You already know Amazon is trying to take over the world by offering pretty much every product and service imaginable. Now, the world's largest online marketplace is selling homes -- sort of. But do you get same-day delivery?
Amazon has partnered with a residential real estate brokerage company to provide new homeowners up to $5,000 in coupons, products and services. The new partnership is called TurnKey.
We'll explain how TurnKey works and Amazon's role in the partnership. We'll also show you what Amazon offers based on how much you pay for your new home.
Amazon partners with real estate company
Amazon has partnered with Realogy, the largest residential real estate brokerage company in the U.S. to create TurnKey. Realogy owns Century 21 and Coldwell Banker and is affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, Better Homes and Gardens, and ERA Real Estate.
Amazon operates as a gateway to Realogy. By visiting amazon.com/turnkey you are immediately sent to a page where you answer a few questions and a Realogy agent will call you.
Serious buyers are then matched with a real estate agent. People who close on a home worth at least $150,000 will receive a coupon for Amazon Home Services.
Officials at Realogy said the program currently operates in 15 cities: Phoenix; Los Angeles; Sacramento, California; San Francisco; Denver; Tampa, Orlando; Atlanta; Chicago; Minneapolis; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. It was test piloted in Orlando.
This isn't the first time Amazon has entered the real estate market in some capacity. According to the Real Deal, last summer Amazon joined forced with the Realogy-owned brokerage company the Corcoran Group to set up a brokerage-curated page on Amazon.
The page also sent referrals to Corcoran Group agents. In 2017, Amazon briefly launched an initiative called "Hire a Realtor."
Looking at the TurnKey deal, Amazon is the big winner. Realogy will pay for the Amazon perks through sales commissions.
Amazon offers deals to new homeowners
Homebuying is always stressful and expensive, especially if you're a first-time buyer. That's why Amazon's role in TurnKey is so appealing.
A person who purchases a home that costs at least $150,000 will receive a coupon worth between $450 and $1,500 -- depending on how much the buyer spent on the home -- for Amazon Home Services. Amazon Home Services includes things like cleaning, furniture assembly, and unpacking.
New homeowners also get $500 to $3,500 in smart home products such as the Echo Dot, the Echo Show and the Ring doorbell installed for them by Amazon. Some homebuyers can get up to $5,000 in Amazon goods, products and services if they purchase a home that costs more than $700,000.
For that chunk of change, homeowners get six Amazon Echo products, a Ring Doorbell, a variety of smart locks, hubs and lightbulbs, Fire TV technology, Sonos speakers and more. They'll also enjoy $1,500 in credits toward Amazon Home Services.
After acting as a gateway to Realogy, Amazon doesn't enter the home-buying process again until the deal is closed. Another perk for buyers is a gift voucher for Amazon Move, which offers services and products to help people relocate.
Amazon said the coupons and services will be provided through an Amazon gift card. The company stressed that buyers can use the gift cards however they want.
What's the catch?
Here's the rub. Once you buy that home, you'll have to enter a promotional code in Amazon to get your deals. At that point, Amazon obtains more of your data. It's unknown how or if the data will be used.
Another downside for consumers is that there is a very limited number of real estate agents that can take part in TurnKey. One expert told Forbes that limits consumers' choices in finding the right real estate agent for them.
On its TurnKey website, Realogy said that only 11 percent of its eligible agents qualify to participate in the program. Still, for some homebuyers, the Amazon treats may make it worth their while to work with a limited choice of real estate agents. Free is free.
Find out what people might pay for your house
As with any big decision, equipping yourself with the right information and tools is imperative. After all, there are many considerations that go into buying, selling, or renting a home.