There are many things that complex algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) do very well. It turns out that home flipping is just not one of them. For most families, from Asia to the Americas and Australia, home is probably their biggest lifetime investment. There are a lot of tried-and-tested methods to buy and sell homes. A seller might get his property evaluated, hire an estate agent and list it for sale. Buyers might hire an agent who would show them the sort of homes they are looking for in desirable neighbourhoods. The process can take a few days, weeks or, indeed, even months, as many frustrated sellers and buyers of property will tell you.

Traditional full price realtors in the US can make between 5% and 6% on the sale of every home: split between a listing broker, selling broker, seller’s agent and buyer’s agent. Online real estate firms cut this down to 4% — or even lower, in many cases. There is a lot of money in buying and selling homes because there is a lot of friction in the entire process. If you have ever sold a home and have had dozens of strangers come in and inspect every nook and corner over several weeks only to return for a second or third look at your home, you probably know what a hassle selling through a human property agent can be.

What if a proprietary computer algorithm helped you buy a home at a bargain and then helped you sell it at the highest possible price when you are ready to move on? What if the whole process was completely automated using state-of-the-art semiconductors and great software running on super-fast computers leveraging huge data about local property markets that had been accumulated for decades?

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