A Seattle-based real estate brokerage has come up with a unique way of trying to engage its users by providing “offer insights” on all of the listings it displays, in addition to general information about the properties.
Redfin says that its new program will include such details as the property’s current ‘status’, for example if there have been any offers on it, whether or not this has been accepted, or if it’s subject to multiple offers. Other details will include an offer-to-list ratio, and a list of competing offers, if applicable. In addition to this, Redfin will also begin noting buyer’s down payment size according to various ranges. Once a deal has been closed upon, the offer-to-list price will be displayed as an exact number, rather than an approximate figure that’s given before any deal has been processed. Information regarding down payments will remain broadly based however.
Further insights will be given into how the negotiations proceeded on any completed deal, such as whether the buyer or the seller had the most favorable outcome, and the reasons as to why an offer was accepted or rejected, reports Inman News. These insights will remain online for 90 after the deal has been closed, and can be found via a search on Redfin. Buyers will be allowed to opt out of the program however, but sellers apparently do not have the same option.
As of now, Redfin is already offering 8,000 insights on properties in its listings.
Glenn Kelman, Redfin CEO, told Inman News that the new insights were meant to aid buyers and sellers equally:
“Our long-term strategy is to combine the expertise of local agents on the ground with powerful technology running in the Internet cloud,” explained Kelman.
The insights will only be made available via Redfin’s search function and will not identify specific properties to ensure their client’s privacy. Rather, the insights will be made available for a random batch of properties within a specified neighborhood, or failing that, Zip Code area, so that buyers and sellers can understand local market conditions.
This is an unusual new feature that is sure to spark some debate over its usefulness to buyers, especially given the rather ‘turbulent’ conditions seen in some markets right now. Let us know what you think of Redfin’s move in the comments section below.
Just about all of this "insight" should be provided by any competent buyer's agent - competent being the operative word. If this is designed to help unrepresented buyers, might be of some benefit but then again, if there's no cost to be repped why not be?
Getting more information out there for the public is a good thing. The nonsensical veil around the real estate world, MLS and data was always puzzling. Refin, Zillow, Trulia, et al do the public and experienced agents a favor - I love working with knowledgeable folks as it makes my life easier and ensures better understanding for them. However, WebMD doesn't make you a doctor; all the data doesn't make you an experienced agent. I can dump all the parts for a complex model in front of you, that doesn't mean it's properly assembled.
I wish these sites would push for a much higher agent proficiency standard; educate the public on what makes a reliable agent. Demonstrating the things to look for when searching for an agent, the importance of verifying everything they say and teaching the public about how many misrepresent themselves would be the greatest insight Refin could provide.