Aalto vs Traditional Real Estate

Nick Narodny
Feb 22, 2022

How Selling with Aalto Differs from Traditional Real Estate

Dear Homeowner,

We built Aalto for people like you who have been looking for a better way to do real estate — one that’s easy, efficient, and enjoyable. It’s in sharp contrast to the industry standard high fees, opaque sales process, and middlemen. Aalto is a new marketplace for real estate that is enabled by people, powered by technology, and open to everyone. 

When compared to the traditional real estate industry, Aalto’s direct real estate marketplace empowers you in a multitude of new ways. In this article we outline the key ways that Aalto improves your real estate experience. Aalto empowers you to start your home selling process sooner (without a middleman), benefit from radical transparency, and saves homeowners an average of $44K+ on their sale.

Aalto Overview

Aalto aims to change the way you buy and sell homes by empowering you to transact directly. It is the only real estate marketplace built for you, not for agents or brokerages. We listened to the problems that homeowners experienced in their past real estate transactions and heard their fears when it came to selling or buying again. This led to the key differences you’ll find between Aalto and traditional real estate. 

Pillar 1: Direct Buyer Connections

Aalto: Aalto lets you directly connect with potential buyers, streamlining communication and enabling both parties to determine what works best for them. On Aalto, you can directly communicate with buyers when they ask questions about your home, request more info, schedule a tour, and more. This allows you to tell the full story of your home to prospective buyers. 

Traditional: The lack of direct connection or communication in traditional real estate hinders both sides of the transaction, creating unnecessary layers of complexity and ultimately causing you a headache. We constantly hear sellers like you telling us they feel stuck in a game of telephone with their agent, “why can’t I just talk to the buyer?” being the common plea. With Aalto, we’ve made this streamlined direct connection possible.

Pillar 2: Flexible Selling Timelines 

Aalto: As you know, flexibility is paramount in a real estate transaction. On Aalto, you can sell when you want to and on the terms that work best for you, with no days on market ticking away. This allows for complete control and peace of mind throughout your selling process. Aalto’s flexible structure is perfect for your complex selling situations, such as needing to find a replacement property, or needing a rent-back period to facilitate your move. Aalto facilitates these unique situations by giving you and a qualified buyer the ability to match your respective timelines and communicate directly throughout the sales process. This is a major differentiator that sellers love and often are not aware of prior to working with Aalto. This also allows buyers to be more competitive when they are trying to purchase your home, and significantly reduces the stress of a move. 

Traditional: The traditional model is static and doesn’t leave room for you to be flexible. The result? More stress, potentially poor market timing, and no turning back once you have put your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The narrow selling window of traditional real estate prevents you from reaching different buyers in the market at different times. We have heard homeowners say that they feel “handcuffed” by this old, traditional model, especially when trying to cancel a listing agreement with their agent. 

Pillar 3: Buyer Analytics 

Aalto: On Aalto, you have insights into a buyer’s needs, questions, and timing on an on-going basis. When you see the market dynamics change, you can make a well-informed decision about your timeline, like what price to list your home and when to open up to tours. When you post your home on Aalto, you receive detailed market analytics specific to your home and your current buyer pool. You can tap into each buyer who has taken an action on your home, communicate with them directly, ask them to tour your home, and more. Access to these valuable analytics puts you in control of your home sale.

Traditional: Buyer analytics are nonexistent in traditional real estate. Insights are dependent on buyers reaching out to agents to express interest and data is compiled on a trailing monthly average. Then, it’s up to your agent to determine what information is pertinent (in their opinion) and relay that select information to you. Information is shared on a need-to-know basis, and it can be difficult for you to know what questions to ask and to have full transparency into your sale.  

Pillar 4: Privacy Controls

Aalto: Aalto only shares your address to qualified buyers who are going to take a tour of your home. Prior to that, there is simply a radius around your home shared to protect your privacy. We leave it up to your discretion to decide what information you want to share about your home and when. 

Traditional: Your home address is immediately put on the MLS, which automatically syndicates to 3rd party listing sites (Zillow, Redfin, etc.), with interior photos of your home and often full floor plans being shared with the general public. Opening up your home to a flurry of new people is not only risky, but also may not be the most comfortable or safest thing for you or your family. Once you list your home on the MLS, it is very difficult to change or remove information about your home like the address, price history, or photos from the internet. You are likely not comfortable with information about your home being so widely available, but these details are integral for agents and it is a required part of the traditional real estate process. 

