LendingTree has added another online real estate brand to its network today with the purchase of iNest, a new-home builder referral network that serves builders and buyers of newly constructed homes.

The services and functionality of iNest will be integrated with RealEstate.com, an operating business of LendingTree. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

INest will remain an independent brand, but over time, its offerings will be integrated into RealEstate.com.

INest, founded in the Chicago area in 1997, focuses exclusively on the market for newly constructed homes. Through its patented Featured Builder program, iNest brings buyers and builders together by providing a directory of more than 500 Featured Builders and 8,387 new home communities in 20 top home-building states. To date, the company has facilitated more than $1.8 billion in sales contracts.

INest has created more than 500 marketing micro-sites for the builders featured on its Web site, creating a robust information center for home buyers to search for new home communities and view information about home styles and floor plans prior to visiting a builder sales office. Consumers who purchase a home from one of the company’s featured builders are able to use iNest’s cash-back coupon to receive a 1 percent rebate on the base price of the home. 

The acquisition fits with the overall RealEstate.com strategy to build a comprehensive online destination for real estate.

LendingTree is an online mortgage lending and real estate exchange. LendingTree is owned by Barry Diller’s media conglomerate InterActiveCorp, which also owns ServiceMagic, Expedia and Hotels.com, Citysearch, Match.com, Ticketmaster and the Home Shopping Network.

LendingTree in September purchased HomeLoanCenter.com, an Internet-based consumer direct mortgage lender.


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