Redfin has introduced Offer Insights, a first-of-its-kind website feature in which Redfin real estate agents highlight details from their clients' winning and losing offers to buy a home, giving consumers up-to-the-minute insight on real estate activity at a neighborhood level.
The company said that, in today's competitive market in which there are very few homes for sale, many homes receive multiple offers at once, making it more important than ever for homebuyers to know how to win.
"Only a company like Redfin can use the Web to give our customers real-time insights into what it really takes to buy a home in the neighborhood they want," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "Only Redfin employs local agents across hundreds of neighborhood across America who use online tools for crafting an offer that are directly connected to our real estate search website. Our long-term strategy is to combine the expertise of local agents on the ground with powerful technology running in the Internet cloud; the source of all our strength is that we are both a service company and a software company. The result is a competitive advantage customers can't get anywhere else."
At launch, Redfin agents had posted about 8,000 Offer Insights. Offer Insights was developed based on the success of a similar Redfin feature called "Tour Insights," which launched in 2011, and now has nearly 250,000 notes on homes Redfin agents have toured, from details about road noise to radiant floor heat.
Redfin is one of the only brokers that strictly limits each of its agents to specific neighborhoods, and its agents typically close five times more homes than the average agent, deepening their expertise on a neighborhood's sales. This information can help guide buyers and sellers in many different aspects of a real estate transaction, including how to structure a compelling offer, negotiate a deal or price a home. Each Offer Insight highlights the unusual and interesting circumstances surrounding the negotiations, such as the number of competing offers, or whether or not the Redfin client waived financing or inspection contingencies. Following are examples of Offer Insights:
"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." Redfin Agent, Kathryn Rion (Finn Hill, Kirkland, WA)
"A strong offer with a waived financing contingency was the primary factor in my client winning this offer. However, her cover letter explaining renovation plans and excitement to make the property a home made a big difference! Other buyers were investors looking to flip the property, but it mattered to the sellers that the next owner was going to live in the home personally." Redfin Agent, Matt Zborezny (Neighborhood Nine, West Cambridge, Boston)
"We were up against multiple offers. We presented right away and went in slightly over list price to be competitive. This was a probate sale that did not need court approval. The attorney reviewing the files decided to work with an offer with a substantial down payment. Despite being one of the first offers in, they seemed to have held out for a better offer without giving us any updates until their decision was made." Redfin Agent, Keith Thomas, Jr. (Trabuco Canyon, Orange County, CA)
Prior to a transaction closing, Offer Insights are not tied to a specific home, but rather to a neighborhood, postal code, or city, and no identifying information or note is shown. Once the transaction is closed, the Offer Insight is updated to include more detail, including the address of the home and the note itself. Redfin sends homebuyers a notification email about the Offer Insight, which includes the ability to opt out of the program. Only Redfin agents are able to post Offer Insights.