Redfin vs. traditional agent

Asked by Asher Smith, Orange County, CA Wed Nov 19, 2008

I found a home on Zillow, and had the listing agent show me the property. When she asked if I was represented, I said, I will be using Redfin, to which she made a disdainful face and attempted to talk me out of it. She claimed that they don't do any work and she would have to do all the work. She went on to claim that they are sloppy with their paperwork (funny, since they don't do any work) and are often agents who are unable to make a living getting their own clients. She offered to write up the offer for me for "free." When I pressed her with, "what do you mean by "free?" Does that mean you will refund me the entire co-broker commission to me, the buyer?" To which she became huffy and said, "That will never happen!" When pressed to tell me what co-broker commission she was offering; she replied, "That is confidential information." We parted not on the best of terms.

Given the above exchange. Do you recommend using Redfin or a traditional agent?

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Answers

113
David Athert…, Agent, Deer Park, WA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
To Steve and Asher. In the past 12 years, I have done about 300 transactions + or -. IF an agent is really interested in helping their client, the client is very well served. IF the agent is primarily interested in the Agent, the client may not be well served. Every industry has all levels of competence. That being said, Neither of you seem to understand the underlying benefit of the MLS system--I am talking about places where the MLS serves a wide area and is pretty comprehensive. I understand in some areas, the MLS is pretty fractured and may NOT be as beneficial as it is here and was in Hawaii where I sold for two years.

I do not think there is any system that puts so much information so easily attainable in one spot. If you are working with an agent and more importantly, your agent is working for you, they can pinpoint an area, give you the sales data for the past period you desire (Right now, anything older than about 3 or 4 months is probably meaningless.) and what is currently available. For example, In the Spokane MLS, three weeks ago, there were 5800 properties w/ dwellings listed for sale. 800 were under some sort of contract and 112 of the total were bank owned properties. I was able to figure that out in about ten minutes for a blog I was writing. I could have done the same for any ten block area w/i the city or larger areas in the country. I could have told you everything that closed in the past month-3 years as you wanted and again, I could have broken that down.

On the other issue of access to the MLS, the Justice department was wrong in my mind. The attitude of those bringing the suit against the various MLS's is, "It is just not right for you to exclude the public or non affiliated realtors from the benefits of your system." I beg your pardon, does GM pass out its secrets? Does Coke tell you its mixture? Does Pfizer reveal exactly what is in the medicine? No, they can not afford to. Same with the MLS. This information is compiled by a staff and funneled in by the 2000 agents in my market area. We all pay hefty monthly dues to support the infrastructure that keeps the MLS running. We pay commission splits to support the administrative staffs that provide the date from each company to the MLS. We underwrite a very expensive system which gives the general public the opportunity, not the right, to access this information. Then, we release this information to a fairly extensive level on Realtor.com which has virtually all MLS actives posted and I think, updated daily. But, we have no obligation to let the public have access codes to the MLS and the same access as agents. Why should we? By the way, you can search my market right from my site and get fairly detailed information.

Regarding Compensating broker commission. No Listing agent owes this information or the Listing broker compensation to a buyer. It really is not his business until a relationship is established. In my area, we do owe an obligation to our buyers to reveal our compensation to our clients. In fact, the format I provide to my clients clearly states the CBC. But, I am revealing that data to people I am working with. That is the difference.

Regarding Zillow, this information is pretty generic and has its uses, but, I would not rely on it. You would be better served, I believe, at Realtor.com.

If you are a seller in a good market and are willing to deal w/ John Q Public, it might make sense to work without a realtor (FSBO). But I can not for the life of me figure out as a buyer why you would not work with an agent who is representing you. They do not "Just open a door" for 24k. Two of my last three clients looked at not less than 30 homes and one probably 40 to 50 homes. I worked with both for 4-6 months before we closed. Both were complicated transactions. I saved each client 10-20k. I found good financing for each. The approx $16,000. total I EARNED on those transactions was well earned. Of course, the $16,000. was gross revenue. Net revenue was probably in the vicinity of about 3k after salary (modest) advertising (20k per year+) gas ($200-400 per month), Office expenses (700 per month) etc were covered. Those are only a few of the many expenses. Yes, the realtor commission is a large number, but, it is only part of the equation.

Finally, the MLS morphs daily. Technology advances and so do we. The MLS today will not be the MLS of two years from now and it certainly is not what it was 15 years ago when I was looking for property in this area while working in Bangkok, Thailand. But, the fundamental idea of using professionals who know their business and market will always be valid for the vast majority of buyers and sellers. There will be a few who insist on doing it on their own or with limited representation. Some of those will come out smelling like a rose and others will curse their bad luck for ever. Dave Atherton, Spokane
Web Reference:  http://MyCountryhomes.com
13 votes
Me thinks he doth protest too much.
Flag Sun Apr 10, 2016
In my 32 years of experience you are rare in your industry.
Flag Wed Jan 6, 2016
Robert van d…, Agent, Fountain Valley, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
Thank you for a wonderful reminder of why I don't work with some buyers. Happy holidays to all!
7 votes
David, , La Jolla, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
Asher, your an idiot. You have no clue what your talking about. Just because you have some cash in your pocket or have some success in life does not give you the right to assume what it takes to be a realtor. Your condecending remarks towards our professional opinions is comical.

A Buyers Agent does not simply open doors for you. If that is your only impression of what the job entails you are sadly mistaken.

My suggestion is keep driving yourself and wife around, you will eventually wise up.
7 votes
Eric Israel, Agent, Orange, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
Thanks for the kind words Asher. I give you credit because this is the largest post I have seen. You are in denial my friend. You knew when you asked that agent to show you the home that you would be using Redfin. We have already established this. Whether Redfin knew at that time you would be using them is irrelevant. You knew you would but you wanted someone else to do their job. I understand why that agent got upset because after you told her, she felt used. That is how buyers like you are. It happens everyday. If you were as smart as you think you are you would have just given this agent your best price you would pay for the home already factoring in commissions. See, you were too focused on that 2.5% of the purchase price and what % you might get back to understand you were better off to let her write your BEST offer. I guarantee she would have been able to reduce the price easily by the 2.5%. Problem is, your education got in the way and all you could think about was someone else's commission and not what the best price was that you could have gotten the home for. What do you care how much commission she would have made if you got the home at a price you really wanted. See, here is where your problem lies. Lastly, stop trying to make it out that you didn't have an agent when you called her because in your mind you did. Now your lawyer will pick up where you left off and try and get you the home but I am sure they already accepted an offer. BTW, how much are you getting back from your attorney? Surely, you beat him down too right, or are you going to have him write it and then take it to another attorney for submission? Please let all of us know how this turns out. I'm still available if you can't find a competent agent or attorney:)
5 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Nov 20, 2008
A buyer's agent can be more valuable than "just unlocking the door".

