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Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 12:30 AM   #1
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Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

I'm in the process of getting my condo ready to sell, as I described in this thread:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...?topic=12157.0

and I've been looking for a way to sell that will give me the market exposure I can get with a full-service realtor, but without paying their huge commissions.

It looks like I might have found just what I need. Redfin is a new real estate brokerage with a "self service" business model, and a low $2000 flat fee for their selling services.

http://www.redfin.com

They are only in the Seattle and some California markets right now.

If anyone has used their services I'd like to hear impressions. I have seen a couple of their signs up in my neighborhood, and toured a 2 million dollar open home listed through redfin, so they seem to be for real.

I've heard sour grapes comments from realtors, that they will boycott Redfin, so I shouldn't expect buyers agents to push their clients towards my property. But I'm guessing these days most buyers search the MLS electronically over the web rather than asking their agents what properties are available, and my property will show up there with Redfin.

And are there any other competitors to Redfin that I should consider? The ones I know of are ziprealty and helpusell, both of which charge higher fees.

PS: If you are buying a home, Redfin will refund 2/3 of the buy-side commission for using them!
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 05:08 AM   #2
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Sorry, no knowledge of Redfin here. While I'm sure many buyers use the internet to search for properties, (we sure did) I think there is a very high percentage (including those who do search on the internet) that form a relationship with an agent (hopefully a "buyer's agent" at least) and depend on that person. Lots of folks find it very convenient to let them do the work (especailly arranging to see many houses on one day, something that would be a PITA to do on your own). Since it costs buyers nothing to use an agent, they do. (Of course, it does cost them something, since the broker's commission, no matter who pays it, drives up the cost of the transaction). If I've got this right, then anything that reduces the appeal of your home to agents (e.g reduced commssions t the buyer's agent) will reduce the number of prospective buyers who will be taken to your house.
- Also, it is possible people who are using an agent and NOT doing the research online themselves are the ones most likely to pay top dollar for a home (they are less likely to be doing a cool analytical assessment and looking for the very best bargain, more likely to be influenced by intangibles)

Overall--just be careful that, in trying to save $8k in commissions (or whatever) you don't wind up having to accept an offer that is 10K lower or leave the house on the market for 6 extra months.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 05:21 AM   #3
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by free4now
But I'm guessing these days most buyers search the MLS electronically over the web rather than asking their agents what properties are available....
I didn't know it was possible to search the MLS over the web? I know that some sites allow you to search their listings, but I did not know that there was a way to search all MLS listings?
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 07:28 AM   #4
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

yup, just google "mls free" ... no $$ but some want a survey completed and/or are monitored by realtors who will begin cold calling/emailing.

But the mls is definatley the way to go. for 2k it'ld be worth it just to be in the mls.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

What is "MLS" ? I know what it stands for - but is the list owned by the National Association of Realtors ?

If you use something like Redfin - does that mean it will show up in "MLS listings" ?

There's a website http://www.listbyowneronmls.com that for $300 you get "on MLS listings" for 6 months. Has "Realtor" logo on website.

If you list with these - I'm not sure how well you'll be "seen". You may come up on "MLS listings" - but at the very bottom.

Our newspaper has property listings online - the full service realtor listings show up first on list, well organized and sorted. Then the "for sale by owner" listings show up at bottom in random order.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Redfin listings will show up on MLS, which in my area is available on the web at http://mlslistings.com/ but Redfin listings I think won't go onto http://realtor.com/ which is the NAR website and also a major search portal for buyers.

What I like about Redfin is that they seem to give just the services I want, but nothing more: local-style lockbox and sign, help with gathering a disclosure packet, and help with negotiating the final deal.

I did some reading and the selling feature on Redfin is very new in the SF Bay Area... they are a startup company, still not profitable, and the number of homes that have sold through them is relatively low. On the one hand I think that would mean I'd get relatively attentive service because the more satisfied customers they get the more they can raise more venture funding. Kinda like how in the late 90's there were all sorts of freebies available from websites that just wanted to list you as a customer to raise more funding. I think the $2000 fee I pay probably doesn't cover the amount of service I'd get. On the other hand there may be glitches as their processes aren't well tested.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

This looked great to me - http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...?topic=13054.0. Note that it claims to get your listing on Realtor.com and refund commision on the buy side as well.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 03:17 PM   #8
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

I don't know anything specifically about Redfin. Last year, I did talk to a several brokers and client from similar (but more established) discount real estate agency Help-U-Sell. The feedback I got from clients was that while they didn't do all the stuff that a full price broker does, overall they were happy with them.

