Driving down I-40 or the Beltline, it’s hard to miss his smiling face, with gleaming white teeth, looking down at you.
“Guaranteed cash offer on your house!” her sign declares, in large capital letters, on a deep red background. “Spain Real Estate Brand.”
Slightly below in smaller print: “Subject to terms and conditions.”
His face is so ubiquitous in the Triangle and across the state that it has people speculating about his advertising budget and led one Charlotte Reddit user to mail: “Mark Spain, please go!”
That, of course, made us wonder: Who is this? Spain brand? Where did he come from? And why is he so eager to buy his house?
This is what we have learned. (Mark Spain, who could authoritatively answer those questions, declined to be interviewed for this article.)
Who is Marcos Spain?
Spain brand51, is an Atlanta native and graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
He is also a second generation real estate agent. His father, Terry Spain, founded the Spanish Re/Max Realty team in Georgia.
In 1997, he took over the family sales team and increased volume from $40 million to $62 million. Real Estate Agent Magazine‘s 30 Under 30 highlighted and quadrupled the sales force to 13 people, including his brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Debbie.
“If vendors don’t adopt the technology, they will disappear,” he said in the interview. “I also believe that in the future, fewer people will do more business. “We want to be among them.”
In 2011, he joined Keller Williams Realty to form the “Mark Spain” team before launching his own brokerage, Mark Spain Real Estate, in 2016. He offers home sales services, as well as home buying and rental options. .
He lives in Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta, and is married to Lisa Spain and has three children. His net worth in 2023 will be $110 million, according to rich gorilla.
He also volunteers at the Forsyth County Family YMCA and runs the Marcos Spain Foundation.
How big is Mark Spain Real Estate?
In 2016, Spain launched his own brokerageheadquartered in Alpharetta with an additional office in Athens.
Today, his firm has more than 400 agents with 16 offices spread across the Southeast. In 2022 alone, the company sold more than $3.8 billion in residential real estate, according to its LinkedIn account.
What is your business model?
Mark Spain is known as “iBuyer,” short for instant buyer, and is among several players in the marketplace: Opendoor, Zillow Offer, and Offerpad, to name a few.
iBuyers Use artificial intelligence to determine the value of a home and then buy it directly from the owner for cash for a quick and easy sale.
Mark Spain is best known for his Guaranteed Offer program. To qualify, homes must be single-family, built after 1960 and valued between $50,000 and $650,000. They must also be owner-occupied or vacant, not distressed, not owned by a bank, and not be in or near flood zones, according to the company website.
Although Mark Spain does not reveal details, iBuyers usually pay less than market value for households, sometimes much less. They also charge service fees between 5% and 8% of the sales price, but can be up to 14% of the sales price, depending on the home and location.
Once an iBuyer purchases a home, they can rehab it and sell it like any other property.
On average, Mark Spain sells more than 57 homes a day, according to the company website says.
With 233% revenue growth in three years, the company ranked 103rd in Inc. Magazine List of the fastest growing private companies in the Southeast region.
The pros and cons
Instant home selling solutions, such as Mark Spain and Opendoor, have gained strength in recent yearssaid Derrick Thornton, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Advantage in northeast Raleigh.
The business emerged during the pandemic chaos and remains an option for those looking to streamline the process. It gives sellers less uncertainty. It’s also convenient, he said.
“Sellers avoid the hassle of having to show their homes. They also prevent the possibility of buyer remorse or problems with financing. It avoids appraisal shortages and a host of other potential problems.”
On the other hand, sellers may be leaving cash on the table.
According research from real estate data firm Collateral Analytics, iBuyers cost home sellers between 13% and 15% of the sales price of a home, while agents cost between 5% and 7%. That’s a difference of up to $20,000 on a $200,000 home.
“There is often a price to pay and it can vary depending on the situation,” Thornton said. “The seller must decide how much he values convenience.”
Cory Sherman, a broker with Homegrown Real Estate in Durham, said cash offers from Mark Spain and others have their place in the market.
“People buy and sell real estate for a million different reasons. As a result, there are millions of different ways to buy and sell real estate,” he stated.
But in most cases there are better alternatives. “If the goal is to get the most money, I would suggest putting it on the open market,” he said.
This story was originally published. August 21, 2023, 7:00 am