Buyers turning to cryptocurrency for real estate purchases

Buyers turning to cryptocurrency for real estate purchases
Posted at 10:41 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 23:47:07-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the current real estate market cash is still king, according to local realtor Derek Trainer.

"Since I've been in it's probably the hottest market I've ever seen," he said.

But that wasn't the case when he got a call from another agent about a $1 million house he was recently selling. "He had called me about 'hey out of curiosity before I show this property will your seller accept Bitcoin as payment?'"

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency or a "digital currency that generally only exists electronically." Its value can fluctuate at any given moment.

"The value of crypto is all on the other people that think it's valuable, right? So if I didn't think that the crypto is valuable for that transaction it would have never happened," said Eric Hensley, the home's seller and Trainer's client. "Tons of transactions have happened in Bitcoin in all types of things- why not real estate? and I was comfortable enough to know about it."

So, how do you sell a house using Bitcoin? "There's a section in the contract that allows you to put whatever the currency is that you will be using to purchase the home," said Trainer. "Typically in that section, you're going to get cash," but for this deal, the currency was crypto.

"Now for the buyer, it's very risky, exceptionally risky," said Hensley. "So would you as an individual wire me a $1 million directly for a property? You don't know who I am, you don't know what I've done, you don't know any of that."

Trainer said it was the largest Bitcoin transaction in Middle Tennessee to date. "If this is as simple as it's been, and because crypto is becoming what it's becoming, and the amount of following that crypto has, it's just going to keep happening and I do believe it's a growing trend for sure," he said.

Not everything could be paid in Bitcoin- both the buyer and seller agreed to transfer some of it into cash that was then used to pay costs like the real-estate agent and broker fees.