Redfin Reviews: A Complete Guide for Buyers and Sellers

By Amy Beardsley

Posted on August 11th, 2022

Online reviews

Seller reviews | Buyer reviews | How Redfin works | Redfin cost | Alternatives to Redfin

🔑 Key Takeaways for Redfin

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Redfin is an online real estate brokerage that promises lower fees than a traditional real estate agent. For sellers, Redfin advertises a 1.5% listing fee compared to the typical 2.5-3%. For buyers, Redfin offers rebates after closing (but only in certain markets).

But the real question isn’t whether Redfin can save you money – you must also consider what you’re giving up by going with a discount real estate broker. While Redfin offers discounted fees, some reviewers note that Redfin real estate agents didn’t offer the level of support they were looking for.

Can Redfin deliver the level of support you’re looking for? Could a traditional agent have kept more money in your pocket when buying or selling a home? This Redfin review dives into the pros, cons and alternatives to help you determine if going with Redfin is the right choice for you.

If you’re unsure about Redfin but still want to save on buying or selling a home, check out our friends at Clever Real Estate.

Clever’s pre-vetted agents are experts in their local areas, and they don’t skimp on service. Best of all, you'll save thousands, thanks to Clever's affordable 1% listing fees. Buyers in 41 states and Washington D.C. can also receive 0.5% cash back after closing!

👋 Find a top-rated real estate agent and save today!

What Is Redfin?

Redfin is a discount real estate brokerage. It combines in-house real estate agents with proprietary technology to streamline real estate services and offer them at a discount.

The company undercuts traditional agents and brokerages by charging less for its services, such as:

  • Matching buyers with a Redfin Agent

  • Connecting sellers with a Redfin Agent

  • Concierge services that stage homes for sale

But the fees are complicated, and the lower rates come at a cost. As a discount brokerage, the average seller savings is $5,550. But it lacks the hands-on support and service you’ll find from other agents.

For example, our friends at Clever offer a licensed concierge team who will learn about your goals and needs, then match you with top-rated agents who have similar expertise. You'll receive full service AND the benefit of Clever's pre-negotiated listing fees, helping you save thousands without sacrificing quality. On Trustpilot, Clever's customers give them a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars!

Get matched with agents today!

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Is Redfin Legitimate?

Redfin is a legitimate, fully licensed real estate brokerage based in Seattle. The company was founded in 2004 and has grown to be the largest brokerage website in the U.S. It boasts licensed real estate agents in most states and the District of Columbia — you can find Redfin Agents in all states except Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Redfin claims it can save you money on commissions by paying its agents less than conventional brokers. But does that translate into savings for you? It depends on how you look at it.

The company claims sellers save an average of $8,400, but that’s based on the sale price of the home. We took an average of four price points – $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $750,000 – to find that the average savings across all sale prices is actually $5,550.

Plus, what if another real estate agent could sell your house for a higher price? You might pay less for commission fees, but you could lose money by not getting top dollar for your home.

Redfin agents offer a full range of services, but many reviewers report that they’re not as attentive as traditional agents. That lack of focus could cost you in the end.

Read Redfin Reviews From Sellers

Selling with Redfin reviews from sellers have an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars across review sites like Google, Yelp, Consumer Affairs, Trustpilot and G2.

While Redfin boasts top service and savings on commissions, the reality hasn’t always lived up to the promise. Some Redfin real estate agent reviews claim agents are great, but others aren’t so impressive.

Some sellers say the agent gave them bad advice, didn’t respond to interested buyers’ agents and was unresponsive. Others say their agent communicated clearly and helped them prepare and sell their house “without the fluff.”

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Read Redfin Reviews From Buyers

Redfin can be a useful tool for buying a house, but there are limitations. In Redfin agent reviews, some buyers say they’re pleased with the service. One buyer said the agent was patient and friendly despite asking to see several houses throughout the area, and another praised the ability to easily filter data when searching for a home.

But other buyers felt the agent didn’t have the local expertise to help them create a strong offer – a downside that could cost them thousands of dollars in the end. Other buyer’s mentioned agents who were unresponsive and would frequently cancel appointments.

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How Does Redfin Work?

The bottom line: Redfin may save you money over working with a traditional agent, but you could be sacrificing service and quality support.

Redfin helps buyers and sellers by pairing them with online tools – via their website and mobile app – and Redfin Agents.

But how does it work? Simply put, Redfin relies on technology and a team-based approach to keep its costs down. But there’s a catch for customers. Working with a team instead of a dedicated agent may not deliver the level of service you’re expecting.

Many buyers and sellers appreciate the technology that runs the home listing and search tools, but Redfin real estate agent reviews cite the lack of hands-on help as a genuine concern. Rather than working with a dedicated agent, you could be handed off to one of several people on the team, and they might not be up to date on your situation or what you’re looking for.

How Redfin Works for Buyers

Buyers can take advantage of online home tours using the site and app, and get matched with an agent to make an offer on the house.

You can use the platform to search for properties in your desired area. It’s user-friendly and offers many amenities:

  • 3D walkthroughs

  • Access to school ratings

  • Alerts for new properties in your area

Once you find a house you want to see in person, contact a Redfin Agent who will set up an appointment with the seller or listing agent (if there is one). You will then meet your agent at the property, where they can show you around or answer any questions about the house or neighborhood.

One feature that draws buyers to the platform is the Redfin Refund. Redfin Refund shares part of the commission with buyers who use a Redfin Agent. The average refund is $1,500.

But you might not qualify. The buyer’s agent commission must be at least 1% of the sale price or $6,500 (whichever is greater) to get a refund.

Plus, RedfinRefund isn’t available everywhere – it isn’t offered in 11 U.S. states, as well some metro areas in other states.

