Orchard Reviews: How Orchard REALLY Works in 2024

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By Shannon Whyte Updated May 5, 2024
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Edited by Katy Byrom

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Orchard streamlines the process of buying and selling a house at the same time — making it less stressful and helping sellers secure new homes in competitive markets.

If you qualify for their program, the company will front you a significant portion of your home’s equity — its market value minus what you still owe on the mortgage — before you sell. 

By accessing your home equity in advance, you can make a non-contingent offer on a new house — making it more attractive to the seller, since they don't have to wait to close on your old house for your financing to come through. 

Our Orchard rating

⭐️ Orchard: Overall score4.1/5 🟡
Service quality4.0/5 🟡
Offer quality4.5/5 🟢
Fees and other costs4.0/5 🟡
Customer reviews4.0/5 🟡
Credibility4.0/5 🟡
Show more
Ratings based on 1–5 scale, with 5 being the best. Learn more about our methodology.

Orchard's equity advance covers both a down payment on a new home and up to four months of your existing mortgage while your old house sells. You'll apply for a mortgage to make up for whatever your remaining equity doesn't cover. 

Once you move into your new house, Orchard will take care of selling your old one — and even provide you with a guaranteed backup offer if it doesn't sell within four months.

Orchard's equity advance doesn’t involve any upfront costs, with all services being repaid out of the sale of your home. 

However, Orchard's backup offer will be less than the fair market value of your house — and its fees can make it a pricier option than going with a realtor (especially a realtor that offers better-than-average commission rates) or even an iBuyer.

Is Orchard worth it?

Pros

  • You can buy a new home without the offer being contingent on your old house selling.
  • Orchard's concierge service helps you pay for any repairs you need to make before listing, with no upfront costs.
  • You'll receive a backup cash offer if your home doesn’t sell on the open market.

Cons

  • There are no real savings compared to listing with an agent, and you may get less than market value.
  • Services are available only in certain markets for homes that meet the company’s criteria.
  • While there are no upfront fees, program costs can add up.

Orchard’s services may be a good fit if you:

  • Are struggling to coordinate a home purchase and sale
  • Can’t easily afford a new home before you sell your current one
  • Live in a hot market so real estate transactions will likely go through quickly

However, Orchard isn’t for everyone. If you use Orchard, you'll pay a 2.4% program fee, plus a 5-6% brokerage fee, which may be more than the average real estate commission rate for your area. 

Orchard also restricts you from using your own agent — you'll have to work with whatever company rep is assigned to you.

While online reviews are positive overall, negative reviews highlight that a customer’s experience with their Orchard representative can make or break their experience. Since Orchard assigns you an agent, you won’t be able to interview or choose your own realtor.  

Additionally, Orchard is available in a limited area, and not all homes will qualify for their service. For instance, your property may not be eligible if you’re selling a home that needs work.   

We recommend comparing Orchard to a few other top companies that buy houses for cash so you can make an informed decision about the benefits and tradeoffs.

Take the guesswork out of selling your house

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Top Orchard alternatives

Orchard vs. competitors

Orchard's main competitors include other buy-before-you sell services, iBuyers, and cash offer networks that let you compare offers from a variety of cash buyers.

While buy-before-you-sell companies like front you a portion of your equity to buy a new house before you put your home on the market, iBuyers like Opendoor purchase your home outright.

iBuyers typically pay closer to market value than ‘We buy houses’ companies, but still less than market value. However, they also charge slightly lower fees than buy-before-you-sell services (usually about 5%, plus repair costs) and let you skip the traditional home-selling process completely.

With a buy-before-you-sell company, you'll first need to list your house for several months before accepting the company's backup offer. You'll cover the company's service fees, traditional realtor commissions, and any overlapping mortgage payments while your old house remains on the market. However, this is typically paid for either out of the equity advance or the proceeds from your home sale.

Like Orchard, iBuyers operate in limited markets and often don’t buy homes that need a lot of work or have financial complications like liens attached, similar to Orchard.

Cash offer networks like Clever Offers let you compare offers from multiple leading cash home-buying companies, which could get you a more competitive price for your house.

The following Orchard competitors are highly rated and may provide more competitive offers or compelling perks.