I believe I recommend a discount realtor original so I'd be interested in hearing how it turns out. Good luck, it seems to that California Real Estate is either really hard to buy, or really hard to sell, at equilibrium last for about 48 hours
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 04-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #9
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

I used a discount broker in Phoenix, Az. Paid approx. $350. Did it again here in Florida, but market is so bad I took it off market and rented it.

The one advise that I can give you is this. If you are not there to talk to realtors when they call you to show property, often times they will not show property, even if the listing says it has lock box on it.

That is my experience. In Phoenix when I did it, I was temporarily living in the unit, so it worked just fine and it was showed by lots of realtors. Here in Florida, I was not living in unit, and missed calls from Realtors, and hense it did not get shown often. So the long and short of it is. If you are home "most of the time' to answer calls, it should work ok for you.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-10-2007, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Well, I decided to go with Redfin, and signed a listing agreement. I'll have my place on the MLS Monday May 14. So far it seems like what I expected: The agent I'm working with is overloaded and has trouble returning my calls when he says he will, but everything seems to be proceeding as it should.

One wrinkle that was annoying is that they tried to raise the fee on me. When I submitted the online form to start a listing, their system charged me their $3000 (raised from $2000 a couple of weeks ago) fee on my credit card. Then the agent said their system is broken and the real fee for California is higher, $4000. They say the $3000 price listed on their website is for Seattle only, their main market (even though their website does not list a separate CA fee). So I said I'm not going to pay $4000 and after a "talk with the manager", the price was back to $3000. Seems like one of those growing pains things, annoying but to me worth the trouble.

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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-10-2007, 03:23 PM   #11
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

There are a few times in life when DIY doesn't always work so well. I submit RE is one of those.

The agents have most of the buyers, and that's not going to change. However, good luck with your sale, and let us know how it works out for you..........

I personally would NEVER sell my house myself............
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-10-2007, 03:32 PM   #12
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Quote:

The agents have most of the buyers, and that's not going to change.
I think the move is towards internet searches w/o a realtor. The last three I bought (going back ~7 years were all inernet searches (done by DW or myself). Then I call the listing broker directly.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-10-2007, 03:33 PM   #13
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

We bought all but 1 5-plex through RE agents. Been lucky enough to sell 6 houses with neither seller nor buyer's agents, 3 to people we knew, 2 to a developer who cold called us, 1 in a month through a sign in a window. Best of luck to you.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-10-2007, 03:38 PM   #14
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
I think the move is towards internet searches w/o a realtor. The last three I bought (going back ~7 years were all inernet searches (done by DW or myself). Then I call the listing broker directly.
Fine as a buyer -- the seller pays the commision. If you went thru a buyer's agent, it would have been the same thing, though he or she might have saved you some hassle, found properties you missed (they call them pocket listings - one's that haven't yet made the MLS).

I think it's a trickier decision as a seller.
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:41 PM   #15
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki
This looked great to me - http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...?topic=13054.0. Note that it claims to get your listing on Realtor.com and refund commision on the buy side as well.
I listed my house for free with iggyshouse.com

It is on MLS and realtor.com, so far we have only had one realtor call to do a preview and he didn't show up.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-10-2007, 03:47 PM   #16
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Free4now, can't you also claim your condo on Zillow and note it for sale?

Costs nothing.

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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-11-2007, 04:22 AM   #17
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

if i was trying to sell id offer the broker an additional commission of say 10,000.00 if they sell my house within 30 days. id want all their focus on my house not someone elses.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-11-2007, 10:21 AM   #18
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

Mathew,

Not much a realtor can do if the house is not priced right ... my guess is the realtors will take the 10k AND reduce the price. Little too rich for my blood.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-11-2007, 12:25 PM   #19
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

I think that's the issue tryan. The main reason I think realtors tend to make homes sell is that they are good at talking the sellers down on the price. Almost all sales originate with someone finding the property on MLS, not by anything the selling agent did outside of listing it.

I interviewed four realtors before deciding to list with redfin. I noticed that the ones that sold more homes per year were much more aggressive about telling me why I needed to price my home low.

BTW I had my property listed on zillow "Make me move" for a couple of months. I got three email inquiries from that, and none got any further than one round of questions.
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?
Old 05-11-2007, 12:37 PM   #20
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Re: Redfin real estate- ready to kick the agents out?

I have been wondering how effective the "Make Me Move" would be in selling a residence. There is one posted in my neighborhood but I think the asking price is much higher than market.

In our area listing and selling prices have held but time on the market has increased significantly. My read on our area that if you need to sell ASAP the seller must market aggressively (location and condition make a big difference).
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