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Redfin to Testify Today at Congressional Hearing on How the Internet Is Changing Competitive Dynamics in Real Estate

Redfin to Testify Today at Congressional Hearing on How the Internet Is Changing Competitive Dynamics in Real Estate

SEATTLE, July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Online real estate broker Redfin Corporation is today participating in a Congressional hearing on how the Internet is changing competitive dynamics in the real estate industry.

The hearing, hosted by the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, has been commissioned by House Financial Services Chairman Michael G. Oxley, co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley bill that revolutionized post-Enron accounting practices. In a statement released yesterday, Chairman Oxley characterized the real estate industry as a "monopoly" and announced his intention to open the industry to "free-market competition."

Redfin will explain in its testimony how federal law can foster increased innovation and competition, by ensuring that all brokerages have fair and equal access to listing data so that listing services can't exert monopoly power, by lifting listing service restrictions on the data that consumers can access via the Internet, and by overturning laws in a dozen states that effectively exclude online brokers.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman has been invited to the hearing to discuss the challenges faced by the company in building the first successful online real estate brokerage. Pat Vredevoogd-Combs, President-Elect of the National Association of Realtors, and Geoffrey D. Lewis, Chief Legal Officer of RE/MAX International, will be representing the traditional real estate industry.

"The argument that consumers are well served by a price-competitive traditional real estate industry is belied by the nearly $1 million in commissions Redfin refunded in its first six months as an online broker," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "Our customers reported an unprecedented 98% satisfaction rate despite cumbersome listing service restrictions on the data we could publish and traditional brokerages' early efforts to intimidate our customers from making offers on their clients' properties."

"We will explain to the subcommittee that we have grown not because the industry is a fair and free market, open to competition, but because of our stop-at-nothing commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure that our customers succeed," said Redfin Chairman Paul Goodrich.

The hearings follow an October 25, 2005 Federal Trade Commission Public Workshop on competition in real estate, and an August 2005 report by the non- partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office entitled Real Estate Brokerage: Factors Affecting Price Competition." The GAO report concluded that there were "several obstacles to more widespread use of the Internet in real estate transactions, including restrictions on listing information on Web sites, some traditional brokers' resistance to cooperating with nontraditional firms, and certain state laws and regulations."

The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, in room 2128 Rayburn Building. Following the hearings, Redfin's testimony will be posted to its blog site: http://blog.redfin.com/ .

About Redfin

Redfin (http://www.redfin.com/) is the real estate industry's first online brokerage. By combining maps, listings, tax records and analytics, Redfin has become Seattle's most popular brokerage site, and is now available in the San Francisco Bay Area. Customers who use Redfin.com to buy or sell properties earn a refund of most of the commission traditionally due their broker, and get full support in paperwork, negotiations and closing. To give the Redfin service a try, visit http://www.redfin.com/, or keep track of our daring exploits via our blog, at http://blog.redfin.com/ .

Redfin Corporation

CONTACT: Bahn Lee of Redfin Corporation, +1-206-340-8794, ext. 104, or
[email protected]

Web site: http://www.redfin.com/

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