FAQs

ALL FAQs

Roofstock is the leading marketplace for investing in real estate and offering investment properties in top U.S. markets. We provide research, analytics and insights to evaluate and purchase properties in attractive rental markets nationwide. From viewing the homes and their diligence documents to connecting with financing and property management services, Roofstock makes investing in real estate radically accessible, cost-effective and simple. 

Before Roofstock, there was no platform that allowed investors to view detailed financial, quantitative and qualitative information about single-family rental properties and be able to conduct transactions directly through an online platform. Information had to be pulled from a variety of sources, and investments often required local expertise and knowledge that was not easily available online. Only institutions with deep industry knowledge and connections could invest in single-family rentals at scale. 

Roofstock created a platform to address the lack of accessibility and efficiency of a typical real estate transaction by streamlining the entire transaction process and ongoing property management services. The attractive benefits of real estate investing, including monthly cash flow and appreciation potential, are available to a much wider audience and that audience can invest in properties over a much broader geographical area than previously possible.

Here’s what sets Roofstock apart:

  • One-stop shop for researching, buying, selling and connecting with partners for financing and property management
  • No geographic barriers – access listings from high-performing markets nationwide
  • Curated inventory from a range of sources with attractive investment potential 
  • Proprietary neighborhood scores to assess the quality of that area
  • Powerful analytics like the pros use
  • Support from our team throughout the process
  • Industry-leading Roofstock Guarantee that includes 30-day money back and guaranteed rental income on vacant properties

Most of the listings on the Roofstock Marketplace are independently owned, as the function of the platform is to connect buyers with sellers. Roofstock does have a small number of properties that were purchased and renovated to our Roofstock standards and made available on the marketplace as turnkey listings for our investors who want that type of inventory.  

Roofstock uses the latest available digital encryption technology to protect your information. We require credit card information in our transaction process, for which we use a secure, industry-standard credit card processing platform called Braintree. Roofstock does not share or sell your personal information to a third party — ever. 

Our fee structure varies depending on the type of listing, which are described below. But for all types of listings, our fees are favorable when compared to the traditional 6% of a typical real estate transaction fee.

For Exclusive listings, Roofstock charges a marketplace fee to buyers and a commission to sellers, as follows:

  • Buyers -- $500 or 0.5% of the purchase price, whichever is greater. This goes towards services we offer from transaction support to certification and guarantees that we offer. 
  • Sellers – 3% of the sale price or $2,500 (whichever is greater) on tenant-occupied and vacant properties. This fee goes towards services for sellers including certification, underwriting, consultation, custom marketing plans and transaction management. 

For Select listings:

  • Buyers -- $500 or 0.5% of the purchase price, whichever is greater. This goes towards services we offer from transaction support to certification and guarantees that we offer. 
  • Sellers – We do not represent sellers, but we do receive a 3% commission from sellers for our Buyer Broker services.

Yes. Roofstock Realty LLC is a licensed real estate brokerage and we partner with licensed brokers in states where we are not directly licensed.  

Roofstock combines deep operational experience with cutting edge-technology, which uniquely positions the company to bring real estate investing to a broad audience. Here are some milestones:

  • Surpassed $2 billion in transactions since its founding in early 2016, making Roofstock one of the fastest-growing proptech startups
  • Raised $133 million in venture capital since our founding in early 2016
  • Opened in 26 states within two years; now available in 70+ markets
  • The majority of our marketplace listings go into contract within 15 days.

The $3 trillion single-family rental (SFR) home investment category has shown strong performance over several decades. Today the U.S. has about 16 million rental homes (38% of all households) with an additional 13 million new rental households expected by 2030.1 

Despite these clear opportunities for investors, the SFR industry is historically opaque and challenging for investors to access. Roofstock’s founders are veterans of the SFR industry, and the company was born from their desire to spur change by opening the industry and its benefits to everyday investors, fueled by the founders’ combined decades of SFR experience. 

Historically, SFR performance has been largely independent of the stock market. For instance, while we saw a downturn in both the stock market and home prices during the 2008 housing crisis, SFR rent remained fairly steady and even grew during the same time frame.2 This non-correlated performance makes SFR a good option for portfolio diversification and building long-term wealth.

SFRs have similar occupancy and operating margins to multifamily, but with lower turnover. This is advantageous to the owner, as the time and expenses to turn a property and get a new tenant in place can cost several thousands of dollars. 

Please note that the Roofstock marketplace has begun to expand our offering beyond SFRs into other categories such as small multi-family. Be sure to check out our marketplace for our latest offering.

