On March 27, Redfin launched Direct Access tours of our vacant brokerage listings, letting buyers safely self-tour our sellers’ homes without having to meet an agent at the property. Buyers can use their Redfin app to unlock the door and visit these homes, on their schedule, any day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Direct Access program is currently available to Redfin customers selling vacant homes in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Inland Empire, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura County. We plan to expand this option to additional markets, beginning with Phoenix in early May. Redfin is the first major brokerage to outfit its sellers’ listings with smart locks to let buyers take self-guided tours.
“During this time of uncertainty, my sellers are enthusiastic about anything that makes it easier for buyers to see their homes easily, safely, and with limited in person interaction,” said Nicole Nodarse, a Redfin agent in Houston who currently has three listings on the market that are offering self-tours. “Direct Access is another tool we can use to market our sellers’ homes to potential buyers, in addition to offering video-chat tours and virtual walkthroughs.”
Redfin began offering Direct Access self-tours for homes that we own through RedfinNow last year. About 1 in 6 RedfinNow homes with Direct Access were purchased by buyers who self-toured the home they bought. We were building this feature for our brokerage customers selling homes and accelerated the launch to help buyers and sellers stay safe while social-distancing measures are in effect. Self-tours give prospective buyers access to participating Redfin-listed, vacant homes when traditional agent-led tours are limited by health concerns or local ordinances.
“We always knew buyers would like the convenience of self-touring, but it also happens to be the safest way to get into a home in an era of social distancing,” said Redfin CTO Bridget Frey. “Just as video chats are replacing family gatherings, Direct Access and smart locks can replace the need for a real estate agent to drive to a home and open the door for you.”
Which Redfin listings offer Direct Access?
Look for homes that have the self tour banner on Redfin.com and our mobile apps.
How does it work?
Simply open your Redfin app and search for the home’s address. Once you’ve arrived at the home and completed our identity verification process, you can tap the “unlock” button and tour. Redfin Direct Access homes are outfitted with smart locks that sync with our mobile app.
Are these homes sanitized and safe to tour?
Listings with Direct Access are professionally cleaned and sanitized at least twice a week and more frequently if they experience a high volume of tours on a particular day. Redfin encourages visitors to take safety precautions—such as limiting tours to one group at time and avoiding frequently touched surfaces. We remind folks of these precautions via app alerts and through signs posted in the home.
What if I have questions or problems with my tour?
Redfin’s licensed support agents are available by phone to assist customers with any questions about their self-tour.
How do I get Direct Access for my home?
Direct Access is currently available for vacant homes listed with a Redfin agent in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Inland Empire, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura County. We plan to expand this option to additional markets, beginning with Phoenix in early May. If you’re planning to sell your home, talk to a local Redfin agent to learn more about all the ways that Redfin can market your home.
How does Redfin keep homes secure and buyers safe?
Redfin requires all buyers to complete an identity verification process prior to self-touring homes and uses technology to monitor touring activity, among several other safety and security measures for the program. Homeowners can rest easy with our Redfin Direct Access Guarantee, which will cover up to $100,000 of out-of-pocket expenses for any theft in or damage to the seller’s home directly resulting from this program.
Can I see the home with a Redfin agent or schedule a tour with another agent?
Yes. Buyers are welcome to arrange a tour with an agent either in-person (where stay at home orders allow) or via a video-chat with an agent. Buyers can also explore the majority of Redfin listings from the comfort of home via virtual walkthroughs, which let buyers explore 3D scans of homes to inspect every nook and cranny.
Are multiple buyers able to see the property at the same time?
Our app reminds buyers that they may encounter other visitors touring the home and instructs them to enter one group at a time and take common sense health and safety precautions while touring. Redfin’s licensed support agents are available by phone to assist customers with any questions about their self-tour.