Coronavirus: Redfin Pauses iBuyer Program

The coronavirus is shaking up every corner of the economy – and that includes the iBuyer market.

Redfin disclosed in a filing Wednesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is temporarily shelving its homebuying business, known as RedfinNow

“RedfinNow, our business that buys homes directly from homeowners and resells them to homebuyers, will temporarily pause making offers on homes,” the company said in the filing.

CEO Glenn Kelman said in a blog post that the coronavirus impact on housing is “now nearly nationwide” and that the “housing market took a turn for the worse” this week – noting that there has been a 1 percent contraction in demand over the last three days. This comes on the heels after a 27 percent increase in demand in January, according to Kelman.

“This decline is unsurprising, now that governments in San Francisco and Philadelphia are telling residents to stay home,” Kelman wrote. “Traffic growth to Redfin’s website has also slowed from around 20 percent through the first two months of 2020 to high single digits over the past week.”

On Wednesday, Redfin announced the cancellation of all open houses it lists, while limiting private in-person tours to two customers per tour.