What Will Happen to Open Houses

Dear Redfin Customers,

To protect the health of our customers, agents and communities, we’re canceling open houses for all homes listed by Redfin’s brokerage, and limiting private in-person tours of all listings to two customers per tour. We’re still serving thousands of buyers and sellers each day, but with new rules and new technologies.

We’ve Spent a Decade Preparing for This Day 

No brokerage has invested more in preparations for virtual open houses, virtual tours, virtual contracts and closings. The coronavirus has just made the future we’ve been preparing for come sooner.

Three-Dimensional Scans on All Homes Listed by Redfin.com

Our listing customers shouldn’t worry about canceled open houses. Since we publish interactive, three-dimensional scans of all homes listed by Redfin agents, buyers can still explore every nook and cranny of a home for sale without creating a public-health risk. We run a digital-marketing campaign for every listing to bring plenty of folks through your home online.

Video-Chat Tours of Any Listing, Including Homes Listed by Other Brokerages

Homes listed by other brokerages can be toured in person or virtually, via a video chat. On a video-chat tour, a Redfin agent broadcasts what we see on a walkthrough of the home, responding to your requests to pan left or zoom in. Schedule the tour as before, but follow the online prompts to ask for a video-chat tour.

Precautions for In-Person Tours

We’re still also hosting in-person tours of listings, but with precautions to protect your health:

  • Virtual tours for anyone with a sniffle: no one should tour with cold or flu symptoms. If you’re sick or might be sick, just ask for a video-chat tour.
  • A healthy agent: because our agents work in teams, if one agent has a cough, we’ll find another to host the showing.
  • Avoiding close contact: Redfin agents won’t ask customers to shake hands, staying six feet away from you throughout the tour. We won’t enter small bathrooms or crawl spaces. 

We’ll Be Straight With You Through the Ups and Downs

We’ve also been publishing weekly real-time data on sales activity from buyers and sellers and surveys of consumers and agents. Because Redfin runs a website and a brokerage backed by one enormous customer database, we know before almost anyone else what’s happening to demand. And because we’re Redfin, we’ll be straight with you about what we know.

Over the Past Few Days, The Housing Market Took a Hit

Demand held up surprisingly well until the stock-market panic on Thursday, March 12. But with measures to slow the spread of coronavirus expanding to more cities, we expect that this Wednesday’s report will show a big drop in activity. Some buyers will see this as an opportunity to get the home of their dreams at a good price, with historically low mortgage rates. Others will wait until the end of the recession that has almost certainly begun.

Questions? Ask Your Agent, Or Me

We’re still a small business, and a service business through and through. We’re taking care of our agents, with health-care benefits and now much higher levels of base pay for people who are sick or at home with their kids. More than ever, we need to take care of you.

Stay healthy! And thank you very much for your support,

Glenn Kelman

Redfin CEO

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