That being said, if you called me, to view a listing of mine, and you are unrepresented, I would happily meet you at the listing. I might ask you to sign a "form of no agency" meaning that I am not your agent, and cannot advise or counsel you. (You would not be REQUIRED to sign it, just a suggestion... but I'd make it clear that I am NOT your agent, I represent the seller).

I would also meet you if you were represented by a Redfin agent. I would want to "talk" to your Redfin agent, first... but would be happy to "show" the property to you, for him.

I agree, that as the listing agent, it is part of my job to show the home to any qualified buyer. I would not want to put any roadblocks in your way... and I don't think my seller would be happy to learn that I'd stood in the way of a showing, because of a technicality.

Now, regarding the commission. The commission has already been agreed to, between the listing agency and the seller. They've already discussed and signed an agreement that spells out how much the listing agent will be paid, and how much the buyer's agent will be paid, and in the case of a buyer with NO agent, how the listing agent will be compensated.
5 votes
Steve, , Rohnert Park, CA
Tue Jun 16, 2009
Wow Rich... quite a string of accusations.

"Well that would be which ever agent pays their fee, and who agree in advance to cut their fee."

Redfin agents are salaried. They also earn a bonus based on the ratings given to them by clients (whether a transaction occurred or now). They earn no commission, in the traditional RE sense. Personally I'd find comfort in knowing the person "representing my interests" paycheck is not dictated on whether I purchase or not. (Obviously too few closing over a period of time, or poor reviews would likely spell the end of their job)

Their agent profiles also blow away anything I've seen from a traditional agent. Every review received for every transaction (closed or not) is displayed on the site -- both positive and negative -- along with a detailed breakdown of homes they've been working on. See, for instance:
http://www.redfin.com/real-estate-agents/angela-creech

"In most cases the agent giving you money back will constitute fraud because they have to hide it from the lenders. In order for Redfin to kick back these fees I assume they have to do it under the table as the lenders do not allow it. If they are doing this kind of thing under the table I have to wonder what else they are doing?"

They state quite clearly:
"You can usually apply your refund to closing costs, and get the rest as a check within ten days of closing. The refund is tax-free. If you're using an FHA or VA loan, your lender's requirements may not allow you to receive a check from us for the portion of your refund amount not applied to closing costs. Be sure to ask them about their policy up-front so you'll know how your refund can be allocated."

They're operating with $20,000,000 in venture capital funding backing them. Somehow I doubt they're committing widespread fraud as part of their business model.

Is it the perfect business model? Tough to say in the big picture, but certainly for some demographic they are. At least they're innovating.
4 votes
David, , La Jolla, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Asher, do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the importance of proper representation in any legal transaction including purchasing real estate...
4 votes
Emily Erekuff, Home Owner, Menifee, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
Hi Everyone,

Healthy debate is encouraged on Trulia Voices, but insults are not. Please be sure that you heed the following of our Community Guidelines and that your comments towards each other are respectful.

RESPECT THE Trulia Voices COMMUNITY
Every member is entitled to share his or her opinion on Trulia Voices. Do not insult other members because you strongly disagree with their views or for any other reason.

Thank you,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
3 votes
Robert van d…, Agent, Fountain Valley, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
To all involved,

I think that Asher has nothing better to do than to express his opinion about why he is right and others are not. Thank God that we live in a free country and that we are able to freely express our opinions and so it leads me to my practice when working with buyers. It has worked for me ever since I realized that the majority of "Sign call buyers" are not real buyers after all.

I require a one-on-one meeting at my office with said buyers. If they refuse to meet, then so be it. Meeting them allows me to better serve them by properly qualifying them (we've all had that buyer who says, "Oh, I can qualify for it trust me," and then we find out he can't). It not only helps to financially qualify them to buy said home, but also helps me make sure that they know the process, what to expect and to find out what their needs are. Truly servicing their best interests. I at this point provide them with an agency disclosure and a buyer broker agreement. If they refuse to sign, there is the door. I have yet to have anyone who meets with me NOT sign these forms. If they ever were to not sign, this simply would show me that they were not serious buyers to begin with. Most likely they were going to yank my chain throughout the process one way or another.

Now Asher and other buyers who might get ticked that I wouldn't be your "Gate/door" boy. I do this because of several reasons. I do it because I have been stood up at "Showing appointments," shown property that is "Far out of that buyers qualification financially." I have wasted hours of "Productive work time" meeting someone at a home that they never intend to buy, let alone NEVER intend to buy anything. So I don't JUMP IN MY CAR, RACE OVER, SIMPLY BECAUSE MY PHONE RANG. This is my business. I run it that way, like a business. If you don't like it, that's your business and I'm okay if you take yours somewhere else. Asher, please don't pretend to know how much time and work we really do. It is an insult to not only us, but to you as well (because you don't do this for a living), and insulting people really isn't what God intended for us to do to one another. If you don't like the process, don't use it. Simple enough.

As I have mentioned from my first post, Asher, work with whomever you like, trust and can have a good to great working relationship with. I wish you no ill will, in fact I hope you have a successful transaction whether on your own, with a discount Broker, with a Buyer's agent or even the listing agent. Most likely* the transaction will be handled by a real estate agent and maybe it will leave a better taste in your mouth of the profession.
*Statistics show that less than 1/10 of 1 percent of homes are sold by a FSBO to a non agent represented buyer (meaning that NO agent at all was used). This excludes Title transfer from family member to family member or inter-family sales.

Best regards to all involved,

Robert M. van der Goes
Realtor, Real Estate Professional
(714) 305-2050
3 votes
I agree with Robert. I work this way as well. I even have my family members sign a buyer broker agreement. I run my business the exact same way. Robert is just more vocal when it comes to showing people the door. Just today I had a buyer call back and ask to be let out of the buyer broker agreement. We talked about it and it turns out that she had a friend that she wanted to use that was of the same decent. The buyer actually wanted both of us to look for her. I voided the contract and told her to give her friend the first chance to find her something and also requested that she give the friend 100% of her time and consideration. I am not in this business to compete with my fellow Brokers. The client either sees the benefit of working with me or they don't. It is my job to show the value of working with me at the time of our initial consultation and within my "buyer Presentation". Yes, I have a buyer presentation. 90% of the agents out there do not have one.
Flag Sat Oct 19, 2013
Robert, being a licensed agent in CA, I see the benefit of a buyer-broker agreement, and it only serves to benefit the Broker. I recently purchased property in another county & contacted a local agent. I told him I was licensed. He required me to sign a buyer-broker form & I refused. It was stalemate; he lost my business. I felt this was all about guaranteeing his commission & not helping me. I called another Broker & we found a great property.

Your comment: "...If they ever were to not sign, this simply would show me that they were not serious buyers to begin with. Most likely they were going to yank my chain throughout the process one way or another..." REALLY? It's insulting to me as an Agent & a Buyer.

