Orchard announced Tuesday its immediate availability to consumers in Houston, as well as future expansion into Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and the Washington, D.C. suburbs in the upcoming months.
Court Cunningham, chief executive officer and co-founder, said he’s excited for Orchard to help consumers in the new markets, where demand has outpaced inventory.
“We’ll make it easier for home buyers in these markets to secure their dream home as soon as they see it, while still selling their old home for top dollar,” he said.
Cunningham added that the Move First initiative, Orchard’s program allowing homeowners to buy their next home before selling their old one, proved popular during the COVID-19 pandemic because it let consumers avoid living in their old home while potential homebuyers toured it.
“Buying and selling homes the traditional way isn’t sufficient in today’s hyper-competitive market,” he said. “With demand at an all-time high, people need to make offers – ideally in cash – without contingencies.”
Houston, according to multiple listing service data, is selling homes above price at triple the rate of 2019, and Cunningham added that the number of homes going under contract within 30 days of listing has increased by 50%.
Orchard adds Houston to a service area that includes Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Denver, and Atlanta.
Originally called Perch, Orchard branched into the lending business in July. This followed the creation of a title and escrow unit, dubbed Orchard Title, in the fall of 2018. It also closed on a $69 million Series C round led by Revolution Growth in September.
In October, Orchard announced the launch of a digital platform that enables homeowners to manage the entire real estate transaction in one place.