About a week ago, my wife and I bought a house. Or so our lawyer tells us we did. While I won't truly believe it until we're inside the house with the keys in hand, we're apparently past all the treacherous spots in the process when a deal can fall through. So there you have it - equal parts exciting and terrifying - we're officially joining the world of home ownership. I'll share more as we get further along, but just let me tell you one thing, she is beauuuuuuuutiful, my 2,020 square foot slice of the American dream.
But enough about that, you're probably all thinking, "what the heck does this have to do with roboadvisors?" Great question and the answer stems from exactly how we purchased the house. One night, while watching "House" on Netflix and cruising the internet, my wife stumbled across the listing on Zillow. Not a traditional realtor's website, but Zillow, the web-based real estate market place seeking to connect buyers and sellers of all shapes and sizes. Sure, the site also provides some tools and functionality for real estate agents, but it's big draw is allowing owners of homes to connect directly with buyers, bypassing the expensive (and arguably unnecessary) extra layer of traditional real estate agents. In this case, we reached out to the seller directly, saw the house, hammered out a deal, and here we are with a transaction in hand sans a 6% commission (sure the seller ultimately pays it, but negotiations were easier and we got to a point where I believe everyone left a winner).
Hmmmmm. A web-based technology firm attempting to drive down arguably unnecessary costs in some sort of a financial transaction? A young (late-20s) couple unafraid to abandon the "traditional" approach for the internet's version of housing hunting 2.0? NEWS FLASH: Individuals 30 and below are not afraid of technology and, if given access to a better solution via the internet, they'll take it. Oh, by the way, these are the same people that are just now hitting primes looking for various financial services. So what does this have to do with roboadvisors? I think it's a positive sign of things to come.
Score 1 for the future.
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There are many roboadvisors to choose from; each with distinct characteristics and a wide variety of services offered. We break down the similarities and differences between these firms here at The List.