When I was first lured into the housing market, friends were eager to help me find the right real estate agent. I was extremely grateful for their recommendations, but soon found out that their good intentions often made the biggest financial decision of my life even more difficult. I would have been ecstatic if HomeLight had been available to help me choose the best realtor.
Not All Agents Are Equal
The problem with the great experience others have with real estate agents that causes them to make recommendations in the first place is that their situation is often completely different from your own. Because of contracts, locations, budgets, different types and sizes of housing, finding the agent with the right qualifications remains daunting each time around in the market.
Selling or buying a home is a complicated process. Decisions have enormous financial and social impacts. Finding the right real estate agent is essential to surviving the process, yet the online tools available for doing such have so far left something to be desired.
There’s No Place Like Home
HomeLight helps home buyers and sellers find the right real estate agent, using a proprietary algorithm to filter searches according to the right skill sets, location, work history and price. Current search engines struggle to help users find agents with the appropriate local knowledge and experience. HomeLight helps home buyers and sellers sift through potential candidates quicker. The company gives agents the opportunity to highlight their strengths and work history in a more visible and useful fashion.
Based in San Francisco, HomeLight moved into the startup neighborhood when Co-founder Drew Uher went looking for his first home with his wife. After hours lost perusing review sites and struggling to research agents’ prior transactions – then dealing with agents mismatched for realizing his family’s vision, Uher decided he had to build a better way.
Previously, Uher co-founded Gameyola, He helped grow this platform for Flash games to over 250,000 daily users. Before delving into startup entrepreneurship full-time, he worked as an associate at Morgan Stanley.
HomeLight raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Google Ventures, angel investors, and additional VC firms. Currently, the technology is available in 34 stateside markets – mostly big cities such as San Francisco, L.A., Atlanta, and Boston. Early funding should help the company move into smaller real estate markets and grow the team. Follow HomeLight here on Twitter or Facebook.
The best realtor is part friend, part personal assistant, part PR guru, and part deadly market hawk. Finding a comfortable fit, not to mention, someone properly equipped to handle each specific project is long overdue for simplification and clarification. Three weeks into the process of selling my home, learning about short sale options as so many Americans have the past few years, I thought that I’d be playing agent roulette again. I will definitely enlist HomeLight’s assistance.