Now Redfin Reveals Its Estimate, After Losing Listing

By Dave Fratello | November 16th, 2018

Several months ago, we called attention to a surprising practice by darling, upstart, IPO'd, billion-dollar-broker Redfin.

When Redfin has a listing, they can suppress the automated "Redfin Estimate" from displaying on the listing on their site and app. (See our detailed exposé in "Redfin Can Hide Inconvenient Estimates.")

You can understand how that might sometimes be necessary. If the seller (Redfin's client) wants more money than the estimate says the house is worth, then displaying the Redfin Estimate would be embarrassing, to say the least.

As we said in that prior post, "Redfin doesn't want to upset a seller with an overdose of automated transparency."

In our chat with Redfin headquarters, we learned that the estimates can be turned off manually at seller request. While that's understandable, it does cut against Redfin's cultivated image as data-based and transparent.

Today, we're in a different place with the listing that prompted the April post and revelations.

1426 Marine Avenue Manhattan Beach CAThe subject of that post was 1426 Marine Ave. (2br/1ba, 840 sqft.).

Redfin had helped the current owner buy the home in March 2017, for $1.279M. (Here's the sold listing.)

In April this year, using Redfin to list the property, the sellers were trying to get $1.499M.

That was a big jump for one year of holding the property, which had already been remodeled by a flipper before the current owners bought it.

Let's say there was reason to suspect that Redfin's automated estimate would not have supported the boost of $220K in value over a year. So the Redfin Estimate did not display.

Now, Redfin's lost the listing to a local brokerage.

And now, with the listing "new" to market with a different agent, Redfin displays its automated valuation.

We can now see, through the "history" on Redfin's estimate, that in April this year, the value was estimated at $1.371M, or $128K less than the price at which Redfin was listing the property.

So that tells you exactly why Redfin (and their seller) chose to suppress the estimate. It would really crater your marketing plan to be saying, effectively, "We've got this property worth $1.37M but we're asking $1.5. Come and get it!"

The property is now listed for $1.400M.

But here's where things get a little crazy.

Redfin's current automated estimate for its former listing is $1.469M.

That's up $98K from April when the property first came to market, where it accumulated 196 DOM without selling.

Redfin's bots would now tell you that the property is underpriced. (Zillow's close, too, at $1.465M.)

It should fly off the shelves.

It's nice to know that The Redfin Corporation does not hold a grudge. Really, their bots are doing a solid here for their former clients.

Now we'll see what the market thinks of Redfin's estimate.

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