- Redfin online brokerage suspends its iBuying sector in light of the coronavirus
- Redfin suspends open houses in properties listed by its agents
- Redfin also limiting number of people allowed to tour properties listed by other agents
- Redfin reassures sellers
Redfin, the Seattle-based online brokerage just announced that it is suspending its iBuying sector, RedfinNow, for the near future.
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In a letter to its shareholders, Kelman explained that the current pandemic and economic situation does not allow the company to properly price its homes in light of entire cities shutting down. Kelman said he expects this iBuying suspension to be a temporary move and that the company will begin making offers again when circumstances call for it. He also reinforced that the company continues to be solid and that other aspects of the business are up and running as always.
In light of the company’s other business segments, Redfin has suspended open houses for all properties listed by Redfin agents. Additionally, the company announced that it would limit the number of people allowed to tour other properties listed by non-Redfin, agents. Again, all of these policies are now in effect due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19.
Redfin, like many other brokerage firms (Keller Williams, Compass, etc.,) has officially moved to virtual home tours. CEO Kelman said, “We’ve spent a decade preparing for this day. The brokerage has invested more in preparations for virtual open houses, virtual tours, virtual contracts and closings. The coronavirus has just made the future come sooner.”
The company is also offering virtual tours of properties listed by other brokerages, all in efforts to limit exposure to COVID-19.
Kelman offered reassurance to sellers who may be concerned that their listed properties will not now have the open house exposure they anticipated prior to the coronavirus outbreak and spread. “Since we publish interactive, three-dimensional scans of al homes listed by Redfin agents, buyers can stull explore every nook and cranny…without creating a public health risk. We run a digital marketing campaign for every listing to bring plenty of folks through your home online.”
Kelman added that customers who want to see houses in person would be able to do that…the firm will ensure that all its agents will show houses in real time while taking every precautionary step possible to ensure their and everyone else’s safety.
No question about it, Kelman admitted, the real estate business overall and Redfin itself has will take a financial hit due to the coronavirus. Company stock has already lost nearly two-thirds of its value in this recent market collapse.
But, Kelman believes, “Some buyers will see this as an opportunity to bet the home of their dreams at a good price, with historically low interest rates. Others will wait until the end of the recession that has almost certainly begun.”
Multiple thanks to InmanNews.
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