We've all spun our wheels, showing property to Buyers who never find what they're looking for, can't get the loan, or even asking Uncle Joe to write the offer for them.

That's the nature of the beast, Robert.. So pls don't make assumptions about all Buyers.
Flag Fri Oct 18, 2013
Asher Smith, , Orange County, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
As I already explained to you, Eric, my wife and i were looking at houses without an agent. We only felt the need to call an agent after we found a house we wanted to make an offer on. The problem with the MLS system, is that buyers who do not need for an agent to drive them around trying to sell them a house, have no way of getting into houses. Therefore, we had to call the listing agents. Almost all of which had no problem showing us the house. We are looking in the $800,000 price range, so $24,000 to come unlock a door seems like pretty good work to me. The system you are trying to defend exists only to keep uneducated donkeys like yourself as the middlemen in transactions, taking 6% of a sale for work most people can do themselves. And yes, how much the listing agent is offering the buyer's agent is every bit my business.

Your ignorant posts defending the MLS, only reveal you as a desperate salesman hanging onto your profession for dear life. There is a reason why lawyers have years of schooling and legal degrees, while you probably don't even have a college degree, since you don't need one to to become an agent. Given your ignorance, you will be done in less than a year. I recommend you go get a college degree and a real job.

I spoke to a friend about this ridiculous exchange with you "agents." He pointed out that most "agents" on this site are merely trolling for work. Looks like my best option was not even mentioned by anyone on this site. I will be hiring a real estate attorney to write up my offer. People who come here for help need to understand that you people (with some exceptions) aren't really here to help anyone but yourselves.
3 votes
Wow. Reading this discussion seven (7) years later is really interesting. As a big firm corporate lawyer turned full-time-realtor, I find the chain fascinating. I am always amazed at the total disdain some people have for real estate agents. I understand why, there are bunches of bad agents, but why as a profession are we considered below used car salesmen? Wondering how the purchase ultimately worked out. Would love to know, esp. since MLSs are still here, and Redfin has become a juggernaut. They just arrived in my market.

Best,

Melissa Savenko
RE/MAX Commonwealth
Flag Fri May 1, 2015
David Athert…, Agent, Deer Park, WA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Hi Asher,

Each market is different. I am in the Spokane WA market and have had a number of clients from your general neck of the woods (actually, have sold to three agents from down there and two of them work at my office now!) I had to read these messages to find out what a "Redfin" agent was. Basically it is the buyer's counterpart of a "Help-U-Sell" listing agent. They are transactional getting minimum pay for minimum work. The hostility you felt from the agent was based on the fact there are two sides to every transaction. A listing agent gets paid for the listing side of the transaction and has many costs from that side. The selling side gets paid for bringing the buyer, showing the buyer the home, writing the buyer's offer and holding the buyer's hand through the process. When you hire a low rent agent who expects the listing agent to do the bulk of the work for them, because after all, they (selling agent) are not getting paid that much, there will always be resentment. You ARE asking the listing agent to do work for which they are NOT getting paid. Just like your boss saying, when you get done with your shift, go work four hours with Billy. We will pay Billy and he can give you some of his pay. Likewise, on the other side of the equation, when I take a flat rate listing and my seller is now an orphan and the Selling agent has to do all the work of the listing agent, there is often resentment against the listing agent.

I have watched many of the low rent listers pretty much disappear from the market. Why? Because the business model barely works in the good times and absolutely does not pay the bills in the down times. I imagine that will also happen to the low rent sell side agents. This is a very expensive business.

What advice do I have for you? If you feel competent to do your searching etc for yourself but intend to have a Redfin agent write for you, you should be making them show you the houses. That is still part of their job. In our neck of the woods, there are a lot of very remote properties where city agents often send their clients out to see expecting the listing agent to show. You often see the caveat on rural listings that the selling agent has to show up to the first showing or they just get a 20 percent referral of the sell side.

If you want to save money and deal directly with the listing agents, tell them up front you want to represent yourself and you will pay a flat fee for them to fill out the paperwork and handle the transaction then discount the rest of the sell side fee. It would be worth a try. They are not under any obligation to do this. Remember, local laws and customs apply.

I know agents who have been sued for showing a property to someone else's buyer, who later was unhappy and blamed the listing agent because the listing agent showed the property to the buyer. This is another issue that I have seen come up. I for one still show my listings even if the buyer is going to use another agent because I want my listing to sell so I can service my client, and get paid. But then, 80+ percent of my business is referral so I expect to go the extra mile. My buyers and sellers take care of me and I take care of them.

Your listing agent has obviously had bad transactions with Redfin agents. If you loose transactions because of agent inexperience or incompetence, you might not want to work with those guys again. Who knows?

PS, the compensating broker compensation really is not your business. If your agent wants to reveal it to you, that is their call. The listing broker certainly would be under no compulsion to reveal that data to you. It has nothing to do with the house.

So, without animosity, I wish you the best of luck. Dave Atherton
Web Reference:  http://MyCountryHomes.com
3 votes
Steve, , Rohnert Park, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
Hi David,

Thanks for your thoughtful responses to my points.

As to FSBO vs MLS listings...

I haven't checked, but I'm almost certain you can list a client's home on a FSBO site if you pay their fee. Though each MLS has it's own rules, from what I understand in *most* cases on any given website you cannot show FSBO listings next to MLS listings, or "commingled" as they term it. So, except perhaps for the occassional liberal MLS, I can't make an all-encompassing listing site even if I was a licensed broker and member of the MLS. Nor can Trulia. Check out section 4.13 on this page for an example of a typical MLS policy:
http://www.imrmls.com/centsite/idx_policy.htm
... and that's from a somewhat liberal MLS. Some MLS won't even let you display "their" listings next commingled with another MLS' listings. Better yet, from the (current?) VP of sales right here:
http://www.truliablog.com/2006/09/13/is-the-mls-totally-clueless/
Basically there's no where I can search for homes in my zipcode and see all MLS and FSBO listings next to eachother. The NAR says these policies are just fine. See section IV, number 3 on:
http://www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/ILDPolicy

What's the merit in keeping these listings separated? It's pretty simple. MLS' control the vast majority of home listings and have these policies in place to continue their dominance of the (rather profitable) market. Great for the MLS, has some benefit to the agency model, and devalues consumer searches.

Now the real problem I have: If I were trying to sell a home FSBO I could not get my listing served on the popular real estate search engines (Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, realtor.com) except, perhaps, in some second-tier search mechanism on the site. I understand the 'why' for realtor.com by the way. However the others have forced restrictions placed on them that disallow them from showing my FSBO even in the event they want to (which appears to be the case). They cannot opt to not use the MLS data in favor of showing FSBO listing because they NEED the MLS data to provide decent (albeit, incomplete) coverage -- given the MLS system holds the dominant market share. That's strikes me as a problem.