Company
Customer Rating
Type
Offer Rating
Best for
Best overall
5.0
3,162 reviews
National cash offer network
Most competitive
Multiple offers, vetted investors
Compare Offers
On listwithclever.com
Fair offers, hassle-free sales
4.3
3,801 reviews
iBuyer
Most competitive
Fair offers, hassle-free sales
Learn More
On listwithclever.com
Flexible options with perks
4.0
2,767 reviews
iBuyer
Most competitive
Flexible options with perks
Learn More
On listwithclever.com
Tap your equity to move, then sell
4.8
833 reviews
Home trade-in
More competitive
Tap your equity to move, then sell
Learn More
On listwithclever.com

Orchard vs. a realtor listing

When you sell with Orchard, you work with whatever local Orchard agent the company assigns to you. While Orchard’s agents do provide all the same services as a traditional agent, you don’t have a choice on who your realtor is — which could be a potential downside.

In fact, customer reviews for Orchard show that agent quality can be an issue for some home sellers.

Having an agent who is independent of the company may provide you with more objective advice. Additionally, you can look for a real estate broker who charges a lower commission rate than either Orchard or a traditional agent, saving you thousands on your home sale. Many real estate brokerages also offer concierge services similar to Orchard's to help you prep your house before listing — with no upfront costs.

If you're on the fence about selling to a company like Orchard, we recommend talking to a few different real estate agents to see if they can offer you a better fit.

Companies like Clever make it easier than ever to find a top discount real estate broker near you. Clever matches you with traditional real estate agents from trusted brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX, then negotiates discounted listing fees for you. Interview as many agents as you'd like until you find the right fit, or walk away at any time with zero obligation.

💰 Compare low commission agents and save thousands

Try our free, no-obligation agent matching service! Clever will get you proposals from the top agents in your area. Compare options, choose the best fit, save thousands with a pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fee.

In-depth Orchard review

Service quality

📊 Our rating: 4/5
  • Clear, hassle-free process to streamline buying and selling at the same time
  • Instant equity and the Concierge service make the buying and selling process less stressful
  • Mixed reviews regarding agents’ level of experience and communication skills 

Overall, Orchard’s services make it easier for homeowners to purchase a new home while selling their current one. The instant equity makes buying a new home before selling less stressful, and the concierge service makes it easier to make repairs and updates without needing funds upfront.

However, reviews show that service quality varies depending on the agent customers are matched with. 

Orchard assigns customers with representatives, who are supposed to be top local full-service agents. You aren’t able to interview or pick who your agent is. And while some reviewers reported having a responsive, knowledgeable agent, others reported being matched with inexperienced agents, leading to confusion, miscommunications, and deals falling through.

Offer quality

📊 Our rating: 4.5/5
  • Most Orchard customers sell their home on the open market for a competitive price
  • Orchard’s backup offer is worth less than market value

Rather than purchasing your home directly, Orchard matches you with an agent to help you sell your home on the open market, where you have the greatest chance of getting the best possible price.

Additionally, Orchard's Concierge service helps sellers get their homes market-ready, further improving their odds of getting a high offer.

The vast majority of Orchard's customers sell their homes through a traditional home sale. However, Orchard’s guaranteed offer gives customers peace of mind knowing they will purchase your home at a predetermined price if it doesn’t sell within the company's 4-month listing period. 

While Orchard doesn't specify the exact amount of its backup offer, customer reviews indicate that it is well below market value — sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars.

How much is Orchard's backup offer?

Judging from customer reviews, it's safe to assume that Orchard pays less than fair market value for homes that don't sell on the open market. While Orchard will provide you with its backup offer price up front based on its estimate of your home value, several past customers have complained that Orchard lowered its "guaranteed offer" significantly from what was originally quoted.

Orchard will likely offer a competitive price compared to what most investors will pay for your house, but won't give you as much as an iBuyer — so if your listing period is coming to an end, you may want to look into additional cash offers from competing cash buyers before accepting the one from Orchard.

Fees and other costs

📊 Our rating: 4/5
  • 2.4% program fee for equity advance is in line with competitors
  • 6% brokerage fee without the ability to choose your own agent
  • Total fees vary based on what services you use, which can be confusing

Orchard offers several programs to assist customers who want to sell and buy or only list. But, the fees can vary per offer, so we recommend verifying all fees with Orchard before signing so there are no surprises.

For its trademark Move First service, Orchard charges a brokerage fee of about 6%, plus a program fee of 2.4% to use its equity advance. Those who choose to Buy and List with Orchard (without the equity advance) simply pay a brokerage fee of 5–6%. According to Orchard’s website, closing costs for either service are around 1%. 

Orchard's fees are largely comparable to other buy-before-you-sell services. However, you could save significantly on realtor fees by using a low-commission real estate brokerage, which typically charges about half the average listing fee. 

