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Old 05-20-2011, 09:36 AM
 
70 posts, read 155,359 times
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Default Great experience with Redfin

We closed on a new house in Mass. using Redfin as our buyer's agent.

The pros that I see for Redfin:

1) Two categories of agents - field agents who show you the house in a geographical region, and the buyer's agent who writes the deal for you. The advantage of this is that your buyer's agent is almost always "in the office", thus reachable easily. With time-sensitive transactions, this is extremely valuable.

2) Web site - their site offers the richest set of data I've ever seen. You choose home tours like shopping at Amazon. You initiate offers on their web site. You can see the complete price history of the property. No other web site comes close.

3) Transparency - every Redfin customer who makes an offer has the opportunity to review their agent. It's easy to find and select the best agents, and it keeps the agent's on their toes knowing that they will soon have a review for the whole world to see.

4) Rebate - Redfin rebates 50% of their commission to you, with a minimum of $6000. The rebate only really comes into play on houses priced higher than $250k. In our case, we got $6000 back after closing.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
2,435 posts, read 3,201,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BedfordResident1 View Post
We closed on a new house in Mass. using Redfin as our buyer's agent.

The pros that I see for Redfin:

1) Two categories of agents - field agents who show you the house in a geographical region, and the buyer's agent who writes the deal for you. The advantage of this is that your buyer's agent is almost always "in the office", thus reachable easily. With time-sensitive transactions, this is extremely valuable.

2) Web site - their site offers the richest set of data I've ever seen. You choose home tours like shopping at Amazon. You initiate offers on their web site. You can see the complete price history of the property. No other web site comes close.

3) Transparency - every Redfin customer who makes an offer has the opportunity to review their agent. It's easy to find and select the best agents, and it keeps the agent's on their toes knowing that they will soon have a review for the whole world to see.

4) Rebate - Redfin rebates 50% of their commission to you, with a minimum of $6000. The rebate only really comes into play on houses priced higher than $250k. In our case, we got $6000 back after closing.
I think a few of those things are really terrific, and one is a little detrimental.

As a note, I'm glad you had a great experience and I like that Redfin is around. They're a good addition to the real estate community. But here are a few thoughts of mine:

1. Is the interesting one. Is it good to have a buyer's agent that may or may not be skilled in writing contracts? How would he be? He doesn't write any. I don't know. The fact that I am a skilled contract writer and know my 8-page contract like the back of my hand means that in looking at the home, I'm on the lookout for ideas to bolster it. I'd never want to go search homes and then rely on someone else to cover my contract. I'm not sure that even makes any sense.

I also don't quite know that I like the idea that my real estate agent sits behind a computer waiting for others in order to be successful. How entrenched into the business are they? If it weren't for these feeding tubes of clients, would they continue in the business? Can they create their own business?

In addition, how well do they know the areas they serve? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there about 3-4 agents covering the entire Bay Area market? If I'm right, I'd have to see that's an impossible task. I'd rather have an agent being fully entrenched into the area they work.

Having said that, there are some supremely awful real estate agents in the business and some also don't know the areas they work very well (my advice: interview a few!) and many that don't answer their phone in a timely manner, so I could see how that part could be comforting.

2. Redfin's website is the best consumer-based website on the web if you're in one of its 8 markets - no doubt.

3. Transparency is interesting. I do think something like that would be good for all real estate agents, too. I think clients should know who is good, who isn't good, etc. I could also see a lot of problems stemming from these things too - Yelp being the perfect example of how some of it can get out of hand LOL

4. Rebate - here's a grey area. I've matched a few rebates before in my time when I was asked (they were good people and I knew they could use it), but I question the practice of taking from a seller to give to a buyer into coaxing them into using my middle-man service. Since Redfin doesn't really list homes, they can't give it back to the seller, which would be cutting real estate fees. Instead, they're essentially saying, 'OK, buyers, if you use us, here's a bribe.' It doesn't do anything to cut real estate fees out of the equation.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:41 AM
 
70 posts, read 155,359 times
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Party Rhino -- check this out: Redfin Agents Rank in the Top 2% of all Boston-Area Buyers Agents | Redfin Boston Sweet Digs

There is no comparison between Yelp and Redfin reviews. Anyone can submit a Yelp review. Only people who have made offers have the opportunity to review their Redfin agent. And yes, you do see some bad reviews, so I'm fairly confident in the accuracy. Even offers where people chose NOT to review their agent shows up in their list of transactions: Risa Bell | Boston Real Estate Agent | Redfin
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
2,435 posts, read 3,201,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BedfordResident1 View Post
Party Rhino -- check this out: Redfin Agents Rank in the Top 2% of all Boston-Area Buyers Agents | Redfin Boston Sweet Digs

There is no comparison between Yelp and Redfin reviews. Anyone can submit a Yelp review. Only people who have made offers have the opportunity to review their Redfin agent. And yes, you do see some bad reviews, so I'm fairly confident in the accuracy. Even offers where people chose NOT to review their agent shows up in their list of transactions: Risa Bell | Boston Real Estate Agent | Redfin
No, I wasn't making the comparison that Redfin=Yelp. I was saying that if you opened up that transparency to the rest of the real estate world, it might be a Yelp-centric manner in which it occurred.

Redfin's is a lot like ebays - you're right, you need to have done a transaction with them in order to write the review/give feedback.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Morrisville
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Something doesn't seem right about Redfin...the "rebate" seems to me just like seller paid closing costs.
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,674 posts, read 16,960,411 times
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Redfin just laid off a bunch of agents that were getting too many negative reviews. They also severed relationships with a bunch of partner agents for the same reason. Personally I thought that was great. It just solidified that they really take those reviews to heart.

I think their review process is one to be replicated. I think just normal sites like Amazon have taught consumers that no one likes the same thing 100% of the time so they get negative reviews. I think the real estate industry is a bit in fear of the negative review rather than accepting it as the way life naturally works.

I can also say that I wouldn't feel comfortable writing up an offer on a house I hadn't seen. I would have to put a lot of trust in the competence of those field agents and I'm a bit too much of a control freak to step out of the process that much. It is my personal preference to negotiate obvious repairs upfront and I can't do that, if I can't see the house. I can see, though, that their system really streamlines the process because someone just does paperwork all day so you don't really have those huge gaps where you can't get a hold of the agent because they are out showing houses.

I'm glad you had a positive experience with them. We are just all jealous of their killer website
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:33 PM
 
70 posts, read 155,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggJoe4181 View Post
Something doesn't seem right about Redfin...the "rebate" seems to me just like seller paid closing costs.
The rebate does come from the seller's closing costs.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Morrisville
1,168 posts, read 1,128,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BedfordResident1 View Post
The rebate does come from the seller's closing costs.
So redfin represents the seller and the buyer? This is the first I have ever heard of redfin...so I am completely clueless as to how this works.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Lake Mary, Florida
794 posts, read 1,241,616 times
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Let me start off by saying I offer rebates and they must be shown on the HUD-1, also we are finding in more short sales & REO's the banks are disallowing the rebate and in my last few deals the buyers mortgage lender disallowed.

Also be aware that all parties must be made aware of the rebate up front by disclosing it in the offer to purchase.

Rebates are also considered income and must be 1099'd for buyers taxes in January.

Hope this helps,
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:00 PM
 
70 posts, read 155,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggJoe4181 View Post
So redfin represents the seller and the buyer? This is the first I have ever heard of redfin...so I am completely clueless as to how this works.
No, Redfin represents the buyer. They split the buyer's agent commission with you 50/50, provided that the commission is at least $12,000.
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