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Redfin has started listing select properties as "Hot Homes."
Redfin has started listing select properties as “Hot Homes.”

In sizzling housing markets like Seattle and San Francisco, home buyers need to move fast.

Now, Redfin is looking to help them get a jump on the action, launching a new feature today called “Hot Homes.” The offering uses an algorithm to identify those homes that are likely to sell extremely fast. In this instance, the company describes a “hot home” as one that has an 80 percent chance or higher of receiving an accepted offer in the first two weeks of listing.

Glenn Kelman
Glenn Kelman

Even more precisely, the Redfin service will predict how long it will take for a home to sell. For example, it could inform buyers that a particular home has an 85 percent chance of selling in four days.

“Using data no one else has to rate every home for sale, Redfin crunches more than 500 different attributes of the house, the neighborhood — and what homebuyers are looking for in that neighborhood. Our goal as Redfin agents is to make sure you never miss a shot at your dream home,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman noted in a press release.

The timing of the new feature is interesting in that Zillow recently launched a new “Coming Soon” feature on its Web site and mobile apps —an offering that allows agents to generate buzz for homes before they are officially listed.

As we noted Wednesday, Zillow has taken some heat for the new feature, with some arguing that it constitutes a “pocket listing” that could lead to some bypassing traditional multiple listing services. Zillow contends that the new offering simply shines a light on homes, making it easier for agents to market properties.

In the case of Redfin’s new feature, it is identifying homes that have already been listed for sale.

What will be interesting to watch is whether Redfin’s algorithm can do a better job of identifying hot homes than a traditional agent, who may have a gut sense on what their buyer wants.

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