Orchard fees

Move First program fee2.4% of your home sale price
Brokerage fee5-6%
Closing costs~1%
Concierge serviceVariable, paid at closing
Total7–9%+

How much does Orchard charge for its concierge service?

Orchard’s Concierge service lends you money, interest-free, so you can make repairs to your home before listing. There is no upfront cost, but you will have to repay the loan out of your home’s sale proceeds.

With Orchard, they choose the contractors. They report using pre-approved contractors and vendors that they have already negotiated with. Also, the program doesn’t cover every type of repair. It will pay for the most common issues, like exterior and interior painting, and minor repairs to roofing, plumbing, electrical issues, and HVAC.    

Orchard customer reviews and complaints

📊 Our rating: 4/5
  • Customers like how Orchard simplifies the process of selling while buying
  • Equity advance makes the process less stressful
  • Some reviewers were matched with inexperienced agents
  • Some customers complain that initial "guaranteed offers" are subsequently lowered

Orchard reviews are mostly positive, with an average customer rating of 4.4/5 from 632 reviews across Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau. While many people were happy with their experience, not all reviews are positive. Negative reviews largely focused on communication issues and being matched with inexperienced agents. 

✅ Simplified the process of selling while buying

Positive reviews often mentioned how easy it was to work with Orchard and that their services made buying and selling more streamlined.

For instance, on April 19, 2023, Berlin L. wrote:

“We used Orchard.com to sell our old house and purchase 2 new houses. Working with Orchard made the process of finding our new houses while selling our existing house much easier. Orchard fronted us the money to get our new houses and Orchard’s Concierge service helped us get our old house renovated and sold for an excellent price. We were very happy with the overall process and how smooth Orchard made the often complex process of selling and finding new residences.”

✅ Equity advance made the buying and selling process less stressful

Some reviewers focused on Orchard’s equity advance. This service made it possible for them to buy and sell at the same time and made the whole process less stressful.

For instance, on February 29, 2024, L. S. wrote: 

“Orchard relieved a lot of the stress with buying and selling a home. The greatest part was getting the equity advance which enabled us to purchase another home while our home was on the market. Our home sold above the initial offer and we received additional proceeds at closing. The Orchard team was fantastic and did everything they said they would do. I highly recommend Orchard to anyone looking to sell and buy another home.”

❌ Inexperienced agents and inaccurate information

Some negative Orchard reviews focused on agents’ inexperience resulting in difficulties with the buying or selling process, including cancelled contracts.

For example, these home sellers on Trustpilot complained that they watched their home sit on the market for months and found it difficult to get updates from their Orchard agent:

"The process started off well, but it felt like Travis (our listing agent) became disinterested or maybe he was overloaded? We felt like we were inconveniencing him by reaching out for an update. The follow-through of whether or not any offers were made or when offers were made left us wanting. It was stressful and inconsistent.

Our first contract fell through and we barely heard from Travis, and we honestly wonder if that could have been avoided or if any red flags could have been found sooner. The deal ended up falling through and we were scared because so much time had been used of our 120 days which negatively impacted our listing because now it looks like it was on the market for 2 months which can cause a hesitation on why it’s been sitting so long.

Then in the middle of our actual closing negotiation, Travis went on vacation and we were handed over to another agent we didn’t know which was uncomfortable."

❌ Changes unexpectedly made to the guaranteed offer

Some reviewers were frustrated when the guaranteed offer was lowered after signing the contract. For instance, on December 7, 2023, one reviewer wrote that he initially received an offer based on Zillow but later was told he could only receive 85% of what was quoted.

On September 22, 2023, Steve L. wrote he was frustrated when his guaranteed offer was lowered. “My “guaranteed” offer was reduced by $20,000 two days after accepting their so-called guaranteed offer. They made me feel like a sucker.”

Orchard did reply to Steve L. stating they have a 5-day due diligence period. It was during that period that a home assessment walkthrough led to a reduction of the initial offer. But Steve L. expressed being unaware of that policy. 

Credibility

📊 Our rating: 4/5
  • Well-established company, founded in 2017 and valued at $1 billion
  • 600+ verified customer reviews
  • No hidden fees

Orchard is a legitimate business that focuses on streamlining the process of buying and selling at the same time. 

Originally founded in 2017 as Perch, the company changed its name to Orchard in early 2020. After raising $100 million in funding in September 2021, Orchard is now valued at over $1 billion. 

Orchard is upfront about its program fees and other potential selling costs, but a few customers have complained that Orchard lowered its "guaranteed offer" unexpectedly after the contract had already been signed.

