Frequently Asked Questions

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Buyers

What happens after my offer has been accepted?
You carry out due diligence in the same way as any homebuyer. Due diligence typically takes 10-14 days. You will need to arrange an inspection and share the results with Zenden. You should also apply to your lender for financing and authorize them to conduct an appraisal within the due diligence period. You will also need to share the findings of the appraisal with us. If your lender can’t carry out the appraisal in that time, Zenden may obtain a certified appraisal from a licensed or certified appraiser. Zenden can pull out of the sale if it is not satisfied with its due diligence.
Do I need to have an agent to use Zenden?
You can apply for Zenden even if you don’t have an agent yet. But you will need an agent to place Zenden-backed offers on homes once your application is approved. If you're looking for an agent, we're happy to recommend someone. Get in touch at info@usezenden.com
Do I need to get Zenden’s approval for every house I’d like to bid on?
Once your Zenden application has been approved, you can make offers on as many homes as you like within your price limit. You don't need to get separate approval for each offer.
What if I change my mind and decide I don’t want to buy the house after Zenden has bought it for me?
Zenden is designed for serious and committed buyers, to give you the best chance of winning the home you want by backing your offers with cash. When your financing is held up and we buy the house on your behalf, you can still move into the home and benefit from the extra time to finalize your mortgage. In return, you make a contractual commitment to close if you can obtain a mortgage or, if not, to pay rent at an agreed, fair market rate specified above, for as long as it takes to secure your mortgage – and not a day longer – up to a maximum of 6 months. If you're not comfortable making that commitment, then Zenden cash backing may not be the right solution for you.
What does the closing process look like if Zenden buys the home?
If you’re unable to secure financing in time, Zenden will buy the home on a second closing date (agreed with the seller), 5 working days after the original date. The seller gets paid in full, the agents get their commission in full and the buyer can move in straight away and rent from Zenden for up to six months until they're able to secure financing.
Do I have to use a specific agent or company?
Not at all. Anyone who is not a resident of the State of New York can apply to Zenden, whichever agent you're working with. If your agent hasn't heard about Zenden before, you should refer them to usezenden.com/agents
Will applying to Zenden affect my credit score?
No. We may perform a soft credit pull that will not show up on your credit history or affect your credit score.
What happens to my earnest money deposit if I’m not able to get a mortgage?
The rental lease lasts for 6 months. If you secure a mortgage during that period, you’ll be credited for the earnest money you paid. Earnest money is intended as an assurance that you will complete on the purchase. So obviously, if you don’t end up purchasing the home at all, we’ll be unable to reimburse you for it.
What documents do I need to submit in my Zenden Application?
You will need to upload scans or digital versions of the following documents (for yourself and your co-borrower if you have one):
  • Your most recent bank statements
  • Most recent paystub or W-2 from your employer
  • Mortgage pre-approval letter (don't worry if you don’t have pre-approval – it’s not a requirement)
Will I have to pay any additional fees to buy the home back from Zenden?
No. Provided you're able to close within 6 months of the original agreed date, you can buy your home from Zenden at the exact same price as we paid – no mark-up, no hidden fees. We'll credit your earnest money and any other seller's credits paid to us and you won't even have to pay the full month's rent – we'll calculate your rent up to the day you close the sale – and no later.
Will I still need to get a mortgage from a lender?
Yes, Zenden is not a home mortgage company, so you will still need to find financing for your home.
How do I make a cash-backed offer once I’m approved by Zenden?
Everything is done by your agent, so it's important that you provide their details when you apply for Zenden (although you can upload or change your agent details once you've been approved). Once you've found the home you want, advise your agent. They can generate your Zenden-backed offer in just a few minutes, and submit it to the selling agent. When an offer is generated, Zenden automatically creates and attaches two documents: 1) An approval letter addressed to the seller and a unique code for the seller to verify the approval of the Zenden cash offer on our website 2) An Exhibit to the Purchase and Sale Agreement, with the details of how the Zenden offer will work. If the offer is accepted, the buyer, the seller and Zenden will execute the Exhibit.
What documents do I need to submit in my Zenden Application?
No. It's free to apply and once you're approved, it's up to you whether to use it or not
Do I need to have a pre-approval from a lender to apply to Zenden?
No, having a mortgage pre-approval from a lender isn't required, but it might help. If you have a pre-approval, we will ask for a copy of it in your application.
What will my rent be if Zenden buys the home until I secure financing?
Monthly rent is based on a standard market formula of 0.75% of the home's value. For example, if your home costs $200,000, your monthly rent would be $1,500.
Who can apply to Zenden?
Anyone (who is not a resident of the State of New York). To qualify, you'll need to go through our short application process. Zenden is designed for individual homebuyers who are looking to finance their home purchase with a mortgage, and individual sellers who want the peace of mind of a cash backed deal.

