The company, which has signaled a move into residential real estate in recent months, plans to develop a national marketplace for agents.
The goal, according to the press release announcing the acquisition, is to “develop a vibrant national marketplace for agents and owners to successfully sell homes without disenfranchising or disintermediating valuable real estate agents in the process,” the company said in a statement.
Houses.com will join CoStar Group’s portfolio of consumer-facing real estate websites, which includes commercial real estate sites Loopnet.com, Cityfeet.com and Showcase.com; multifamily listing portals Apartments.com, ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ApartmentHomeLiving.com and Apartamentos.com; and land for sale websites with Land.com, LandsofAmerica.com, LandWatch.com and LandandFarm.com.
The acquisition of the houses.com URL came one day after the Federal Trade Commission officially cleared the path for CoStar Group to acquire residential real estate listing portal and technology company Homesnap.
The $250 million acquisition was announced in November as CoStar Group’s entry into the residential real estate space.
“Adding Homesnap to CoStar Group’s network provides significant complementary value to our existing arsenal of broker and agent-centric tools, directly benefiting the entire industry,” CoStar Group founder and CEO Andy Florance said in a statement. “We share a common goal of strengthening connections that drive the real estate industry forward and are excited that regulatory review was completed so rapidly, allowing us to close this transaction quickly.”
Florance hasn’t been shy about his ambitions to move into the residential real estate space and take on industry giant Zillow. Homesnap is even reportedly working along with the Real Estate Board of New York to create an alternative to the Zillow-owned StreetEasy portal in New York City.
At the same time, the FTC put an apparent halt to CoStar’s attempted acquisition of rival RentPath. The FTC filed a lawsuit late last month alleging the acquisition would increase concentration and eliminate competition in the rental listing space.