Local homeowners with homes for sale may be tradition-bound when it comes to how they plan on being paid (that is, with money)—but not every homeowner is equally old-fashioned. As CNBC pointed out recently, dollars aren’t the only option. Their report, “Real estate catches onto the crypto craze as people buy homes with bitcoin,” promised to examine how real estate agents “are pivoting to work with the cryptocurrency…”
Crypto is Coming
The three-minute report that aired earlier this month did deliver on part of the premise, but fell short in verifying that much actual ‘pivoting’ has yet taken place. Boiled down to its verifiable elements, they reported —
- Cryptocurrencies are cited as a growing trend for Realtors® buying and selling homes with Bitcoin. Party-poopers might point out that since no number is given for either before or after, a “trend” might mean only a couple of actual transactions. That would constitute a trend if zero is the starting point.
- Crypto market capitalization is now pegged at $1.9 trillion. Party-poopers would have a hard time explaining that—even after last week’s $200 billion Bitcoin price plunge.
- CNBC’s Diana Olek (who has been reporting on cryptos for years) says that only three years ago, “selling a home with Bitcoin was almost impossible.”
Flash in the Pan?
As it digs deeper into the “craze,” CNBC does back off of adjectives like “mania,” preferring descriptions like “seeping” or “trickling in” to its effect on real estate. It turns out that “more and more” home sellers are “asking how to go about using Bitcoin as the form of currency.” In other words, “asking how” seems to be the actual trend that’s on “a steep incline”—while literally completing a sale may be a relative rarity. One reason is that in order to complete a sale, you need a crypto-real estate attorney and third-party escrow firm “experienced in how to transfer and hold the token.”
Despite the hurdles, few observers question the future of cryptocurrencies—or that of government-issued digital currencies. Especially at the high end of the luxury market, international buyers may be attracted by listings that include a price tag in Bitcoin. Admittedly, even those properties usually wind up being purchased with the less speculative alternative: cash.
A Bitcoin price tag might be an attention-getter, but that’s just one piece of the marketing mix. If you will be putting your own home for sale anytime soon, do call an agent to discuss what to expect in today’s market!