RED FIN Or Use Local Agent in California

Asked by homeinvestor, New York, NY Fri Feb 22, 2013

RED FIN states they have accurate listings than other competitor websites. Also they provide around or more than15% of Agent Commission to Buyers. Is it a good option to Red Fin instead of local agents.

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Jeremy Weinberg’s answer
Jeremy Weinb…, Agent, Longwood, FL
Thu Oct 31, 2013
Redfin is good but the negative is they have only certain agents that are assigned. Go to for a company that provides back 15%, and can assign you to any agent locally.
0 votes
Zachary Okyle, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Feb 26, 2013
If your able to, use an agent because they will devote their time to you. Agents really do want to help their clients.
2 votes
SteveMattison, Agent, Highlandville, MO
Sun Feb 24, 2013
Endre you sure got a lot of responses about Refin, my question is "Why would you want to use a fish instead of an agent?"
2 votes
Steve thank you for your response FYI I just made one comment:)Endre
Flag Sun Feb 24, 2013
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Quote; "There is nothing that cannot be made a little cheaper, a little worse, and the person who considers price alone, is this person's lawful game." annon.
2 votes
Endre Barath, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Loved all the great answers, if I may expand on the answers without repeating. There is no substitute for local knowledge and experience. Instead of focusing on the rebate you should focus on the knowledge and experience of the Buyer's Agent. Sometimes more tha 15% can be saved for you by negotiating after the physical inspection....just check out the expertise and length the Redfin Agent has had in the local market you are trying to buy in. My understanding is that Redfin operates by groups, one makes appointment and the other shows and the third negotiates.....sounds like you do not have one point of contact throughout the transcaction.

Endre Barath,Jr.
Prudential California Realty
Beverly Hills, CA
Web Reference:
1 vote
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
I would go with a full service buyer's agent who knows your local area You get what you pay for in the world and Redfin is not what I'd call full service. In this incredibly difficult market for buyer's, you want an agent that can do it all and will not short change you on services.

As an example, just recently, I'd previewed every home that comes on the market before showing it to my client, thus saving her time. For another buyer, we kept losing out in multiple bids, and couldn't get a property. So, I went door knocking in the desired neighborhood and actually found a willing seller for my buyer. These are just two of the many services I provide my buyers that a Redfin agent will never do.

Good luck to you.
1 vote
homebuyersag…, , Huntington Beach, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
I was reviewing the discussions about RED FIN in comparison with services of Traditional Agents. In my opinion Doing Paperworks is NOT a complete Real Estate Transaction. I feel anybody who can read or write English can complete the Traditional Forms used in Real Estate Transactions. I have some questions for Agents participating in this discussion topic to respond:

1. Does RED FIN clearly explain customers what functions they will do for clients in comparison with using a Traditional Real Estate Office. Does they review the documents, paperworks, deeds, loan documents, etc? Will RED FIN Agents arrange Home Inspection / Termite Inspection if requested by buyer? Does RED FIN arrange to get ESTIMATES for necessary repairs and works needed if requested by Buyer?

2. How much AFTER SALES SUPPORT a Red fin Agent gives to its client once the escrow closes? Do they review the Closing paperwork? Do they help Buyers explaining Homestead, Exemption Forms etc? Does RED FIN has an After Sales visit to any of the represented properties to explain paper works received after closing of escrow?

3. Does Listing Broker has the option of requesting MLS to stop forwarding listing to RED FIN or any sites which they feel and consider is working unfair to the Agent Community on a long term prospect?

4. As per the review many Agents are submitting Purchase Offers before visiting property or reviewing the property conditions. Is RED FIN directly responsible for actions of the Agents or Partner Agents?

6. CORPORATE TAKEOVER: There are many reviews in multiple discussion forms about RED FIN that it is kind of a repetition of what happening in all other industries. A big corporate slowly establishing its presence in the industry and making it hard for independent and small companies to survive and making them extinct. The same what happened with Checking Accounts with Banks once Big banks acquired all the small banks and without any competition the FREE CHECKING ACCOUNT has completely disappeared now only FEE Checking Account. Any thoughts or views about CORPORATES taking over the livelihood of small companies in almost every industries?

