If you’re looking for a way to win a home in a competitive market or buy a home before you sell, Flyhomes can help, but you’ll end up paying a premium for its services.
Flyhomes provides cash offers for clients who want to buy or trade-in homes. The company gives you money upfront to make a cash offer, which looks more attractive to sellers than a financed offer. Once the offer is accepted, you buy the home from Flyhomes using a traditional mortgage.
Flyhomes has limited availability, operating in just six states: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
In customer reviews, previous Flyhomes clients speak highly of the company’s staff and ability to help place winning bids on homes in competitive markets. The company has everything you need in-house, including agents who will help you list your old home and advise you on making offers on the new one. Flyhomes’ 1% fee is one of the lowest among the top trade-in services, and it can be offset to 0% if you use Flyhomes Mortgage as your lender.
But going with a trade-in service that uses all in-house agents means you won’t have an independent advisor on your side. You also won’t be able to save on commission using an agent from a discount brokerage.
Flyhomes vs. the competition
Flyhomes has numerous positive reviews, but we think Knock and Orchard are better choices for most people because Flyhomes is less flexible and will likely end up being more expensive, largely due to its steep home rental fees ($100–$200 per day).
Flyhomes takes an all-inclusive approach to home trade-ins. It provides its customers with everything they need to make a cash offer on a new home — including agents and a mortgage service — all under one roof. But you won’t have the option to use your own agent for buying your new home, which could be a downside if you want an agent you know or if you want to use an agent from a discount brokerage that doesn't charge full commission.
That being said, customer reviews of Flyhomes are overwhelmingly positive about the company’s agents and their ability to help clients win the home they want.
Unique benefits of Flyhomes
Past clients praise Flyhomes agents’ negotiation skills, knowledge of the local markets, and overall responsiveness. They might not be agents you have an established relationship with, but they at least come highly recommended.
Flyhomes’ 1% service fee is one of the lowest among top trade-in services, and it can even be offset to 0% if you go with Flyhomes Mortgage to finance your new home.
If you buy a primary residence with Flyhomes and are unsatisfied for any reason within one year of buying the home, they’ll clean, stage, list, and sell it at no additional cost to you. Most other competitors don’t have a unique guarantee like this.
Costs can add up
Flyhomes provides a convenient way to secure funds to make a cash offer on a home, but the costs — including $100–200 per day for renting the new home — mean it probably won’t save you much money.
By comparison, Orchard doesn't charge any rent if you use its Instant Equity option to pay for your new home (it charges $50–150 per day if you go with the all-cash Offer Boost program).
Rental cost on a $300,000 home
Drawbacks of in-house agents
You have to use a Flyhomes agent to list your home, so you can’t use an agent that you have worked with in the past or one from a discount brokerage that could save you money on commission.
With Flyhomes, you probably won’t have a dedicated agent who does everything for you. Some reviews mention having a “client advisor” to help with negotiations and a “tour agent” to help you choose your new home.
Flyhomes agents are salaried and don’t collect commissions (the buyer’s agent commission goes straight to the company itself). This business model could possibly create a situation that leads to agents who aren't quite as motivated to make sure you’re always getting the best deal.
Working with multiple contacts can, in theory, open the door for miscommunication and delays.
However, we didn’t find any widespread evidence of miscommunication or poor customer service in the reviews we saw. If the team-based approach to real estate doesn’t concern you, Flyhomes may indeed be a good match.
Who should use Flyhomes?
People who want to beat out bids in a competitive market or buy a home before they sell the old one should consider Flyhomes. Many customer reviews speak of the Flyhomes cash offer helping people submit a winning bid.
You can use Flyhomes’ cash offer whether you’re trading in a home or just buying.
But we urge readers in Colorado and Texas to research Orchard first. Orchard offers nearly all of the same services Flyhomes does — including in-house agents. But Orchard can save you money.
Orchard is a similar service with more benefits
The biggest perk that sets Orchard apart is its rent-free period after moving in the home when using its Instant Equity program. Nearly all trade-in services charge rent for the time between you buying the new home and the sale of your old home. This can add up to thousands of dollars. (If you use Orchard's all-cash Offer Boost program to make a stronger offer, you'll pay $50–150 per day in rent.)
