Friday, September 21, 2007

Iggy's House Success Story

Selling a home ‘by owner’ may save consumers a real-estate agent commission, but it also makes it harder to get the broad exposure agents typically provide. Iggys House, launched in March, offers sellers a way onto critically important MLS lists—for free.

More than 70 percent of all homes are sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the United States, according to Iggys House, and MLS listings also cause homes to appear on leading real-estate websites like Homeowners handling the selling process themselves must typically pay at least several hundred dollars to get their homes listed in those databases through discount brokers., on the other hand, offers sellers in 20 states free access to MLS and—a nationwide roll-out is planned for the end of the year—along with an individualized website that allows sellers in every state to post a home for sale with unlimited descriptions, photos, videos and other rich media.

How do they keep it free? Simple. Chicago-based Iggys House also runs, which assists buyers and gets a buyer’s agent commission for each sale. Iggys House delivers 75 percent of that commission—an average of USD 11,000 per sale, received from a home's seller—to the buyer, and uses the rest to fund both sites."Sellers are buyers in the making," explains Joseph Fox, Iggys House CEO. "If we help a homeowner successfully sell their house, there's a good chance that they will subsequently use our buyer's agents to buy their next home. That's a central part of our business model, and it continues to work exceedingly well."

Indeed, by late August, Iggys House had already been used to list some 3,100 properties with a combined list price of more than USD 1 billion. Twenty-four percent of all buyers currently find their homes online, Iggys House says, and it seems likely that trend will continue. Innovative model to bring to a market near you?

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