11 min read Feb 25, 2022

Orchard Homes: The Reviews You NEED to Know!

Orchard, previously known as Perch, was started in 2017, has a vision to serve this segment of customers mainly. Customer reviews of Orchard talks how to buy a house fast without having to wait for selling your current house.

» In this blog, we’ll cover :

What is Orchard?

Orchard is a fintech real estate brokerage that provides a variety of services to both buyers and sellers of residential real estate. Additionally, Orchard provides a full-service title insurance agency and mortgage team.

Orchard estimates your home’s market value and allows you to use 90% of your current home’s equity to make a cash offer on your new home. Moreover, a non-contingent offer on a new home is also possible, which is appealing to buyers because these offers are less likely to be rejected. Their 3 main services include: Move First, Buy and List, and List with Orchard.

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Orchard – At a Quick Glance

Founded2017
ServicesMove First, Buy and List, List with Orchard
Service FeesMove First : 6%
Buy and List : 4%
List : 6%+1% convenience fees
LocationsAustin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Montgomery Co., MD, Northern Virginia

How Orchard Works?

1. Move First

There are many bids on a home in a competitive market, and the inventory of available properties changes quickly. Thus, if your first offer isn’t appealing enough to the home seller, you could miss out on your dream home.

So, if you’re buying in a competitive market, Orchard real estate can help you buy and sell. Orchard does so by assigning you a home advisor who will inspect your home and determine its market value. Orchard allows you to use up to 90% of your equity to make a non-binding, all-cash offer on your new home. These offers can help you get your offer accepted.

Here is how the Move First process works:

# StepsDescription
1. Home assessmentOn Orchard. com, you must fill out a form with basic information about your home, such as its location, land limits, repair needs, and construction year. Orchard's home advisors use this appraisal to determine your home's value.
2. Access 90% of your equityBased on the assessment results and your current home equity, Orchard allows you to utilize 90% of your equity to buy your new home.
3. Mortgage handoverOrchard Homes handles the mortgage payments on your old home until it sells, which is a major problem for home sellers. You can move into your new home and start unpacking without worrying about your old mortgage payments.
4. Prepping and listingOrchard invests over $1000 from their pockets into repairs and preparations for your old home. Their agent acts as your listing agent. You will only get your new home’s title once your old home is sold.
5. Final Bill Amount IncludesOrchard doesn’t charge you for anything upfront for repairing your home but deduct the expenses from your sale proceeds, along with that they also deduct their fees which is 6% of your home sale price and your overlapping mortgage payments. And they deduct their fees (6 percent of the sale price) and your overlapping mortgage payments from your sale proceeds.

Yes, Orchard homes is raising huge money from their investors to simplify the home selling and buying process but when it comes to saving money, they are not that good!

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A Flat Fee MLS package from Houzeo can allow you to list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for a much lower fee.

Instead of paying 6% commission on your home sale, you only pay a few hundred dollars and list your home on the MLS as a FSBO (For Sale by Owner).

Listing your home as an FSBO home seller not only saves you money but also gives you more control over your home sale, as you control which services you want and which you don’t.

2. Buy and List

If you want to buy and sell at the same time and your house was built before 1950 or after 2020, you can save money by working with Orchard. Orchard Homes’ Buy and List service costs 4% of the sale price compared with the 5% to 6% you’d pay in a standard real estate agent commission.

However, there are many other low-cost real estate agents who can list your home. You save even more if you use a Flat Fee MLS listing service like Houzeo.

On Orchard’s website, you can look through their listings and pick one you like, but they only show homes in the areas they service. So, if you want to buy a home where they do not operate then, unfortunately, they can’t help you.

In such cases, Houzeo would be your best choice as we provide nationwide coverage and operate in all the states of the United States, giving you the freedom to sell a home from any state and buy a home in any state.

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Here is how the Buy and List process works :

Orchard real estate does provide professional photography, home cleaning and repairing, on-demand tours, 3D video tours, and much more benefits at no up-front cost to you but they charge you for all of their home prep services at the time of closing the sale.