I could get listed on these sites via a flat-fee MLS service. However here's the rub... the moment I do that I am *required* to offer a commission to buyer's agents. Those are MLS rules, not the flat-fee services. You HAVE to offer a commission to list on an MLS, regardless of the level of service you've hired on a seller's side. The amount of commission is not set, but you have to offer a commission.

Now, individually, both these rules (no 'commingling' FSBO with MLS listings and mandatory commission) are annoying. But in unison, coupled with the MLS system's market share dominance, they're downright anti-consumer. Coupled together, if you want exposure for your home by potential buyers (represented by an agent or not) you MUST be in an MLS and therefore you MUST offer a buyer's agent commission. I highly doubt either side of the equation (the seller or the Zillow/Trulia/etc) want that to be the case, but the middleman (MLS) in the equation has dictated rules that force the issue. That seems just plain wrong.

(... continued below ...)
2 votes
Steve, , Rohnert Park, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
(.. continued from above ..)

As to more MLS data being pubicly visible...

First off, I get that there's no legal requirement this be the case. MLS are for-profit, not a public service, and aren't obligated to share all the info they (and their members) collect. All I'm saying is there is a growing demand for this information to be more readily accessible by the public and I believe it will come via a non-MLS source.

As to specifics, I do think agent compensation is important to the consumer. I already mentioned I'l like to ensure I wasn't being steered based on compensation amounts. Likewise I'd like to know if a home sitting on the market for 200 days hasn't seen demand based on it being a dump/overpriced or because the owners are only offering 1.5%. That figure is an important aspect of the process and the consumer would/will benefit from more transparency. It's not about knowing what your agent is getting paid, it's ensuring the buyer's playing field is level and the commission offered plays a secondary role.

Timely transaction data is important. In a rising market timely transaction info is a luxury. In declining markets, these figures play a roll in not just 'comp' data for an offer but in tax reassessments, equity lines and even if a loan is likely to be approved. It is critical data that needs to be more accessible to the public in a timely manner and probably will in the future.

My biggest concern however relates to actually hiring an agent. There is no metric to conclude if an agent is good or not (and I think we can both agree, given the recent massive influx of agents, there is plenty of subpar agents out there). Referrals from friends mean basically nothing, as I really doubt my friend's have any clue if they got a good deal or not. They might be able to tell me who NOT to hire if an agent blew a transaction, but that's about it. Experience/number of closings isn't too relevant. In the end one can be a successful agent primarily via people skills (signing clients, soothing concerns, etc) and marketing oneself effectively. Those skills don't necessarily translate to a great negotiator/facilitator. It's a decent clue, but not enough for me to say "OK, you're now in charge of my $400K purchase."

If I had unfettered access to MLS data, I would likely be more comfortable. If an area's sale price/list price ratio is hovering around 98% and your last two months transactions have come in nearer 96% - I might call you up. If an regions average commission in my price range is around 2.5% but oddly 16 of your last 20 transactions have come in at 3% - I've got some questions should I call you. If I'm searching for a home in the $400K-$500K range, but you seem to be involved almost solely in condo sales - I probably won't call you.

But I have none of that data to help me decide. So now I get to start my agent hunt talking to friends whom I know have no knowledge of the industry simply because they actually bought a home, or by calling the phone number next to the smiling face on the bus stop bench. This fact of life seems to benefit neither the buyer or the (quality) buyer's agents out there.

Anyhow, interesting discussion. Best of luck to you.
2 votes
Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Steve,

You comment that the MLS is a tool to keep information hidden from the public. Frankly my friend this is a sad understanding of a very consumer beneficial system. In my area, almost all MLS data is available to the public via local websites that are members of the MLS. All active listings and 2 years worth of sold data are available online courtesy of members of the MLS. What else was it that you were looking for?

I do want to take issue with the idea that the information contained in the MLS is somehow public right. As agents we are the ones who go out and take pictures, measure and gather the information. We record the sales and pay for the infrastructure through our dues. If the public wants access to the data that we have collected and agreed to share with one another, then they can pony up some money for the data that is there and infrastructure it takes to maintain it.

You however fail to understand the core concept of the MLS - which is sharing information. The MLS forms that basis of our cooperation by forming rules by which we all agree to operate. I know prior to showing a property the fee I will earn for showing and selling that property. If we didn't have the system that was in place I would have to call each listing brokerage and get a signed agreement prior to showing every property, of exactly how much I would get paid if I delivered a sale. Such a cumbersome system would inevitably break down and lead to agents only being willing to show properties listed by their broker. Since seller would want the most showings they would list with the company with the most buyers and since buyers would want the most selection, they would work with the company with the most listings. In most areas this would force most smaller (Redfin???) companies out of business leaving one or at most two or three decent choices for real estate representation in any one area.

When you understand what the system is for, its existence makes considerably more sense.

Cameron Piper
Web Reference:  http://www.campiper.com
2 votes
Robert van d…, Agent, Fountain Valley, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Hello Mr. Smith,

Yes, I have worked with Redfin agents. Although their offers or transactions did not culminate in a closed sale. On one occasion there were lengthy negotiations about terms, not just price, which were not satisfactory in that market. I'm also sure that they have helped many people get into homes as well. I don't in any manner mean to convey that "Only Redfin" agents and their offers are the ones which are poorly written or that "They" don't negotiate well. I will say that my experience with the agents I did deal with was that they were not the strongest at their trade. Now, I am in no way saying that any ONE company has "ONLY GREAT AGENTS" and another has "ONLY SUB-PAR AGENTS." Just as there are many trades of work in this world, so are there many different capabilities for each trades person, as your experience has shown with this particular listing agent.

I don't know every agent out there. I think you should pick the one who offers you what you are looking for so that you'll be happy with the end results.

Best regards,

Robert M. van der Goes
Star Real Estate
(714) 305-2050
2 votes
Robert van d…, Agent, Fountain Valley, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Hello Asher Smith,

You really struck a cord with this question! I haven't seen so many lengthy replies on any other inquiry.

So here are my 2 cents.

I believe everyone is entitled to work with whomever they choose. The following I state from personal experience. The buyers I helped get into a property I had listed WOULD NEVER HAVE CLOSED ESCROW WITHOUT PROPER REPRESENTATION (not saying that discount Brokers don't provide this). Unfortunately there are bumps in some transactions and this one seemed to have them throughout From appraisal concerns, to recording of past liens to the buyers lender mis-quoting the locked in rate. Yes, they are all issues which can be address and were addressed, but I firmly believe that a less qualified agent would not have been able to resolve so many issues and concerns from both sides of the fence.

This is a business and like many professional agents out there, I treat it like such. I don't expect my clients to do the work or even know the trade, nor do they expect me to pay them for my work. Some transactions are difficult and some are easy, but I guarantee you that when you come across one that is difficult, you would be more than ready to give back that 1% +/- to have the deal go more smoothly.