Orchard also has a shorter waiting period to access its backup purchase offer for the home you’re selling. Most trade-in services will promise to buy your old home if it doesn’t sell in six months. Orchard cuts that eligibility period down to four months.
Orchard has a flat fee of 6% for its Move First service, the same as traditional agent fees. Like Flyhomes, Orchard will provide an agent for you.
Both Orchard and Flyhomes are available in these markets:
- Austin, TX
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
- Denver-Colorado Springs, CO
- Houston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
Flyhomes is available in several areas — California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and the Seattle metro area — where Orchard is not available.
Knock can help you save more money
Knock is also a possible alternative if you want to trade in your home or use a cash offer but would prefer to use your own agent.
Knock offers to front the seller up to $25,000 for repairs on the old home, deferred until it sells, making it a good choice for homes that need some work before listing.
Knock’s fee is 1.25% plus $1,450. Knock doesn’t offer any rebates to offset this fee, like Flyhomes does, but the possibility for savings is in the agent that you choose.
Using a discount agent
By finding an agent from a discount brokerage, you can save thousands of dollars in commission.
You would also have a dedicated agent on your side to help you navigate the buying and selling process. Having an agent who is independent of the trade-in company means they’re more likely to have only your best interests in mind.
Our partners at Clever Real Estate can help match you with agents who will work for 1.5% commission.
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Is Flyhomes Legit?
Based in Seattle, Flyhomes began providing its cash offer service in 2017. The company has since expanded to provide home trade-ins and mortgage services.
Today, Flyhomes can help you buy a new home with a cash offer, secure a mortgage, buy before you sell, or list on the open market.
The company has nearly tripled its workforce since June 2021 and now has over 850 employees worldwide. It has raised over $190 million in investment capital and claimed in 2021 to have completed $2.6 billion in home-buying and selling transactions.
Where does Flyhomes operate?
Flyhomes offers home trade-in, cash offer, and mortgage services in six states: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
If you live in one of the states where Flyhomes is available, here are other options also available in your state:
Flyhomes competitor availability by state
If Flyhomes isn’t available in your state, consider Knock, which is much more widely available. Orchard is also a good alternative in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Flyhomes reviews from customers
Flyhomes has an average rating of 4.9 across 1016 reviews.
Overall, when looking through reviews, we noticed a trend of customers being very pleased with Flyhomes agents, especially mentioning the attentiveness and knowledge about the local market they had.
Experienced agent helps win bid for home
Cash offers often win bids because they make things so easy for the seller. In this review, the customer said that the strength of a cash offer along with the Flyhomes agent’s negotiating skills helped them win the bid for the house, even though it wasn’t the highest offer.
This customer had only wonderful things to say about their interactions with representatives from the company. But notice there are two main contacts: a client advisor who did most of the negotiations and a tour agent who dealt with the inspection report. If you had your own agent, they would likely be doing both of these tasks, which would streamline things a bit.
Agents go above and beyond to help customers
Both of these five-star reviews mention Flyhomes agents who helped their clients with third-party issues like complications with the title company or an outside lender. This is evidence that Flyhomes representatives are willing to make time to resolve their clients’ issues, even if those problems aren’t the reps’ primary responsibility.
Team-based approach is a strength for Flyhomes
While some people may prefer working with a dedicated agent they trust for their home buying and selling, other customers see the value of having a team of experts.
This customer said everything went smoothly, even though there were multiple people in charge of different aspects of the process. One team member even took a vacation during the customer’s time working with Flyhomes, but another team member stepped in and the process continued seamlessly.
Team-based approach did not work for this customer
While a team-based approach is great when everyone comes together, a small minority of customers have a different experience. This customer felt bounced around from one representative to the next and had trouble with delays that led to missed opportunities to place an offer.
The customer also mentions Flyhomes representing two buyers bidding on the same house, which would create a conflict of interest (although theoretically, this could happen with any brokerage).
How does Flyhomes work?
Flyhomes’ trade-in program tries to bridge the financial gap between selling your current home and buying a new one.
By giving customers a short-term loan, Flyhomes provides the funds they need to make a strong cash offer on a new home before the old one sells. The fee for this service is 1%, offset to 0% if you use Flyhomes Mortgage.
Here’s how the Flyhomes home trade-in service works:
Step 1: Before you start looking for a home, Flyhomes will work with you to determine your budget and how much of a cash payment you qualify for.