Sources: 1 Green Street Advisors 2016; 2 John Burns Real Estate Consulting 2019

  • Account Executives – We help buyers get started and support them learn how to use the site and get started or scale with Roofstock.
  • Account Management - This skilled team works directly with investors as they look to sell multiple properties through the marketplace. 
  • Transaction Coordination - Although we are not the buyer’s agent, our full-service transaction services team that helps buyers navigate and stay on track during escrow and closing.
  • Customer Success – We offer ongoing support even after you have closed on a Roofstock transaction.
  • Roofstock Academy - We give investors the insights they need to be successful via a comprehensive educational program featuring best-in-class curriculum, personalized coaching and an active community of investors.

We’re glad you asked. We have numerous resources, including:

  • Roofstock Learning Center provides a comprehensive resource for investing in real estate, including How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing - The Complete Guide, which covers five basic steps essential in getting started in real estate investing. 
  • Rooftalk Webinar Series provides webinar recordings and their accompanying presentation materials - you will find everything from investment information to market overviews to webinars about the Roofstock platform. 
  • Roofstock Academy With 1-on-1 coaching from professionals, on-demand lectures, and support from a community of fellow investors, Roofstock Academy is a program to help you accelerate your journey with proven strategies and tools, whether you are new or scaling your portfolio.

To stay updated on all the latest information and offering, make sure to register for a Roofstock account.

Yes. As soon as there is an accepted offer on a property, it is removed from the marketplace and no longer available for another buyer to submit an offer. 

The Roofstock Marketplace offers two types of listings to meet the varying needs of our investors, and no matter which listing you purchase, every home is covered by our industry-leading Roofstock Guarantee <link to RSG>. Roofstock Exclusive properties are listed directly from the seller and are exclusive to the Roofstock Marketplace. Roofstock Select properties have been curated from public channels, such as the MLS, and identified as homes with strong investment potential, often as they hit the market. 

Roofstock Exclusive 

  • This property is available only through the Roofstock Marketplace and lets you "buy it now" at the list price.
  • The home will have completed a comprehensive inspection (unless otherwise indicated), title search and other diligence documents, all of which are available in the Diligence Documents (under the Analysis tab) to review. 
  • Your offer will have an inspection contingency if the latest inspection report is more than 4 months old. Please note that if you decide to order another inspection, you will need to pay for those inspection services.
  • Roofstock Realty LLC (or a Roofstock-affiliated broker) represents the seller in these transactions.

Roofstock Select 

  • This property was curated for its potential as being attractive investment opportunity from a public listing source such as the MLS.
  • You will be represented in the transaction by a Roofstock-affiliated real estate agent who is an expert in investment properties and the local market. 
  • Your offer will have an inspection contingency which allows you to obtain a home inspection during closing to review the home's condition.

A: We offer an industry-leading guarantee that allows you to invest with confidence, regardless of whether the home is leased or vacant.

30-Day Guarantee: If you are not satisfied with your purchase and the home passed a Roofstock-approved inspection prior to closing, contact us within 30 days of closing and we’ll start the refund process. 

Rent Guarantee: Enjoy guaranteed rent on vacant properties starting 45 days after the home is rent-ready. You must work with a Rent Guarantee-eligible Preferred Property Manager and the home must have passed a Roofstock-approved inspection prior to closing. Plus you will pay no monthly management fees until your property is leased. 

View details on our Roofstock Guarantee page. Note: Terms & Conditions apply.  

Within 45-days of closing, vacant properties must be made rent-ready (as determined by a Preferred Property Manager) in order to qualify for guaranteed rent under the Roofstock Guarantee. “Rent-ready” refers to the conditions required to achieve a predetermined market rent rate and a qualified tenant is able to move in to the property. All homes must be renovated in accordance with applicable health and safety standards and local building codes (in terms of structural integrity and operational systems). Depending on the home and market, improvements may include new or renovated flooring, cabinetry, countertops, appliances, paint and landscaping.  

New properties are being added to the site daily, so check back often or sign up to receive new listing alerts that meet your investment parameters. To be notified as soon as new listings hit the Roofstock marketplace, be sure to choose “be notified immediately” in your preferences when you sign up. 

Gross yield: A yield on investment property before any expenses. This is calculated as annual rent divided by purchase price.

Cap rate: Similar to gross yield but includes all of your expenses (except mortgage payment). This is calculated as net operating income divided by purchase price. Generally, a lower cap rate equates to a higher quality property. 

Cash-on-cash return: Cash income earned on the cash invested. This is calculated as annual cash flow divided by initial cash invested. 

Annualized return: Estimate of the value the investment generates over the time period for which you own it (including cash flow and appreciation).

