UpEquity Reviews: How Does the Digital Mortgage Company Work?

Written by Jon StubbsSeptember 8th, 20228 minute read

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UpEquity reviews | Costs | Benefits | Drawbacks | Is UpEquity legit? | How it works | FAQs

UpEquity is a digital mortgage provider that can help you buy a new home before you sell your current one. The company is less expensive and more focused on speed than other buy before you sell services, with a goal of closing on the new home within 21 days.

Because the company makes its money from selling mortgages, the fees for the programs are inexpensive (just $500 to start). However, one reason the costs are so low is because UpEquity doesn't offer as much customer support as other buy before you sell companies like Orchard or Knock.

UpEquity is good for sellers who are comfortable finding their own agent, as it doesn't offer agent support for listing your old home and buying your new one.

UpEquity prefers that you align the closing of your home with the purchase of your new home. If not, it will buy your existing home until it finds a buyer. This is a bit different from other buy before you sell services, which help alleviate the stress of moving from one home to another by giving you weeks or months to do so.

If you don't have a current home to sell and only need to buy, UpEquity's Buy with Cash program gives you the cash you need upfront to make a strong offer on a home.

Using UpEquity is an inexpensive way to make a cash offer and/or buy before you sell if you're willing to move quickly and rely on an agent of your choice to help you with many of the aspects of buying and selling.

However, if you're looking for a service that provides you with more support and advice about selling your old home and buying your new one, try Knock with your own agent, or Orchard, which provides you with one of its agents.

UpEquity vs. the competition


Free rental
Use your own agent
Home prep included
UpEquity
Orchard
✅ *
Knock
Homeward
*When using Orchard's Instant Equity option.

Benefits of UpEquity

UpEquity is inexpensive. The fee is only $500 for its buy before you sell service, compared to other companies that charge anywhere between 2–6% of the sale price for their services. As with any home purchase, though, you'll also have to pay realtor commissions, closing costs, and other fees.

The company markets its services as being fast, from the application process to the home inspection to closing. You'll have approval within 72 hours, and you can close on both homes in as little as 21 days (if the sale and purchase align). UpEquity claims its title and home inspection services work quickly, but you can choose to use your own providers for these services if you prefer. If for some reason the mortgage isn't processed in time for closing, UpEquity will buy the home for you to preserve the deal, then sell it back to you later using the mortgage.

UpEquity allows you to use your own agent, so you can choose someone you trust, or even a discount agent to save on commission.

There is no service fee for the Buy with Cash service if you only need to buy. You'll only pay fees for appraisals, taxes, and closing costs.

You don't have to sell your old home to UpEquity. The company wants you to sell your house on your own terms with your own realtor. But if your home doesn't sell before you close on your new home, UpEquity buys it from you.

You won't pay rent until your old home sells like you would with other services. With UpEquity, you'll start making mortgage payments immediately.

Drawbacks of UpEquity

The service offers little support for selling your house. It also doesn't help you find a new one or offer tips for negotiating your offer, like some other buy before you sell companies do.

It's fast — maybe too fast. UpEquity's programs are designed for people looking for a quick turnaround. So if you need more than a few weeks to prepare for the moves, another service like Knock, Homeward, or Orchard might give you the time you're looking for. These buy before you sell services allow you to pay rent to live in the new home for months, giving you more time to coordinate your moving plans.

Of course, UpEquity still allows you to move into your new home before the old one sells, which isn't possible when buying with a traditional mortgage. The timeframe will just be tighter with UpEquity than it would be with other buy before you sell services.

You may have to pay for repairs to the old home. UpEquity will only buy your home if you make repairs that its home inspection deems necessary. This means that if you don't end up selling on the open market before you close on your new home and UpEquity has to buy it, the cost of repairs could be another big expense after you just bought a new home.

Some other buy before you sell companies, including Orchard and Knock, will loan you money upfront to make repairs to make the house more attractive to sellers on the open market, but UpEquity won't. Other buy before you sell companies will also help to prepare the home for listing. With UpEquity, this is all on you and the agent.

Who should use UpEquity?

If you're looking for a fast, inexpensive way to get into your new home before you sell your old one, you're the ideal customer for UpEquity.

UpEquity is also ideal for people who don't mind doing a lot of the legwork of selling and finding a home with an agent but need help coming up with the cash to make a strong offer.

You need to have fair to excellent credit to use UpEquity. Its absolute minimum credit score is 640, but scores of 700 or more are preferred.

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Is UpEquity legit?

Yes, UpEquity is a legitimate digital mortgage company licensed to operate in 12 states.

Founded in 2019, the company secured $50 million in funding in October 2021. CEO Tim Herman said that the company has grown 500% in revenue and transaction volume year over year.[1]

Where does UpEquity operate?

UpEquity is licensed to provide mortgages in 12 states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

UpEquity reviews from customers

UpEquity has many positive reviews online across several review websites. On Trustpilot, 96% of UpEquity's reviews are 5 stars, and the remaining 4% are 4-star reviews.

Site
Average review
Trustpilot
4.7 stars across 26 reviews
Google
4.9 stars across 155 reviews
Weighted Avg. Rating
4.8 stars across 181 reviews

UpEquity helped customer buy a home with cash in competitive market

This customer had great things to say about UpEquity's customer service department and how it helped him make a cash offer to win a home in the competitive California housing market.

