Real Estate Tech Vendor Branches Out into Brokerage

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Woodward Asset Capital, a technology developer in the Detroit area, has started a real estate brokerage brand catering specifically to property sellers, including banks and mortgage servicers unloading foreclosed homes.

With SellerNation—billed as "the real estate brokerage built for sellers"—a broker's commission is not built into the initial listing price of a property. Rather, the fee is added after the housing unit is sold. This way, the asset is more attractive on the open market and the agent can get more offers, says Ron Jasgur, president of Woodward Asset Capital.

"We are changing the game of selling homes for a private seller," Jasgur says. "No longer do agents have to list their property for six months and, in most cases, they are getting high prices in return for their assets."

Additionally, sellers will have more control of the transaction because they have access to information about every sale the broker works on, Jasgur says.

SellerNation was formed as a result of the technology company acquiring the Detroit brokerage Homesource Realtors at the beginning of the year. The acquisition was announced this week.

Over the last two years, Homesource has been market-testing processes and procedures to ensure the highest sale prices and shortest sale timelines for private sellers. Around the same time, real estate brokers requested a version of Woodward's real estate platforms for themselves, Jasgur says.

SellerNation's Detroit office will serve as a blueprint for additional corporate-owned locations that are expected to open in other markets over the next two years. Ohio, Colorado and Florida are three initial target markets for expansion, Jasgur says.

"This acquisition makes sense as we grow our businesses into a vertically integrated family of real estate technologies and services that work together cohesively and efficiently," says Rodney Carey, CEO of Woodward Asset Capital. "We're excited to grow a consumer brand that will change sellers' expectations and bring transparency to a market where traditionally there has been none."

Woodward's technology platforms have negotiated more than $22 billion in real estate offers since 2009 from more than 100,000 real estate agents nationwide.

Listing agents can also use proprietary technology services from Woodward Asset Capital like OfferSubmission and VerifiedShortSale to monitor potential fraud.

OfferSubmission is a web-based, offer negotiation platform for banks and servicers designed to prevent fraud and guarantee that distressed assets sell at true market value. Binding offers for foreclosed properties are submitted online by the buyer's agent and then delivered directly to the seller via OfferSubmission where they are reviewed according to each customer's business rules. The transparent environment provides an audit trail that reduces risk and identifies agents with hidden agendas, as well as property issues that could be detrimental to the value of the asset.

VerifiedShortSale, which won the 2012 Mortgage Technology award for Release of the Year, is also a web-based service that banks and servicers can use to prevent short sale fraud because it provides street-level insight into the real estate side of the transaction. All properties in the VerifiedShortSale system have already been deemed eligible for a short sale by a bank's loss mitigation department, enabling transactions to be finalized in a quicker manner. Rather than being the last to know anything, the servicer is first to know everything, according to Woodward.

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