WASHINGTON, DC - Online real estate broker Sawbuck Realty www.sawbuck.com today upgraded its site to deliver a true map-driven real estate search experience. The new site allows homebuyers to view an infinite number of homes at one time on a navigable and sortable map, which lets consumers choose how they want to search – across an entire metro area or just a single block.
Source: Sawbuck Realty
Sawbuck also has partnered with online video company SundaySky to add custom videos for every listing. In less than a minute, buyers can hear about the main details of a home and see pictures without having to scroll, click or read. The videos are generated from Sawbuck's always up-to-date website content, so they remain current even in the ever-changing real estate market.
Also today, Sawbuck expanded into New England. Homebuyers now can use Sawbuck to search for homes for sale and research recent sales in Boston and Providence, R.I.
With Sawbuck's new design, home search is not confined to geographic boundaries. The map displays an infinite number of homes at one time and consumers can view pictures and videos for each listing directly from the search page. Homebuyers can pan, scroll and zoom the map, and the current area changes as they do, while still showing all the listings, even those outside the search area.
Alongside the map is a corresponding list which can be sorted and adjusted to narrow or broaden a search based on criteria such as list date, price and rating. The top ten matches appear on the map with special markers that adjust with each movement of the map or change in search parameters. The list can instantly be hidden to allow the map to fill the screen.
Sawbuck's search view is unique because for the first time buyers can see every home for sale that meets their criteria on a map, which is especially useful when looking in an area with many homes for sale or across neighborhoods. Imagine being able to instantly map out the least expensive homes in all of Boston, or the largest condos in Providence, without maxing out the number of homes you can see at once.
"The challenge was how to show thousands of homes at one time without overwhelming consumers. Homebuyers don't want to be limited in how many homes they can see," said Guy Wolcott, Sawbuck's CEO. "They crave piles of information, along with smart tools that allow them to pare and parse as they please, so they can make the most informed decision. Sawbuck's new site allows them to do just that by choosing how many, or how few, listings they want to see."
Consumers now also can bookmark their exact map position and search criteria, then create email alerts, an RSS feed or send to a friend; and the news feed, which shows live market activity, plots different map markers that represent all recent new listings, price changes, contracts and sales.
How Sawbuck Works
Sawbuck connects buyers and sellers with top local real estate agents, streamlines their transactions, and saves them thousands of dollars up front and hundreds more every year. Buyers who work with Sawbuck get a below-market mortgage from reputable lenders such as Bank of America.
Sawbuck is the first real estate broker to establish mortgage alliances not to profit, but to save buyers money. The company subsidizes every mortgage, driving down the interest rate, and offers a $1,000 guarantee if a customer finds a better mortgage deal.
"Boston and Providence are two of the most coveted and expensive markets in New England. While not unaffected by the downturn, prices are starting to creep back up and homebuyers need accurate, timely market and listing information more than ever," says Wolcott. "In working with Sawbuck, buyers will receive the lowest mortgage rate and have access to the best real estate data and tools when searching for their dream home."
Buyers Save $35,357 with Sawbuck
Throughout April 2010, Sawbuck compared the 30-year fixed mortgage rate available to its customers with the national average rate as reported in Bankrate.com's weekly survey of lenders, a reliable indicator of mortgage rates for the last 20 years. The average Sawbuck rate was 0.40 percent better. On a $400,000 mortgage, that's a savings of $98 per month, or $35,357 over the life of the loan.
In April 2010, 3,097 Boston-area homes sold with an average sales price of $400,404; 1,089 homes sold at an average of $240,148 in Providence. If those Boston buyers used Sawbuck, they would have saved $99 a month, totaling $35,615 over the life of the loan; $59 a month in Providence, or $21,359 total.
Sellers receive a 20 percent refund of the listing commission at closing; for a $500,000 house that would normally pay a seller's agent commission of three percent, the savings would be $3,000.
Since launching in January 2008, Sawbuck has completed more than $50 million in real estate transactions in the Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. areas.
Sawbuck Realty is an online real estate broker that combines an industry-leading website with an award-winning, consumer-friendly business model. The company connects buyers and sellers with top local real estate agents, streamlines their transactions, and saves them money at every turn. Buyers who work with Sawbuck's agent partners get a below-market mortgage, saving thousands up front and hundreds every year. Sellers receive a 20 percent refund of the listing commission at closing. Sawbuck's site, service and model provide radical transparency and consumer value that is unique in the world of real estate. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Sawbuck currently serves the Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Providence, R.I., San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California and Washington, D.C. areas. The company will expand into Philadelphia, Houston and Phoenix in the coming months.