Sellers

Why should I ask a buyer to make a cash-backed offer on my home?
When you accept an offer on your home, there are no guarantees that the deal will close. It can take time for buyers to arrange their financing. Sometimes they find that they can’t get a mortgage at all. Sometimes they just change their minds. A failed sale costs you time, money and sleep. When you sell to a Zenden-backed buyer, you don’t have to worry about the buyer’s financing disrupting the deal. Because if they can’t close, we will.
How much does Zenden cost?
A fee of 1% of the agreed purchase price of the home, paid by the seller at closing. No hidden fees, no additional costs, no mark-ups.
What's the difference between a traditional real estate transaction and a Zenden-backed real estate transaction?
A Zenden-backed transaction proceeds in the same way as a traditional home sale except at two key points:
  1. When the offer is accepted and the agreement is signed, the buyer and seller also enter into an agreement with Zenden, where the seller agrees to pay 1% of the sale price and in return Zenden commits to buying the home at the agreed closing date if the buyer can't finalize their mortgage on time, subject to the terms and conditions of the Exhibit.
  2. If the buyer is unable to close on the agreed date, Zenden steps in and closes on a second closing date, 5 days later. So rather than the whole deal getting postponed or cancelled altogether, the seller gets their money, the agents get their commission and the buyer gets the keys.
How do the inspection and due diligence work?
Due diligence works the same as with any home purchase. The buyer will arrange an inspection and either the buyer’s mortgage provider or Zenden will arrange a certified appraisal. The findings of both will be shared with Zenden. Zenden requires one additional working day of due diligence to ensure that we have reviewed all the relevant information. After that, provided Zenden is satisfied with the due diligence, the cash backing is formalized and you can relax knowing that the sale will close even if the buyer walks away.
How much does Zenden cost?
The fee is paid on the day the sale closes, whether it’s Zenden or the buyer who closes the sale.
Why should I use Zenden instead of selling to an instant buyer?
Instant buyers offer a quick sale but you may pay dearly for the convenience. They also have an inspection contingency which often translates to further deductions on the closing price. Instant buyers make their money by buying low and selling high on a fast turnaround, so they typically offer less than market value and typically charge a range of fees on top. According to Marketwatch , selling to an instant buyer can reduce the amount you receive from the sale by as much as 10% compared to selling with a real estate agent (after taking all costs into account). (source: Marketwatch July 6, 2019). By comparison, Zenden charges a flat fee of 1% of the sale price.
What if the appraisal value is lower than the sale price?
Zenden will still back the sale, and pay the lower of the appraisal value or agreed purchased price. You can go ahead with the sale at the original price provided the buyer agrees, but if the buyer is unable to complete the purchase, you can either sell to Zenden at the appraisal value or walk away from the deal with no penalty.
I just got a Zenden offer. What does it mean and how can I verify that it’s real?
Congratulations. This means that the person making the offer on your home has been approved for Zenden and has given you a cash backed offer. If you want to verify that the offer is genuine and backed by Zenden, click on “Verify an offer” in the menu at the top of this page and enter the unique code contained in the offer letter.
How can I start receiving Zenden-backed offers on my home?
Speak to your agent. If they're already registered with Zenden, they can start notifying interested buyers immediately of your preference for cash-backed offers. If your agent is not yet registered, either ask them to get in touch with us via our website at usezenden.com/agents, or send us their details and we'll reach out to them. If you don't have an agent and would like us to recommend one, please get in touch – our contact details are on the contact us page).

