SQFTx raises seed round to launch do-it-yourself home-selling app

BOULDER — SQFTx Inc. has raised a $500,000 seed round of funding to help the company launch its do-it-yourself home-selling app nationally next month.

Co-founder James Simpson said Friday that the app initially will be available in an iOS version, with desktop and Android versions on their way soon.

SQFTx did a pilot launch of the app for Boulder County last fall, and has so far closed one sale, has contracted another deal, and has seven new listings in the Boulder area on their way. That’s in addition to listings coming online soon in Texas, Ohio, Maine and Pennsylvania.

“We have stuff happening in all these different areas already,” Simpson said.

The app, called SQFT, aims to give home sellers an alternative to listing with a full-service broker. Homeowners can sign up for the free app and create professional-looking listings of their homes that are then pushed to the Multiple Listing Service, Zillow and other online real estate sites. If a home sells, SQFT is then broker of record, handles the closing transaction and charges a 1 percent fee. If a buyer is represented by a broker, the seller is charged an additional 1 percent.

Sellers can use the app to schedule showings of their homes and negotiate directly with buyers.

SQFTx’s founders make clear that they’re not trying to replace traditional brokers. The company so far has 12 affiliate brokerages around the country that have exclusive rights in their ZIP codes to offer the SQFT services to their customers. If someone sells a home through the app in one of those zip codes, the affiliates become the selling brokers on the deals, collect the 1-percent commission, and then pay SQFTx a referral fee on the sale.

“We believe in brokerage,” said Simpson, a licensed broker himself. “We see this working really well with full-service, not trying to replace full-service.”

Simpson co-founded SQFTx with Mark Kreloff and Andy Brandt last year with a combination of their own funds and an angel-funding round.

The company has 10 employees, all based in its office at 900 Pearl St. Simpson said the company likely will add two more software developers and increase its business development and sales staff by a couple of more employees in the next few months.

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