Buying through Redfin - does anyone have first-hand experiences they could share?
March 26, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Buying through Redfin - does anyone have first-hand experiences they could share?

I'm looking to buy a house in the Bay Area. I use the Redfin web site all the time, but is their limited human contact going to be an issue? I have bought and sold homes before (but not in California) so I am generally familiar with the home-buying process.
posted by GuyZero to Shopping (3 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I bought my house through Redfin, in the Seattle area. It was our first house and we were buying under a lot of pressure. It was fine -- there were always people there at the office to answer our calls and e-mails.

The only problem was getting in to see houses. We didn't have a Redfin agent coming out to open the doors with those magic little boxes, so we had to break and enter try to convince the sellers' agents to let us in, or go to open houses. One seller's agent refused to show us the house, as it would be a conflict of interest for him. We got into the house we ended up buying by calling the seller and asking if we could come by at a time when they were already scheduled to show it.

Redfin was new at the time, and not many people had heard of it. The seller's agents who had heard of it didn't like what they'd heard, and weren't eager to help us. I don't know what Redfin's current reputation is and if that will help or hinder you.

We tried going out with a traditional agent at first. It was nice having someone else doing the driving, who could unlock doors, knew the prices in the neighborhood off the top of his head, and could point out flaws in houses that we didn't notice right away. He had the same listings we did, though, so we didn't really need him.

In the end, we saved several thousand dollars by using Redfin.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:41 PM on March 26, 2008

Not sure if you'll check back at this point but I hope you do. We recently sold my mom's house and I went back and forth over whether to use Redfin or a traditional agent. After doing basically what you are, reading as much as I could, I settled on a traditional agent, and just continually beat him over the head with Redfin. We ended up paying 3% commission total (both seller and buyer agents gave back 1.5% each in order to get me to settle on a lower negotiated price for the house.) Just remember that no agents get paid until the house closes. While you might stress out the longer these things go, the agents become more and more likely to give back commission the longer things go because their costs are sunk.

This was my previous thread on the topic:
posted by vito90 at 5:10 PM on April 3, 2008

Awesome. Thanks for answering an old question!
posted by GuyZero at 1:35 PM on April 4, 2008

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