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Redfin CEO Says Home-Brokerage Site Planning for 2014 IPO

Redfin Corp., the online real estate search service and brokerage, plans in 2013 to file preliminary papers to go public with the goal of a stock sale the following year, Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kelman said.

“We expect to be public in 2014,” he said in an interview yesterday at Bloomberg’s Los Angeles offices. The Seattle-based company is searching for a chief financial officer in anticipation of the IPO, which is tentative, Kelman said.

“We could still screw up,” he said.

Real estate brokerage and listing companies have been turning to public markets to raise capital as U.S. housing shows signs of recovering from a six-year slump. Realogy Holdings Corp., the franchiser of brokerages including Coldwell Banker and Sotheby’s International Realty, went public on Oct. 10. Shares of the Parsippany, New Jersey-based company closed at $36.72 yesterday, 36 percent above its offering price.

Zillow Inc., a Seattle-based online listing service that went public in July 2011, raised $79.6 million by selling 3.98 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock, which rose 79 percent to $35.77 on its first day of trading, closed yesterday at $26.40. San Francisco-based Trulia Inc., a Zillow competitor that went public on Sept. 19, closed at $17.02, 2 cents above its IPO price.

Redfin, unlike Trulia or Zillow, employs real estate brokers to represent buyers and sellers.

Kelman didn’t say how much Redfin expects to raise by selling shares to the public. The company, which began offering brokerage services in 2006, operates in 19 markets in 14 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

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