Glenn Roberts, Jr. of Inman News discusses a cool thing that’s happening in Helsinki these days:
Igglo, a Finnish company, allows prospective buyers to post online offers to buy a particular property — it doesn’t matter whether it’s actually for sale.
The company has photographed every building in Helsinki, according to a Web announcement, with more towns to follow. The site combines property photographs with satellite images and maps. The Web announcement states that the online offers can indicate to property owners “how desirable their property is, even if they weren’t actively considering selling.” Site users can earmark a particular property, street or neighborhood area that they are interested in, and receive alerts when a property in that area is for sale.
How many times have you seen a certain home and thought “wow, maybe one day.” Then you might forget about it entirely. This would be perfect for potential buyers like that to have a way to just put out a feeler. Roberts reports an American company has plans to offer a similar service here.
If enough people participated this could also be an amazing tool for sellers and/or their agents in pricing property. New Yorkers, however, tend be be a bit cynical and I would imagine that the “bottom-fishers” would destroy a site like this by posting that they would like to purchase the Russel Simmons penthouse at 150 Liberty for $250,000. I am curious to know what type of policing their would be of the site to prevent this from skewing numbers.
Another major obstacle in Manhattan is that most buyers don’t know what their most desired home looks like by the very nature of the apartment market. Unlike the suburbs, you can’t drive by and peek at apartment 25B at Trump Place unless the owners are willing to let you in, which is not all that likely. That said, despite the pitfalls, I like the idea and would love to see it attempted in Manhattan.