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FTC Sends $5 Million+ to NC Homesellers Deceived by Opendoor

The recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement with Opendoor Labs Inc. has spotlighted the indispensable role of real estate professionals in ensuring homeowners achieve the best possible outcomes when selling their properties.

Notably, North Carolina homeowners were significantly impacted, with the FTC issuing nearly $5.29 million in refunds to 5,320 recipients across the state as a part of a nationwide settlement agreement totaling nearly $62 million. This development not only underscores the value of professional guidance in real estate transactions but also serves as a critical reminder of the pitfalls of misleading online real estate services.

Unpacking the Opendoor Settlement

Opendoor, an online home-buying company, faced action from the FTC for misleading homeowners with the promise of higher sales proceeds through their platform compared to the traditional market. The investigation revealed that, contrary to Opendoor's claims, most sellers received less for their homes and incurred higher costs than if they had engaged with the traditional real estate market. This misleading approach led to the FTC's decision to mandate Opendoor to refund nearly $62 million to affected sellers, highlighting the discrepancies between Opendoor's promises and the actual outcomes for sellers.

Source: The Federal Trade Commission

The Indispensable Role of Real Estate Professionals

This case vividly illustrates the critical role that real estate professionals play in safeguarding the interests of sellers. Unlike the opaque and sometimes misleading promises of certain online platforms, real estate agents provide transparent, personalized, and informed guidance based on deep market knowledge and ethical standards. The traditional real estate selling process, guided by experienced professionals, remains the most reliable method for homeowners to maximize their returns and navigate the complexities of real estate transactions.

Lessons for North Carolina Home Sellers

The Opendoor settlement, particularly the substantial refunds to North Carolina residents, is a powerful reminder of the value that real estate professionals bring to the table. It reaffirms the importance of working with trusted, knowledgeable agents who can provide accurate market analyses, strategic marketing, and negotiation skills that online platforms simply cannot match.

Moving Forward: The Importance of Professional Guidance

As the real estate landscape evolves with new technologies and platforms, the Opendoor case highlights the potential risks of relying solely on online real estate services. It underscores the enduring importance of personal, professional guidance in achieving the best outcomes in real estate transactions.

Hire a Pro!

The FTC's settlement with Opendoor Labs serves as a resounding validation of the need for professional real estate services. For North Carolina homeowners and sellers nationwide, it's a clear indicator that when it comes to selling a home, the expertise, ethical standards, and personalized support of a real estate professional are irreplaceable. As we move forward, let this be a reminder of the value and protection that real estate professionals provide in one of the most significant transactions of a person's life.

How do you make your clients understand your value in the home-selling process? Leave a comment below or share with a colleague in an upcoming CE class!


Federal Trade Commission. (2024, April 3). FTC Sends Nearly $62 Million in Refunds to Sellers Deceived by Online Real Estate Listing Service Opendoor Labs.

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