They probably don’t think they ever really went away, but Zillow and Trulia stole most of their thunder. Being that Redfin was only for Seattle, I can see why nobody ever talked much about them. These guys were the pioneers though, in merging maps, listings and recent sales data. When it came out, I was just dying for something similar for Portland. I’m a real estate, map and data junkie, so this was just awesome. I’d love to work on something like that. The local brokerages’ stuff simply cannot compete with the robustness of these new mashups. And no, this does not count. Having to sign up so you can be harassed by an broker is not the same as having an open site.
Anyway, I see that Redfin is in the news again with a recent funding and plans to expand to other markets. They’re also expanding their services, including representing buyers and refunding 2/3 of the buyer’s broker’s commision. Wow! That’s huge. We just bought a house without a broker and got the whole commision reduced off the price, so I know how helpful this is.
Oh, and I loved this quote from TechCrunch:
(and that is based on relatively low Seattle home prices)
Are you joking? Now, I know Mr. Arrington lives in a very high priced area, and that’s where he’s getting the relative from. But relative nationally, Seattle is one of the most expensive places to live (Adam, great data master, correct me if I’m wrong) and I bet that most people in that area would get a good laugh out of that.