SEATTLE, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Redfin today launched a new version of Redfin.com that combines bank-owned foreclosure and for-sale-by-owner listings with broker-listed properties from local Multiple Listing Services (MLS). In the markets that Redfin serves, Redfin.com now displays more homes for sale and more information about those homes than any other website. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070426/SFTH054LOGO) Beyond adding new types of inventory, the new release advances Redfin's data-quality leadership with new features on several fronts:
-- Open-house search: Redfin users can search for open-house showings, rather than simply seeing them alongside other property listings. -- Open-house alerts: Redfin notifies users by email or RSS when an open house appears in their area. -- Favorites updates: Redfin notifies users by email when their favorite listings host an open house, change price or change status. -- Improved past-sales search: An improved interface for retrieving public records about recently sold homes lets users more easily see on Redfin's map the price, size and location of homes that sold between one week and 20 years ago. -- More high-frequency MLS synchronization: Improved integration with MLSs in Boston and Southern California decrease inventory latency from several hours to fifteen minutes, bringing the number of MLSs with high-frequency updates to 15 of the 16 in Redfin's markets; the upgrades also add open-house data for these markets. -- Square-footage data: Redfin lobbied last month to obtain square-footage data from the Combined Los Angeles Westside (CLAW) MLS, which Redfin now displays on its site. The square-footage data is now available to all CLAW members. The new version of Redfin.com also features a more elegant offer wizard for gathering information from customers who want to use Redfin's online home-buying service. New Types of Listings Expand Inventory by Five Percent Redfin incorporated the foreclosure and for-sale-by-owner listings to address buyers' demands to explore an increasingly distressed real estate market. In markets such as San Diego, foreclosure-related sales have accounted for as much as 40 percent of all real estate sales in recent months. Many foreclosed properties can be bought directly from the bank prior to their being listed by a broker in the MLS, but buyers can only see them on most websites if and when the bank hires a broker. Redfin users can see the foreclosed properties as soon as the bank takes possession, usually after an auction fails to attract a buyer willing to pay the amount owed on the mortgage. For-sale-by-owner listings, which can represent as many as 14 percent of homes for sale nationwide, also do not appear in most MLS-powered sites except for Redfin. With this release, Redfin integrates data from more than 50 for-sale-by-owner sites, including ForSaleByOwner.com, ForSaleByOwnerCenter.com, FSBOSellBuy.com and HomesByOwner.com. Overall, foreclosure and for-sale-by-owner listings have increased Redfin's inventory by nearly five percent. Redfin the First to Offer Actionable Foreclosure Data Free of Charge The foreclosed properties are an especially valuable asset, because Redfin is now the only major site to offer actionable foreclosure data free of charge. Other sites show foreclosures but then ask the user to pay to see their addresses; often these listings are marketed as foreclosures when in fact they are in pre-foreclosure, where the owner has received a notice of default but is still able to avert foreclosure. Redfin shows the bank-owned (also known as Real Estate Owned or REO) foreclosure properties that are actually for sale, including their full address and bank contact details. Redfin does not show foreclosure properties scheduled to be sold at auction. Third Major Release in 2008 to Support Freakish Depth This release is the third in 2008 to support Redfin's strategy of Freakish Depth, designed to establish Redfin as the leader in comprehensive, low-latency data of the highest quality. Previous releases this year introduced neighborhood boundaries, bird's eye property photographs, recommendations of similar listings, listing statistics, spreadsheet support and new market-value estimates. "Consumers' first question of any real estate site is whether it shows all the homes for sale," said Redfin Chief Technology Officer Michael Young. "No other site comes closer to that goal than Redfin." Buying Foreclosure and For-Sale-by-Owner Listings By the end of the quarter, Redfin's brokerage operation plans to support the purchase of the new inventory types, for-sale-by-owner and foreclosed homes being sold directly by a bank, charging buyers a flat fee. When homes are listed by an agent and also available for purchase directly from the owner, Redfin will not, out of deference to our partner brokerages, represent the buyer in negotiations with the owner. Redfin has no plans to support buyers pursuing homes at auctions. About Redfin Redfin (http://www.redfin.com) is the real estate industry's first online brokerage, currently available in Greater Boston; the San Francisco Bay Area; Greater Seattle; Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego; and the Washington, D.C area, including Baltimore. By combining maps, listings, tax records and analytics, Redfin has become one of the most popular brokerage sites. Customers who use Redfin.com to buy or sell properties earn a refund of most of the commission traditionally due their broker, and get full support in paperwork, offer presentation, negotiations and closing. Redfin has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry, and is the only brokerage with a 100-percent-customer-satisfaction guarantee. To give the Redfin service a try, visit http://www.redfin.com; to keep track of our daring exploits visit our blog at blog.redfin.com or our customer message boards at forums.redfin.com.
SOURCE Redfin Corporation