The brokerage, Wedgewood Homes Realty, is expected to expand Wedgewood’s reach and allow it to work with local real estate professionals in cities where the company is active.
IBuying companies say they give homeowners greater flexibility and fast money when they sell their home. They also don’t require sellers to make changes to their houses or go through the listing process.
Wedgewood Homes, which mainly buys and sells single-family homes, logged more than $1 billion in transactions in 2020.
“Our core purpose is revitalizing communities,” said Jamie Bedner, a senior vice president of Wedgewood Homes. “We really strive to buy homes and provide recirculated, remodeled, renovated homes into the marketplace.”
The company buys homes online. Interested parties fill out a digital form and are then connected with a real estate expert in their area. The company then makes a cash offer on the property.
Wedgewood also looks at foreclosed assets and houses shown by partner agents.
The company started in the Los Angeles market before expanding across California. In 2005, Wedgewood moved into the Las Vegas area and is now active in 19 states.
“Vegas was one of the first expansion areas. ... We’ve since gone all across the country and continue to grow organically,” said Justin Bruni, senior vice president of Wedgewood Homes.
The company does not require showings or repairs on the part of the seller. Wedgewood Homes may upgrade some properties itself, and in 2020 spent $120 million on repairs and renovations.
“What we’re really, really strong at is finding properties that need a little love and renovating them and reimagining them to provide beautiful new homes for families to move into, especially now with the home being more important than ever,” Bedner said.
Bruni added that the company “never met a home we didn’t like” and said Wedgewood is interested in buying any home, especially distressed properties where the company can add value.
When Wedgewood started, it was doing a lot with foreclosures. Today only 20% of its business is foreclosures, and the rest is direct-to-seller or partnering with agents.
Bedner said the company used to sell its homes in-house, but that model stopped working as the company grew into other markets and wanted to improve its customer service.
“These local agents really understood the local nuances and were able to help us achieve that growth,” she said. “Then, as we were starting to buy more properties through other means, we noticed that these outside listing agents became a great source. These outside listing agents became great partners with us on the sale side and the buy side, but we realized we needed our own brokerage.”
Bruni added that the internal brokerage will help with compliance issues and with branding. The brokerage will help acquire properties, but the company will still partner with outside brokers to sell properties.
The brokerage is starting in California and Nevada and plans to expand into additional states every month.
Wedgewood Homes is hiring for the brokerage and is also looking to expand into new markets.
During the pandemic, Bruni said, the company was focused on its core markets but is now looking to grow and even recently entered North Carolina. And Bedner said growth into other markets would help fulfill its goals.
“There is a housing shortage in the United States right now, and one of the best ways we feel we can help with that is by renovating older housing stock. ... The builders are not keeping pace with what’s necessary,” she said.
Other companies that do iBuying include Redfin Corp., Opendoor Labs Inc., Offerpad Inc. and Zillow Inc.
In 2019, Zillow rolled out its iBuying service in L.A. after launching in Phoenix. Opendoor and Redfin started operations in L.A. the same year. Redfin paused its services during the pandemic but has since started iBuying again in L.A.
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