Blog Buyer What's it like to work with an iBuyer?

What’s it like to work with an iBuyer?

By Natalie Tracy, February 10, 2020

Helping a family find their first home is always such a joy. But when an iBuyer is on the other side of the transaction, does that change the process at all? As I found out in my recent first transaction with an iBuyer, the answer is yes!

I was helping the sweetest family, referred to me by a dear friend and vendor. We were on the hunt for their first home for them, their two little girls, and their dog. All the usual suspects came into play – they had definite ideas about style of house, schools, and a desire for parks and shopping nearby. After a few neighborhood tours, we honed in on a couple of westside neighborhoods that really called to them.

Inventory was quite low, so we initially didn’t find much to look at. After a couple of weekends of homes that didn’t hit the mark, they were wondering if they needed to rethink their “must have” list. And wouldn’t you know it, the very next day a house that checked every box came on the market.

It was listed by an iBuyer that had recently entered the Portland market, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Getting their offer submitted was perfunctory and lacking in human interaction, everything was through a web portal. Neither the listing agent, nor anyone in customer service, seemed to know anything about the home. Not too surprising, as they were all located out of state and had never actually been to the house. The same held true for the inspection negotiations. The listing agent was not available to discuss the details, so we basically asked for everything, and flexed just a little. It all felt like we either fit their algorithm or not. Like the offer and the repair requests were entered into their system, and the computer decided whether or not to agree.

All in all, the process felt quite mechanical. I worked extra hard to keep my clients informed and engaged, and provided more reassurance than usual, to make up for the lack of communication from the other side. There was nothing overtly negative about the transaction, but there was so much missing. Human insight, market expertise, engagement, and support are all vital to a successful and positive real estate transaction. The homeowners who sold to this iBuyer were deprived of all of these elements, in addition to selling their house under market value. So, if nothing else, my first iBuyer transaction highlighted what great REALTORS® do best. We build relationships, foster trust, facilitate smooth transactions, negotiate fiercely on behalf of our clients, and help our clients achieve their highest goals, all while providing that all important human touch.

Natalie Tracy

Broker | OR & WA


I purchased my first Portland fixer 17 years ago, and was immediately hooked on Portland homes and neighborhoods. I bring that passion to helping my clients buy and sell their own perfectly Portland homes! I pride myself on meeting every client exactly where you are - whether you’re a first time buyer, a seller looking for more room, or anywhere in between, I’m here to help. I listen to your needs, and take the time and patience to create a stress-free process for you. I’m licensed in Oregon and Washington, so if you’re on the fence, I can help you in Portland and Vancouver. I’m also fluent in American Sign Language, and have been involved with the local Deaf community for more than 15 years. I ensure all of my clients feel informed and involved throughout the entire process, and I genuinely love what I get to do everyday. Drop me a text or give me a call - I’d love to buy you coffee/tea and chat about how I can help you!
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