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Business Observer Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 1 month ago

Online home-selling platform launches in Florida

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The iBuying program allows home sellers to skip real estate agents and get a cash offer on a home.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

Realtors have some new competition in Florida.

The real estate tech company Redfin has expanded its iBuying program RedfinNow into the state, initially focusing on the Tampa and Orlando metro areas.

The program, now in 34 markets across 16 states, allows homeowners to sell their house directly to the company for cash. Redfin then essentially flips it, putting it on the market and selling it itself.

According to Redfin, selling the home directly to the company allows a buyer “to sell quickly and without worrying about preparing their home for market or negotiating with potential buyers.”

The company says that since starting RedfinNow in California in 2017, it has made more than 40,000 offers.

To sell a home through the program, a potential seller logs on to Redfin’s website, enters their address and answers some questions about the house. The company then uses its “proprietary machine-learning algorithms to make a competitive cash offer based on the home’s location, condition and the cost of repairs.” 

Along with a cash offer, RedfinNow allows sellers to close anywhere between 10 and 145 days.

The program also eliminates the need for a local real estate agent familiar with an area who will price the house, shop it around and, to be fair, collect a commission on the sale.

Not surprisingly, the National Association of Realtors says the “big downside of iBuying is that all this convenience may come at a price.”

“Like any business, iBuyers need to make a profit. As a result, people who sell their home to an iBuyer often end up paying for that convenience, netting less money.”

Although Tampa and Orlando are the first markets in Florida the company is offering RedfinNow in, the plan is to expand into the Miami and Palm Beach metro areas in late August. There is no word of when or if it will expand into other parts of the state.

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