Are Matchmaking Sites the Future?
I just spent a while playing around with a new real estate Web site, Findbuyers.com, launched by Washington-area real estate agent Eldad Moraru. It's a free matchmaking site that invites buyers to enter the specifics about the type of home they seek (the usual condo/house/townhouse, bedrooms/baths and price and location questions). Buyers can then be matched with homes that meet their criteria, and buyer and seller can communicate anonymously from there. It's open to sellers who've already signed with a real estate agent and to those trying a For Sale By Owner, or FSBO, deal.
I can't say the site wowed me with its usefulness. You get more detailed information searching the local multiple listing service through Homesdatabase.com. But I am starting to wonder seriously if non-brokerage, matchmaking sites such as Findbuyers and Zillow might be the template for the future.
Zillow's version of this is the "Make Me Move" feature, which invites homeowners to post a price tag on their home, even if they aren't actively looking to sell. With both of these sites, people are encouraged to browse the entire housing inventory, including homes that are not listed for sale. And they offer a method for the buyer to communicate directly with the owner, who may decide to nibble on that bait. Will this someday replace the current system, based on the multiple listing service? I don't know, but it's starting to look like a credible version of the future. The direct consumer-to-consumer model, without a real estate agent, could appeal to many.
What do you think?
Posted by: briandavis1 | May 12, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse
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