# StepsDescription
1. Meet your Orchard agentThey will match you with an experienced and licensed Orchard agent who will work with you on designing your home selling and buying plan.
2. Find your new homeOrchard will show you homes that meet your needs using advanced machine learning. With their on-demand tours, you can see any new listing immediately. Once you've chosen your dream home, your Orchard agent will help you negotiate the best deal.
3. Sell for top dollarOrchard claims that most of the the times the homes listed with them sell above the listing price. So, we can assume that they aggressively market your home both online and offline and help you get maximum exposure and top dollar.

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3. List with Orchard

If you want to move outside of Orchard markets, they have another service called List with Orchard. Also, selling a home with Orchard is simple and stress-free. Your Orchard listing agent will help you prepare and market your home. Orchard can make you a backup cash offer on your home if you want to sell with confidence.

The above service only allows you to buy homes in Orchard markets, but if you want to move outside of Orchard markets, they have another service called List with Orchard.

The homeowners can sell quickly without the hassle of the whole process. Orchard provides an optional cash offer to ensure your home sells if no buyer comes forward within 120 days of Orchard listing it.

# StepsDescription
1. Get your cash offerOrchard will assess your home's value and make an optional cash offer. This cash offer is obviously below the actual market value of your home, as many Orchard reviews show. However, they claim that most of the homes listed with them sell for the listing price or more.
2. Prep and listOrchard preps your home with required repairing, painting, cleaning, professional photography, arranging home tours and showings, recording a 3D tour, and much more. This prepares your home for the market and also attract more buyers.
3. Sell for top dollarSell with peace of mindOrchard real estate claims that most of their listings sell on the market at or above the listing price. If, for some reason, your home remains unsold for 120 days, Orchard will buy it for the predetermined price. So they guarantee a sale.
Eligibility for List with Orchard service : Not buying in an Orchard market, Single-family home, Built between 1950-2020, Not currently listed on the market. The home’s valuation must fall within their pre-defined valuation.

List with Orchard service will cost you 6% of your home sale as Orchard’s fee, repair costs, 1% convenience fee to cover their cost to own and resell your home after you move. Also, after your home is sold you also have to pay buyer agent’s commission.

Do not forget, you pay all of this on the sale price of your home which is already lower than the actual market value of your home.

Instead of facing a loss of thousands of dollars, the best option that you can opt for is to go with an MLS listing service like Houzeo. We not only give you maximum exposure but also maximize your savings by saving you 3% of commissions by eliminating the listing agents. And, if you are lucky enough to find a buyer who is not represented by an agent then you save another 3% on commissions. This way, you only have to pay for repairs and your MLS package.

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How Does Orchard Homes Make Money?

Orchard real estate’s services are commission-based which means the higher your home sells for, the more they will get paid.

1. Buy First Service :

‘Buy First’ service will cost you about 6% of your home sale price but also keep in mind that you will have to pay 2%-3% to the buyer’s agent, if they have one. Along with that, they do not charge you anything upfront when preparing your home for sale but they do charge you for all of this at the time of closing. So, these expenses are going to cost you a lot and your savings would be significantly affected.

2. Buy and List service :

Orchard’s ‘Buy and List’ service will cost you 4% of your home’s gross sale price and you will have to pay buyer’s agent commissions and preparation costs at the time of closing.

3. “Offer Boost” Option :

Orchard also allows its customers to consider their exclusive “Offer Boost” option. With this feature, Orchard can provide funding to you so you can make full cash offers on your new home. Full cash offers are really attractive to home sellers as they are less likely to fall through and faster to close on. Making a full cash offer significantly increases your chances of getting your dream home.

However, there is a catch here!

If your home’s sale price is $250,000 and you want to buy a home whose price is $300,000 then Orchard will make a full cash offer on your behalf, buy the new home and sell it back to you. Orchard will charge you rent of $30-$50 for each day that you stay in the new home till the day you complete the paperwork to buy the home back under your name.

4. List with Orchard Service:

If you use Orchard home’s ‘List with Orchard’ service then you have to pay 6% of your home’s gross sale price + 1% convenience fee for them buying and keeping your home till it sells + buyer agent commission of 2%-3%. Your final expenses would be much more than expected, it could be 10% of your home’s sale price.

