Redfin DC Gets Personal

Last month, we rolled out a major service upgrade for home buyers in every market Redfin serves except Washington DC and Seattle, where we needed to hire more agents. Now we’ve done that in DC, so the wait is over. We thought you might have some questions.

What’s changed?

The big change is that now you can have a one-on-one, personal relationship with your agent.  She meets you on your first tour, sees the home you love before writing the offer, negotiates your deal and hands you the keys once you’ve closed. She’ll get to know you personally and guide you at every step, backed by a team that’s always available to answer questions.

What hasn’t changed?

We keep hearing how important it is to have an agent that’s 100% on your side, paid on your satisfaction, not commission. It’s how Redfin has always done business, and that’s not changing. With our new service in DC, you get personal service backed by a team and online tools that keep you in the loop at every step.

What does this mean for my refund?

As a result, the commission refund we offer buyers will change from a flat 50% of our commission (with Redfin’s minimum $6,000 fee) to a range between 15% and 50%, depending on the list price of the home, with no minimum fee. Since the refund is now based on the list price instead of the sale price, we’ll always put the estimated refund amount in the upper-right corner of the listing page. Our fee for selling a home is still 1.5% of the home price.

If you’ve already contacted us to tour a home, talk to an agent or write an offer, we’ll either honor the old refund pricing, or give you the new pricing, depending on which gives you more money back. You just need to close on a home by June 29, 2012.

Why the change?

We talked to hundreds of customers and heard loud and clear that they wanted a more personal relationship with their agent. We launched the new service in Boston in June of last year. In its first six months, we saw a 38% year over year increase in the rate at which people bought a home with Redfin within 90 days of taking a first home tour with us. The average client satisfaction score also went up by more than 10% in Boston after the launch. So more people wanted to work with Redfin from start to finish, and those that did were happier that they did. People love getting personal service from agents who are not paid on commission, and saving money at the end of the process without compromising.

For more of the scoop on the upgrade, read the blog post or connect with a Redfin Washington DC agent who can show you how the whole process works. Check out the reviews of our DC-area agents and find the right one for you.

  • FRANK B. LL0SA- Broker

    Hey Marshall!

    Is there an updated post somewhere with the newer price increases? Because the numbers don’t seem to match up.

    Here you say your rebate is a “range between 15% and 50%” of list price, calculated based on 3% offered (even if a lower buyer agent compensation is offered).

    But where is the 50%? I couldn’t find one example.

    Assuming your sliding scale would max out at a $15M home, why does a $15M home have a 40% of commission rebate. Where is the 50%?

    Also isn’t it technically “up to Over 100%”? Why not say that?

    As for the over 100%, I see a few listings that offer a 1% buyer agent commission, and you offer a rebate of over 1% of the typical 3%, even if 3% is not offered. So effectively the rebate could be over 100% of what is offered. Wow! Impressive.

    And why not also focus on the most typical home, like the $500,000 home. Those seem to be just a hair over 1%. So isn’t it more accurate to say your typical rebate is now 1%? Seems more straightforward, above-board, and more Redfin like. But I guess it isn’t as sexy as saying “up to 50%” rebate, and it makes it harder to slowly change the rebate amount over time. But I thought you were better than that. A spin-free zone of sorts.

    And when you say “no minimum fee,” again it sounds great, but how is that consistent with the “More Info: Below Minimum” that I see on low priced homes?

    Instead of saying that you no longer will charge extra for lower priced homes (which sounds good), just say you solved this by just cutting those homes out completely (doesn’t sound as good)? (Or sending them to partners for a 15% of commission rebate.)

    Also now that you have a sliding scale, it seems harder for the customer (and the industry) to know where you stand. Is this new system a way to slowly slide everything toward 15% without having to redisclose?

    For example, I looked up a $648,000 home today and the offered commission was $7,479, not the $8,100 in the above example. A 7.5% drop in rebate. Will there be announcements for future rebate drops or will it be buried in the 15-40%, I mean 15-50% pitch?

    If I am confused and I am in the industry, how are the consumers not supposed to be confused?

    Your biggest local broker fan!

    FRANK LL0SA- Broker

  • FRANK B. LL0SA- Broker