I wish you the smoothest transaction possible and that you are happy with your decisions in the long run.

Best regards,

Robert M. van der Goes
Star Real Estate
(714) 305-2050
2 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
I think your question is a bit skewed. Reminds me of the old line, "Have you quit beating your wife?". The question itself is an indictment of "traditional" real estate agents. If you simply phrased your question, "Differences between a Redfin and Traditional Agent" I think the conversation would be much more constructive and not betray your alliance. I have no idea WHAT a Redfin agent is? Endangered spieces? Do you throw them back if caught?
For all buyers out there if you are working with a Redfin or another Realtor/Agent they should be showing you the property. How can they possibly represent you without actually seeing the property. I guess Redin doesn't "show" property. So I'm sure they in turn would not mind being paid a lesser fee. State law requires every Realtor/Agent to a transaction to do an inspection of the subject property. so I'm sure they'll get around to it. But how do they structure the offer? Based on what YOU say? No input, advice, where is the Fidiciary?
We've had this discussion about Refin before. The only reason companies like this survive is because a strong Listing agent has put forth a convincing arguement in which Seller's realize the way to get the best price is by offering a licensee who is selling their home a good fee! If it wasn't for those folks who have come before us all who put together a MLS structure which makes this "employment offer", Redfin would have NOTHING to offer you. You would have to build their fee into your offer and/or through the loan amount which you certainly can do. If we went back to the old days where the the major players started hoarding their listings and NOT cooperating with other agents then the Redfin and other Buyer's agents would be dead meat. But we have opened up the process as it aids our clients by getting them the most eyes on a property to get the most money.
I don't care if Redfin gives you their entire commission. But don't call me and expect to be shown my listings just to have your Redfin write the offer. It's called earning your keep. A good buyer's agent will have a signed buyer broker's agreement which will empower them to find you ALL listings currently available by networking with other agents and not just searching Zillow.
2 votes
Jeremy Lehman, Agent, Garden Grove, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
If Redfin's system works for you, then go for it. You can submit your own offer as well. If you are that familiar with the process, than why not? A buyer's agent makes their commission because of the time and effort we spend working with a client (Usually more than 8 weeks). It appears you are doing all of that work on your own. Something else you might consider is asking the listing agent when they are going to be holding an open house. I personally will show my listings, but an REO agent is not going to have time to show you the home.

Good Luck,
Jeremy Lehman
Century 21 Beachside
Jeremy@LehmanHomes.net
2 votes
Eric Israel, Agent, Orange, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
I thought Redfin agents had memberships to local realtor associations and had their own lock box keys which would enable them to show you the property? Is this not the case with Redfin? Truth be known Asher, you don't need an agent. Skip Redfin, go directly to the listing agent and have her submit your offer minus the commission the buyers agent would have gotten. Then you will be exactly where you wanted to be had you used Redfin. Hopefully there won't be any problems along the way. Here's an example of why buyers usually use their own representation. Let's say you and your wife are getting divorced. She has told you she will go after all your assets. Would you hire the same attorney who is representing her? Most listing agents if called by a buyer who told them they already had an agent wouldn't want to show the home. They feel it is the job of the buyers agent.
2 votes
Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Asher,

No matter who you use, that agent will need to be prepared for a procuring cause battle. Be aware that if an agent promises you money as a refund of the cobrokerage commission, they may not get their commission so you might not receive the refund. As much as you don't like the agent you met, a lot of what she said has merit. Redfin's model is to not do any work (showings, etc.) and then swoop in and ask for the commission after they send over an offer. The MLS's have long had a system in place to handle this sort of misuse of the cooperation system in place. If you would like to learn more about it, do a search here for procuring cause, of feel free to post back with questions.

My recommendation is to find a great agent in your area that is willing to help (you might search out who is answering question here - remember that we don't get paid for helping people here) and work with them. The benefits of their experience will pay dividends far exceeding a percentage of the cobrokerage commission. Good luck.

Cameron Piper
Web Reference:  http://www.campiper.com
2 votes
Joe Brannon, , Kent, WA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Without a doubt there are situations when using an Agency like Redfin just makes good sense. I am a REMAX agent and offer my clients full service. In other words I have established relationships with Home inspectors, Title and Escrow companies, lenders, and a variety of repair people. I have also taken a lot of classes on negotiations and have honed these skills. I make a point to be available to my clients both day and night. I also offer a moving truck free for any of my current or PAST clients to use. These are just some of the services I provide. If a homebuyer doesn't see or doesn't want to use these benifits it makes sense to use a company like Redfin who I believe with give some of the commission back to the buyer. I have represented a seller before and showed the home to a buyer that used Redfin. The transaction was just fine. There is absolutly nothing wrong with using either type of agency. I think it's important to look at the pros and cons of each one and decide which is best for you. There is more than enough need for both types of agencies.

Joe Brannon
REMAX Performance Plus
Renton, WA
Web Reference:  http://www.buyorselleasy.com
2 votes
It would seem to me that "established relationships with home inspectors, title and escrow companies, lenders" and others who need to be relied upon to act independently in the interests of a purchaser (or perhaps seller, in some instances) is not a good thing. I would absolutely not want my home inspector to have "established relationships" with an agent who is paid only if the purchase takes place.
Flag Sun May 8, 2016
Julia Broder, Agent, Westport, CT
Wed Nov 19, 2008
As with any business you have some people who are better than others...actions speak louder than words...the agent needed to show you what she could offer you in a professional manner...What would working with her make a difference in your buying experience ?...What is her backgound and professional ability to negociate for you ? Show you that she will have all the contacts to put you in touch with the proper inspectors...know the area better than anyone else...is this property in a flood zone????...what is in the future for this community that you may be interested in when you move there ? A good agent is the best person to have your buying and selling experience a positive and enjoyable one..It is the positive of what I can do for you that blows all the other companies away...excellent agents end up saving their clients money...continuing with them for their real estate life...always there to help...and become part of their real estate families...traditional agents are not by definition traditional any more...we have so many tools at our fingertips and our clients love it...there is nothing like excellent personal service and smart negociating from a top agent. Good Luck With Your Purchase...
Web Reference:  http://www.JuliaBroder.com
2 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Nov 19, 2008
First no traditional or refin agent for that matter should act the way the agent you encountered. In life the saying is you get what you pay for. A traditional agent will work on your behalf and offer you full service from the start to end of the transaction, when you start pying a discount or receiving a rebate they can not possible do everything and need to cut somewhere, usually at your expense.