Agents

Do you have your own real estate agents?
No. We collaborate with agents – we don't compete with them. We believe that agents serve an important role in helping buyers and sellers and we would like to empower agents with Zenden, especially in today’s market with instant buyers taking a growing share of transactions.
Is my commission affected by Zenden cash backing?
Not at all. If we buy the house because the buyer can't secure financing, you still get your fee in full at closing. In fact, you'll benefit from knowing exactly when you'll get your commission once a Zenden-backed offer is accepted, and you can increase your productivity by fewer broken deals.
What does it cost to become a Zenden-registered agent?
Nothing.
When do I get paid?
As an agent you will get paid at closing as usual, regardless of who buys the house – the buyer or Zenden.
What help do you provide agents who want to promote Zenden to their clients?
We work in close collaboration with buying and listing agents, and will provide you with everything you need to deliver the benefits of Zenden cash backing to your clients, including fact sheets, marketing materials, presentations and sales scripts. And if there’s anything you need help with, we’re just an email or phone call away.

General

This sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?
There's no catch and no hidden fees. Zenden is free to buyers, and we charge a 1% fee to sellers. If the buyer is unable to close on time and we step in to buy the home, the buyer commits to rent from us on a 6-month lease, with a monthly rent equivalent to 0.75% of the purchase price. This rent is agreed upfront when the sale contract is signed, so there are no surprises. What’s more, the buyer stops paying rent on the day they purchase the home from us, and we’ll credit the balance of that month’s rent plus the original earnest money deposit and any other seller credits that we received from the original purchase agreement. It really is as simple as that. The seller gets peace of mind that their sale will close.
What does Zenden do with my financial data?
We take our customers’ privacy very seriously, and use what we think are strong safeguards to preserve the integrity, confidentiality, and security of all personal information collected through our services. See our Privacy Policy for additional details.
Does Zenden collect my Social Security Number?
No. We collect information to verify your identity and contact details and to assess your income, assets and credit history, but that does not include your social security number.
How is Zenden different from a lender?
We don't lend money. You will still need to get a mortgage if you make a Zenden backed offer – it's just that you'll have more time to do it. Zenden cash backing means that if you can't secure a mortgage before the closing date, Zenden will buy the house and rent it to you for up to six months until you can buy it back from Zenden at the original price.
What’s the difference between Zenden and a bridge loan?
Bridge loans are for sellers who want to buy a new home before they've sold their current home and buyers who haven’t secured a mortgage yet. They usually carry high interest rates. Zenden doesn't lend money or charge interest, but we do offer a better solution to the timing problem (and, at only 1% of the sale value, less expensive than a bridge loan). By asking buyers to make Zenden-backed offers, sellers who are looking to buy can be confident that the sale will close, and they'll receive their money on the agreed close date – even if the buyer hasn't secured their financing. So they can make the down payment on their next home confident that they can close on time without expensive borrowing.
What’s the difference between Zenden and an instant buyer?
Instant buyers make their money by buying low and selling high on a fast turnaround, so they typically offer less than market value, and typically charge a range of fees on top. According to Marketwatch, selling to an instant buyer can add as much as 10% to the overall cost of selling a home (source: Marketwatch July 6, 2019). Zenden-backed buyers are people looking for a home, not companies looking for a profit, so sellers can negotiate a fair market price and not get lowballed. Zenden gives sellers the peace of mind of knowing that the sale will close on schedule, but without the eye-watering price of an instant buyer.
What's the difference between Zenden and a lease-to-own solution?
Lease-to-own is a home financing solution for buyers who don't have the cash for a down payment and are unlikely to get approved for a mortgage. It can be expensive, with complicated contracts and hidden pitfalls, and it can take a long time to build up any meaningful equity. Zenden is for both sellers and buyers. To qualify for Zenden, the buyer needs the cash for a down payment, and be eligible for a mortgage. We give buyers the ability to make strong cash-backed offers, increasing the chance of winning the home the buyer wants and giving the seller greater certainty that the sale will close even if the buyer can't secure financing in time.