SEATTLE, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Online real estate broker Redfin
Corporation today rolled out a 75-day trial of a new home-tours policy that
allows visitors to its site to arrange four Redfin-hosted home tours
without paying any money up-front or making any commitment to Redfin. The
first two tours would be free, and the third and fourth tours would cost
$250 at closing, with any subsequent tours costing $250 in advance. Redfin
separately announced a new release of its website that offers a deeper real
estate search experience, with more listing information and neighborhood
market analysis features.
The tour program is part of a comprehensive home-buying program in
which consumers can use Redfin's website to preview properties, schedule
Redfin-hosted tours for properties they are interested in buying, then
draft an offer online. A Redfin field agent hosts the tours, and a senior
agent negotiates the offer and the contingencies, guiding the client
through the entire closing process.
The new tours last two hours, and require the buyer to provide a
mortgage pre-approval letter documenting her ability to buy the homes she
is scheduled to visit. Redfin deducts the $250 charges for the third and
fourth tours from the commission refund, which has averaged roughly $10,000
at closing. Customers who do not complete a purchase with Redfin do not pay
for their third and fourth tours. Previously, Redfin only provided one free
three-hour home tour, charging $250 in advance for each additional tour.
"Redfin exhaustively surveys every client who attempts to use our
service, and the most common request has been more home tours," said Redfin
Vice President of Real Estate Operations Scott Nagel. "We've also found
that three hours was too long for most clients, so by offering shorter
tours more frequently we hope to be able to fit our customers' needs better
without notably increasing our costs. And we believe this will
significantly broaden the appeal of our offering for buyers."
Redfin formulated the new policy after consulting with clients via its
blog in November about what they were willing to pay and how long the tours
should last. The trial period is scheduled to expire on April 15, 2008, by
which time Redfin will have evaluated whether the program actually meets
its clients' needs.
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 via our blog, go to http://blog.redfin.com.
SOURCE Redfin Corporation