The other point that if you contact me on my listing, i show it to you and you want to make an offer, no other agent is entitled to a commission as they were not the procurring cause of the agreement. If you want someone to represent you, make sure they are there for all showings and when calling on a home you need to state you are working with an agent

As far as full service buyer brokers... you do not need to get a discount broker as in most cases you can negotiate with a buyer agent so it does not cost you anything extra anyway, the buyer agent gets paid the fee offered in mls by the listing agent and paid at closing. Remember you do get what you pay for, get a full service agent which with full service will save you money, time and headaches later on. good luck with your search Asher.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
2 votes
Thom Colby, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Oct 14, 2013
I believe I answered this question about 5 years ago when it was first asked - HOWEVER - I now HAVE had the good fortune to work with Redfin Agents on two transactions; 1) I was listing agent and buyer's agent was Redfin - transaction went smoothly, everyone was happy. 2) I was buyers agent - our above asking price, fair offer was not accepted - that simple. Redfin seems to be a "transaction" based firm and seems to be diligent in their paperwork / escrows.
If a Buyer or Seller is selecting a firm purely because of the (legal) kickback to the client, we can all offer that incentive - I do.
The folks I've met through Redfin seem to be professional.
1 vote
mottaa1983, Home Buyer, San Jose, CA
Sat Jun 29, 2013
Redfin is a NIGHTMARE!! Run don't walk from that company - they do pay commission, it's based on customer satisfaction, therefore they will bully, manipulate, cajole, to drag out the sale so you are begging to end it all (and trust me after you sell to a buyer with Redfin you will want to end it all). The absolute WORST experience we have ever had, and we've sold 5 homes. Traditional realtors are running away from Redfin buyers/sellers because it is such a mindsuck, they are either sloppy or savvy with writing the offer because they slip stuff in so you have a 'gotcha' on your hands. We even had a home inspector that tripped breakers and left - what a horrible, horrible experience. We should have given them a snappy salute with the first LOWBALL offer, instead we countered and then we were off to the races - 3 weeks of counters. Pith me now - it was soooooo painful to deal with these jokers, karma is going to hurt the buyers and their greedy, self centered, snarky realtor. Buh bye Redfin Falls Church - you'll get yours!
1 vote
Hassan Sabba…, Agent, Campbell, CA
Tue Feb 14, 2012
I would interview a few agents first. I would pick up one agent who can give me best service. I would not be worried about his/her commission if that agent can give me good services.
Web Reference:  http://www.homenet123.com
1 vote
Mellokitty, Home Buyer, San Francisco County, CA
Wed Feb 8, 2012
REALLY?!?! Julie! The traditional full commission practice is actually the one that is being challenge by DOJ on monopoly basis. I'm sure Redfin have a few bad apples, just like regular traditional agent can be scam artist too. We do live in America, a supposedly capitalistic society, where free competition reign. If someone come up with a method that provides value work for cheap, then they'll succeed, if not, then they'll fail. So if Redfin fail, then it's because it was unable to provide good work for cheap. Also, Redfin rebate is not really a kickback. I would like to remind you that Auto industry offer rebate routinely, either through advertisement or the dealership. Credit card industry also have frequent rebate program too. So unless you're paying full sticker price for your car and have a credit card w/ no rebate points/$$$, then you're just being a hypocrite. Now, if you do pay full stick price and have a ho-hum credit card, then what can I said....
1 vote
David Athert…, Agent, Deer Park, WA
Mon Dec 14, 2009
Thanks Mack,

That really was the answer I was looking for and expected. There really is no direct rebate as advertised except in the rare cash, hard money or other type of loan that is not significantly restricted by government regulation.

We have a number of flat rate listing agencies here in Spokane and they seem to ebb and flow, but, mostly ebb. If you look at their percentage of the market, combined I doubt they hit a couple of percent. Also, it seems the advertisement is often a come on for a full service listing--and that is fine with me too.

Again, every model has its place and every idea runs its course. I had lunch with a friend who has sold about seven homes over his life, six of which were fsbo. he would like to sell his current home and the $$ are tight. I told him he should do a flat rate listing because it would give him an extra 12k to play with (3 percent commission he said he expected to pay the listing broker.) He has the experience, desire, knowledge etc to handle the work with the buyers. I also explained some agents would be reluctant to work with his listing if there were similar homes available because by definition, they would be picking up a lot of extra work and would not be compensated for that work. Never-the-less, in his circumstance, it really makes sense.
I did say I would do it for $1000; however, there were plenty of people out there who would do it for 2-500 dollars. I told him I charged $1000 because I do not like doing them and I have a hard time orphaning my buyers or sellers.
Anyway, it takes all kinds to make the world go around. Sometimes, working w/ a buyer, or seller for that matter, who wants to nickle and dime you to death really is not worth it. Maybe it is good for their to be an agency that overtly advertises for the nickle and dimers out there. Win Win for everyone!
1 vote
Tom, , Orange County, CA
Mon Aug 31, 2009
Do your home work and go with the Redfin agent!
I'm a discount buyers broker and firmly believe Real Estate has changed. Buyers today simply have great access to information. Further, I often hear the NAR position of: "you get what you pay for." That's baloney! Personally, I'm a DRE independent Broker with 23 years and not salaried.
Couple of things to put on your wish list:
1 Is the person your working with a Broker or Sales Agent? Go with the Broker.
2 Get the biggest rebate possible. Even if you buy down your interest rate, you'll save tons.
3 Work with a broker who only represents Buyers and never sellers.
It's your money, tom
1 vote
Eric Israel, Agent, Orange, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
Asher is quite eloquent huh? I love the part about the gas pumper in Oregon. Fell off my donkey laughing so hard. You are right Robert, he is a wonderful reminder. He deserves his attorney and his Redfin agent. Asher, honestly, thanks for the laughs the last couple of nights. Sounds like you are jealous of real estate agents. Hey, I thought I would give you the link to the CA DRE in case you want to look into what it would take to get your license: http://dre.ca.gov/exm_apply_sales.html.
1 vote
James Bridges, , Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
Asher,
Well this has certainly sparked quite a discussion. There really are some wonderful insights on this one.

I am curious as to why you stated "What is comical is your constant comparisons of what you do with professions that actually require higher education. Lawyers, doctors, dentists, even mechanics, all have to go through much more schooling than you ever will." Especially the comparisons made to attorneys aren't in just relationship to education. When you go into court, would you have the prosecution defend you? Probably not as you would hire an attorney to defend you in a lawsuit. There are many of us in this field who do have higher education and being an active real estate agent or broker (as I am) requires continuing education.

In regards to an attorney doing it. What did you negotiate with the attorney? Do you have to pay them hourly? or are they getting the compensation of the broker offered commission? How did you go about determining that they were more valid in a transactional role than an agent who has done 100+ buys in the city in which you are looking?
1 vote
Joseph Bridg…, , Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 21, 2008
Asher,

I continue to recommend a traditional agent. I find it strange that people don't tell listing agents they are represented when they call and also strange when agents don't ask. You mention that agents aren't required to have a higher education and in the traditional sense of schooling some do but many have education as my brother and I are both college graduates.

