SEATTLE, Aug. 24, 2017 : As Seattle remains one of the hottest housing markets in the country, buyers are feeling the squeeze of rising prices and a shortage of homes for sale. The result? Many young families, first-time homeowners and immigrants are now turning to non-traditional, digital realtor alternatives like Open Listings to make escalating housing prices more affordable.
The Y Combinator, venture-backed real estate company lets buyers find, tour and buy homes using an entirely online process that's been optimized for buyers in competitive markets. In turn, Open Listings offers a 50% refund on the buying agent commission, which can cover up to half of a buyer's down payment -- a refund that's on average 2-3 times more than Seattle-based competitor Redfin.

With over 400,000 active buyers in California already using the platform, Open Listings is now making homeownership more affordable in Seattle. Their first Seattle buyer saved $7,425 on a $495K home purchase in Mill Creek last week.

Judd Schoenholtz, CEO of Open Listings, started the company out of frustration from his own home buying experience. "It took 6 years for my wife and I to save for our down payment to buy a home. The agent's fee was 3% of the purchase price — about 2 years of our savings."

Open Listings' aim is to fundamentally improve and simplify home buying by making the process more efficient.

Traditional agents normally spend 80% of their time looking for new clients, but since buyers come to Open Listings directly and browse homes on their own time, their agents can focus completely on getting offers accepted. This allows them to provide a better, more responsive experience to buyers and sellers while passing along the savings.

But, it's not just deal seekers looking to buy with Open Listings. Reddit co-founder and CEO Alexis Ohanian turned to Open Listings in 2015 for his San Francisco home. "It was quick and painless. I knew what I wanted, and they were able to get me that home on my terms."

Open Listings raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners earlier this year. To date, they have saved homebuyers over $3.5M in commissions.

(Posted on 25 August 2017, 1679700289 18O206O92O240)