ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The founders of a Colorado startup want to change how real estate transactions work – by helping people and buy and sell on their own instead of using an agent.
Englewood-based BlueMatch bills itself as a contract-free and commission-free way to sell your home.
Co-founder Jonathan Dobbertin said he was inspired to start the company when he went through real estate transactions of his own and was frustrated by the ordeal. Dobbertin said he had terrible experiences with real estate agents and they made him realize there were things about the process that he wanted to change.
“There’s got to be a better way to do this,” Dobbertin said. “Technology has come leaps and bounds but the agent model has really stayed stagnant.”
BlueMatch essentially cuts out the middle man, working almost like an automated agent, Dobbertin said. When you decide to sell your home, BlueMatch works with another Colorado startup – Virtuance – to take professional photos of your home. Then the company lists your home in all the usual places and sends you everything you need, including a key lockbox and yard sign.
If you need help along the way, agents are available for guidance and support.
Instead of a standard contract and commission, BlueMatch charges a small fee at closing -- $2,995 in Denver and other major metro areas but slightly less in other areas – and then refunds that fee if you buy your next home using a BlueMatch-affiliated agent.
According to BlueMatch, that can save the average Denver homeowner more than $11,000.
Other companies like RedFin and Faira offer sell-it-yourself services, but Dobbertin said BlueMatch’s technology- and data-driven approach is what makes it stand out from the growing field of competitors.
“We’re really a software company, and we just happen to be in the business of real estate,” Dobbertin said.
“Half of us are tech people and half of us are real estate people,” Dobbertin said, and that allows the company to think outside the box and do things differently than a traditional real estate company would.
So far, that approach is working. Since launching last spring, BlueMatch has expanded into Minnesota, New York and Washington. The company expects to expands into California and Massachusetts by the summer and Florida shortly thereafter.