How Redfin Works for Sellers

Redfin’s main draw for sellers is that it offers homeowners the ability to sell their houses with a listing fee of only 1.5%. This is much lower than the 3% listing fee you'll find with traditional real estate brokers. It can save homeowners thousands of dollars — on a $500,000 house, that’s a savings of approximately $7,500.

Redfin offers a few tiers of service for sellers:

  • List your home and reach more buyers for a 1.5% listing fee

  • Upgrade your listing with a concierge service that includes staging, cleaning and upgrade recommendations for a 2% listing fee

  • Get a cash offer on your home fast using RedfinNow

While Redfin offers low listing fees, it comes at the cost of quality service. You might save money by selling your house through Redfin, but you could lose out on many other important benefits and tips that help sell your home.

Working With Redfin Agents vs. Redfin Partner Agents

Most buyers and sellers work with a Redfin Agent. However, Redfin Partner Agents step in to help customers buy or sell their homes when Redfin Agents are in exceptionally high demand or if a home is outside of Redfin’s service area. Redfin Partners Agents are from traditional brokerages like RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker.

They’re put through a complete interview process to ensure they measure up, so you may not notice a difference between working with a Partner Agent vs. a Redfin Agent.

How Much Does Redfin Cost

For sellers, most Redfin transactions will cost you around 4.5% of the selling price of your home. On a $400,000 sale, that’s $1,800 deducted from your sale profit.

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The site claims to offer a 1% listing fee for sellers (and no fees for buyers). But there are some Redfin hidden fees you need to know about before you work with them.

First, the 1% fee for sellers is available only if you also buy a house with Redfin within 365 days. But you’ll still pay 1.5% to list your house — you’ll get a check for the 0.05% difference if you qualify after buying your next home.

But that doesn’t include the buyer’s agent fee, which the seller pays. And if the buyer doesn’t have an agent? The seller will pay an additional listing fee of 1% of the sale price.

Redfin’s Minimum Fees

There’s also a minimum commission that varies by location. So if your 1.5% listing fee is lower than the minimum commission fee in your area, you’ll have to pay the minimum commission fee instead.

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Depending on where you live, you could pay a lot more than you thought to use Redfin. It’s crucial to compare fees from different brokerages to make sure you’re getting a good deal when buying or selling a house.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Clever Real Estate, a full-service brokerage with a listing fee of just 1% – with no other hidden fees. Best of all, you'll get incredible service from top-performing brokerages such as Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, and RE/MAX.

💸Find out how much you can save with Clever today!

How Much Can You Save with Redfin?

If you don’t mind giving up personalized attention and support, using Redfin to list your house is a great way to save money on commissions and fees.

Keep in mind that your costs can be higher than 1.5% because many areas have minimum commission requirements. For example, you might pay 3.4% to list a $100,000 home.

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The higher your home price, the more you’ll save with Redfin. In most cases, you’ll be able to save more by working with another discount real estate brokerage.

Alternatives to Redfin

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Redfin vs. Clever Real Estate

Redfin’s fees are misleading. The site promotes a 1% listing fee, but that’s only if you also buy a home through Redfin after selling yours. You’ll also pay minimum commissions that could add up to 3.4% or more, depending on where you live. Plus, Redfin isn’t available in select areas.

By contrast, our friends at Clever Real Estate keep things simple. It offers a $3,000 flat fee or 1% listing fee for sellers. It also serves customers nationwide and has a higher average review rating than Redfin — 4.9 stars vs. Redfin's 3.7.

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Redfin vs. Zillow

Redfin and Zillow offer different ranges of services. For example, Redfin is likely a better choice if you’re looking for a real estate agent – especially as a seller. For those looking to buy a house, Zillow has more properties in its database. While both pull listings from the MLS, Zillow also allows for sale by owner homes.

Redfin vs. Traditional Agents

Redfin Agents are licensed, but you’ll work with team members instead of a single, dedicated agent. This allows Redfin to offer prices lower than traditional realtors. However, it can cause miscommunication, delays and mistakes. A traditional agent on the other hand is dedicated to you, working for your interests only. You might get better, more attentive service from a traditional agent, but you may pay a higher commission for it.

Redfin vs. For Sale By Owner

Listing your house for sale by owner (FSBO) can help you cut the cost of agent fees and commissions. But it’s more difficult than you might think. The Clever Data Center found that only 11% of sellers actually succeed at selling FSBO. And while you might save on agent commission, FSBO homes sell for about 26% less on average than agented properties, which often negates any savings.

Unless you’re an experienced home seller, selling FSBO can be incredibly hard, costing you more money and time in the long run. For most sellers, Redfin is a better option.

Is Working with Redfin a Good Idea?

Redfin is one of the biggest online real estate brokers in the U.S. It's often praised for its low commission fees and convenient map-based property search tool. But it may not make sense for everyone depending on where you live, whether you’re buying or selling, and the value of your home.

Compare Redfin’s fees and rates to other similar services before making any commitments and ask lots of questions to find the best possible outcome for you.

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FAQs About Redfin Reviews

What is Redfin?

Redfin is a discount real estate brokerage. It combines Redfin Agents with expedited technology to streamline services and offer them at a discount. The company was founded in 2004 and has grown to be the largest brokerage website in the U.S. It boasts licensed real estate agents in most states and the District of Columbia — you can find Redfin Agents in all states except Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more about the pros and cons of working with Redfin.

How does Redfin work?

Redfin helps buyers and sellers by pairing them with online tools – via their website and mobile app – and Redfin Agents. Redfin relies on technology and a team-based approach to keep its costs down, providing lower-than-average listing fees and buyer rebates. But there’s a catch for customers: working with a team instead of a dedicated agent may not deliver the level of service you’re expecting. Learn more about how Redfin works for buyers and sellers.

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