This Town Ain't Big Enough for The Both Of Us
I like to think of myself as an optimist, so when I hear that some real estate professionals are scared that Zillow and Trulia will take money from them, I think they need to figure out how to make lemonade.
That being said, Redfin is a direct assault on traditional real estate sales:
If you find a home you like and want to place an offer, Redfin will represent you in the buying process (they have a call center with licensed real estate professioinals to guide you). Here’s the good part: They reimburse you 2/3 of the buy-side real estate fee directly on closing. The average amount reimbursed to the buyer is $11,402 (and that is based on relatively low Seattle home prices).
Redfin is also testing a seller-representation model, called “Direct for Sellers”, that will handle all aspects of a sale for a flat fee (currently $1,350). On a $500,000 home sale, this saves the seller $13,650.
The local real estate market is not impressed:
Everything isn’t rosy for Redfin, though. They’ve been operating in Seattle for a number of years and have numerous war stories to tell about threats, stalkings and other disturbing behavior towards their employees and some customers from, apparently, angry real estate professionals.