Utah’s Homie roils real estate with new business model

DRAPER — Is it worth it?

That’s the essential question Johnny Hanna, Mike Trionfo, Matt Thorne and Mike Peregrina set out to address when they founded Homie, a Utah company that’s working to redefine not only what it should cost consumers to buy or sell a home, but how hard (or easy) it should be to navigate what for most people is the largest financial transaction they’ll ever encounter.

“The home we live in is the single biggest investment most of us will ever make,” said Hanna, who is also Homie’s CEO. “Our goal at Homie is to make this as enjoyable and efficient and affordable as possible.”

The company, which officially launched in June 2016, has systemized and automated — where practical— the entire process, whether you’re a buyer or seller. By signing up, buyers get a guide that breaks the whole process down into steps, an assigned real estate attorney for assistance with contracts and other paperwork, connections to mortgage, title and other service providers, home value reports to help dial-in offers, a tool for creating and submitting offers and a mobile app for managing everything from your phone. And the cost for this is nothing.

If you’re a seller, Homie asks for $199 up front, then lists your home (including having the property professionally photographed), sends you a yard sign, gets you data to assist in price-setting, builds online ads, automates the home tour process as well as offer pipeline, assigns you a real estate attorney for negotiations and closing and, after you’ve closed, asks for $699 to finish the deal, which is refundable if the contract is voided afterward.

Elizabeth Baier and her husband used Homie for both sides of the…

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