As far as your Ad homonym attacks on others I don't find that necessary. It does appear you don't value the services of professionals. Did you ever try interviewing full time buyer agents prior to your encounter with the listing agent? You mention you and your wife didn't need an agent because they were going to try and "sell" you all day in a car on a house. Being a buyer agent is about matching up a buyers needs with houses that meet the criteria that a buyer has requested in a detailed consultation.

A buyers agent or any real estate agent should meet with their client in a consultation prior to getting in a car to find out their criteria first.
1 vote
David Athert…, Agent, Deer Park, WA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
Asher, you remind me somewhat of a client I had a few years ago from your neck of the woods. I never got in their car, they never got in mine. They came to town sporadically. They would meet me at the office and I would hand them several folders. Each folder covered an area that interested them. Rural properties so we are talking about hundreds of square miles covered in each package. They would drive around for a few days and call me "Dave, we want to see these three houses." We convoyed to the homes, looked at them and ultimately bought one. During the process, they decided to look at a place in Idaho. I hooked them up with an agent there (and yes, if he had sold I would have received a referral of 25 percent of earned commission.) At closing the client handed me an evelope w/ a thank you note and $200 for the "Atherton Tractor Fund" because at each rural property we visited that had a tractor or some other implement I would like to own, I told them this was the one they should buy "Because the selling agent gets the tractor."

My point is, if you want to be a bit hands off it can still be to your advantage to get your own agent. A redfin agent who is willing to do less and rebate you might be the way to go. But, make YOUR agent work for you. That is what he is getting paid to do. I bet a good buyer's agent in your current market in CA would save you a lot more than 24k on an 800k home. I know in my market, which is only sagging about 10-15 percent over a year ago, I would save you that much or more. PS, in my state, I could not write you a check w/ the commission rebate. I could lower the price, I could pay costs for you, I could buy a tractor to plow your garden (if the lender permitted), but, I could not give you a cash rebate in your hand.
1 vote
Eric Israel, Agent, Orange, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
Steve, you don't understand real estate and the MLS so that is why you don't agree. The public has many sites such as Realtor.com, and many others. All information is shared basically. Zillow is for aerial mapping and past sales and that's about it. I don't recommend anyone going there to find a home. Also, there is no "mandated" commission, just whatever a seller is offering. Also, David's claim is accurate but you don't understand what he meant. He was referring to the commission the listing agent was earning which is no ones business. You may have thought he was referring to the buyers agent commission which is easy to find out. Regarding FSBO's. They are in a league of their own. They cannot list on the MLS because the MLS is for agents but as you pointed out, they can hire a flat fee artist to do so but they will have to offer a commission. Contrary to popular belief, most of us agents earn our money, but many people think what we do can be done by donkeys. Hopefully your stay in programming and I'll stay in real estate:)

I'm wondering why Thom removed his posts? Where's Asher, probably calling his Trulia agent:)
1 vote
Steve, , Rohnert Park, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Sorry Cameron, but I can't agree with your fond view of the MLS system. It's a dinosaur and the marketplace will take care of it in due time. I am surprised to hear your local MLS provides two years of transaction data. Best I can tell, no such option in the BAREIS system that's prevalent in my area. Do they show actual transaction-by-transaction data (which would be pretty cool), or just stats (median, average DOM, etc)? Our local paper prints public records of transactions after a fairly lengthy delay, but even that data is suspect (buyer kickbacks, etc)

True story... I program for a living, mostly web stuff for the company I work for (not a development shop or anything like that). Up until a couple years ago I never heard of an MLS, or at least never paid attention had the acronym come up. I accepted a freelance sub-contract gig for a realtor's website who wanted to incorporate MLS data in their site. After about 30 minutes of reviewing the MLS' IDX terms and conditions I started laughing, called back the design shop and said "Umm... sorry. Not gonna tackle this one." The restrictions were absurd. They needed a lawyer, not a programmer, for that job.

Here's what I know about MLS system. Please do feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

1. The DOJ took the NAR to school on it's nation-wide MLS policies. Oddly enough, the NAR claimed victory after the ordeal but at least some system-wide changes were imposed. The FTC continues to investigate individual MLS systems for anti-consumer activity. Seems the government is pretty wary of the whole system.
2. Only agents can list on an MLS. FSBO's are not allowed to list.
3. Only agents have full access to MLS data.
4. FSBO's can get on MLS system via flat-fee agencies.
5. Of course, if a FSBO gets on an MLS they *must* offer a buyer's agent commission.
5a. No MLS discloses agent commissions to the public. i.e. no way to tell if an agent is steering you towards (or away) from homes based on the amount of the *mandated* commission offered. Despite David Atherton's claim that "the compensating broker compensation really is not your business" -- unless the commission amount was enveloped-sealed until after sale completion, that amount really is the consumer's business.
6. Public sites that list the neutered-MLS data via jumping through all the hoops (see: Trulia) cannot show FSBO listings at the same time. You might be able to get super creative, ala Zillow's 'Make me Move', but consumers cannot see side-by-side listings. Would Trulia be more valuable to consumers if FSBO listings were included in it's searches? Of course. Can Trulia do so? Nope.

There's nothing consumer-friendly about the MLS system. It is very agent-friendly however. I suspect it's era is nearing an end (the market has a way of forcing out inefficiencies), but for now it remains a burden to the marketplace's transparency. That opaque source of data benefits a very small subset.
1 vote
Steve, , Rohnert Park, CA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Michael, Redfin doesn't operate in Sonoma County (here's hoping, though) so no doubt you have no familiarity with a Redfin agent. For reference however, Redfin agents will take their buyer on as many tours as they want. It's a fairly big part of their pitch on their website. Now, I *believe* they used to cap it at three tours and charge clients in excess of that, but that model was abandoned (as was the 2% kickback, down to 1.5%). I believe now the only difference is they meet you at the location rather than chauffeur you around town on a househunting expedition.

I suspect Redfin gets a higher percentage of people who don't really want the "personal touch" of their own agent/salesperson following them on home tours and would prefer to find a home they're interested in on their own -- then call in a professional to deal with price and the lead paint disclosure excitement.

Frankly none of this Redfin bashing makes sense to me. Anytime a poster says they want to skip the buyer's agent part of the process as they're capable of finding the home they want on their own, a bunch of agents jump on them explaining how finding a home is the trivial part -- it's the negotiations, paperwork, etc that takes all the time and expertise. Then Redfin appears and discounts based on a model that lets the client handle more of the 'trivial' side and focuses on the 'hard, time-consuming' part of the process -- yet agents don't seem to think that's a fair model either.

