relationships and protecting agent's commission is key to our mission."
Homeward's solutions are available to any agent, but the company strategically partners with top brokerages and teams, providing dedicated support, white-label branding, and digital marketing tools to help them generate more leads.
Homeward has continued to build on last year's success. Through Feb '22, the company recorded a revenue increase of ~5x YoY while launching partnerships with over 50 brokerages across the country.
"We are thrilled to make homebuying more accessible to clients while also helping agents grow their business in the Tampa market," Heyl said.
The launch into Florida marks an exciting step toward Homeward's goal of launching in up to 20 new markets by the end of 2022, which includes the coastal markets of Oregon and Washington later this year.
Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit https://landing.homeward.com/fl/florida to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.