Instead, if you choose a Flat Fee MLS listing service like Houzeo, you’d be saving 50% of your commission expenses, and if you are lucky enough to find an unrepresented buyer i.e., buyer without an agent, then you save full commissions. Houzeo makes it easier for you to find an unrepresented buyer with their ‘Buyer Search’ feature where buyers can come and search for homes as per their requirements i.e., area, garden, parking space, number of rooms and bathrooms, and much more.

If your home suits the buyer’s needs then they can make a direct offer on your home without any interference from agents.

Orchard Homes Locations

Although Orchard is based out of New York they do not operate there. Currently, they operate at 10 locations. The locations they serve are:

Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Montgomery Co., MD, and Northern Virginia.

Orchard Reviews

Orchard.com has substantially good customer reviews on websites like Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau

Trustpilot4.5 out of 5 (131 reviews)
Better Business BureauA rating and 3.5 out of 5 (5 reviews)
Yelp3 out of 5 (3 reviews)

Alternatives to Orchard

Flat Fee MLS Listing Services like Houzeo

Houzeo is one of the best Flat Fee MLS listing services in the United States that offers maximum savings and maximum MLS exposure, all for an affordable flat fee of a few hundred dollars. Prices vary according to your state.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a real estate database where all the properties that are available for sale are listed. Only licensed agents are allowed access to the MLS. According to a National Association of Realtors report, 88% of buyers buy through an agent, so if you are not listing your home on the MLS, you are losing out on this 88% of buyers.

Nowhere on their website Orchard have mentioned that they list their home on the MLS, so assuming that they don’t it would be unhelpful towards your home sale and hinder you from finding a qualified buyer.

iBuyers like Offerpad

Offerpad is a big competitor of Orchard. Offerpad allows home sellers to sell their homes for cash within 24 hours. They assess the home and make a cash offer within 24 hours, if you are okay with their offer, you accept it and your home is sold within 24 hours.

However, Offerpad has been severely criticized for its low-ball offers and unsatisfactory customer service experience. They also have a similar feature to Orchard’s Buy First feature called as Sell Express option where they make you a cash offer for your home and you can move on to buy your new home. Although the process sounds simple and quick, it might not bring expected results and profits for your home sale.

So, Should You Go With Orchard Homes?

Orchard Homes is definitely a good option if you want to buy a new home before you sell, or maybe you want to have a backup offer in case you are not sure whether your home will be sold as quickly as you want it to, but if you want to save money… Orchard Homes might not be the right choice for you.

Not only do you have to pay 4%-6% as commissions but also you have to pay closing costs, buyer agent commissions, a convenience fee of 1% if you are selling it directly to them, and even rent of $30-$50 daily if you are making a full-cash offer on your new home using their “Offer Boost” feature.

So, if you look at it then you are getting good services but no savings at all.

Our suggestion would be to go with a Flat Fee MLS Listing Service like Houzeo which offers maximum savings with the best MLS exposure and also allows you to customize your package to keep complete control over your expenses.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Orchard an iBuyer?

Yes, because it is a technology-based real estate company. Unlike most iBuyers, it sells the property on the open market and splits the profits with the seller.

How long does it take to sell with Orchard?

Within 120 days, Orchard claims to sell 99 percent of its inventory. Some customers are able to move into their new home before their old one sells thanks to the option of unlocking immediate equity.

Is Orchard Legit?

Yes, Orchard (previously known as Perch) is a legitimately licenced real estate company that operates in nine markets, including Colorado, Georgia, and Texas. Court Cunningham is the company's CEO. In the states where they do business, the company is registered as a broker and employs real estate agents who are also registered brokers.

Is homeAdvisor legit?

Using HomeAdvisor is a good way for homeowners to find vetted contractors in their area.

How is Move First different than the traditional home buying and selling process?

Unlike other methods, Orchard lets you buy your new home before selling your old one. No contingency offers or losing your dream home because you haven't sold yours. So they'll take professional photos, do a 3D home tour, clean your house for free and keep it clean after the sale! When you sell your home, you avoid open houses and get more money than your initial equity.

iBuyers

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