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Now you can get closed-sale prices as fast as a real estate agent

If you're interested in home values in the Washington area--and about a dozen other big real estate markets around the country--the Redfin online brokerage has a sweet new tool for you. Starting this morning, Redfin is posting closed-sale prices and photographs for all homes on the multiple listing service as soon as the listing broker marks the sale as final.

"With this upgrade, Redfin should have pictures of every sale within 15 minutes of the agent's taking it off the market," Redfin chief executive Glenn Kelman wrote in an e-mail. "It's a big deal because brokers have long kept to themselves the data that consumers need to do a CMA; it's a major reason why people feel like they need a real estate agent." (CMA stands for "comparative market analysis," a study of recent sales prices and current listings, which sellers need to perform before deciding on their own listing price.)

Redfin is launching the service with two years of past sales records and will allow the sales history to accumulate over time. Not all sellers and buyers will be thrilled that the Internet will have a permanent record (with some regional exceptions) of their home's sales price along with photos. But such is life in the information age.

Redfin will require users to register on their Web site before viewing recent sales data, but they say they won't contact users or pass their contact info on to anyone.

In addition to the Washington area, the information will be available for the following real estate markets: Chicagoland; Queens and Long Island, N.Y.; Westchester and Putnam counties, N.Y., Greater Seattle; Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire area of Calif., the San Diego area; City of San Francisco; San Francisco East Bay; Silicon Valley and South Bay, Calif., and Eastern Massachusetts.

Redfin is also starting to offer trackbacks on its Web site, which link to blog posts about a specific listing.

HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT: On Wednesday, the Senate approved the credit's extension until spring--along with a new tax credit for repeat buyers who owned their current home for at least five years. Homes must be a principal residence and must go under contract by April 30 and close by June 30 to qualify. The home being purchased must not cost more than $800,000. And there's an income cap: $125,000 annual earnings for singles; $225,000 earnings for couples.The Post's Dina ElBoghdady reports that the measure could come up for a vote in the House of Representatives as early as today.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  November 5, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Buying , Neighborhoods , Selling , Statistics , The economy , The market  
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Kudos to Redfin for adding blog trackbacks — anything from snarky to sweet — to listings!

However, being able to see the closed-sales price, data and photographs isn’t new. Sawbuck ( has been providing this data in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas since January 2008; and more recently in the greater Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas. More to come by year-end.

Sawbuck also shows when a property is under contract. So, if you’ve been watching a home to see if the prices drops and it suddenly disappears you can check to see if a property is under contract (and for how many days) or if it was just taken off the market.

Cynthia Nowak
Sawbuck Realty

Posted by: cynthiapang | November 5, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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