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.

With Roofstock Exclusive listings, Roofstock is the seller’s agent on the listing and transaction. The majority of our buyers do not retain their own independent buyer’s agent. However, you are welcome to retain a buyer’s agent at your own cost. 

With Roofstock Select listings, a Roofstock local buyer’s agent will be assigned to you to handle the purchase on your behalf. 

If you are an agent interested in establishing a commissioned arrangement with Roofstock, contact us at chris@roofstock.com.

Absolutely, and we make it easy. Roofstock can refer you to several of our lending partners offering investors diverse loan product options. You are also free to engage a lender of your choice. Please note that financing contingencies are not permitted in the Purchase and Sale contracts, so buyers should take a few minutes to get pre-approved by a lender before making an offer. If your offer is accepted but you are unable to obtain financing, your earnest money deposit will not be refunded

Closing costs often include transfer taxes, title search and title insurance fees, loan origination fees (if applicable), recording fees, association fees and document preparation/closing fees. A good-faith estimate of closing costs is provided for the convenience of buyers, and actual closing costs will be outlined on the closing statement. 

Roofstock intends to facilitate closings within 14 days of a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement for an all-cash sale; 30 days for financed sale. The closing date is typically scheduled to occur within 30 days from the contract date unless otherwise agreed by buyer and seller.

The marketplace fee is automatically charged to your credit card when an offer has been accepted. The fee, which is calculated as the higher of $500 or 0.5% of the contract price, is disclosed for each investment prior to being charged

If a listing has no contingencies, the marketplace fee paid by you is final and non-refundable. If a listing is subject to contingencies, and you cancel the transaction because (1) a contingency is not satisfied by the seller prior to closing or (2) the seller is otherwise unable to fulfill its obligations under the Purchase and Sale Agreement or other obligation required by applicable law, the marketplace fee will be refunded to your account.

The earnest money deposit, which demonstrates that the buyer is making a good faith intent to purchase to the seller, is $1,500 for any Roofstock property. It is sent by the buyer via wire transfer to the title company, which holds it as a deposit as part of the escrow process. It must be wired within three (3) days of signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. If it is not received within this timeframe, the property will be returned to the marketplace. These funds will be used as part of the buyer’s down payment or closing costs when the transaction is finalized. The terms of the earnest money deposit are spelled out in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Self-directed IRA or solo 401K plans that are linked to a bank account and give the owner checkbook control can be used to fund the purchase of a property on Roofstock. Plans that necessitate custodian approval require additional steps and we recommend that you start the approval process early in order to minimize delays in closing.

Non-local investors can buy properties on Roofstock. Our marketplace, with its analytics on each home and access to Property Managers, is well structured for investors based outside the local property markets. 

For international investors, please contact Ada Phang.

Yes. You can invest through any vehicle which can hold title to real property. At closing you will have the opportunity to indicate how you would like to hold title. Please check with your financial advisor to determine which structure would be most beneficial for you. You can learn more about investing through an LLC on the Roofstock Blog. 

Returns are earned from the rental cash flow after deducting expenses (which may include mortgage payments, property management fees, repairs and maintenance) and any appreciation in the property value when it’s sold. If you are not self-managing, the net cash flow is forwarded to you on a monthly basis from your Property Manager, who collects the rent. 

A new investment offering allows you to buy 1/10th shares of single-family rentals and enjoy the passive income with no management responsibilities. This structure makes it easy for investors to diversify across properties and markets. This is currently available only to accredited investors in accordance with state and federal securities laws. An accredited investor is a person or business entity who has earned an individual income of more than $200,000 per year, or a joint income of $300,000, in each of the past two years and expect to reasonably maintain the same level of income. Accredited investors are allowed to deal in securities that may not be registered with financial authorities. For a complete definition of "accredited investor" and related criteria, click here.

At Roofstock, we give our investors choices. You can elect to manage the property yourself, which can be a time-intensive proposition that may not be feasible for some investors. As an alternative, Roofstock has established a network of highly skilled property managers.

These managers are skilled at operating a property as an investment and have in-depth local market knowledge that can be especially helpful for investors who invest from afar. They will handle many administrative and operational responsibilities, which typically include marketing, tenant relations, leasing, repairs, maintenance, bookkeeping and tax reporting. Be sure to check with your property manager on specific responsibilities. The ability to hire a professional property manager based in the same market as your property allows you to take advantage of well-performing markets nationwide with confidence. 

