Orchard (previously known as Perch) is a real estate platform offering streamlined brokerage services and financing options for home buyers and sellers.
How does Orchard work?
Through its flagship Move First program, Orchard allows you to buy a new home using a portion of your current home’s equity. You can move in right away while Orchard covers the costs to prepare, list, and sell your current home. You avoid paying two mortgages at once, and Orchard recovers its expenses — plus a 6% service fee — from the proceeds of your home sale.
On the home buying side, Orchard can provide you with a guaranteed, cash-backed offer to help you secure a new home in a hot market. In addition, Orchard offers listing services — with some added perks — for sellers moving outside of the Move First service area.
While Orchard reviews are generally positive, there are a few things to be aware of:
- Orchard operates only in select geographic markets.
- You’ll need to rely on its team of Home Advisors to represent you through the buying and selling process.
- There are service fees to pay on top of traditional closing costs — equating to roughly what you’d pay using a traditional agent.
- You’ll also pay hefty loan fees to use add-on services like Offer Boost.
A growing number of companies offer similar home trade-in services, so it’s important to compare your options to decide whether working with Orchard is right for you.
Many homeowners can get a better price by listing their home on the market with the help of a real estate agent. Our top-rated partner agents are available across the U.S. and charge lower fees than Orchard. Find out how much you can save on realtor commissions today!
What is Orchard?
Orchard at a glance
|✅ Programs and services
|Move First, List with Orchard, Buy with Orchard
|💰 Orchard fees
|⭐ Average customer rating
|CO, GA, MD, NC, OR, TX, VA (select metros)
|Phone: (844) 819-1373 | Email: [email protected]
Orchard is a digital real estate platform offering three main programs for home buyers and sellers: Move First, List with Orchard, and Buy with Orchard.
Orchard’s Move First program makes it easy for home sellers in select markets to purchase a new home before listing their existing property. That way, you avoid the inconvenience of having to sell your home to afford a new down payment — which often requires finding temporary accommodations while you close on the new house.
You also avoid the risk of having to back out of a new home purchase or carry two mortgage payments if your home sale falls through.
For home sellers who aren’t buying another property in a market that Orchard works in, List with Orchard provides a traditional listing service with added features like a guaranteed cash-back offer and zero-interest funding for home repairs prior to listing. Buy with Orchard enables you to make an all-cash offer on a house when you prequalify for a mortgage with Orchard Home Loans. If you are a home seller enrolled in Move First, you can take advantage of Orchard’s Offer Boost to unlock the same cash-backed buying power.
🏠 Does Orchard Real Estate buy houses?
Orchard Real Estate rarely buys houses from customers. If you list with Orchard Real Estate and your home doesn’t sell on the open market in 120 days (which is unlikely), you can accept a backup cash offer from the company.
If you’re looking for fast cash offers, you need to request offers from cash buyer companies instead. Our team can help by connecting you with competing offers from serious cash buyers in our network Simply tell us about your property, and get buyers’ proposals delivered straight to your inbox. We can also connect you with a free home valuation from a local realtor, so you can compare offers against your home’s potential sale price. See what different cash buyers would pay for your house — with zero obligation to commit.
Is Orchard Real Estate legit?
Yes, Orchard is a legitimate real estate company aimed at streamlining the process of selling a home and buying another. Founded in 2017 as Perch, the company changed its name to Orchard in early 2020.
After raising $100 million in funding in September 2021, Orchard is now valued at over $1 billion. Currently available in select metros across 7 U.S. states — including Atlanta, GA, Montgomery County, MD, Denver, CO, Northern Virginia, and major cities in North Carolina and Texas — the company plans to expand into additional markets.
Orchard Move First: Buy before you sell
Unless you have a lot of cash on hand, it can be difficult to afford a new home before you sell your current one.
However, selling before you buy often means you’ll need to pay rent for a time or move in with family until your new home closes. You’ll also go through the inconvenient and sometimes expensive process of fixing up, staging, listing, and showing your home.
Orchard’s Move First program offers an attractive alternative to the traditional sell-before-you-buy process by letting you leverage your current home’s equity to make a new home purchase.
A few days before you close on your new property, Orchard will buy your current home and let you roll over a portion of the equityinto the new house for a down payment. The Orchard team will then get to work reselling your old house on the open market.