7. Any conditions disclosed after closing: If the Buyer discovers any conditions that were not properly explained, examined or disclosed before closing Or about any forms they signed which were not properly explained or disclosed? What remedies the Buyers can proceed with or take after Closing?

As I was reviewing the various discussions in the lengthy topic favoring and against RED FIN. I thought to send my Questions and Thoughts so other Agents can provide their valuable opinions and thoughts about the matter.
1 vote
Completely agree with you
Flag Fri Nov 22, 2013
For most of these questions re Redfin you will need to contact a Redfin Agent. who has first hand info on how their model works. Partner Agents are you regular agents who receive the referral from Redfin and have to provide a credit at close of Escrow towards Buyer' closing costs. They should perform most if not all of the above
Flag Fri Feb 22, 2013
Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Good answers already provided. Hard to argue with using a local agent -
1 vote
Andrew Belch…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Oh, and I might mention that Red Fin is not the most accurate. is the most accurate.
1 vote is as accurate as the MLS where it pulls the listings from, there is no 100% accuracy guarantee.
Flag Fri Feb 22, 2013
Andrew Belch…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Good afternoon,

You are better off working with someone in the local area. Please contact me. I will give you 20% of my commission!


Andrew G. Belcher
CA. Broker Lic. 01707173
468 N. Camden Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA. 90210
805-620-3777 fax
1 vote
Satar Naghsh…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Thu Jan 2, 2014
I am a licensed real estate broker in the state of California and very familiar with the Redfin company and how they work. I want to disclose I own my own brokerage and was very successful. I decided to work less so I can spend time with my son. My wife decided she loved real estate and wanted to continue working and be independent of our company. She has joined Redfin, so I am a little biased!

They are a full service brokerage. They do everything a normal brokerage does. They work as a team, so you are never at the mercy of one individual's time. They provide all the tools and information to the consumer so that the consumer can make an informed decision. They then rebate a portion of the commission back to the consumer. The website is updated every 15 minutes by pulling info from the local MLS. As far as quality of agents, you can read the reviews other clients left about a specific agent and the activity of that agent.

The only con (or pro) regarding Redfin is that a traditional brokerage will locate properties for you. In other words, you tell me that you are looking for a 3BD under 400k and I will look for properties and send them to you. With Redfin, you create your searches and when a property becomes available within your search guidelines, you are notified.

I know this info is late (and maybe not even California specific) but I felt there was no true representation of Redfin in regards to this subject matter.
0 votes
Antonio Sanc…, Agent, Bronx, NY
Wed Nov 20, 2013

Are you looking to sell your home on your own? According to NAR home sellers will save big when working with a Realtor. Check the link for a great article.

Antonio Sanchez
Exit Realty Search
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
3928 E. Tremont Avenue
CELL: 347-320-0673
FAX:    347-202-4966

0 votes
michellelong…, , Corona, CA
Tue Oct 29, 2013
It would be a good idea to speak with an agent in the town you are considering moving to. They will be able to give you all the latest info on that area.
0 votes
Nur Akman Ci…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Aug 2, 2013
I have clients addicted to those kinds of websites, they pick properties by looking at their cell phones, asking me, some of the answers from me "sold more than 1 year ago", "no, it's not active, pending, someone is already buying it", and some properties on the market but not there. They are good to give general idea how the market is, but not to make decision which property to buy without a local agent.

First off all, for buyers, our service fee is free (seller pays it, or bank owned bank pays it). So it's better to work with local agent. Those web sites try to get a piece from real estate market, so the fastest and easiest way doing it to discount the service fees, pay back some commission back. Logically, if you know from the beginning that you will be paid less, how many of people work full amount of worth for less?

