Redfin is a real estate brokerage that advertises commission discounts of up to 20-30% for home sellers, as well as rebates for buyers. The potential savings are genuine. However, as the Redfin reviews we’ll cover illustrate, customers often sacrifice on service quality. Other discount brands may provide a better combination of savings and hands-on service.
For example, our friends at Clever Real Estate offer a 1% listing fee (or a flat $3,000 fee for homes under $350,000). Their agent-matching process connects you with top full-service realtors in your area, ensuring you never compromise on agent quality or support. Learn how to start saving today!
- This discount real estate broker currently operates in more than 90 markets across the U.S. and Canada
- Redfin charges sellers a 1.5% listing fee — or 1% if they buy with Redfin too
- Redfin agents handle roughly 3x more customers than traditional realtors, which may result in less hands-on support throughout your sale
What Is Redfin?
Since its founding in 2004, Redfin has established itself as the largest discount real estate brokerage in the U.S. Its agents served more than 53,0000 customers and managed $30.5 billion worth of real estate transactions in 2019 alone, according to data from REAL Trends.
Redfin aims to offer the same basic services as traditional realtors — but charge a lot less. Redfin advertises a 1.5% listing fee, which is roughly half the amount most agents charge sellers.
Redfin’s reduced rate could translate into major savings. But, as with most discount brokerages, those savings may come at the expense of service quality.
How Does Redfin Work?
Redfin’s business model relies on offering steep discounts to attract a higher volume of customers, and then offsetting those low prices by:
- Handling more customers per agent
- Reducing operating costs with a salaried team and tech integration
- Charging minimum fees for lower-priced properties
- Using its popular home search app to attract new customers
- Upselling current customers on add-on services and premium support
This strategy allows Redfin to slash its base listing fee to 1.5%, saving sellers thousands of dollars compared to selling with a conventional brokerage.
|Price Point||Listing Fee||Effective Rate||Savings*|
Note: Our friends at Clever offer a 1% listing fee (or $3,000 on homes under $350,000) when you sell with one of their full-service partner agents. Clever delivers better savings than Redfin’s 1.5% rate – and it comes with less risks too! Learn why Clever is the #1 alternative to Redfin.
How much does Redfin cost?
When you sell with Redfin, the total real estate commission will likely cost 4-4.5% of your home’s sale price. This includes Redfin’s 1.5% listing fee, as well as 2.5-3% for the buyer’s agent commission.
|Redfin Listing Fee||1.5% (min. fees vary)|
|Buyer's Agent Commission*||2.5-3%|
Redfin’s commission savings come from cutting its listing fee by up to 50% compared to a traditional realtor. However, you should also plan to offer a buyer’s agent commission rate that’s competitive in your area.
Buyer’s agent fees typically cost 2.5-3% of the home’s sale price, but realtor commission is always 100% negotiable. As the seller, the commission rate you advertise is up to your discretion.
Why offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission? It incentivizes realtors to show your home to their clients, which maximizes your chances of selling your home quickly and for top dollar.
Is Redfin really 1% commission?
Redfin also heavily advertises a 1% commission, despite the fact that their standard listing fee is 1.5%. How does that work? Redfin offers additional savings for customers who both sell and buy with the company within a 12-month period.
If you qualify, Redfin will reduce your listing fee to 1%. Assuming you sell first, this means Redfin will charge you a 1.5% listing fee, then refund the 0.5% difference once you purchase your new home.
Redfin minimum fees
Although Redfin advertises a flat commission rate, its discounts are subject to minimum fees that vary from $2,000-7,000 depending on location. If you’re selling a less expensive home in a pricier market, Redfin’s commission minimums could reduce or even eliminate your potential savings.
Redfin vs. Traditional Agents
Redfin offers the same general range of services as a traditional real estate brokerage. However, there are a few key differences you should know.
Are Redfin agents good?
Redfin agents are generally good, yes. They have a vetting process in place and provide in-house training. However, since Redfin agents are paid a salary, instead of working for a percentage-based commission, they may be less incentivized than a traditional agent to get you the highest price possible for your home.