One of the advantages of the Roofstock Marketplace is that tenants can remain in place under terms of an existing lease during and after the sale of the property. When a home is occupied at closing, both the tenant and you (as the new owner) are subject to the existing lease. This means that, as a new owner,  your cash flow starts as soon as the deal closes. A summary of important lease terms, if available, can be found in the Diligence Documents. You will also receive a hard copy of the existing lease for your records. 

Part of our certification process for Roofstock Exclusive listings is reviewing the payment history and selection criteria for each tenant. While we can’t guarantee that a tenant will never miss a payment, Roofstock will not list Roofstock Exclusive properties where the tenant has an outstanding balance equal to more than 125% of the monthly rent at the time of the listing is first posted.  

Please check with the property manager that you select. Typically, property managers are responsible for the day-to-day oversight of your property. Your property manager will be responsible for updating you on the status of your property, so be sure to understand your property manager’s availability and communication preferences.

Repair and maintenance expenses are always the responsibility of the owner.

However, for professionally managed properties, the Property Manager is typically responsible for managing the repair and maintenance work that needs to be completed on any property. The Property Manager can withhold the cost of the repairs from the monthly rent, by applying the funds in the security deposit account (if applicable) or by invoicing you directly. The Property Management Agreement will describe the process of approving expenses. 

If you elect to self-manage your property, you are responsible for performing the repair and maintenance of the property. 

Roofstock employs a multi-source approach to developing valuations. 

  • We review property characteristics, condition, and sales history of that property. Our sources include Roofstock databases, property inspection reports, county records, and local MLS data.
  • We perform a value analysis of comparable sales that are most similar in physical characteristics, condition, vintage and location to that of our listed properties. 
  • We also consider dollar per square foot and market rent data from specific markets to ensure overall consistency and reliability of the valuations.

Our valuations are provided as a range instead of a single fixed number.

Roofstock will show sellers comparable transactions as well as yields and other financial metrics buyers look at to make an investment decision. Roofstock may provide the supporting market analysis, but does not determine the listing price, which is determined by the seller. Roofstock reserves the right not to list properties that it believes are not priced appropriately.

Properties listed on the MLS do not contain underwriting information, meaning that MLS listings do not provide the financial reports needed to estimate how a property will perform as a rental property. 

In contrast, Roofstock Marketplace provides analytics, tools, insights, and proprietary data that inform investment decisions. Additionally, Roofstock Sellers have access to a vast network of investors and potential buyers outside of their local market, and if the property is occupied, can keep tenants in place with no disruption. With Roofstock, there is no need to stage or host open houses. Sellers on Roofstock also usually pay lower listing fees. We make it easy for real estate investors to transact 100% online. Learn more about selling your home on Roofstock on our Seller Services page.

No. Roofstock’s Marketplace allows rental properties to be bought and sold with tenants in place and no interruption of cash flow. There is no need to stage an open house or otherwise disturb or displace your tenants. This model reduces friction costs, prevents potential acrimony from tenants and streamlines the property selling experience. 

Unlike traditional brokers that charge 6% to sell a property, sellers pay a listing fee of 3% of the sale price or $2,500 (whichever is greater) for tenant occupied and vacant properties. We offer an industry-leading rent guarantee program, allowing investors to collect rent for up to a year on vacant properties. This fee covers the full suite of end-to-end services for sellers, including certification, underwriting, consultation, custom marketing plan and transaction management.

The fee structure for sellers is based on a sliding scale determined by the number of properties sold in a single transaction, as follows:

Commission Rate by Number of Listed Properties Purchased in a Single Transaction

  • 1-5 properties:  3.00%
  • 6-10 properties: 2.75%
  • 11-50 properties: 2.50%
  • 51+ properties: 2.00%

There are many ways to partner with Roofstock. You can contact us at (800) 339-8511 and we’ll direct you to the right team. Or, you can reach out directly to our teams listed below.

  • If you are a turnkey provider or fix-and-flipper wanting to grow your business by selling your homes through Roofstock, contact Mark Woodling
  • If you are a potential strategic partner with a like-minded real estate business dedicated to improving the rental property experience, contact Mark Woodling
  • If you are a seller or someone who wants to use Roofstock’s platform to sell your property, contact Seller Support
  • If you are a real estate agent who wants to collaborate with their clients through specific commission structure and tools designed for agents, contact Agent Support