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Home Sellers to Get Refunds

FTC sending checks to nearly 55,000 who sold houses using Opendoor

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Alamy Stock Photo

Nearly 55,000 home sellers deceived by online real estate company Opendoor’s advertising and marketing claims will be getting checks soon from the Federal Trade Commission. Opendoor agreed to pay $62 million as part of a settlement reached with the FTC over a complaint the agency filed in August 2022.

On Wednesday, the FTC announced it was sending checks to 54,689 consumers, with the median refund expected to be $1,024. The FTC said recipients should cash the check within 90 days of receiving it. Questions about payments can be directed to Epiq Systems, the refund administrator, at 1-888-546-2054 or visit the FTC website to view frequently asked questions about the refund process. Keep in mind the FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.

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In addition to paying the FTC $62 million, Opendoor agreed to stop its deceptive tactics.

The deception affects homeowners of all types, including older adults. As of 2023 the typical home seller was 60 years old, had a median household income of $111,100 and lived in their home for 10 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

According to the FTC complaint, Opendoor tricked home sellers into thinking they could make more money selling through the company than by using traditional sales methods on the open market. Opendoor also claimed home sellers could save money on costs by working with the online real estate firm. In reality, the FTC said, customers who sold their houses on Opendoor made thousands of dollars less than if they had sold the traditional way. What’s more, the FTC found many customers paid more in costs than what they would typically pay.  

“Opendoor promised to revolutionize the real estate market but built its business using old-fashioned deception about how much consumers could earn from selling their homes on the platform,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, said when the complaint was filed in August. “There is nothing innovative about cheating consumers.”

Opendoor said it “strongly disagrees” with the FTC allegations but agreed to settle the matter to “focus on helping consumers buy, sell and move with simplicity, certainty and speed.”

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