The other point is, the seller's agent works for seller's best interest, buyer's agent works for buyer's best interest. Some people try to find listing agents and want to work with them, because they think they know better about the property. But what they miss it, they are committed to work for seller's best interest, they can't help for many details, they can't negotiate the price. When this service is free for you and can get full service, what's to point to be in that situation?

The best thing to do is, if you are a buyer, work with your own agent, make sure that person is really dedicated his/her time, energy, knowledge, expertise to you and please do the same thing, too. That's how you get the priority and the best deal. there are more stuff involved than just finding a property, and even more involved how to find and the next step process, the really special ones don't disappear after selling it and ready to help more. They educate you from how the process works to how the current market is. But if you are not loyal to your agent and try to work with for more than one agent, you will be wasting your time and their time, the result will be fruitless for everyone.

If you would like to talk about more and I can also give more info about the differences between NY and CA how the things work in real estate. I used to live in Manhattan and invested in NY state. :
Nur Akman
166 Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310 428 6573
0 votes
Johnny James, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed May 22, 2013
Please believe me local agents first third party stuff third.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Mar 19, 2013
I have not found that Refin agents are typically not as experienced as those in other companies. Remember too, that because they rebate some commission, they offer less service. Go with the local agent who has a long history in your market.
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Tue Mar 19, 2013
I am a California Agent and I have noticed that some of my buyers like to play around on the Red Fin Website. I would debate it's accuracy because my buyers were often disappointed to find property they were interested in was pending, or sometimes actually sold. I think the MLS is the best source of information, but nothing beats a hardworking and knowledgeable Realtor who is looking at every source possible to find your property, supporting, educating you on the market and helping you close.
0 votes
Harrison K.…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun Feb 24, 2013
I recommend that buyers in CA use a local experienced Realtor and real estate professional for their home buying experience.

Local Realtors are much more experienced with local properties, community amenities. Such experienced Realtors will help and advise you as buyers on detail of properties available, pricing trends, strategy and contract negotiations, seller disclosure requirements, and ways for you as buyer to get the best deal possible in the end.

Buyers should be careful when dealing with real estate brokers who advertise to discount their commissions. Such discount brokers market to give away their compensation and are usually are much less experienced and educated about local real estate, would probably provide significantly less in terms of customer services and Realtor value.
0 votes
SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Feb 23, 2013
I would always go with local agent.
Especially in this market where we facing huge competition - it is always best to have a real person to contact and ask all important questions.

There is a conflict of interest - the more agent get paid the more Interest he/she has in providing you with outstanding service and vice versa.

Help with Any Real Estate Transaction - Buy or Sell  

Call me 424-777-9377 -  FREE CONSULTATION!  

Should you have any questions - please feel free to call me Toll Free: 1-855-TRUST-55 (1-855-878-7855)  ext. 777. 

Sergey Fednov 
President - Realtor® 
- Trust Sale Realty - 
Residential & Commercial Real Estate 
Toll Free: 1-855-TRUST-55 
Toll Free: 1-855-878-7855 
Phone: 424-777-9377 
Fax: 310-356-4925 
- We Hire CA Licensed Real Estate Agents - 
Lic# 01896869 
0 votes
Andrew Belch…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Beatrice is right, and she just confirmed what I said earlier,.... pulls their info from the MLS every 15 minutes. I know this for a fact because I just had a meeting with the former President of Marketing and Advertising with yesterday and he said they refresh their site every 15 minutes. is the most accurate. However, there is no database more accurate than the MLS, which I have access to 24/7.

0 votes
Beatrice M.…, Agent, Sherman Oaks, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Some clarification, the main competitor sites Redfin is referring to are:, Trulia, Zillow,, 3rd party advertising sites.

The truth of the matter they ALL pull the same info from the MLS , it is just a matter of how quickly that info is pulled and updated from the MLS. Some do their updates every 15 mins, once per day or twice/day, some remove the sold and pending properties others don't so they can attract more Buyers and sell the leads to the Real Estate agents who sign up to purchase the leads.

