Instead of hiring a real estate agent, Ron and Marilyn Hougardy essentially recruited a computer to sell their four-bedroom home in Thousand Oaks, California last December.
The couple was motivated by the 2 percent commission they would pay the artificial intelligence-driven service run by REX Real Estate Exchange instead of the typical 5 to 6 percent paid to a human broker who would find buyers for them.
"It was kind of swimming upstream to make this decision, but we decided let's try it out," Ron Hougardy, a project manager, said. The home was listed for $880,000 and sold for $890,500 in January, he said.
The bidders for the Hougardys' home weren't found by an agent adding the home to a multiple listing service, which feeds that information to Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.
Instead, computers were crunching over a hundred thousand data points in order to identify thousands of likely buyers and target them with ads on websites and social media.