Once the home sale is complete, you’ll receive any remaining proceeds after Orchard’s fees and expenses are covered.
If your home doesn’t sell after 120 days, Orchard will pay you a predetermined cash offer price, minus the equity you have already taken out to put toward your new home. You’ll pay an additional convenience fee of 1% to exercise the backup cash offer option, but you’re guaranteed to offload your old home either way.
Move First eligibility criteria
To qualify for Move First, your property must be a single-family home built between 1920 and 2020 and meet the minimum home valuation set by Orchard, which varies by market. Here are the minimum single-family home values per market:
- Atlanta, GA: $100,000
- Austin, TX: $150,000
- Charlotte, NC: $150,000
- Dallas–Fort Worth, TX: $150,000
- Denver, CO: $200,000
- Houston, TX: $150,000
- Montgomery County, MD: $300,000
- Northern Virginia: $300,000
- Phoenix, AZ: $150,000
- Portland, OR: $300,000
- Raleigh-Durham, NC: $150,000
- San Antonio, TX: $150,000
How Move First works
If you qualify for Orchard’s Move First program, here’s how the process works:
- Get a home assessment. Orchard will provide an initial home value estimate — what it calls your Instant Equity amount — to give you an idea of how much equity can be applied to your new home purchase.
- Get pre-approved. You can use your instant equity amount to qualify for a home loan with Orchard or any other lender you choose.
- Shop for homes. Orchard will pair you with a Home Advisor who will help you shop for homes. When you find one, you can make a non-contingent offer — meaning it isn’t conditioned on selling your old home first. Non-contingent offers are less likely to fall through, making them far more attractive to sellers.
- Move into your new home. Once you close on your new home, you can move in right away. You’ll begin paying your mortgage directly to your lender.
- Sell your old home. Your Orchard Home Advisor will prepare your old home for sale and market it on your behalf. Once your home sells, Orchard will deduct service fees, repair expenses, and closing costs before transferring you the remaining proceeds.
🛠 Orchard Concierge: Interest-free funds to prep your home for sale
One of the key benefits of Move First is the ability to make home improvements prior to listing your property for sale — with no upfront cost.
Your Home Adviser will suggest repairs with the highest potential return on investment, and Orchard will handle the work. You’ll pay Orchard back out of your sale proceeds, interest free.
In Orchard reviews, several customers mentioned their home sold for more than they expected after using Orchard’s Concierge service to prep their home. And according to Orchard, sellers who take advantage of the service see their homes sell faster than the market average.
🚀 Offer Boost: Make your offer as good as cash
When you enroll in Move First, you can also take advantage of Offer Boost to up your home buying power in a competitive market. With Offer Boost, you’ll get pre-approved with Orchard Home Loans, enabling Orchard to make an all-cash offer on your behalf.
Because the financing is guaranteed, your offer becomes much more attractive to the seller. However, working with Orchard Home Loans to “boost” your offer may not be worth the additional costs.
If you use Offer Boost in conjunction with Move First, Orchard will essentially buy your new home with its cash and then hold onto it until your old home sells. Orchard will charge you a daily rent to live there, which will be deducted from the proceeds of your home sale.
Once your previous home sale is complete, Orchard will finalize your mortgage and transfer the new home’s title to your name with your home loan attached.
In addition to rent, you’ll be on the hook for Orchard’s notoriously high loan origination fees — which one customer reported were 12 times more than another mortgage company quoted him for a comparable loan ($13,199 vs. $1,055).
What does it cost to use Orchard’s Move First?
Assuming for the sake of simplicity that the home you sell and the home you buy are both valued at $600,000, it could cost you anywhere from $56,000–118,000 (9–16% of the sale price, plus optional add-ons) to buy before you sell with Orchard’s Move First.
|Total cost on a $600,000 home
|🤝 Service fee
|🏡 Buyer closing costs
|🏡 Seller closing costs
|🛠️ Deduction for home repairs*
|💰 Loan fees**
|💵 Rent on your new home**
|9–16% + optional rent and loan fees
The Orchard service fee is equal to 6% of your home’s final sale price. If your home doesn’t sell after four months and you end up accepting Orchard’s cash offer, you’ll pay an additional 1% to cover the costs of holding the home until Orchard can resell it.
