How does your flexible commission structure work?
We believe that we should only be compensated for the work that we do. Crazy idea, right? It doesn’t make sense to us to charge the same rate for our services for every transaction because every transaction is different. Some of our clients need a full-service solution and some of our clients would prefer an “a la carte” menu of sorts. We always look for the win-win and our clients love the fact that we provide options.
How will you market my property?
Every property and every market is different, so this answer varies. Properly positioning properties is more art than science, but we have a bunch of tools in our toolbox that help our clients get the best price in the shortest amount of time with the fewest hassles.
What are “off-market” properties?
In our world, the term “off-market” refers to properties that are not publicly listed for sale. These are properties that we privately market to our clients and our network to find buyers without using traditional means like “for sale” signs, postings on the internet, Loopnet, etc.
Why would someone want to privately sell a property instead of marketing it to the public? Won’t they increase their chances of a higher offer if they let everyone know it’s for sale?
Great question! There are several reasons our clients come to us to handle their off-market property sales. The most common reason we hear from our clients is privacy. They simply don’t want everyone to know their business. Here are some examples of situations we have faced with our clients when helping them with an off-market transaction:
Business being sold: Our client was selling his business because he was planning to retire. The business was being sold to a large competitor and keeping the deal quiet was critical to the success of the transaction because he expected some of his employees would not be thrilled with their soon-to-be new boss. The company acquiring the business was working on a transition plan to make it easy for the employees of our clients’ company, but they weren’t ready to complete the deal yet.
Divorce: Our client was planning a divorce and was doing some pre-emptive work for the purposes of asset protection. Both husband and wife were well-funded and he was expecting a long legal battle. He needed the property sold without his wife knowing.
Cannabis growing facility: Even though cannabis is legal in both Colorado and California, there’s still some sensitivity around the business due to the current administration. Not only that, but it is difficult for cannabis businesses to deal with all the cash they receive due to the banking regulations. Our clients wanted to be discreet and not draw any unnecessary attention to themselves.
Family issues: One of our clients had some concerns about her grandchildren learning about a property sale. She didn’t want them to know she was now flush with cash because she has had issues with a few of them in the past. She planned to reinvest the money into another property that included some family members, but excluded others. She didn’t want any of them to know until the second transaction was complete, so we had to be quiet about it.
One of the benefits(?) of running a bitcoin real estate business is that you get a ton of questions. After a while, you find yourself fielding similar inquiries and repeating the same answers. So here we are.
These are some of the most popular questions and we add more whenever it’s appropriate. If you have a question we haven’t answered here, please let us know with the chat box on the bottom right of this screen or through our contact page. We promise to get back to you ASAP. Anyone who asks a question that is good enough to be added to this list will be rewarded with a chocolate chip cookie (gluten-free upon request).
What is bitcoin and how does it work?
That’s a great question and beyond the scope of what we could answer in detail here, but here’s a basic overview.
Bitcoin (with a capital B) is a payment and protocol network. Then you have bitcoin (with a lowercase b) which is a digital currency. The currency is commonly used as a store of value and occasionally used for transactions where cash would be considered the “normal” payment method.
There are a bunch of great resources if you want to learn more about bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This podcast is a great intro and will probably answer many of your questions. Well, it should answer your initial questions, anyway. I’m sure you’ll have more questions once you’ve digested that episode.
WARNING: As soon as you start digging into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency education, it may feel like you’re going down the rabbit hole. That’s a normal feeling and you should go learn as much as you can anyway.
How does the bitcoin real estate transaction process work?
Conceptually, it’s fairly simple. In practice, the moving parts, the legal requirements and the technical complexity can create some challenges.
The general idea is that a property owner will exchange the title of the property for the appropriate amount of bitcoin. The process would look about the same if the transaction was done by exchanging the real estate for any other type of valuable property–coins, art, antiques, classic cars, etc. Most people are familiar with the mortgage process and cash purchases, and bitcoin real estate transactions are not totally foreign if you grasp the basic concepts and apply a little creativity to your thinking.
What if someone wants to pay partially in cryptocurrency and partially in cash?
This is a fairly common situation and it’s easy for us to manage. Sometimes a simple clause or addendum to the contract can provide some peace of mind to those involved by doing something like ensuring a minimum value of the cryptocurrency at the time of closing, for example.
What if I’d like to use a cryptocurrency that isn’t bitcoin to purchase a property?
The majority of cryptocurrency real estate transactions are bitcoin real estate transactions. Bitcoin is easily the most common cryptocurrency used in real estate deals, but we’re seeing more and more transactions done with some combination of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, like Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin or Ripple.
While we get frequent inquiries about doing deals with unknown or obscure cryptocurrencies, we haven’t done any deals with them yet. The main concern with all of us is the liquidity of the obscure cryptocurrencies. The secondary concern is the high rate of failure of many of the organizations that have done ICOs in the past few years. Nobody wants to be left holding the bag when one of those players go under and their associated cryptocurrencies become worthless, so we’re steering clear of them for now.
How do I pay off my existing mortgage balance if I accept bitcoin for the rest of the sale?
Traditional banks see cryptocurrency as a threat to their way of life, so they are doing everything in their power to stem the tide. They’ve had limited success battling the massive wave of cryptocurrency adoption so far and you can see how quickly their attitudes on the subject have changed here and here.
For the time being, mortgage payoffs will still have to happen with fiat money, like the US dollar. We help the owners of cryptocurrency convert to fiat currency in those situations so they can pay any mortgage balances at closing in a currency the bank will accept.
How do title and escrow companies treat cryptocurrency transactions?
To the surprise of no one, most of the traditional title insurance and escrow companies are not entirely comfortable with cryptocurrency transactions (yet). It’s a work in progress, but we have a few trusted partners who give us some good options.
Because bitcoin was originally used for illicit transactions on the dark web, we are overly cautious about making sure we are compliant with state laws, federal laws and anti-money laundering compliance. Our attorneys and accountants regularly review our procedures to be sure we’re compliant because the world of cryptocurrency regulation is rapidly evolving.
A side note: US dollars are still the preferred currency for illicit transactions around the world, so perhaps the we should all be more concerned about our relationships with Bank of America and Chase than bitcoin.
How do earnest money deposits work with bitcoin?
There are a few ways to handle earnest money deposits. The cleanest way to do it is by leaving a cash deposit at the time the purchase offer is accepted, like any other transaction. That deposit could be subtracted from the total balance due at closing OR refunded at closing if the total price is being paid with cryptocurrency.
There are a few other options if it’s a straight-cryptocurrency transaction and we handle those on a case-by-case basis.