Faira expands to San Francisco after regulatory scrutiny

'Transparent bidding' pioneer raises another $1.2 million
  • FSBO startup Faira, which is pioneering "transparent bidding," is expanding out of Seattle to San Francisco.
  • In January, the startup was working on resolving charges by a Washington state regulator of operating as an unlicensed brokerage, according to the agency.
  • Faira listings make a typical offer of compensation to buyer's brokers, but also provide a discounted price to unrepresented buyers.

For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) startup Faira has raised another $1.2 million, with plans to bring "transparent bidding"to the San Francisco Bay Area. Faira, which has so far only operated in the Seattle area, is among a handful of companies that are pioneering "transparent bidding." The sales tactic creates an auction-like experience that some observers expect to gain traction, even as many agents remain skeptical. The Kirkland, Washington-based startup had previously been charged with operating as an unlicensed brokerage by the Washington Statement Department of Licensing. Jerry McDonald of the agency's real estate division said the department was still in talks with Faira over the charge. Faira spokeswoman Katrina Wisner said it's made changes requested by the agency, though "it could take time for them to process our response." Faira claims to have listed over 100 properties in 2016 and to have saved customers an average of $20,000. Faira’s free listing optio...