While Orchard fronts you the money for any repairs your home needs prior to listing, you’ll need to pay it back at closing. Orchard will also deduct closing costs such as loan origination fees, transfer taxes, and title insurance — typically adding up to 1–3% of the sale price.
If you use Offer Boost to buy your next home with Orchard’s cash, you’ll be on the hook for up to 3% in additional loan fees from Orchard Home Loans. You’ll also pay up to $150 per day in rent to live in your new home until Orchard sells your old one, recoups its expenses, and transfers you the title.
Pros and cons of using Orchard
Here are some key benefits and disadvantages of using Orchard to buy before you sell.
- You can streamline the process of buying and selling a home. You won’t have to worry about paying two mortgages or living in your home while you try to sell it.
- Orchard’s concierge service can help you get more for your home. Orchard’s free concierge service covers the upfront costs of any improvements you need to make to your home — such as fresh paint, flooring repairs, and minor repairs to your HVAC and other systems — prior to listing.
- You can make a more competitive offer. It should be much easier for you to buy a new house, because many sellers in competitive markets won’t accept contingent offers and prefer all-cash offers over offers where the buyer must secure financing.
- Orchard will purchase your home if it doesn’t sell on the market. You’ll have the certainty of knowing up front that your home will sell at a predetermined price.
- The costs can be quite high. You’ll have to pay a 6% fee and won’t have the opportunity to negotiate, since you’re required to use Orchard’s team of Home Advisors. You could also end up owing Orchard an extra 1% if they purchase your home because it doesn’t sell on the open market.
- The service is available only in limited areas. Unless you live in one of the states where Orchard operates, you can’t make use of Orchard.
- You could get less than market value for your home. If you end up selling to Orchard at the end of 120 days, Orchard will probably give you less than market value in order to make a profit when they sell.
- Add-on services like Offer Boost may not be as good as they sound. When you use Offer Boost to turn your offer into cash, you’ll end up paying significantly more in loan origination fees than if you worked with a traditional lender.
List with Orchard
Listing with Orchard is similar to working with a traditional listing agent — but with a couple of distinct benefits.
- First, you can use Orchard’s concierge service to make improvements to your house prior to listing.
- Second, Orchard provides you with a guaranteed backup offer to fall back on in case your home doesn’t sell.
When you list with Orchard, it’ll assess your home’s value and make you an all-cash offer up front. If your property doesn’t sell on the open market within the 120-day listing period, it’ll buy your home for the predetermined price minus a 1% convenience fee (this is on top of Orchard’s 3% listing commission).
While Orchard indicates that 95% of their listings sell for above the cash offer price, it’s possible yours won’t be one of them. If your home doesn’t sell, you’ll be faced with the convenience fee — and, like most trade-in companies offering a cash backup offer, Orchard will probably offer you less than market value for your home in order to make a profit when reselling.
How listing with Orchard works
- Complete a home assessment. Orchard will complete a home assessment using the information you submit online to determine if your home qualifies for its program and to calculate the best listing price.
- Prep and list your home. Orchard’s listing package includes up to $1,000 of prep work, including a 3D tour, staging, and cleaning. As an added perk, Orchard offers an interest-free advance for home improvements to help your listing stand out to buyers. Additional repair costs will be deducted from the profits of the sale.
- Close the sale. An Orchard agent will market your home for 120 days and work to find the right buyer as quickly as possible.
Orchard listing criteria
To qualify for List with Orchard, your home must be a single-family unit in one of Orchard’s service areas. It can’t currently be listed, and it must have been built after 1950. Your property also must fall within a market-specific price range, outlined below:
- Atlanta, GA: $100,000–750,000
- Austin, TX: $150,000–1,000,000
- Charlotte, NC: $150,000–750,000
- Dallas–Fort Worth, TX: $150,000–750,000
- Denver, CO: $200,000–1,000,000
- Houston, TX: $150,000–700,000
- Montgomery County, MD: $300,000–1,000,000
- Northern Virginia: $300,000–1,000,000
- Phoenix, AZ: $150,000–1,000,000
- Portland, OR: $300,000–1,500,000
- Raleigh-Durham, NC: $150,000–700,000
- San Antonio, TX: $150,000–600,000
Orchard selling costs
You’ll pay a fee of 5.5–6% to sell your home with Orchard. This is standard across the real estate industry and includes the 2.5–3% commission paid to the buyer’s agent. On a home priced at $600,000, the service fee alone would add up to $36,000. You’d pay another $9,000 in closing costs.