UpEquity was super easy to work with and really responsive throughout the whole process. After numerous failed offers with traditional loans in the crazy CA housing market, we decided to try using UpEquity's all-cash offer and were able to get our offer accepted on a beautiful home. Victoria and Jordan both went above and beyond throughout the closing process to quickly move things along and answer any questions we had. I'd highly recommend UpEquity to anyone who's struggling to break through in a really tough market, as they can totally make the difference on getting an accepted offer. Thanks!!

Customer pleased with UpEquity's knowledge and low rates

This customer says the knowledgeable reps at UpEquity helped to explain how state laws would affect their closing and even cleared up a few points of confusion left by the previous mortgage company. They said UpEquity's rates were very competitive, as well.

We had a very positive experience in refinancing with UpEquity. Of course we wanted the lowest rate possible, and the offer from UpEquity was very competitive when compared to other lenders. Once we locked in, the underwriting process was smooth with clear communication along the way. This included help in clearing up some misinformation from our previous mortgage company when they reached out to us upon receiving the payoff notice... UpEquity was right and able to explain the changes in state law, whereas we had to explain the laws to our previous mortgage company! Definitely recommend working with UpEquity.

Customer says UpEquity saved them thousands of dollars

This UpEquity client claims they did a lot of shopping around for the best rates before using UpEquity, which beat them all. They also said they had a great experience working with their loan officer.

Excellent experience. Saved money, efficient process, beat all competitors. Sandra Zuniga our Loan Officer was superb in every way. Responsive, knowledgeable, really looked out for our interests. We shopped hard among competitors and she beat them all: Better.com, Loan Depot, Zillo, the entire bunch by a lot. She made the process more

How does UpEquity work?

UpEquity offers two programs. Buy Before You Sell is designed for people who want to buy a home using a cash offer before they sell their current one. Buy with Cash is for those who don't have a current home to sell and only need to make a strong cash offer to win a home in a competitive market.

Buy Before You Sell

Choose an agent to work with before you contact UpEquity. This will ensure you and your agent have had time to discuss your budget and goals and you'll be on the same page throughout the buying and selling process. Next, you can get started by completing UpEquity's online application.

  1. Apply with an online application that takes only 15 minutes to complete.
  2. If you're approved, UpEquity will have your all-cash offer ready to go to market within 72 hours.
  3. Work with your own real estate agent to make an all-cash offer on the home you want.
  4. Line up the sale of your old home with the purchase of your new home. If you need to buy before you sell, UpEquity will buy your home and then sell it later.
  5. Use UpEquity's mortgage to take out a home loan in your own name and receive the proceeds from your old home's sale.

One big drawback to UpEquity is that you'll still need to line up the sale of both homes. Aligning the sale of your old home with the purchase of your new one is a common problem that many other buy before you sell services can solve.

Companies like Orchard and Knock allow you to move into your new home and then give you months to sell your old home. This eliminates the stress of having to move out of one home and into another in a day or two. With UpEquity, you'll still need to coordinate moving dates in a tight timeframe.

» Read our reviews: Orchard | Knock

Buy with Cash

Buying a home with cash is a similar process, starting with the online application. You should start shopping for an agent before you apply if you want to have an agent by your side to help make the offer.

  1. Apply with an online application that takes only 15 minutes to complete.
  2. If you're approved, UpEquity will have your all-cash offer ready to go to market within 72 hours.
  3. Work with your own real estate agent to make an all-cash offer on the home you want.

Things to know

Here are a few details you should know about UpEquity.

If the appraisal on the new home comes in lower than the offer, and you're still in the option and inspection period (which is usually how the timing works out), you can exit the contract and get your earnest money deposit back. Otherwise, you need to come up with the money to cover the gap.

UpEquity supports conventional loans, including jumbo loans, and VA loans. It does not support FHA or USDA buyers.

In some states like Colorado, the company is required to purchase the home upfront and write the mortgage later.

How much does UpEquity cost?

UpEquity charges $500 to start the program. If your old home doesn't sell before you close on the new home, UpEquity will buy the home and charge you 1.95% of the gross resale price on your home.

UpEquity is a digital mortgage company that makes its money selling mortgages. Because of this, its fees are much lower than other buy before you sell companies that offer more services, which charge fees anywhere from 2–6% for their services.

Additional costs

If UpEquity needs to hold on to your home for longer than 30 days, additional control fees will kick in. But the company says this only happens in about 10% of cases.

If your home doesn't sell on the open market, you'll be required to make repairs that UpEquity deems necessary before it buys your property, which will be paid out of your pocket.

Frequently asked questions about UpEquity

What does UpEquity do?

UpEquity is a digital mortgage company that gives customers a way to make an all-cash offer on their next home before selling their current home. Find out more about how UpEquity works.

How does UpEquity make money?

UpEquity makes money like most mortgage companies do: by selling mortgages and taking a portion of the interest a buyer pays over the life of the home loan. Learn more about the benefits of UpEquity. 

ARTICLE SOURCES
[1]

TechCrunch. "UpEquity, a digital mortgage startup that makes all cash offers, secures $50M in debt and equity." Accessed April 4, 2022. Updated October 20, 2022.

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