The drawbacks of working with Redfin agents generally stem from the company’s business model rather than the agents themselves. These include the following.
Redfin agents handle 3x more customers
The biggest difference between Redfin agents and traditional realtors is that Redfin agents close around 3x as many deals as the average realtor.
Redfin frames this in a positive light, suggesting that its agents have more expertise than their peers at conventional brokerages. However, in practice, this high-volume business model means you’re competing with 3x more customers for your agent’s time and attention.
If your agent gets overextended, they may not be able to provide the personalized support you need during negotiations and other crucial stages of the sales process.
Redfin’s customer service model is riskier
When you sell with Redfin, you’ll work with a team of Redfin employees in addition to your dedicated listing agent.
In theory, this team-based approach increases efficiency, allowing Redfin agents to manage more transactions at once with only a minimal impact to service quality.
However, involving more people in your sale could lead to more miscommunications, mistakes, and delays that make an already-stressful process even more frustrating. If you encounter unwelcome surprises that complicate your sale, you may find your agent is unfamiliar with the ins and outs of your situation.
Real estate transactions are complex, highly-regulated affairs. Even something as seemingly minor as missing a deadline to complete paperwork or respond to an offer could be enough to thwart a potential sale.
Want to work a top agent in your area without sacrificing service? We can’t recommend Clever Real Estate enough. Learn more about their agent-matching service and 1% commission (or $3,000 fee on homes under $350,000) now.
Don’t Compromise on Service. Work With the Best Agents at a Discount
Our friends at Clever Real Estate negotiate with top-performing agents so you don’t have to. Start saving thousands today.
Redfin handles more of the sale process remotely
Although you have access to a local agent, Redfin manages quite a bit of the sale process remotely via its online seller dashboard.
The platform walks you through the various stages of your listing and sale process, helping both you and your agent stay organized. It also generates automated updates, such as:
- How Redfin is marketing your home
- The number of times buyers have viewed your listing
- How your home compares to similar listings
When your sale or purchase goes smoothly, these digital tools make the process more convenient. However, they also reduce your personal contact with your agent. If you’re not completely comfortable with Redfin’s tech-first approach, it could make the process more frustrating and confusing.
Selling With Redfin
For the most part, the Redfin selling experience should be comparable to selling with a traditional brokerage. Your agent — or another Redfin team member — will guide you during each stage of the process, from deciding on a list price to signing your closing papers.
Along the way, they’ll provide services and support like:
- Professional photography
- 3D walkthrough for virtual tours
- Open houses
- Reviewing offers
- Negotiating with buyers
- Closing coordination
The biggest difference is that you may get less hands-on support with Redfin compared to a traditional agent. Is selling with Redfin worth it, then? In some cases, the potential savings may be worth this tradeoff. However, many home sellers may prefer to work with other low commission real estate companies that prioritize personalized support.
Redfin Concierge Service
In addition to the standard listing package outlined above, Redfin offers several premium options.
Redfin’s Concierge Service is a premium listing package that includes support for getting your home market-ready. For a base listing fee of 2.5%, Redfin provides professional staging and house cleaning, alongside the services included in its standard listing package.
This package seems a bit expensive for what it includes. On a $500,000 home, it costs $5,000 more than the standard package. Most sellers will likely find it much cheaper to opt for the 1.5% listing fee and pay a la carte for extra services like house cleaning and staging.
In select markets, homes worth more than $1 million are eligible for Redfin Premier. This package includes everything from Redfin’s Concierge Service, but sellers pay just 1.5% — the same listing fee as Redfin’s standard plan.
RedfinNow is an iBuyer service that pays cash for homes in select markets. It’s ideal for sellers whose top priority is a quick and easy sale. If you accept a RedfinNow offer, you can close in as few as ten days. And you’ll avoid the hassle of listing your home, navigating showings, and negotiating with buyers
However, you’ll pay a premium for this convenience. You won’t have to cover realtor commission, but Redfin charges a service fee that averages about 6-12% of the sale price.