Step 2: When you find a home that you want to make an offer on, you’ll take out a short-term loan with a rate of about 6% to offer the seller cash, payable to them in as few as 10 days after you close on the loan.
Step 3: Move into the new home and wait for your old one to sell. You’ll pay $100–200 per day in rent until your old home sells.
Step 4: Once your old home sells, you’ll buy your new home from Flyhomes, taking out a long-term mortgage. You can use Flyhomes Mortgage or take up to three months to search for your own lender. (You’ll need to pay rent until you have a long-term mortgage, though.)
Things to watch out for
Keep in close contact with everyone you’re working with at Flyhomes. Many reviews say that the coordination between team members is great, but any miscommunication can mean a lost bid on a home in a competitive market.
Be aware of the interest on the short-term loan. When you close on the short-term loan Flyhomes uses to make the cash offer, you’ll be agreeing to pay back the offer plus about 6% interest for the duration of the loan — until your old house sells. This will be folded into the mortgage for the new home when you buy the home from Flyhomes.
Pay attention to your home’s appraisal. Your Flyhomes cash offer is based on what your current home appraises for. If your appraisal is lower than you expected, you may need to consider additional financing to close the gap.
Once you know the amount you’re approved for, you can begin making offers on homes. Flyhomes will be able to pay out to the seller in as few as 10 days.
After you have closed on your short-term loan (about 8–10 days after Flyhomes closes on the home), you can move in.
Once you move into your new home, you’ll wait for your old one to sell. If your old home takes more than six months to sell -– which happens less than 1% of the time, according to Flyhomes — Flyhomes will buy the home from you, paying the original price noted during the appraisal.
Buying with Flyhomes
If you don’t need to sell and are only interested in buying, Flyhomes will lend you the money to make a cash offer on your behalf.
The fee for this service is 1%, offset to 0% if you use Flyhomes Mortgage.
Flyhomes says that many of its customers end up paying 3% under the asking price. Even though their offers are lower, Flyhomes clients win the bid because they’re making a cash offer, according to the company.
Here’s how the Flyhomes cash buying service works:
Step 1: You’ll need to be pre-approved for a short term loan before making a cash offer. Flyhomes will check your credit and see what you can afford. Once you know this number, you’ll be able to budget for homes to make offers on.
Step 2: Once you make an offer, Flyhomes pays the seller in as little as 10 days.
Step 3: You can move in right after Flyhomes closes on the home, but you’ll need to secure your own long-term financing to pay Flyhomes back. You can take up to 3 months to find a lender, but Flyhomes will charge you rent until you buy the home using your mortgage.
Using your own agent for buying
Technically, you can use your own agent when making a cash offer with Flyhomes — but this isn't abundantly clear on the company's main website.
There are a few conditions if you want to use your own buyer's agent:
- The agent must enroll in the Flyhomes agent program
- You won’t be eligible for the Flyhomes guarantee for buyers, which gives you up to one year to decide if you want to remain in the home. If you are unsatisfied, Flyhomes will sell the home at no cost to you.
Selling with Flyhomes
If you only need to sell, Flyhomes agents will do all of the things a traditional agent does: clean, stage, and do home inspections to get your house ready for the market. But you’ll also pay Flyhomes as much as you would with any other traditional brokerage, meaning you won't save any money
It charges a typical listing commission of 2–3% for this service, which goes to the company as an operating expense, not directly to the agent. You’ll also have to offer 2–3% commission for the buyer’s agent.
Like other services from Flyhomes, you’ll likely have multiple contacts at the company rather than one dedicated listing agent.
How much does Flyhomes cost?
Cost of buying and selling with Flyhomes
We estimate that using Flyhomes to trade in your home using your own lender will cost about 6–13% plus $3,000–6,000 in rent plus $3,000 in short-term loan interest for 30 days.
If you want to save money, you use Flyhomes Mortgage to take advantage of the 1% rebate, your cost will go down to 5–11%.
To keep things simple, in the following example we assume both the old and new homes have a value of $600,000.
