Editor’s note: Accept.inc is no longer in operation. It appears to have been absorbed into HomeLight, which acquired the company in 2022. This post will remain active for archival purposes.
What is Accept.inc?
Accept.inc is a lender that helps first-time buyers make cash offers.
First-time homebuyers have a hard time getting their offers accepted in today’s market. New buyers are losing out to buyers with all cash — or just stronger offers than their own.
Founded in 2016, long before the pandemic housing boom, Accept.inc founders saw this problem and set out to create a new way to buy a home.
How’s it going? Let’s find out.
How Does Accept.inc work?
Accept.inc is pretty aggressive compared to most cash offer programs.
It buys the house you want in cash in as little as 10 days. Then, it completes the mortgage and re-sells the home to you.
To the seller, it looks like any other cash offer. And, according to Redfin, cash offers have a 4x better chance of being accepted. As the name suggests, Accept.inc is all about getting you an accepted offer.
The process goes like this:
- Get a traditional pre-approval: You get fully pre-approved by submitting all your documentation and getting your credit pulled.
- Get “cash approved”: You go through an extra level of approval to make cash offers.
- Value Check: Find a home. Accept.inc will do a proprietary value check to ensure the home will appraise for that amount. If you have extra assets, you can agree to bid above the value. If the appraisal comes in lower than Accept.inc’s value estimate, they cover the difference.
- Submit your cash offer: Make an offer using Accept.inc’s cash. If desired, you can make an offer without an appraisal or financing contingency. Hopefully, it’s accepted.
- Purchase the home: You use Accept.inc’s cash to close in as little as 10 days.
- Move in, close the mortgage: Accept.inc then finishes the mortgage process via a refinance within about 14 days for conventional financing and 21 days for FHA financing.
With this buy-first-finance-later approach, the company removes a lot of the time and stress involved in the pre-close process. Plus, it gives the seller the confidence that the loan will close quickly and on time.
Accept Inc Reviews – FAQ
According to Accept.inc, it enables cash offers with no additional fees to you. CTO Ilya Kirnos told TechCrunch in June 2021 that the company “makes money off mortgage origination and title, meaning sellers, homebuyers and their agents pay no additional cost for the service.” Jennifer Shapiro, a company spokesperson, told a Denver news station in an interview that Accept.inc is similar to other mortgage companies, making money from selling the loan on the secondary market. Because it’s a lender, it can make money from the transaction, not the cash offer itself.
No. An iBuyer purchases a home without a specific buyer lined up. It then tries to sell the home later for a profit. Accept.inc does not purchase a home unless the buyer gets pre-approved for a cash offer, then gets their offer accepted by the seller.
Accept.inc is a legitimate company, though it appears to have been rolled into HomeLight, which acquired it in 2022 and is no longer in operation. It still has a profile with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) where it’s licensed in 16 states and D.C.
Accept.inc currently operates in Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona and the Portland and Seattle areas. The company states that it is looking to grow into other markets soon.
If it’s determined that you were acting irresponsibly, Accept.inc may not complete the mortgage. Instead, it will buy the home back from you, but you will be responsible for agent commissions and other costs of selling it on the open market up to 5% of the price. This is why it’s important not to make any large purchases, lose your job, or otherwise damage your credit, income, or asset profile after making an offer.
As of January 2023, you can apply for a conventional loan, jumbo loan, FHA loan, and in Colorado only, a VA loan.
Conventional: 5% down
Jumbo: 10.1% down
FHA: 3.5% down
VA: zero down
HomeLight’s acquisition of Accept.inc
In June 2022, another cash offer startup, HomeLight, acquired Accept.inc. As of January 2023, both brands are mentioned on its site. The company still offers the same services as it did before the acquisition.
Accept Inc reviews and analysis
Though the service is relatively new, there are legitimate customer reviews across a few platforms. Below, I’ve summarized some of the most helpful ones.
Reddit user ggmarie20 said fees and rates were less than other lenders. However, even with a cash offer, they were unsuccessful in purchasing a home. This user said it was more difficult to set an amount over the appraised value that you’re willing to pay. My own comment: I’m not sure why this is, because Accept.inc does not limit the amount you can bid over their value pre-check. Still, this user saw it as an issue. One valuable piece of information, which was from one year ago, was that Accept.inc had a waitlist. It’s unclear whether this is still the case.
