Buying and selling homes could soon be as easy as trading stocks

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HomeUnion wants to level the playing field for smaller investors, helping them compete with institutional giants to identify bargain-priced single-family rental properties in markets around the country, and then buy and manage them from afar. Institutional investors try to make a killing by snatching up undervalued homes and renting them out. But it can be harder for smaller investors to get in on the action if they don't live near the markets with the best deals, or don't want to be landlords. HomeUnion lets investors buy real estate in 15 areas around the country that the company has deemed favorable for single-family rental plays using algorithms and some on-the-ground research. Investors can buy properties in cash, or use financing provided by HomeUnion or a lender. The Irvine, California-based company, which plans to expand soon into 10 more markets, is out “to characterize and profile real estate as you’re used to seeing other assets in the stock market,” said ...