If you end up selling to Orchard after the 120-day listing period, you’ll pay another 1% convenience fee on top of commissions and closing costs. That brings your total on a $600,000 home to $54,000, plus the deductions for any repairs completed through its concierge service.
Buy with Orchard
Through its Buy with Orchard program, Orchard can help you submit a cash offer when shopping for homes in a competitive market.
When an offer is backed by cash, it becomes far more attractive to the seller, who doesn’t have to worry about a canceled sale or last-minute delay due to financing. If there’s a hiccup in your closing process, Orchard will step in to purchase the home on your behalf.
Orchard claims that buyers can save 1–2% off the purchase price by submitting a cash offer on a home.
How home buying with Orchard works
- Get pre-approved. Get pre-approved for a mortgage through Orchard, who will shop for lenders on your behalf.
- Shop for homes. Search and tour homes with Orchard’s touring specialists until you find the one you like.
- Make a cash offer. Your Orchard buying advisor will help you submit a competitive offer, backed by Orchard’s cash.
- Move on your timeline. You can move in as soon as Orchard purchases the home on your behalf. You’ll have a 30-day grace period to complete your financing before you start paying your mortgage.
If your closing window surpasses 30 days, you’ll pay a daily rental fee of about $50–100 to cover maintenance and utility costs until your financing comes through and Orchard transfers you the mortgage and title.
Orchard home buyer eligibility
To qualify for Buy with Orchard, you’ll need to prequalify for a conventional mortgage through Orchard Home Loans, which usually requires a down payment of 5–20%. You’ll also need funds for a 2% earnest money deposit when you go under contract.
Buy with Orchard is available in the following areas:
- Austin, TX
- Dallas–Fort Worth, TX
- Denver, CO
- Houston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
Orchard home buying costs
There’s no service fee to take advantage of Orchard’s cash offer program. Like a typical buyer’s agent, Orchard collects a commission from the seller for representing you as the buyer. You will pay for using Orchard Home Loans as your lender.
Orchard’s home loan fees hover around 3%, compared to the 0.5–1% charged by more competitive lenders. On a home loan valued at $400,000, you’ll pay as much as $12,000 in lending fees alone.
For comparison, Knock charges a flat $1,450 loan fee for its similar cash-backed offer program, Knock GO.
» JUMP: Orchard vs. Knock
While typical buyer closing costs hover around 2–5% to cover loan fees and other home buying expenses such as appraisals, title search, prepaid interest, and insurance, your closing costs with Orchard could be much higher.
To cover the higher fees, you may need to bring more cash to the closing table or roll them up into your loan — meaning you’ll pay more in interest over the life of your mortgage.
In the end, you might be better off simply offering the sellers a higher purchase price than having to pay that amount to Orchard for your loan.
Additional Orchard services
- Orchard Home Loans: Orchard Home Loans is Orchard’s mortgage lending solution that’s currently available in the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IN, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, DC. However, its origination fee ranges from 0–3% — potentially adding up to much more than the typical 0.5–1%.
- Orchard Title: Orchard Title partners with third-party vendors (including First American and Notarize.com) to provide customers with title insurance, property searches, and settlement and escrow services.
- Orchard Homeowners Insurance: Orchard partners with Young Alfred (an insurance marketplace) to let you request and compare quotes online.
Orchard reviews from real customers
To understand if Orchard is right for you, it’s a good idea to look at what past clients have said about their experience with the real estate company.
Some people have definitely had good experiences with Orchard. In fact, the real estate company has received 4.8 stars out of 5 across 361 different reviews, and it has an Orchard BBB rating of 3.67.
✅ Positive Orchard reviews
Many customers mentioned the smooth process of selling their home and the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have a guaranteed backup offer from Orchard.
Some reviewers praised the professionalism of Orchard’s team and sold their home for more than asking price because of the repairs Orchard made before listing their property.