Orchard has an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau and boasts more than 600 verified customer reviews, but its customer ratings are slightly lower than competitors like Knock.

How Orchard Real Estate works

Orchard offers three main programs:

  • Move First: Access equity in your current single-family home to buy a new house before you sell your old one.
  • List With Orchard: List your home on the open market with the help of an Orchard agent. Includes home prep services and a backup cash offer from Orchard in case your home doesn't sell.
  • Buy & List: You can choose whether you want to focus on buying or selling first. You will work with an Orchard agent to shop for homes and get home prep services through Orchard's Concierge service if you choose.

Move First

Orchard's Move First can help you make a more competitive offer on a new home, while also avoiding the financial burden of paying two mortgages when buying and selling at the same time.

The process is simple:

  1. Complete a home assessment. Start by submitting basic information about your single-family home (such as the age and address) online.
  2. Access your equity. Based on the results of your initial home value estimate and your current home equity, Orchard will allow you to access a portion of your old home's value to pay down your mortgage and make a down payment on your next home.
  3. Purchase and move into your new home. You can buy a new home and move in right away! Orchard will cover mortgage payments on your old home until it sells.
  4. Prep and list your old home. Orchard will take care of repairs, staging and any other prep work needed to list your home. An Orchard agent will act as your listing agent. After your old home sells, your new home's title will be transferred to you.
  5. Settle your bill. You'll receive the profits from your old home's sale, minus your overlapping mortgage payments and Orchard's fees and expenses.

The company states that most homes sell within 120 days of listing. If your home hasn’t sold within 120 days of listing, Orchard will pay you the initial assessed value, what it calls the “instant equity” amount. This guaranteed offer gives you peace of mind in case you need to sell on a specific timeline.

To use its Move First service, Orchard charges a 2.4% program fee, plus a 6% brokerage fee.

What types of homes are eligible for Orchard?

The Move First program is specifically for homeowners wanting to sell their current home and buy a new home in one of Orchard’s markets.

You may be eligible if:

  • You’re selling a single-family home
  • Your home was built after 1920
  • Your home is not currently listed on the market
  • It’s located in one of Orchard’s service areas
  • It falls within Orchard’s approved home value range

The approved home valuation varies regionally, with most areas requiring a home value between $200,000 - $1,000,000, but expensive metros like Austin, TX and Denver have a higher cap at $1,500,000.
Homeowners may need to fix up their house instead of selling as-is if they want to work with Orchard.

List with Orchard

If you only need to sell — or are buying outside of Orchard's service area — you can still take advantage of Orchard's unique selling advantages by using List with Orchard. 

The process provides the same service as working with traditional, licensed real estate agents.

  1. Complete a home assessment. Orchard uses the information you submit to run a home assessment, determine if your home qualifies for its program, and to calculate the best listing price.
  2. Let Orchard prep and list your home. Orchard's listing package includes up to $1,000 of prep work, including a 3D tour, staging, and cleaning. Additional repair costs will be deducted from the profits of the sale.
  3. Close the deal. An Orchard agent will market your home. Once you accept an offer, your agent will help coordinate your closing. A closing officer from the title company will also walk you through the closing process. Orchard states most closing take 30-45 days on average. 

As part of its listing service, Orchard provides a guaranteed backup offer in case the market takes a turn or an initial offer falls through. If your home hasn't sold within 120 days of listing, Orchard will pay you the initial assessed value, what it calls the "instant equity" amount.

List with Orchard carries the same 6% brokerage fee as Move First. If you choose to sell to Orchard before the listing period has ended, there's an additional 1% fee to cover the costs of holding your home until it can be resold.

While Orchard claims that 95% of their home listings sell for more than the instant equity price tag, the guaranteed offer gives you peace of mind in case you need to sell on a specific timeline.

Buy & List

Orchard's Buy & List service lets homeowners choose whether they want to focus first on selling or buying. You work with an experienced, local realtor to help you buy a new home and sell your existing home. 

You also receive free listing preparation help with Orchard providing around $1,000 for marketing for free, including creating a 3D virtual tour and professional photos. They also will provide an online closing or mobile notary that comes to you. The cost to use the Buy & List service ranges from 5-6%.

You can only buy with Orchard if you use their Move First program or their Buy & List program. You work with an Orchard agent, who walks you through the whole home buying process similar to working with traditional realtors. They will help you identify your goals and price range so you find a home that meets your needs. 

You are not obligated to buy a home owned by Orchard. Your agent will show you all potential homes that fit your criteria. If you purchase a home owned by Orchard, separate agents will represent both sides.

