Omar Chihane (left) CEO of sellanyhome.com discussing a project with colleague. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News


Interested in a ready property to buy and move into Dubai? And the buyer wants to pick one up within a week? Not an issue, as long as the buyer can make his mind up and put up that binding offer.

Property selling is starting to make its presence felt in the online world, and that’s exactly where SellAnyHome.com wants buyers and sellers to link up. It was in August that the portal launched services, offering a 30-minute window of opportunity for investors to buy a residential unit in Dubai.

Now, they are expanding their buyer base to end users and mortgage buyers, by widening that window to seven days. And that, according to Omar Chihane, CEO and co-founder, just the natural sort of progression for the portal.

“What we do is cancel out the noise from the buying and selling process, and bring in a ready property to an end user or investor in a streamlined manner,” said Chihane. “And it’s a transparent process all the way — you have the flash sale offering property at a particular price.

“If it’s an end user wanting to buy, he can make a booking to view and, if he decides, makes that binding offer within a three-day time frame. What we hope to do make the interaction between buyer and seller happen as fast as possible.”

It is not a prerequisite that a mortgage buyer has to have secured financing before he makes a deal on SellAnyHome.com. But having such a funding will be helpful — “The more ahead of the game in securing the mortgage, the more likely you are to make the transaction faster,” Chihane added.

Last year has been a difficult one for sellers of ready properties in Dubai, with developers selling off-plan units directly at extremely competitive prices and with sweetened up incentives, post-handover payments being their primary weapon.

So, for prospective sellers of ready units, any additional channel — even an online one — will be welcome if they do manage to find a buyer for their terms.

What SellAnyHome.com does is relatively straightforward. It puts up a property after giving it a 100-point check and then engages in a flash sale to get in as much buyer interest as possible. The pricing is left to the seller’s discretion.

Its August launch was singularly aimed at investors, who had to decide in 30 minutes flat whether they would put up the cash for a particular listed property or not. They did not get an opportunity to check the property out on-site.

“We have listed properties between Dh400,000 to Dh22 million and generated a fair bit of traffic,” said Chihane, who declined to go into how many deals have been nailed down to date. “We had offers on all types of property — where possible we prefer to list properties that are listed exclusively with us. We expect to do more of that as we get in a lot more eyeballs.”

Which is where its upcoming Series A funding will help. The plan is to raise $10 million, and expand the online home buying and selling concept to more cities in the Gulf.

It did well out of its seed funding round, generating a “seven-digit dollar figure”, as Chihane puts it.