Are buyers using Redfin agents at a disadvantage?

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Submitted by djc on November 24, 2014 - 12:59am

I've read that sometimes Redfin buyers can miss out on high demand properties due to the nature of Redfin (field agents vs. lead agents that make offers) slowing down the process a bit.

I've read that realtors aren't fond of Redfin as a whole due to how they refund commissions, etc. If a buyers agent is a Redfin agent, does that put them at a disadvantage? Do you think selling agents are treating Redfin agents or offers from Redfin buyers any different vs. offers from non Redfin agents?

Curious what the thoughts here are.

Submitted by ljinvestor on November 24, 2014 - 6:28pm.

If you are an all cash offer then I would say little to no disadvantage.

If you are the only reasonable offer in play, then little to no disadvantage.

If you are in a multiple offer situation and contingent on loan then you might be lower in the pile if offers.

No matter what brokerage an agent is associated with, the good ones prefer to work with others that have strong track record of closing deals if it's a multiple offer situation

Submitted by spdrun on November 24, 2014 - 6:42pm.

Why use any agent at all? If it's listed, you're interested, the selling agent has a phone #. Pick up the phone, call it, and see the property. A few lazy selling agents will piss, whinge, and moan about showing a property to someone without a broker, only then do you need to give them a broker's name.

Bonus for the selling agent: they get to keep their entire commission, not split it with a buyer's agent. Though I'd assume that you could have a bit of wiggle room in negotiating that to lower the price.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 24, 2014 - 8:11pm.

I had a good experience with a local redfin guy who was involved in our short sale deal and I don't see how him bring involved as a redfin guy had any impact. I liked the rebate.

I think but don't know that not having an agent would've put us at a disadvantage in a short sale offerr.

Guys very good and patient. Name on request.

Submitted by terracap on November 24, 2014 - 10:16pm.

As a newer realtor and loan officer myself I think you are better off approaching a salesperson and asking if they would be offended if he or she would rebate 1% or more of the home purchase price back to you as a credit to your recurring and non recurring closing costs. You never know. Redfin rebates 0.8% of home price. You may even get a better deal if you find someone who can also originate your loan and extend even more credit to you with a better rate. Like everything in life everything is negotiable

Submitted by terracap on November 24, 2014 - 10:40pm.

Redfin agents are salaried and aren't setup on a typical salesperson / broker commission split. Keep in mind if you approach the selling agent and ask if he or she will also be your agent as well (dual agency) it will be very hard for him or her to keep a fiduciary duty to you and the seller at the same time. The most important thing however is to get as far into the loan process as you can before placing an offer-- it shows you are very serious to the seller by having your "DU approve/eligible" ready to show that if they accept your offer you won't let them down.

Submitted by spdrun on November 24, 2014 - 10:43pm.

If you have inspections and title search done, why do you need to have an agent with a fiduciary duty to you? Closing on a property isn't rocket science.

Submitted by terracap on November 25, 2014 - 5:54am.

It all depends how much the listing agent is willing to rebate the buyer for running both sides of the deal. Also sometimes you need to see how one property compares to another and without using your own agent on the buy side it will be hard to do.

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In regards to Redfin yes some people in the industry don't like Redfin because they refund commissions and if Redfin is doing it people will ask if a franchise agent would be willing to match that . Also people think Redfin agents aren't motivated to act quickly or somehow aren't as professional or knowledgeable because they haven't had to go find their own clients and they are salaried-- not saying that's true just what some people think. Other agents at the franchises think they will be doing most of the work if they get into a contract with a Redfin agent or that Redfin is too slow...

Submitted by sdsurfer on November 25, 2014 - 1:58pm.

I think you are at a disadvantage if the person/company you choose to work with is not competent whether they work for Redfin, another office or are a broker themselves.

If the property is in high demand whoever it is should be able to get your offer together to submit it in a timely manner before they accept another one. It's easy to do....especially with Docusign these days.

If you have the the strongest offer through the best number, the best terms or optimistically the best both it should not make any difference who is representing you.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 25, 2014 - 6:01pm.

i think my redfin guy had regular clients too. maybe not. im not sure the other side knew he was redfin.

Submitted by edna_mode on November 26, 2014 - 10:18pm.

Data point: Mid 2013, I was in a multiple offer situation using Redfin as a buyer's agent and won the deal. This was in a flipper situation, and still negotiated a seller's credit based on what we found in the house inspection.

I actually hope Redfin manages to keep going. Working with them was the only good point to the whole situation -- escrow agency was chosen by the seller (who was affiliated with the seller), and the pile of paperwork given to you makes less sense than: the legislature's fiscal analysis of most CA propositions, most SEC reports for complex shell companies, and most corporate tax returns. I advised them to actually go all the way and create their own escrow company too, because everything else was so miserable. We had a great experience even in the bids we lost, because the agent explained what happened clearly.

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