Orchard Real Estate: The Reviews You NEED to Read!

Andrew Whytock

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Andrew Whytock

July 28th, 2021
UpdatedΒ July 28th, 2021

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What is Orchard real estate? |Orchard real estate reviews | How it works | Orchard homes criteria | Move First | Orchard fees | List with Orchard | Locations | Orchard vs. Knock

Orchard header logo

πŸ”‘ Key takeaways
  • Orchard real estate allows you to finance a new home purchase before selling your old one.
  • If your home doesn't sell on the open market within 30 days, Orchard will purchase it directly from you.
  • It's convenient, but Orchard real estate's fees, closing costs, and mortgage repayment can make it a pricier option than going with a traditional sale.

Orchard real estate, formerly known as Perch, is a company that helps home sellers qualify for financing on their new home before they've sold their old home.

To do this, Orchard lets you access up to 90% of the equity in your home before you sell, so that you can make a non-contingent offer on your new home. Orchard real estate reviews skew positive, with customers citing the convenience and flexibility the company offers.

However, before you choose Orchard, you should know that you probably won't save money β€” in fact, you might even spend more than you would with a traditional sale. You'll also have to work with the company's in-house agents, rather than choosing your own.

On the other hand, if you're in a hot seller's market and want to find the best agent for your next home sale or purchase, Clever can introduce you to top agents in your local market. Agents will have a better understanding of just how quickly homes are selling and if an option like Orchard makes sense.

Better yet, with Clever's partner agents, you'll receive full service support, but you'll pay just $3,000 or 1% in listing fees. To put that in perspective, selling with Clever could save you $10,000 on a $500,000 home!

πŸ’° SAVE: Sell fast with a top local agent, save thousands on commission!

What is Orchard?

Orchard real estate, at a glance
πŸ’° Orchard fees
6%
⭐ Average customer rating
4.6/5
βœ… Programs and services
Move First, List with Orchard, Offer Boost, Instant Equity
πŸ“ Locations
11 metros across CO, GA, NC, TX, and VA
☎️ Contact
Phone: (844) 819-1373 | Email: hello@orchard.com

First launched in 2017, Orchard real estate's services make it easier for you to buy a new home before selling your old one.

The company offers two main programs:

  • Move First: Access equity in your current 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.

These services can help you make a more competitive offer on a new home, while also avoiding the financial burden of paying two mortgages at once.

However, Orchard doesn't save most customers money. Orchard's website suggests you'll only have to pay its 6% service fee β€” but by the time you cover closing costs, and offer a competitive buyer's agent fee of ~3% if you sell your home, the final bill may be as much as or more than a traditional sale.

Looking for more information about Orchard fees? Find it here!

πŸ”Ž Is Orchard an iBuyer?

An iBuyer is a real estate company that makes near-instant cash offers on select homes.

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.

Β» LEARN: What is an iBuyer? (And Should I Sell My House to One?)

How Orchard real estate works

Orchard offers a range of services, including its signature Move First and List With Orchard programs. Below, we break down how each one works β€” plus list the additional services you might encounter if you choose Orchard.

Access your old home's equity with Move First

Orchard real estate's Move First program makes it possible for you to buy your new home and move before Orchard sells your old home.

The process is simple:

  1. Complete a home assessment. Start by submitting basic information about your home (such as the age and address) online.
  2. Access your equity. Based on the results of your home assessment and your current home equity, Orchard will allow you to access up to 90% of your old home's value to purchase 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.

List with Orchard

The company's other service, List with Orchard, is similar to working with a traditional real estate agent:

  1. Complete a home assessment. Orchard uses the information you submit to 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 to potential buyers and work to find the right buyer as quickly as possible.

Listing with Orchard has the same service fee (6%) as Move First. If your home doesn't sell within 30 days, you can still sell your home directly to Orchard.

Additional Orchard services

  • Offer Boost: Orchard lets you make an all-cash offer on your next house β€” giving you an edge in competitive markets. Though there are no extra fees, you'll have to use an Orchard Home Loan, which has an origination fee that can be up to 6x more than a traditional lender. Plus, you'll pay $30-50 per day you've lived in your new home before your old home sells.
  • 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 that's currently available in CO, GA, and TX. However, its origination fee ranges from 0-3% β€” 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.

