Homesnap, the real estate technology company and home search portal, has launched a new artificial intelligence-powered tool that the company believes can predict how quickly a home will sell at various price points. Sell Speed, the proprietary algorithm comprised of hundreds of up-to-the-minute data points, is available in beta for Homesnap Pro and Homesnap Pro+ users.
Homesnap founder Guy Wolcott said the company approaches technology by considering consumer-scale products while keeping agents in mind. AI and machine learning are behind a lot of that.
“We’re constantly talking to agents about what’s missing in their lives, what they’re doing that’s difficult,” Wolcott said. “We’re looking for opportunities to improve those things, reduce the friction or whatever that might be.”
Sell Speed addresses a concern that the company has heard agents express: the time component of pricing a home to sell. A number of automated valuation models are on the market, including some that are consumer-facing like the Zestimate and others used exclusively for businesses. Sell Speed is different because it estimates time on market, Wolcott said.
“When we talked to [agents], the variable that was really not present was the idea of time,” Wolcott. “Your house is worth what somebody will pay for it, that’s the classic explanation for what anything is worth.”
“But the question is, how long is this going to be on the market because that really matters to a lot of people,” Wolcott added. “Price only matters in the context of time.”
Within the tool, which is available on web, iOS and Android devices agents can adjust a home’s price up to 30 percent in either direction or have the tool estimate the home value. Then, as the price is adjusted, the timeframe dynamically updates.
Wolcott explained that one of the keys to building the most effective tool was figuring out the right inputs. Sell Speed considers a number of different factors when quantifying the length of time a home will sit on the market, beyond just price and neighborhood comps.
The tool considers factors such as the quality of the local school system and how distinct the home is. If it’s a condo in a neighborhood comprised mainly of single-family homes, the algorithm will know, Walcott said.
The tool also considers the track record of the agent selling the home. If an agent’s listings typically fly off the market — due to heavy marketing or a bursting Rolodex of buyers —that will be reflected in the days on market estimate.
Armed with the insights the tool provides agents will be better able to advise sellers on pricing strategy and likelihood to sell at each price point. It gives the agents data to help set expectations for the seller, or allow them to use the tool to boost listing presentations.
Homesnap Pro+ agents gain access to Speed Sell for off-market properties and properties listed by other agents, which can help their buy-side clients craft the perfect offer.
“In this intense housing market, pricing homes accurately is more important than ever,” Homesnap CEO John Mazur said in a statement. “Homesnap’s Sell Speed was designed to help Homesnap agents amplify their market knowledge both to keep their current clients informed and at ease and to secure potential clients.”
In February, Homesnap launched a revamped version of its Homesnap Pro app. The company has also launched new lead generation tools and a future commission-based payment service in 2020.