Redfin is an online real estate broker that is available in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. They made a big announcement on 11/05/2009 that they are making multiple listing service details on sales public the moment they are marked final on the MLS. This is huge news and Redfin knows it. From their blog:
First of all, a warning. If you’re browsing this post in a car, or while you’re listening to someone blather away on the phone, pull over, mute the line, buckle up, REMAIN CALM. We’ve got some good stuff to tell you about.
Redfin has uploaded 9 million photos of 1.4 million recently sold properties. The details of the sales price and photos of the property will be available on their website within 15 minutes of an agent’s taking a property off the market.
My first thought was if real estate appraisers will use Redfin as another data source or even an alternative to their local MLS. Will Redfin charge appraisers for access to this data? Redfin doesn’t support the counties I cover but if they did, would I still need a membership to my local Multiple Listing Service? Redfin will have a wealth of data and I wonder if they will eventually sell automated valuation models or electronic appraisals?
You do have to register on their website to access the data. Once you register you can search for homes that sold last week in the cities they support. The information available includes everything the associate selling the property provided when listing the house, plus parcel outlines, tax records, and automated appraisals.
Redfin allows you to create a Comparative Market Analysis and view trackbacks. Any time someone links to one of the listings on the site, Redfin links back to the webpage so everyone can see what is being said about the house. Trackbacks do seem like a nice feature and it will be interesting to see how they can filter out noise from good links.
Redfin also has an iPhone app
The best MLS-powered real estate app. Get all the details & photos on every home for sale. Then add your own pics and notes. GPS-enabled.
You can follow Redfin on Twitter.
Posted by Bryan McDonald (Follow him on Twitter)