Most odd, however, it speaking of the MLS system as though it's anything other than a mechanism to keep as much listing and transaction information hidden from public view as possible.
1 vote
Kola70, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Oct 18, 2015
I found my apartment trough Zillow
0 votes
Benjamin Mar…, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Wed Oct 7, 2015
Redfin is the worst in the Chicago market. I'm a broker in the Chicago market and I dread when they list a home or a condo if there is not a Lock Box they make hourly pay so are never accommodating with showing on 500k+ homes. If I were the owne I would be infuriated. They don't care plain and simple because they have no personal stake in selling your place.
0 votes
Diana Sames, Agent, St Pete Beach, FL
Sun Dec 7, 2014
Eric

Well said.

"You get what you pays for"
Diana Sames St Pete Beach FL
0 votes
Alex Montelo…, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue Oct 14, 2014
I have never met a successful, full time Agent from Redfin. Are they Realtors? I bet only a select few of them are. I wouldn't waste my time with Redfin.

Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-7387 Cell
BRE Lic #01456982
0 votes
mikem, , Raleigh, NC
Fri Oct 10, 2014
During the listing agreement process the seller needs to be educated on what "procuring cause" is. When the buyer shows up for a viewing without their agent, the seller already knows what I'm going to do because he/she already agreed to it.

I kindly explain to the buyer that according to the agreement I have with my seller, he will only need to pay a buyer agent commission if the buyer's agent is here representing the buyer and can therefore be proven to be the "procuring cause". I also kindly explain that I must abide by my listing agreement.

We then simply used kindness and professionalism to convert that buyer to our client. In most cases it worked.

In the case of the loser who had the listing mentioned by the OP, they missed an opportunity and probably are not very successful as what they do. Rudeness never wins any clients.
0 votes
Oscar Juarez, Agent, mcallen, TX
Mon Aug 18, 2014
Redfin is another option to consider beside a Realtor
0 votes
Alex Montelo…, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Mon Oct 14, 2013
All I can say is that in my nine years in Real Estate I have never had the chance to work with A Redfin Agent. I feel that the Redfin Agent is usually a part time agent. Not someone that specializes in a neighborhood or market but someone that is usually called upon when needed. Ive got nothing against anyone working for redfin in any capacity. I think that their website is awesome. Some of the agents that Ive met have been courteous. I do not see Redfin doing a ton of business. Redfin does not sell or list many homes. Oh sure on a large scale the number is probably significant but compared to the bigger more traditional, established companies they are small potatoes.
I believe that they lure buyers to use their agents in representing them on a purchase by promising them 1% referral of their commission. Its a tactic that has kept them in the minds of buyers. Who doesnt want to make a little money, right?
In closing, I would not recommend using a Redfin Agent. They just dont specialize in any given areas. They are kind of all over the place. I would not recommend using some traditional agents either. Be very careful on who you select to represent you. Do some research, ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had good experiences with their Agents. It really doesnt matter what company the agent works for. What is important is how an Agent conducts business and how knowledgeable they are. Everyone is different. No two are the same.

Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-7387 Cell
DRE Lic#01456982
alexmontelongo13@yahoo.com
0 votes
Gerry McLoug…, , Naples, FL
Sat Aug 17, 2013
This will explain redfin v traditional. I have a network of really good agents if you need a free referral. Best Wishes, Gerry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAOVoR7LFvY&sns=em
0 votes
Eric, Home Buyer, Carrollton, TX
Wed Aug 14, 2013
If you are good at research and know what you want there is no reason to NOT go with a discount agent that will simply handle the process from offer to close.
Listing agents are happy to show the homes because if they don't and the seller finds out it probably wouldn't be a good day for them.
0 votes
The Consumer, Both Buyer And Seller, Gaithersburg, MD
Tue Jul 23, 2013
To me this is obvious! Everybody naturally looks after their own interests. And who wouldn't prefer $20,000 over $10,000?? I think she was behaving unethically, and possibly illegally, by trying to be your dual agent. But the system encourages that behavior by offering her double profit.

If you work with a traditional agent, their most profitable course of action is to convince you to make an offer that will be accepted right away, by telling you to offer as much as possible.

I think she was trying to manipulate you into not using redfin so she could get the double commission! Possibly illegal, but easily worth the risk for her.
0 votes
homebuyersag…, , Huntington Beach, CA
Wed Feb 20, 2013
I was reviewing the discussions about REDFIN in comparison with services of Traditional Agents. In my opinion Doing Paperworks is NOT a complete Real Estatate Transaction. 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 REDFIN 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 REDFIN Agents arrange Home Inspection / Termite Inspection? Does REDFIN arrange to get ESTIMATES for necessary repairs and works needed if requested by Buyer?

2. How much AFTER SALES SUPPORT a Redfin 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 REDFIN has an After Sales visit to any of the represented properties to explain paperworks received after closing of escrow?

3. Is REDFIN doing Fair Marketing or Trade Practices? - An average independent Agent gets 2 or 3 sales an Year. When REDFIN Agent do paperwork only process and give commission refunds to clients and operate across the country. Independent Agents across the country is competiting against a big corporation who has a huge advertising budget and promotions.

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

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

6. CORPORATE TAKEOVER: There are many reviews in multiple discussion forms about REDFIN that it is kind of a repatition 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 CORPORATE GREED about 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 reveiwing the various discussions in the lengthy topic favoring and against REDFIN. I thought to send my Questions and Thoughts so other Agents can provide their valuable opinions and thoughts about the matter.
0 votes
Derrick John…, Home Buyer, Long Barn, CA
Tue Mar 27, 2012
Sad, you should have used a real agent. She was right, REDFIN has the worst type of transactions and YES the agents have to do their own contracts and paper work. They failed to notice wood rot on the back side of the house where the listing agent has a very long list of issues with the property and the 22 year old redfin agent had no clue what he was doing other than opening a door. So, if you feel you can do a good job yourself, go for it when spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. To pay a REAL agent a fee, dont forget these agents also run a business and people complain at their pay? Do you watch any sports on Televsions? Do you know what sports players get paid? LOTS . they don't rebate you part of their pay because you bought ticket. Never use redfin, no personal service, they are sloppy and any company that gives away profit will eventually go broke. And when you get paid if your employer took away 50% of your wages you would be angry, just like all refin employees are. They don't know anything about legal contracts. The worst. just my two cents.
0 votes
Julie K, , Boston, MA
Sun Jan 1, 2012
Redfin should not be allowed to work in the industry. They are simply luring buyers in to use them by offering a kickback, which in most professions, is illegal.

That being said, I am looking forward to their methods being challenged in court. In most states, in order to practice real estate and be compensated for it, you must have a valid license. Red fin has slipped through the cracks and will eventually fall through to the bottom. They are simply cheats to the business.

I've been in RE about 8 years and am quite disappointed that they even exist. I would prefer to not do any business with their agency, if I can help it.
0 votes
Linda Walters, Agent, Wayne, PA
Wed Aug 3, 2011
You get what you pay for. If I were your agent, I would press for every advantage in your transaciton. You must feel you don't need that expertise.
0 votes
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