Pillar 5:  Start Earlier with no Upfront Risk

Aalto: You can share your home on Aalto with no contract, no commitment, and no cost. This gives you the opportunity to start your home sale earlier with unparalleled flexibility and no risk.

Traditional: Agents and their brokerages will require you to sign a long-term listing agreement, which can be very difficult to cancel. Before you can seriously gauge interest for your home from a specific buyer pool, you have to sign an agent’s contract. 

Pillar 6: No Expensive Fees

Aalto:  Aalto does not believe in high fees or commissions, with only a 1% sell-side transaction fee when you close. 

  • Our 1% fee covers everything you need in your transaction from list to close. 
  • For the buy-side: When buyers come with agents, those agents request their fee. You’ll have a chance to approve or negotiate. If the buyer is unrepresented, your fees with be just 1% total. 
  • On average, homeowners make $44K more than they would’ve using the traditional model. 

Traditional: Commission and fees paid to agents in the traditional model are 5%-6%+ of your home sale price. This ~6% fee also does not include the fees you may need to pay the other middlemen needed throughout your sales process, which can cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket.  

Pillar 7: Only qualified buyers

Aalto: Aalto has thousands of pre-approved and cash buyers ready to purchase your home. The direct marketplace serves to bring you as many real, qualified buyers as possible that are willing and able to buy your home. Pre-approval letters are required for Aalto buyers, which allows you to choose from only a strong pool of serious buyers. This ensures your time is spent on only the most qualified buyers who are actually able to make an offer on your home. Aalto’s marketplace is accessible to anyone, so you will not miss out on exposure for your home, we just want to be sure that you spend your time and energy on real buyers that are able to meet your selling price and timeline

Traditional: In the traditional model, your home is typically opened up to anyone and everyone, pre-qualified or not, during broker tours and on open house days. With open house signs set up all over your neighborhood or city directing people to your exact home address, you cannot control who comes in and out of your home and if they are even able to buy it. There is no way in the traditional model to efficiently determine if a buyer coming in from the general public can meet your timeline or selling needs. In traditional real estate, the process of vetting buyers does not even begin until an offer is submitted, which means you will likely have to spend a significant amount of time negotiating back and forth with your agent. 

Pillar 8: No-effort showings

Aalto: On Aalto, you determine when and how you want to show your home to your qualified buyers only on a timeline that works best for you. There is no requirement for you to be tied to traditional industry standards of weekly showings and open houses, which often occupy your entire weekend and require staging of your house. Your life is busy enough as it is, and you should be able to determine when qualified buyers can tour your home. Don’t worry, there will always be an Aalto advisor on hand to assist with all of your showing logistics as well.

Traditional: Open houses and the high volume of weekly showings are very disruptive to your life. In the traditional model, this is a requirement in order to begin the process of receiving offers on your home. Coordinating and scheduling weekly open houses and tours of your home where your house needs to be cleaned and vacated, is an incredibly burdensome and disruptive ask during the already stressful process of selling your home. 

Pillar 9: Full-time, no pressure Advisor

Aalto: Aalto advisors are full-time employees of Aalto, not contractors. Our advisors are not fighting for commissions and therefore can support your best interests, even if it means advising against selling your home at this time. Remember, this is your process and timeline - no one else's.

Traditional: The pressure of high commission fees and brokerage splits is part of the traditional sales process that helps create forward momentum. While there are many well-intended and talented real estate professionals in the traditional model, it is in the best interest of the agent to sell your home quickly and for the highest fee. Oftentimes, this does not necessarily align with your best interests or your timeline, but rather those of the agent. 

Putting it all together

Aalto provides you flexibility and control throughout your entire home selling process. Our Direct Real Estate Marketplace is built to prioritize you, the consumer, and help you make the best decision possible by providing full transparency at every step. By partnering with our trusted Advisors, you have access to clear and direct communication, coupled with expert guidance and support throughout your entire transaction.  

Thinking about selling your home? Explore your home sale with us here with no cost, commitment, or risk.

Nick Narodny

Founder & CEO, Aalto

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