Buying Houses That Aren't For Sale

A Finnish company called Igglo has launched a site like Redfin’s, except that it allows home buyers to make bids on unlisted properties. You browse a map to identify a property in which you’re interested, then make a bid. Home-owners who visit Igglo can then see what people think their house is worth, and even sell it to one of the prospective buyers if they want.

This has been an idea that Redfin has been pursuing over the past nine months, after filing a patent application in summer 2005. We’ve discussed it with several customer focus groups, and they’ve all gone bonkers for it.

Why it seems like a good idea for Redfin here in the U.S.: it’s uniquely compelling for home-buyers, addictive for home-owners, disruptive for traditional realtors, and a little crazy. We expect the Finns to go hog-wild for this (if Finns go hog-wild for anything), and think Americans might too.


  • homeowner

    Don’t forget annoying for homeowners who will now have one other way for people on the Internet to intrude on their lives with minimal effort.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure this will work. the reason is that it’s so hard to bid for a house without looking from Inside. This may work for very high end properties where people just value location and they are going to remodel the house anyway.

  • Chris Oliver

    This is intuitively obviouse. A patent will never be granted.