How much are Orchard's fees?

Orchard fees for its Move First service start at 6% of your home's value. Orchard claims that their agents negotiate so that sellers pay no closing costs, but you'll still have to pay standard closing costs (usually 2-5%) for your new home. You may face additional fees if you work with Orchard, or use their additional in-house services.

How much does Move First cost?
🀝 Service fee
6%
πŸ’° Closing costs (home purchase)
2-5%
πŸ› οΈ Repair deductions
1-2%
🏑 Mortgage repayment
Varies
πŸ’΅ Misc. expenses (Utilities, taxes, etc.)
Varies

While Orchard offers a lot of convenience when you sell your home, you could end up paying more than if you sold on the open market. That may make sense for your local market, but it's always a good idea to get a second opinion on how quickly homes are actually selling in your area.

Need to find an agent? Clever is a free service that connects you with agents from top brokerages including Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Coldwell Banker. You'll receive full service support while paying just $3,000 or 1% in listing fees. AND, eligible buyers can receive cash back at closing!

πŸ‘‹ Match with top local agents, get unbelievable savings!

Clever has saved thousands of happy customers over $50 million β€” we can help you keep more money in your pocket too!

With Clever:  

β€ƒβœ… Sellers pay only $3,000 or 1% in listing fees

β€ƒβœ… Buyers get up to 0.5% cash back on eligible purchases

β€ƒβœ… You'll work with a full-service realtor with pricing expertise in your local market

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. You can interview as many agents as you like, or walk away at any time. Enter your zip code to find a top local agent today!

Can I sell my home to Orchard?

Yes, Orchard real estate purchases select homes directly from sellers. Your home may qualify if:

  • It was built between 1950 and 2017
  • It's located within one of Orchard's service areas
  • It fall within Orchard's approved home value range

Note that approved home values vary regionally β€” for example, while home values in most areas must be between $150,000 and $600,000, expensive metros such as Denver have a higher cap of $1 million.

The main way Orchard buys homes is through its Instant Equity program. Orchard will list your home on the open market for 120 days.

Then, if you're unable to find a buyer, Orchard will buy your home for the Instant Equity amount that you agreed to upfront, plus an additional 1% fee.

πŸ”Ž How much does Orchard pay?

It's safe to assume that Orchard pays less than fair market value for homes that don't sell on the open market. According to its website, Orchard pays "up to 90%" of your home's value β€” but keep in mind that your offer could be for much less.

Orchard's closest competitor, Knock, is transparent about the fact that it pays 80-85% of fair market value.

You're also free to continue trying to sell on the open market with your Orchard agent.

A real estate agent can make or break your experience while buying or selling a home. That's why it's important to choose an agent whose judgment you trust and who knows your local market conditions.

Unlike Orchard, Clever matches you with multiple agents from leading brokerages so you can choose the best fit for you. Even better, our partner agents work for pre-negotiated low rates of $3,000 or 1% β€” allowing you to get great service while earning more from your sale!

πŸ‘‹ Not eligible for Orchard?

If your home isn't eligible for Orchard, you can still work with a top-rated real estate agent while saving thousands on commission.

With Clever: 

βœ… You'll only pay $3,000 or 1% to list your home 

βœ… You'll work with a full-service realtor from a top broker 

βœ… It's free, with zero obligation β€” you can walk away at any time

Saving on realtor fees doesn't have to mean sacrificing service. Find a top local agent today!

Orchard real estate locations

State
Metros
Colorado
Denver-Colorado Springs
Georgia
Atlanta
Maryland
Montgomery County
North Carolina
Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham
Texas
Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
Virginia
Northern Virginia

Orchard real estate reviews

On third-party review sites, Orchard reviews skew mostly positive with 4.6/5 stars based on 160+ reviews on Trustpilot. On the Better Business Bureau, Orchard reviews are 3.8/5 stars based on 10 reviews.

This is what real customers had to say about Orchard's service.

