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No real estate agent needed: Rex launches digital marketplace for buyers and sellers

Buying or selling a home, as we all know, is kind of a big deal. Real estate agents have traditionally been involved to simplify the complicated transactions, but they’re not the only option out there. Rex launched a new platform Thursday that the company says can do “everything a traditional agent would do — and more.” With its digital marketplace, concierge service, resources, and tools, Rex seeks to make the process easier for both buyers and sellers, as well as lower transaction costs.

Sellers are able to list their home on Rex’s online marketplace and create custom websites. The service has photographers and videographers available so that homes can be optimally showcased, and users can also take advantage of Rex’s marketing knowledge to reach audience. Homes are pre-screened and then curated for prospective buyers.

Related: Subscription service Super aims to take the headaches out of homeownership

Rex features communication and booking tools that allow both buyers and sellers to ask questions, arrange showings, send required documents back and forth, and facilitate negotiations. Additionally, the service assigns concierges to handle transactions. All parties can access Rex’s resource center, which has Q&As, blog posts, and pricing and home data.

As transactions progress, Rex’s legal team reviews purchase agreements and users can tap into Rex’s network of partners, including mortgage, inspection, and staging services, among others.

“We understand that buying or selling a home is the largest transaction a person will likely ever undertake,” said Jack Ryan, founder and CEO of Rex. “Our goal is to provide the highest level of service and results available and to fulfill every requirement and expectation of today’s home buyers and sellers, within a digital environment that consumers are used to, at a fraction of the cost.”

Rex charges 1 percent of the purchase price to the seller, whereas the company says that a 6 percent commission is standard among traditional real estate agents.

A beta version of the service has been available in parts of Southern California since May 2015, but over the next 18 months, Rex will expand into new markets across the United States. Considering 87 percent of buyers currently use real estate agents to purchase homes, according to the National Association of Realtors, it will be interesting to see if an online marketplace can convince some of these prospective homeowners to go it alone.