Redfin "Rocks Real Estate" in USA Today

Redfin just showed up in a big USA Today feature which reports that “a growing number of home buyers swear by Redfin, an online start-up in Seattle that has rocked the real estate market.” All day, our phone has been ringing off the hook.

And this time ’round, none of the calls have been nasty! After touching on The Department of Justice settlement with the National Association of Realtors, the story emphasized our often-convoluted but sincere efforts to get along with other brokers, and their efforts to get along with us.  USA Today

And then a few hours after the article was published, one of our customers chimed in on the USA Today site with his own perspective:

A great idea is one thing, putting it into practice is another. I actually used Redfin to close my first housing purchase well over a year ago. I got great hands-on experience. My Redfin agent was busy at 10pm one night putting in an offer for me because we were in a multiple bid situation and time was running out. Her expertise drafting an escalator clause really paid off. They also sent someone to the property to help coordinate an emergency inspection (one day after the house was on the market). We ended up getting the house and were happy with the service. The best part is that I never felt “sold” or wondered about Redfin’s agents motivation (conscious or subconscious).

Cynthia said it sounds suspiciously like something we would write about ourselves, but it’s the real deal. (If you want to keep up with all of Redfin’s daring exploits, including our discussion of low-ball offers in Newsweek or short sales in The Washington Post earlier this week, just check out our feed.)


  • Patty and Jim

    We were going to use Red Fin until my husband saw people holding up large signs for a 500 Realty. We went to their website and found they are cheaper to sell witrh and much better to buy with. Who is a bigger company?

    • Amanda

      500 Realty is a joke. The owner is a thief and a liar. He should not be trusted! Do not use this company if you want to sell, purchase, or rent a home. Especially rent to own. They foreclosed on a house we had been paying big money to buy from them.

      • Raul

        I've used about 5 full commission agents in the past and felt ripped off and cheated. I got tired of it and decided to use Nick Radach of 500 Realty. This guy saved me big bucks and is the best RE agent I've ever had. I'll never pay full commission again. He taught me to think like an investor. I can't say enough good things about him.

        Amanda: I find it really difficult to believe 500 Realty (Ray Pepper) foreclosed on a house you were renting to own, unless you somehow did not fulfill your obligations of the contract you signed. Is it possible that you missed some payments?

  • Jerry

    “Patty & Jim”
    Would you 500 realty guys knock it off? Seriously. The constant barrage of fake, self-serving comments on this blog are really turning me off. I suspect that others feel the same way.

    Why don’t you ban these doofuses? (what’s the plural of doofus? doofuses? doofi?)

  • Glenn Kelman

    It is getting a little ridiculous. Guys, can you please lay off?

  • Jim Duncan

    Glen -

    That snippet from the USA Today article describes what any good Realtor would do for his or her client. Good on you for getting publicity for what should be considered “minimum” service, IMHO.

  • Jim Duncan

    And I am sorry for misspelling your name. Wish I could edit my comment …

  • Glenn Kelman

    Don’t worry about my name, Jim, it happens all the time. And yes! 10 p.m. consultations, escalator clauses, emergency inspections may all be part of what it takes to get a deal done, but what may be less tangible, more elusive but definitely meaningful to our clients is this feeling that they’re not being sold to, that the Redfin agent isn’t paid like a sales person. There are certainly advantages to paying people on sales, for Redfin and undoubtedly for the client, but some clients like feeling less pressure…

  • Patty and Jim

    Very rude. Sorry for asking.

  • Cynthia

    Patty and Jim,
    I think you’re asking which company has bought and sold more homes? Well, I can tell you some facts about Redfin. We have closed more than 1,500 transactions, refund on average $10,000 to homebuyers and save sellers $12,000 on average. We also have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and 95% customer satisfaction. It sounds like you are comparing services, so please let us know if you have questions about how Redfin works … we offer free home tours, a dedicated team and the most comprehensive website to help in your search. I hate sounding like an ad, but I hope that helps. Here’s a good comparison chart.
    Cynthia, Redfin

  • Jim Duncan

    Glenn -

    Again, – sorry to be on-topic :) – today’s consumers don’t want to be “sold,” and those agent who adapt accordingly will succeed. Personally my focus is on representing my clients’ best interests, and if that’s walking, that is my advice.

    As the market continues to shift, those agents who “sell” (shill) will hopefully find other careers/hobbies and those of us who treat this as a profession will thrive.

    My initial beef remains – everything in that snip is ordinary.

  • Patty and Jim

    ok we spent the time looking and red fin is much bigger then 500 realty. But, their pricing is more what we were looking for in terms of selling. We must sell first before we but. Plus their website was easy

    Thanks Cynthia

    P and J

  • Mike Farmer

    Actually there is just as much pressure either way to sell. I am thinking about going to salaried agents at some point in the future — if they don’t sell they don’t stay, though — after good service and doing what’s best for the client, it’s about production. It won’t matter if I have an agent that’s well liked and has a good heart, if they can’t produce I won’t be able to pay them.

    The real test is in the individual agent, salary or commision, and their ability to get the job done in no-pressure fashion with the objectivity of the transaction at the center, not what’s best for the agent.

    Professional agents, again, regardless of salary or commission, will have to provide high level services that lead to transactions in order to be successful. The old slick-sell, wham bam thank you ma’am is over, kaput.

  • Patty and Jim

    We just don’t like the pressure of paying for checking out a home. In the end it wasn’t the 66% from Red Fin or the 75% from 500 Realty it was just a better deal for us.

    I love this website though.

  • Cynthia

    Hi Patty and Jim,
    Did you know that Redfin gives free home tours? Just wanted to make sure you knew. There are a few different options. If this is the main reason you aren’t using Redfin, we’d love to know how to make it clearer or better:
    1. If you are looking in King County, you get unlimited free tours in June. We’re looking to roll this out in other areas …
    2. Your first two home tours are free – two hours or six homes! That’s a lot since it sounds like you’re already using Redfin to pare down your options. Plus then you get two more free tours. If you end up using Redfin they are $250 each, but if you don’t use us you aren’t out a penny.
    3. We also have an unlimited home tour option – Redfin Select – with different services where you get a 50% commission refund.

    Read more about Redfin’s home tours.

    Thanks for stopping back by,
    Cynthia, Redfin

  • Patty and Jim

    Well we have been doing most of our searches on-line and driving to narrow down the search. I think we have it nailed but Jim figured that (unless he is wrong) the value proposition with the 4000 minimum (the house we are looking at is 310,000) the 500 Realty minimum of 2900 will come into play…At least according to 500 Realty on this purchase. We just end up with 1100 extra in our pocket using them. I thank you though for your kind responses. Correct me if I’m wrong we have not signed up for anything yet..

  • cindy

    We used 500 realty and they were great. In fact read what their CEO states on the News Tribune. hes always yelling something and we like his aggressive marketing style.

    “Every home on the MLS has money that is the Buyers. Go ask your realtor for it” cracks us up!

  • stan

    500 Realty!!