Redfin continues to push toward more transparency in the traditionally opaque real estate industry, launching a new micro-blogging service of sorts today called “Offer Insights.”
Redfin has played around with this concept for years, getting slapped on the wrist back in 2007 by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service for posting honest reviews of homes to its “Sweet Digs” blog.
With Offer Insights, Redfin must believe that it has successfully maneuvered around the MLS rules in order to provide home shoppers with the information that they need. It does this by not tying information to a specific home prior to a transaction closing, instead posting it in relation to a neighborhood or certain postal code. The company says no identifying information is shown on the note.
“Once the transaction is closed, the Offer Insight is updated to include more detail, including the address of the home and the note itself,” the company explains. “Redfin sends homebuyers a notification email about the Offer Insight, which includes the ability to opt out of the program.”
The Offer Insights are only posted by Redfin agents, with the company starting with about 8,000 notes from agents. The new offering piggybacks on Redfin’s previously launched “Tour Insights” service, which now counts more than 250,000 notes from agents who have toured homes. The company said that the notes provide home buyers with “up-to-the-minute insight on real estate activity at a neighborhood level,” arming home shoppers with additional data that they need in an increasingly competitive market.
Here’s an example of a note posted by Redfin agent Kathryn Rion about a property in the Kirkland area.
“This builder was not very flexible on price since the demand in the neighborhood had been strong. While we pushed hard for a discount, the builder countered back to full price. However, we were able to get back about 3 percent of the price plus a special promotional credit for a certain flooring upgrade.”