If you use the Move First program, you can buy before you sell with an interest-free equity advance from Orchard to make a down payment. You pay Orchard back the equity advance once your original home sells. Additionally, Orchard will advance you four months of old home mortgage payments through the equity advance. 

Other Orchard services

  • Orchard Title: Orchard Title partners with third-party vendors (including First American and Notarize.com) to provide customers with title insurance, property searches, and settlement and escrow services.
  • Orchard Home Loans: Orchard Home Loans is Orchard's mortgage lending solution. However, its origination fee ranges from 0–3% — potentially adding up to much more than the typical 0.5–1%.
  • Orchard Homeowners Insurance: Orchard partners with Young Alfred (an insurance marketplace) to let you request and compare quotes online.
  • Orchard Concierge: This service helps you pay for home repairs and can be added to any Orchard program. There are no upfront costs. All costs will be deducted from your final proceeds. However, not all repairs are covered by this service, and Orchard chooses the contractors you’ll work with. The Renovation Lead will review a breakdown of all costs before work begins, so there are no surprises.

Orchard used to have a service, Offer Boost, that allowed you to turn your offer into an all-cash offer. However, this program appears to have been discontinued at this time.

Orchard locations

Orchard currently serves customers selling in 6 metropolitan areas:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Houston, TX
  • San Antonio, TX

According to their website, Orchard agents can help you buy a new construction or resale home in 21 states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, KS, LA, MI, NC, NM, OH, OR, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, and WA.

FAQs about Orchard

Is Orchard an iBuyer?

No, Orchard isn't an iBuyer. An iBuyer is a real estate company that buys homes for cash and relists them for a profit. Although Orchard does sometimes purchase homes directly, its business model is focused on helping customers access financing to buy a new home before their old one sells. In most cases, you'll still sell your old home on the open market.

Is Orchard Real Estate legit?

Yes, Orchard Real Estate is a legitimate real estate company that helps customers buy and sell homes. Its signature service allows you to purchase a new home before your old one sells. However, it's only available in select markets and for certain types of homes. See how Orchard works!

How much are Orchard's fees?

Orchard's charges a 6% service fee to help you buy and sell a home. While you won't have to pay an additional agent commission, you will have to pay closing costs and other expenses associated with their trade-in service. Learn more about Orchard's services and fees.

What is Orchard Home?

Orchard is a brokerage and mortgage lender that offers home trade-in services and cash offers for clients. Orchard buys homes on behalf of its clients using cash, then sells the homes back to the clients. Orchard also buys homes from trade-in clients if the home doesn't sell on the open market, hoping to sell the home to another buyer. Learn more about Orchard.

Why did Perch become Orchard?

Originally called Perch, the real estate company rebranded as Orchard in 2020. According to co-founder and CEO Court Cunningham, the name Orchard reflects "warmth, friendliness, and humanity." Learn more about Orchard.

Methodology

We evaluate each company that buys houses for cash based on four core criteria and create a weighted score:

  • Service quality (30% of final score)
  • Offer quality (20% of final score)
  • Fees and other costs (20% of final score)
  • Customer reviews (20% of final score)
  • Credibility (20% of final score)

Service quality

Customer experience. We rely on secret shopping and fact-checking interviews with company representatives to look for indicators that the company is professional, communicative, customer-focused, and ethical in its dealings with customers. We verify this information against customer reviews and interviews with past customers or professionals (realtors, former employees) who have had direct experience working with the brand. 

Offer quality

Price. While nearly all cash buyers pay less than market value for homes, we look at how competitive the company's offers are compared to similar companies.

Purchase criteria. We also look at the company's purchase criteria to see how flexible and accommodating they are in making offers. Companies that offer a fair price for homes that other buyers won't purchase can still get a high rating for offer quality.

Fees and other costs

Competitiveness. We look at how the company's fees and other costs compare to competitors.

Value. We consider whether the fees are justified by the value offered.

Customer experience

Review analysis. We perform an in-depth analysis of all the available customer reviews to determine trends. We break down the reviews by theme and sentiment, and filter out spam reviews to determine our rating.

Company responsiveness. Negative reviews are part of doing business; however, we take note of whether a company is actively involved in resolving customer complaints.

Credibility

Trust signals. We look at how long the company has been in business, the number of verified customer reviews it has, how willing the company was to answer questions about their business model when we contacted them, and how easy it is to find detailed information on their website — including the names and contact details of specific team members. We also look at customer reviews indicating whether the company acts with honesty and integrity in their business dealings. 

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