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. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070426/SFTH054LOGO) 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. 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 via our blog, go to http://blog.redfin.com.
SOURCE Redfin Corporation