Flyhomes Buy and Sell costs, using a lender of your choice
Cost on a $600,000 home
🤝 Service fee
💰 Seller closing costs
💰 Buyer closing costs
🧑💼 Buyer agent commission for old house
💰 Short-term loan interest (30 days)
🏡 Home rental costs (30 days)
$100–200 / day
6–13% + rent + interest
By comparison, trading the same two $600,000 homes would cost between $53,450–89,950 (8.75–14.75% + a $1,450 flat fee) using Knock with a 1% commission agent.
Trading the same two $600,000 homes using Orchard would cost between $55,500–87,000 (9–14% + $1,500–3,000 in rent), if you use Orchard's all-cash Offer Boost program.
Cost of buying with Flyhomes
If you choose to just buy a home with Flyhomes using its cash offer service, you’ll pay 3–6%, which includes the 1% service fee and buyer closing costs. This would add up to $18,000–36,000 for a $600,000 home.
If you use Flyhomes Mortgage for your lender, you’ll get a 1% credit to offset the service fee and you’ll only pay 2–5% in closing costs, or $12,000–30,000 on a $600,000 home.
This is the same cost as Homeward, which also offers a credit if you use its in-house mortgage service, canceling out its standard 1.9% fee. You’ll just need to pay the 2–5% closing costs.
Knock does not charge a percent service fee for using its Guaranteed Offer, but it does charge a flat-fee of $1,450. After 2–5% in closing costs, Knock’s cash offer service would cost between $13,450–$31,450 on a $600,000 home.
Orchard’s similar Buy with Orchard program doesn’t have any associated costs, but you’ll need to work with one of its agents and pay a traditional commission of 4–6%. This would end up being $24,000–36,000 on a $600,000 home.
Cost of selling with Flyhomes
Using a Flyhomes agent to list and sell your home is very similar to using an agent from a traditional brokerage. You’ll pay the typical 6% commission to cover both your agent and the buyer’s agent. On top of that, you’ll have about 1–3% in seller closing costs.
This adds up to 7–9%, or $42,000–$54,000 to sell a $600,000 home.
If you used a discount agent who will sell your home for 1.5% instead of a traditional agent, you’d pay 5–7% or $30,000–42,000. That’s thousands of dollars in savings! Our partners at Clever Real Estate can match you with a dedicated agent who knows their local market.
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Flyhomes Mortgage is the company’s in-house lender, providing mortgages to clients in CA, CO, MA, OR, TX, and WA.
Flyhomes Mortgage provides conventional loans with as little as 3% down, as well as jumbo, FHA, VA, fixed rate, and adjustable options.
FAQs about Flyhomes
Is Flyhomes legit?
Yes, Flyhomes is a legitimate company. The company provides cash offers for buying and trading homes. It also provides listing services for people who only need to sell a home. Flyhomes has raised over $190 million in investment capital to date. In 2021, the company claimed to have completed $2.6 billion in home buying and selling transactions. Learn more about Flyhomes.
What is Flyhomes Cash Offer?
Flyhomes provides a cash offer service that gives you the power of cash when making an offer on a home in a competitive market. Flyhomes will lend you the cash using a short-term loan and make the offer, which will stand out from other financed offers. After Flyhomes closes on the home, you buy the house from Flyhomes using a traditional mortgage. Find out more about Flyhomes and its cash offers.
Is Flyhomes a brokerage?
Flyhomes is a real estate brokerage and mortgage lender that provides cash offers and home trade-in services. Flyhomes agents are licensed, but unlike traditional brokerages, Flyhomes pays its agents a salary instead of commissions on home sales. Learn more about how Flyhomes works
Is Flyhomes a good deal?
It depends. Customers pay a 1% premium to use Flyhomes’ cash offer and home trade-in services. Flyhomes claims that its cash offers help clients win bids more easily with less money, due to cash offers being preferred over financed offers. But it’s possible to bid successfully on a home without an all-cash offer. Find out more about what it costs to use Flyhomes
The Economic Times. "Proptech firm Flyhomes looks to ramp up engineering, analytics, operations teams in India." Accessed February 18, 2022. Updated January 27, 2022.
The Seattle Times. "Seattle homebuying startup Flyhomes draws $150 million in new funding." Accessed February 18, 2022. Updated June 10, 2021.
Before writing this review, our team spent weeks studying each real estate trade-in service to compare each company across multiple axes. Our research process included:
- Mystery shopping each company
- Interviewing real estate experts
- Conducting a spreadsheet analysis of each service provider's terms and fees