Redfin unveils new estimate tool for off-market homes

Redfin is giving homeowners a chance to see an estimate of their property’s value before it hits the market — while potentially buttressing its own growing iBuyer platform, Redfin Now, with additional home pricing data.

The new Redfin Owner Estimate builds on the Redfin Estimate, which uses a combination of machine learning and human insight to estimate the value of on-market homes. But it also adds another layer: homeowner input, such as renovations that have been completed, Redfin announced in a blog post.

“The Redfin Estimate is the most accurate online estimate for on-market homes, but no amount of cloud-computing power can replace a homeowner’s firsthand knowledge about their own home and neighborhood,” said Matt Lerner, Redfin’s senior vice president of product and design. “By combining the best of both human insight and machine learning, the Redfin Owner Estimate gives homeowners more say in determining their home’s estimated value.”

The owner estimate can be created by any verified homeowner of an off-market or recently sold home. The homeowner selects at least five comparable homes from a list of 25 recently sold homes in the area and adds in any recent updates or additional data. The Seattle-based brokerage then uses the owner’s chosen comparables, plus any additional data to calculate the estimate.

The homeowner can opt to keep the estimate private or have it publicly displayed on their home’s details page.

“One of the most frequent requests we get from homeowners is to be able to provide their own input and additional information that could impact the estimated market value of their home,” said Karen Krupsaw, a senior vice president of real estate operations who oversees the home-selling business at Redfin. “The Redfin Owner Estimate puts the power of our proven machine- learning algorithm into the hands of consumers, so they can have a more accurate picture of their home’s value whether they are preparing to sell or simply want a better understanding of their equity.”

Having home estimates for more properties could prove to be a boon to Redfin Now, the company’s growing iBuyer platform. Additional home price data would theoretically enable the brokerage to make more well-informed offers if a seller ultimately chooses to go the route of selling to Redfin.

Zillow’s Zestimate, a similar tool, currently provides home price estimates for homes not currently on the market.

Email Patrick Kearns

Inman