I finally got around to checking out BuyerHunt this weekend. It’s a new site that allows you to register and post what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to pay – Realtors can then search the site and bid for your business. Think Priceline.com for real estate.

logo_beta.gif

I love the ‘reverse auction’ concept in principal. Though it remains to be seen how useful it really is in a transaction as complicated as real estate. That said, they’ve certainly launched at the right time. As the real estate market transitions into more of a sellers market, tools to find qualified, interested buyers will become increasingly valuable.

The site itself is cleanly designed and is open for use across the United States, though the development team is specifically targeting Phoenix, AZ for their initial launch.

Registering as a buyer was fairly straightforward and I appreciated that they didn’t require much more than a name and an email address to register. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is hesitant to give much more personal information to a site so clearly designed to capture my lead.

On the search side, I found BuyerHunt a little kludgey, but manageable. The biggest problem right now is that their inventory of buyers is extremely limited, though this will hopefully grow over time. Also, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, who recently reviewed the site, seems to think that most of the buyers on BuyerHunt may need to adjust their expectations just a little bit.

This includes the dilusional buyer named “malavanceâ€? who’s looking for a 1500 – 5000+ square foot home in Paradise Valley for $200 – $500K. And buyer “pmikal â€? is looking for a condo east of 7th street. He/she says
it must be 1+ bedrooms (as opposed to zero bedrooms). They are willing to pay up to $45,000, but a fixer is OK (Good thing. Hope they don’t want things like a roof. Or walls).

BuyerHunt’s biggest challenge is going to be to build up their user base, which is going to require some creative incentive-based marketing. Though neatly executed, right now, as a buyer, the site fails to excite me very much.

Finally as with so many Beta launches, it isn’t entirely clear how BuyerHunt expects to monetize this idea. I suspect advertising may be in the cards and if the site really does catch on with buyers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Realtors will soon have to pay to access to the database as well.

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