Every investor has unique goals and objectives. We have guides designed to help you define your investment needs and best practices for honing in on markets and properties that fit your “buy box.” Check out our Rooftalk “Top Tips for Analyzing Properties” webinar here: https://youtu.be/W9v1PEM6HMA.

Both gross and net yield are metrics aimed at capturing the return on your investment. The difference: gross yield focuses on the total income generated and does not incorporate expenses, whereas net yield accounts for expected operating costs. 

Appreciation is a prediction of value based on current and anticipated market conditions and home condition. These estimates may be influenced by many factors, some specific to the local market and some related to the broader economy. Experienced professionals in in the residential investment industry produced the appreciation forecasts provided. Investors are encouraged to use the financial calculator on the property details page to explore how changing the assumptions, such as down payment and interest rate, will impact projected appreciation. 

For Roofstock Exclusive listings, an estimate is provided to Roofstock by the local property manager during the certification process. The Rent Guarantee applies to the market rent estimated provided by our local property management partner.

For Roofstock Select listings, the market rent is based upon an analysis of comparable properties. When a buyer's offer has been accepted, during the contingency period, our local property manager partner provides a rent estimate. The Rent Guarantee applies to the market rent estimated provided by our local property management partner.

The first step is to select a lender and get pre-approved by your lender. This is an important step, so you can get an idea of what your budget is. Then, when the right property appears, you will be ready to make a winning offer. 

On the Roofstock marketplace, initiate the purchase process by clicking the Add to Cart button or, on properties that are designated to entertain offers, you have the option to enter an offer amount and then click the Make Offer button from the property details page.

Typical offer steps may include:

Make Offer – You submit an offer directly to the seller through our platform. The seller will have two business days to make a decision, which can result in either:

  • Offer Accepted – The seller accepts your offer.
  • Counter Offer – The seller sends you a counter offer which you can either accept or respond with a counter offer of your own.
  • Offer Declined – The seller declined your offer because it may be too low or may have accepted an offer from another investor.
  • Offer Expired – The seller did not take action during the two business day period and the property may still be available on the marketplace.

Buy it Now – allows you to make an offer at the list price and immediately take it off the Roofstock marketplace. You will be prompted to secure the property by paying the Marketplace Fee. A Purchase and Sale Agreement will then be delivered to you for electronic signature/execution. The Purchase and Sale Agreement is usually signed in 24 hours by both parties, and the Escrow or Closing Agent will initiate the closing process by setting a closing date and sending closing documents for execution.

An Open House is a 48-hour promotional period during which a Roofstock Exclusive property is featured on the Roofstock Marketplace. Buyers are invited to submit bids during this time. At the close of the Open House, the seller has 24 hours to review all offers and accept, decline or negotiate. If there is no accepted offer by the end of the 24-hour seller review, the property is listed on the marketplace at its original list price or latest offer price, whichever is higher. All communication is done by email, so make sure to check and respond promptly during the 24-hour seller review period.

They both have advantages. With an occupied property, there’s no interruption of the current lease, so you start earning passive income right away. With a vacant property, you have the opportunity to renovate or add value to the property, and start fresh with a new lease and adjust rent to desired levels. 

The good news is that if you buy a vacant property and the property is in one of the areas covered by one of our Preferred Property Managers offering Rent Guarantee, you can opt to participate in our Guaranteed Rent program for up to 12 months. See details here.

In order to process your offer to the seller, we require your credit card information for two reasons:

  • It assures the seller that you are serious about the offer. They are often considering multiple offers, and this puts everyone on the same even playing field.
  • If your offer is accepted, your card will be charged the higher of $500 or 0.5% of the contract price. Roofstock removes the property from the marketplace as soon as the fee is paid. You are in contract to buy the property and proceed with closing.

The marketplace is structured so a personal visit isn’t really necessary, and in tenant-occupied properties, most sellers feel that visits are disruptive for tenants. Before you close, you can review complete diligence reports and photos of properties, as well as estimates for any immediate repair costs. If you are in contract on a property and still want to tour the property, you could do so if the seller gives you permission or if it is a Roofstock Select listing where the seller has decided to provide showings of the home. 93% of our investors buy out-of-state without personally visiting the property. 

Roofstock will arrange a comprehensive visual inspection by an experienced and vetted third-party property inspector. The report will be made available in the Diligence Documents (Analysis tab).

On properties with an inspection contingency, the inspection will occur after you are in contract. You will have an opportunity to review the report, which will be provided to you via email, and re-negotiate your offer terms based on the findings from the inspection. Should you decide to cancel the transaction, and do so before the inspection contingency expiration date, your earnest money deposit will be refunded.