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Redfin Adds Down Payment Assistance Info To Home Listings

Lew Sichelman
Oct 05, 2022
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Teams with Down Payment Resource to provide information on more than 2,200 assistance programs nationwide.

In a move that will pay dividends for everyone along the home buying chain — buyers, realty agents, lenders, and the myriads of allied professionals — Redfin has agreed to display all available down payment assistance programs as part of its listings.

Starting today, Redfin — which claims to be the nation’s top real estate site — is adding all eligible assistance programs that are available for every property that it has listed for sale. The data will come from Down Payment Resource, an Atlanta firm that keeps tabs on more than 2,200 assistance programs nationwide.

Christian Taubman, the company’s chief growth officer, said each eligible-for-sale listing page on Redfin now shows the kind of information that is often hard to find and difficult to understand. 

Each listing will indicate the number of assistance programs available in an area. From there, interested buyers can input basic information and immediately receive a tailored list of programs for which they may qualify, the dollar amount of help that may be available, and links to specific pages for more information

The information should help more buyers win approval for financing to purchase homes they might have otherwise lost because they could not qualify. According to Down Payment Resource, one in every three deals that go south could have been saved had the buyer known some type of assistance was available.

The deal is similar to the one struck late last year with Zillow, perhaps the nation’s go-to website for would-be home buyers just beginning their search. Zilllow now carries information about programs that may be available to buyers searching for places on its platform.

Down Payment Resource’s Rob Chrane said his hope is that, with Redfin and Zillow in the fold, consumers will begin asking for information on available assistance as a matter of course, and that real estate agents will actively seek out loan officers who are committed to working with borrowers who need the extra help in order to qualify.

According to the company’s database, every one of the nation’s 3,000-plus counties offers at least one type of buyer assistance program. More than 2,000 offer 10 or more. California has the most programs, followed by Florida and Texas.

In all, there are 2,309 programs, of which 83.9% (or 1,937) are currently funded.

For the most part, assistance comes in the form of help with down payments and closing costs. It includes grants that need not be paid back, and no-interest or low-interest second mortgages with payments that may be deferred or forgiven. Some programs are directed solely at teachers, first responders, veterans, seniors, and other groups, and some offer relief from property taxes.

Nearly half of the platforms are run by local municipalities or state and county governments; about a fourth are administered by state housing agencies.

Chrane says his research shows that the average benefit of a down payment assistance program today is roughly $17,000.

Today’s launch is part of what Redfin calls its “broader mission” to remove barriers to homeownership and make finding a home clear and achievable. 

“We see a big opportunity in partnering with Down Payment Resource to raise awareness about these programs to help more people become homeowners,” Redfin’s Taubman said.

Redfin, which bills itself as “the technology-powered real estate brokerage,” has about 6,000 employees serving more than 100 markets in the U.S. and Canada. It also claims to “sell homes for more money and charge half the fee,” and says it has saved its clients more than $1 billion in commissions since its inception in 2006.

Oct 05, 2022
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