Why home selling will never be the same

Data scientists are charging into the real estate village -- what's that mean for you?

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In the movie Jack and the Giant Slayer, the towering giants descend from the beanstalks, provoking fear as they try to conquer the Kingdom of Cloister. With a sudden ferociousness, data scientists are charging into the real estate village, rattling the industry by changing how people sell their homes. Consider the well-funded techno house flippers -- Opendoor, Knock and OfferPad -- who together have raised a staggering $1 billion in funding. These are not mom and pops who staple signs on utility poles offering to buy your house, "call 1-800-Pay-Cash". Yes, whale-sized investments are pouring into flipping houses. But they are also funding smartypants data scientists and their algorithms for pricing houses and for finding homesellers. And these new companies are testing on- demand showings, instant offers, smart contracts and quicky closings. This technology & flipping combo is compressing the transaction from the traditional timeline of 30 to 90 days to as littl...