Hubzu is an online real estate company that specializes in setting up prospective homeowners with a potential property. Hubzu was originally known as GoHoming, a company that was founded in 2009. The company changed its branding in 2012. Hubzu works much like eBay or other online auctioning sites. Buyers sign up for a free Hubzu account and get free access to many different online listings from coast-to-coast.
Hubzu has a very transparent process for bidding. A buyer can place a bid on the home and see what the highest bidder is currently offering. Also, the buyer can make an outright offer on a home using Hubzu's website. If you "win" an auction, the buyer and seller can set a closing date, draft an agreement, and provide the down payment and earnest money deposit, proof of financial ability to pay for the home if paying cash, or copy of the loan agreement from the loan servicer. Afterwards, the buyer can arrange a move-in date after funds for the home have been procured.
Hubzu primarily has foreclosed properties, or bank-owned homes, on its website. Hubzu also finds townhouses, condominiums, and single-family dwellings available from short sale situations and independent sellers.
Hubzu has an extensive FAQ section on its website that answers common questions people have who are new to buying a home online for the first time. The FAQ page includes essential information about the company itself, registration questions, finance concerns, bid and auction details, as well as short sales and foreclosure sales. When having questions with these topics or others concerning them, Hubzu provides significant details in order to better help the buyer understand the process and make a buying decision.
In addition to the FAQ page, Hubzu also has a section called “How Hubzu Works” that has a step-by-step process on how to close a deal with Hubzu. It includes steps on how to find a home and arrange a tour, how to submit an offer/bid, how to go about signing the contract, and how to finalize and close the deal. Hubzu explains that real estate agents can register with Hubzu and submit bids on behalf of their clients. If a sale goes through, qualified agents are paid commission on the bid amount in cooperation with the listing agent or broker.
In many online auction sites in the online real estate industry, you have to "sit and watch" the auction unfold. With Hubzu, the Auto Bid feature makes it simple to automate the bidding process. The bidder can set bid limits when another bidder posts a higher bid. If you don't want to go over a certain price, you can set up a "ceiling" amount to stop the bidding process on your end once a high price has been achieved on a property.
The bidding process is also pretty easy to follow for the seller. The seller can approve or reject a bid based upon both the closing price and the financing source. This makes Hubzu friendly for the seller who might want to take a cash bid over a mortgage loan financed bid.
There is an additional feature that Hubzu designed to protect the integrity of the bidding process. The process of bidding a high price at the end of an auction is known as "sniping." If someone tries to "snipe" a property, Hubzu automatically adds fifteen minutes to the auction if a new bid is received. Hubzu advises clients to keep track of email alerts as a bidding process ends to ensure that they are always aware of bid updates.
Hubzu has a Site Map that allows you to search listings for housing in all 50 states as well as individual cities within each. After clicking on the city you want, the listings display a picture and description of the house, including the current bid, the time remaining in the bid, the square footage of the house, and whether or not it is bank-owned.
A drawback about Hubzu is the amount of photos that are displayed on the website. Some listings have as few as one or two photos of the exterior of the home, especially when the homes are foreclosures, and in some instances, short sales. A few previewed properties only have one or two photos provided of the exterior of the home, and interior photos often don't include pictures of the houses when furnished. It would be nice if Hubzu upped its minimum number of photos required for a listing. Other free real estate websites often feature upwards of twenty images of the exterior and interior of the home that also include furnished photos.
The "fallout" process with Hubzu could be a detriment to the seller. There are options available to the seller if he or she experiences fallout with the highest bidder, such as selecting the next highest bid or re-listing the property. It would be better if Hubzu had a system in place to protect the seller if his or her transaction doesn't go through with the bidder.
The sparseness of photos listed for many of the featured owners' properties, especially those in foreclosure, is disappointing. However, Hubzu does have a good offering of bank-owned properties and short sale homes across the country and the unique auto-bid feature makes the bidding experience fair for buyers. It is also good that Hubzu accepts buyers' agent involvement, which protects against unprepared or uneducated bidding, reducing fallout.
Keith Bossier City, LA
3 years ago
Reply from Hubzu
Apr. 30th, 2019
Andy Charlotte, NC
6 years ago
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