These sites DO NOT individually post or update the MAIN site that is MLS ( Multiple Listing System) which is paid for and maintained by the listing agents through the local Board of Realtors. Even when a Redfin listing agent has his/her own listing any update is processed only through MLS .
0 votes
Jodie Franci…, Agent, Studio City, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Hi home investor,

As others have noted, red fin does have a good website, is it the most accurate...again as others have noted it is pulling information from the local MLS and every realtor has access to that information as well. As far as the commission goes, the seller actually pays the commission and the buyers agent gets a part of that. Since it is not coming out of your pocket you should probably think about who is going to give you the best and most knowledgable representation.

Good luck!

0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
It depends on what you are interested in achieving...

Do you care about getting money back from the commission more than about the quality and competency of the service you will get?

I would interview a series of agents... including Redfin, before making a decision... I have competed with Redfin and also closed transactions where I was the listing agent and they were the buyer's agent... Their main agent in this area (Cameron) is a decent agent... I am not sure how much you would deal with him and how much you would with their support staff...

Obviously, I feel very good about my qualifications and credentials, as well as my experience. I have an MBA in Finance, I have a Law Degree, I am a licensed General Contractor and also the broker owner of my company, so I could negotiate commission any way I want. I believe I earn my commission by providing you more value than the amount of money I am making... So I would chose me, instead of Redfin ( oh, how unbiased and humble!)LOL

Again, interview people, send emails do phone calls and see who gets to keep your business! make us work for it!

Ron Escobar
0 votes
Beatrice M.…, Agent, Sherman Oaks, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Hello Homeinvestor,

Redfin is a virtual, online Brokerage that pulls and displays all listing from the local MLS within minutes from time listing is posted to MLS by the listing agents.
If the property is not listed in the local MLS it can NOT show on Redfin site, therefore their info is as accurate as the MLS info is.

They have a great site that is easy to navigate an shows a lot of info that Buyers like to see.

Redfin model offers their own local Agent teams and referral to local Partner Agents from different Brokerages who will credit Buyers 15% of their commission at close of Escrow. Currently Rebates are legal in Calif, there are a few state where they are not. Each model works a bit different, contact me and I'll explain.

Ultimately you will have to decide what is most important to you.

I would be happy to answer any other questions or assist you.

Thank you,

Beatrice Stambulski
ReMax Showcase
13423 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks CA 91423
DRE # 1335053
0 votes
Richard "RJ"…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
The online sites provide a lot of great tools and resources, but a local agent familiar with the marketplace will provide the intangibles that have a lot to do with pricing and values. I live, work and am based in Beverly Hills and would be happy to assist you.
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri Feb 22, 2013
I presume you're talking about using Redfin as your buyer's agency, instead of a more traditional business model (ie: Redfin offers rebates to buyers).

I don't know about them having more accurate listings.... each and every agent in your area has access to the MLS which has the single most accurate listings. Yes, Redfin's website is terrific. I covet their website. But other than the rebate (and I question whether rebates are legal in California... hopefully a California agent can chime in)... a local agent can do an excellent job, and if they're local (and Redfin is not?)... they'll be far more familiar with the local listings.
0 votes
Susan Bo'ur, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
I can only speak for myself.
As a local Realtor, not just a real estate agent, I use the MLS which is the most accurate website.

I am with Coldwell Banker, not a discount broker.

Ultimately, it is who you are most confortable with.

I would be happy to assist you.

Susan Bo'ur/Realtor Coldwell Banker
(310) 600-4240
0 votes
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Fri Feb 22, 2013
I don't work in California, so I can't speak to Redfin specifically, but I have watched several discount brokers go out of business completely here on the East Coast. I guess it depends on what you want in a realtor. If you are willing to do most of your own work, then go with the discount folks, but don't go crying when you get short changed. But, remember, you get what you pay for. I have found buyers save more by going with a full service realtor than they do by going with a discount brokerage. Kind of like a For Sale By Owner that thinks they will save money by not paying a commission, but, on average gets far less for their home than they would have if they'd paid the commission in the first place. It's your call, but you need to consider all the implications, not just rebates.
0 votes
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