Other Orchard customers found that being able to make an offer on a new house without a prior home sale contingencyincreased their bargaining power in a competitive seller’s market.
❌ Orchard complaints
Unfortunately, not everyone had a good experience with Orchard. In fact, several Orchard reviews we found indicated that the real estate company’s agents lacked the professionalism, knowledge, and expertise to properly market their homes.
This customer felt that she could have gotten more money from the sale of her home if her Orchard agent had been more familiar with the local market.
Another buyer reported backing out of his agreement with Orchard to find a more experienced local agent.
This home seller was displeased with Orchard’s lax approach to marketing their home. They ended up writing their property listing description just to attract more views.
❗Your agent can make or break your home sale
In a complex real estate transaction, you need the right team on your side. If you’re looking for an incredible agent to guide you through the buying and selling process, our team can help.
Our partner agents come from top-rated brokerages and save their clients an average of $7,000 by working for a pre-negotiated listing fee of just 1.5%. Our free agent matching service helps you find the best agent for the job, with no obligation to commit. To date, we’ve saved clients more than $80 million in real estate fees.
When you pair a 1% commission agent with an Orchard competitor like Knock, which allows you to work with whoever you choose, you can save thousands in fees while taking advantage of all the best benefits of buying before you sell — including interest-free funding for home repairs and a cash-backed offer on your new home.
We can also pair you with a buyer’s agent who will help you find your perfect new home — and give you cash back at closing in areas of the U.S. where that’s allowed. That means you’ll actually get money back from your agent when you close on your home.
Alternatives to using Orchard
Orchard is not the only option available if you’re hoping to sell your home efficiently. In fact, there are a growing number of similar trade-in programs that give you the option to buy before you sell. Here’s how Orchard compares.
Orchard vs. Opendoor
|⭐ Average customer rating
|💵 Service fee
|💰 Cash-backed offer
|Available as an add-on; must use Orchard Home Loans
|Included in service; you choose your lender
|🏠 Buyer incentive
|Up to 1% of home purchase price
|11 metros across CO, GA, MD, NC, OR, TX, VA
|45 metros across AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IN, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, DC
|🧑💼 Agent commission
|Included in service fee
|Included in service fee
|🛠️ Assistance with repairs
|Deducted from proceeds
Opendoor is best known as an iBuyer that will purchase your property for cash at a predetermined price. However, the company has recently added a home trade-in program, Opendoor Complete, which allows you to make a cash offer on your next home — and either list your old property or sell it directly to Opendoor.
Opendoor’s service fee is 5%, a little less than you might pay using Orchard or a traditional agent. You may also be eligible to receive a $10,000 interest-free advance on your home sale to make renovations and repairs in order to attract more buyers.
Unlike some trade-in programs, Opendoor doesn’t require you to list your property before you can accept their cash offer. Instead, it gives you the option to sell it to them upfront. Though, when you sell to Opendoor, you’ll probably get less than you would from a traditional home sale.
» MORE: See our full Opendoor review
👉 Opendoor combines a cash-backed offer with the freedom to choose your own lender
One potential benefit of Opendoor Complete is that Opendoor will back your offer with cash no matter which mortgage lender you choose. If there’s a delay in the closing process, Opendoor will buy the home on your behalf and let you buy it back at the same price once your financing comes through.
If you want to make a cash-backed offer with Orchard, you’ll need to use Orchard Home Loans as your lender.
Opendoor also offers an incentive of up to 1.25% of your home’s purchase price if you use Opendoor to both buy and sell. However, the incentive doesn’t apply if Opendoor ends up having to swoop in and purchase your home.
Like Orchard, Opendoor requires you to work with its preferred agents, so you won’t have the option to choose your own like you would with another trade-in competitor like Knock.
Orchard vs. Knock
|⭐ Average customer rating
|💵 Service fee
|💰 Loan fee
|Up to 3% (if you use Orchard Home Loans)
|🏠 New home mortgage/rental fee
|Direct mortgage payment to lender OR $50–150 rent to Orchard when you use Offer Boost
|0.5–1% applied to mortgage
|11 metros across CO, GA, MD, NC, OR, TX, VA
|50 metros across AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MI, MN, NC, OR, SC, TN, TX, WA
|🧑💼 Agent commission
|Included in service fee
|🛠️ Assistance with repairs
|Deducted from proceeds
|Interest-free Home Swap loan (up to $25,000)
Knock Home Swap is similar to what you’d get when you combine Orchard’s Move First program with Offer Boost.
