Industry News

The NON real estate agent

Automated home searches take on agent role

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When it comes to open houses, I am a "habitual weekend lookie-loo." Recently, when deciding to sell my own property, my real estate agent offered to sign me up for a new Internet service called Clean Offer.Now I am a hopeless addict. I feel like I just discovered electricity or sliced bread. Looking for a house has become efficient and almost effortless. How it works is prospective home buyers commit to a real estate agent, who then registers them with the Clean Offer Web site. All you need is an e-mail address and password and you're in. Clean Offer's service currently is only available in the North Bay Area of San Francisco, but the company plans to add the city of San Francisco by December. Once logged into the Web site, the fun begins. First, you click on "searches" and define your parameters by establishing the counties and cities that interest you, the price range you want and the ideal size of property by number of rooms and baths. You might wonder what's so new about this sin...