User MicroCapInvestor stated it took two days to be approved through Accept, which is about in line with company estimates. According to this user, Accept.inc asked for more documentation than a normal lender. My comment: This is to be expected since they are buying the house cash for you upfront, which entails more risk for them. This user also stated there is no fee to be on the waitlist and no fee for the pre-appraisal value check. Later in the string, the user stated they went under contract on a home at 3% over asking price, even though there were higher bids. My comment: sounds like the cash aspect did help in this case. Overall, this user seemed pleased with the company and recommended them to other users in the string.
A deleted user stated Accept.inc approved them at $150,000 below other lenders. This didn’t come up in any other review. But it’s quite possible since Accept may be more conservative since they are fronting the money.
User ForksnCups was referred to Accept by their realtor. This user said the service was a “game changer” and after going months and months of making traditional offers, they got an accepted offer the first time using Accept.inc.
Another user HighTrek678 brings up a good point that Accept is in “startup mode” and that’s why it seems too good to be true. They are taking the risk to prove the concept to investors, but buyers don’t have that risk. My comment: The company has raised $90 million from outside investors, says TechCrunch. This allows them to lose money for a time to prove the concept. Will the service always cost the same as any lender? It’s hard to tell. But for now, it could be a good opportunity to squeeze more value out of your lender.
Bigger Pockets reviews
The leading investment real estate site, Bigger Pockets, features a question from a user looking to pick up a short-term rental. There’s not a lot of information on the thread, but I found it kind of refreshing that one of the co-founders left a comment with his personal email asking to contact him with any questions. Accept’s website doesn’t clarify whether the program is only for primary residences, or if you can use it for investment properties and second homes. I’ll update this post with an answer.
A user on Facebook praised Accept staff for guiding them through the process. This user summed up the process well: “The Accept process is slightly different than when using a conventional loan. Instead of being the buyer in a single transaction, you’re the buyer in the second of two transactions. The first (cash) transaction is between Accept and the seller and the second between you and Accept.”
Zillow & Trustpilot reviews
Oddly, the company only has one Zillow review, from when the company was called BoardRE, and it’s about a refinance. The company has no reviews on Trustpilot. This is a bit concerning, and if I were only looking at these two sources, I might be on guard. Having essentially no reviews on Zillow as a mortgage company could be a red flag, but other sources like Reddit providing authentic reviews would put my mind at ease if I were considering this service.
Overall thoughts on customer reviews
After reading a lot of reviews, there are a lot of skeptics, but I think HighTrek678 from Reddit hit the nail on the head: it seems too good to be true because the company is proving out a model. While this may be at tech investors’ expense, the first-time homebuyer is the benefactor. It could be a good idea to use Accept.inc while there are still no additional fees to do so.
Accept.inc vs other cash offer companies
Accept.inc seems to be a good value compared to other lenders offering similar programs. While I can’t get into details of each program, here’s a snapshot of costs.
|Cash Offer Program
|Similar fees to any mortgage lender
|Better Cash Offer
|1.25%-4% of sales price depending on lender/agent used
|1% of sales price unless partner lender used
|Paid via real estate commissions
|$1,450 lender fee which covers typical lender charges
Among similar companies, this program is most like Knock GO, in that it’s offered by a lender that makes its money from the transaction, not the cash offer service.
Accept.inc appears to be a legitimate business that is helping first-time buyers break into the market using a legit cash offer.
Reddit users who have nothing to gain seem to leave glowing reviews, which drives home the company’s legitimacy. A lot of companies can create slick websites, but looking good on Reddit and other review sites is much harder.
Do your research and make sure you’re getting competitive rates and fees. And make sure you need a cash offer in the first place. As the market transitions into a buyer’s market, services like Accept.inc, Knock GO, and others may not be as needed.
But if your market is a fraction as fierce as it has been over the past few years, Accept.inc could be, in the words of the Reddit user, a “game changer.”