When you qualify for Home Swap, Knock will back your offer on a new home with cash and let you move in right away, transferring you the title when your old home sells. However, rather than having to pay rent on your new home like you would with Offer Boost, Knock will apply that “rent” straight toward your mortgage.
The caveat is that you’ll have to use Knock as your mortgage lender, so you won’t have the opportunity to shop for a better interest rate. You’ll also pay a separate commission on top of Knock’s service fee.
Compared to Orchard, Knock advertises a lower service fee of 1.25%. And while Orchard’s lending fees are typically high compared to other lenders, Knock charges only a flat $1,450 to open a loan.
» MORE: See our full Knock review
👉 Knock offers additional savings with the freedom to choose your own agent
A key difference between Orchard and Knock is that Knock allows you to use your own agent to handle your home sale and purchase — giving you the potential to save considerably on commission while still getting the knowledge and experience you want from a top local agent.
While technology has fundamentally changed the way agents price, list, market, and coordinate the sale of a home, traditional agents still cling to the 3% listing fee charged by previous generations of licensed real estate agents who had to do most of the legwork manually.
However, a growing number of real estate agents are bucking that outdated commission structure — providing exceptional service while helping their clients keep more of the profit from their home sale.
We operate one of the nation’s largest agent-matching service, connecting home buyers and sellers with full-service agents who can list and market your home for 1.5%.
On average, our clients pocket an additional $7,000 in commission savings. Buyers can also get cash back on their home purchase.
You can interview as many local agents as you want until you find the right fit — or walk away at any time with no obligation.
Orchard vs. traditional agents
Traditional agents can’t provide a guaranteed backup offer on your home or front you the money for repairs. And while a buyer’s agent will represent you in the home purchase process, they can’t help you make an all-cash offer. If you want those types of services, Orchard or Knock is a better choice than a traditional agent.
However, traditional agents will use their local market knowledge to help you set a competitive asking price, list and market your home for you, and negotiate with buyers on your behalf. Buyer’s agents can also help you find a home to purchase, negotiate with sellers, and close the deal.
However, if you work with a traditional agent to sell your home, you’ll have to pay a 3% listing fee, plus another 2.5–3% to the buyer’s agent. And if you’re a buyer who works with a traditional agent, you won’t receive a home buyer’s rebate.
If you’re considering working with a traditional real estate agent, look into commission-saving options, which can help you keep more money in your pocket.
Where is Orchard available?
Orchard’s Move First is available in select markets across 7 states. Buying with Orchard is currently limited to Orchard’s Colorado and Texas markets.
|Colorado Springs, Denver
|Austin, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
What is Orchard Real Estate?
Orchard provides real estate solutions to simplify the process of buying and selling a home. Orchard's Move First program helps homeowners with financing to buy a new home before they sell their current one. Additional products and services offered by Orchard include List with Orchard, Buy with Orchard, Orchard Home Loans, Orchard Title, and Orchard insurance. Learn more about Orchard's services.
Orchard Homes — is it legit?
Yes, Orchard is a legitimate home trade-in service that helps homeowners buy a new home before they sell their old one. Orchard also helps home buyers make all-cash offers in competitive markets. Learn more about Orchard's services.
How much are Orchard's fees?
Orchard charges a 6% service fee to help you buy and sell a home — but that doesn't include repairs or closing costs on your new home (usually 2–5%). See how much it costs to use Orchard.
Opendoor: Reviewed and Explained: Opendoor is a leading iBuyer that can help you close on your property sale in as little as 14 days. Learn more about how the service works in this Opendoor review.
Knock Home Swap: Reviews, Fees, and How It Works: Knock Home Swap reviews praise its convenience and flexibility. Here’s how Knock.com works — and what you can do to save on fees.
Offerpad vs. Opendoor vs. Knock: Which Should You Choose? Interested in working with an iBuyer or trade-in service, but not sure how to choose? We break down the pros, cons, and customer reviews you should consider.