βœ… Positive Orchard reviews

Overall, Orchard real estate reviews highlight themes such as the:

  • Ease of buying and selling without having to pay two mortgages at once
  • Efficiency of Orchard's home advisors
  • Professionalism of Orchard's customer service team

Lora said that the process was easy and transparent from start to finish:

Lora

Cabot said that working with Orchard reduced the stress of coordinating a home purchase and sale at the same time:

Cabot

Larry said that Orchard gave him flexibility when he needed more time to close on his new house:

Larry

❌ Orchard real estate complaints

Unfortunately, not every customer has a positive experience with Orchard. Themes from Orchard real estate complaints include:

  • Bad home prep (poor cleaning, cheap repairs)
  • Expensive repair estimates that drastically reduced the seller's final profits
  • Poor communication between sellers and the Orchard team

Note that many of these negative reviews were submitted prior to Orchard's rebranding, when the company was still called Perch.

It's possible that the service has improved since the company's rebranding β€” but it's also possible that the new name was a reaction to negative feedback that was undermining the company's credibility.

Carrie complained that Perch (Orchard) dropped the initial valuation of their house by $36,000 solely because there was a busy street and an electrical tower behind their property:

Carrie

Lindsay said that despite a good inspection, Orchard's final offer dropped significantly:

Lindsay

Lauren purchased a home from Orchard and was disappointed by communication issues and the quality of Orchard's repairs:

Lauren

While Orchard reviews can help illuminate how the service works, we always recommend exploring all your options.

Unlike Orchard, Clever can help you save thousands of dollars AND you get to choose the best agent for your home purchase or sale. Our partner agents come from top brokerages, so you won't have to compromise on getting the full service you deserve!

πŸ‘‹ Need a great agent on your side?

Connect with top local agents who can help you sell on time and for top dollar. You'll pay just $3,000 or 1% in listing fees, helping you save thousands!

Orchard vs. Knock

Knock is another home trade-in service that allows buyers to move into their new home before selling their old one.

Below, we break down how the two services compare. For more information, check out our in-depth Knock review!

Criteria
Knock
Orchard
⭐ Average customer rating
4.8
4.6
πŸ“ Locations
50 metros across AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MN, NC, SC, TN, and TX
11 metros across CO, GA, MD, NC, TX, and VA
πŸ§‘β€πŸ’Ό In-house agents?
Find your own agent
βœ…
🚚 Move first
βœ…
βœ…
πŸ› οΈ Assistance with repairs
Interest-free Home Swap loan (up to $25,000)
Deducted from proceeds
πŸ”’ Backup offer
βœ…
βœ…

Should you choose Orchard?

βœ… Pros
❌ Cons
Your new home purchase isn't contingent on the sale of your old one
No real cost savings compared to listing with an agent
Receive a cash offer if your home doesn't sell on the open market
Only available in certain markets for homes that meet the company's criteria
Avoid paying two mortgages simultaneously
You'll still have to pay back any overlapping mortgage costs

If you live in a competitive market or are struggling to coordinate a home purchase and sale, Orchard's offerings may be compelling.

However, you'll have to work with Orchard's in-house agents β€” and when you settle up at the end of the process, you might end up losing a significant portion of your proceeds to fees and closing costs.

With Clever, you're free to interview as many agents as you'd like until you find the perfect fit. You'll receive full service support during your sale β€” but you'll pay just $3,000 or 1% in listing fees, helping you keep thousands more in your pocket!

πŸ‘‹ Next steps: Talk to an expert

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

Our fully-licensed concierge team is standing by to answer questions and provide free, objective advice on getting the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your info below. Our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

Remember, this service is 100% free and there’s never any obligation.

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FAQs

</p><p>Yes β€” Orchard real estate is a legitimate business that helps customers buy and sell homes. Its signature service allows you to purchase a new home <em>before </em>your old one sells. However, it's only available in select markets and for certain types of homes. <a href="https://listwithclever.com/real-estate-blog/orchard-real-estate/#criteria" style="color:blue">Check out Orchard's criteria to see if you're eligible!</a></p><p>

</p><p>Orchard claims that you'll only have to pay its 6% service fee β€” but that doesn't include repairs or closing costs on your new home (usually 2-5%). By contrast, working with a low commission realtor can help you save thousands. <a href="https://listwithclever.com/real-estate-blog/which-real-estate-company-has-the-lowest-commission/" style="color:blue">Compare Orchard to the best low commission real estate companies.</a></p><p>

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