Buying With Redfin
Redfin also offers savings for home buyers, although they’re a bit lackluster compared to the discounts that Redfin offers sellers. If your purchase qualifies, you could earn a commission rebate — what the company calls the Redfin Refund. This rebate can help offset closing costs and other upfront expenses.
According to Redfin, the average buyer who qualifies for a commission rebate saves $1,500. However, its website is vague about how it calculates this rebate amount. You’ll need to talk to your agent and mortgage lender to determine what you’ll qualify for based on your budget and location.
Be aware that Redfin’s home buyer rebate is subject to numerous terms and restrictions. For example, rebates are:
- Limited to select markets
- Unavailable if Redfin refers you to a partner agent from another company
- Not offered on certain types of purchases, including short sales
- Contingent on Redfin earning at least $6,500 in buyer’s agent commission
In addition to Redfin’s eligibility restrictions, state regulations and your mortgage lender’s policies could limit your ability to earn a commission rebate. Learn more about home buyer rebates.
Redfin offers extra savings to buyers who also sell their previous home with Redfin within 12 months of their purchase. On top of the commission rebate, Redfin reduces its listing fee by 0.5% when these customers sell — or refunds the difference if they sell first.
Redfin Reviews: Pros, Cons, and Areas of Concern
Generally, Redfin has fair to good reviews. Out of 287 on Consumer Affairs, Yelp, and Google averaged out to 3.2 out of 5 stars.
Redfin offers many advantages compared to traditional, full-price real estate brokerages. But it’s important to weigh Redfin pros and cons carefully. Only then can you decide if Redfin is your best option, or if another discount service provides better value.
Pro: Solid savings for home sellers
Most sellers choose Redfin for its low fees. And a consistent theme among many selling with Redfin reviews is that those savings are genuine.
This Yelp reviewer said they saved $17,000 compared to listing with a traditional brokerage and offering a 3% commission rate to both agents.
Pro: User-friendly technology
Lots of discount brokers claim to have user-friendly technology, but Redfin’s popular platform is still the gold standard.
Redfin’s home search app has been downloaded millions of times. And for the most part, it draws rave reviews from users. This isn’t just beneficial for buyers. The app’s popularity gives Redfin sellers a leg up since the company gives its listings priority placement when buyers search for homes.
Pro: Fewer risks than other discount brands
You’ll face service quality compromises no matter which discount broker you list with, but the risks seem a bit less pronounced with Redfin.
This Google reviewer was impressed with their Redfin agent’s communication and marketing strategy. Despite selling a speciality property, they enjoyed a quick and easy sale.
Con: Lackluster savings for home buyers
Redfin claims its average commission refund is $1,500. This seems a bit lackluster compared to the home buyer rebates other discount services offer.
This first-time home buyer found the savings weren’t worth the tradeoffs. While they earned a small rebate, they felt their agent was more focused on closing the deal than advocating for their best interests.
Con: Less hands-on attention than traditional realtors
Redfin may have fewer service quality risks than other discount brokers, but customers should still expect less hands-on support compared to traditional realtors. Redfin reviews bear this out.
With Redfin agents handling 3x as many customers as the average realtor, you’re more likely to encounter Redfin agent reviews that speak of frustrating mistakes and delays. For example, this realtor encountered multiple problems working with multiple Redfin agents.
Con: Premium listing packages may limit your savings
If you list with Redfin, the company may try to upsell you on its Concierge Service. This premium listing package includes more features than the standard plan, but it costs roughly as much as hiring a traditional realtor.
In most cases, you’ll maximize your savings by choosing Redfin’s standard 1.5% listing fee and hiring local contractors to help you get your home market-ready.
Area of concern: Redfin’s extra services may not be the best value
Redfin’s business model also relies in part on persuading existing customers to use other in-house services. These include:
- Title Forward: Redfin’s title and settlement company
- Redfin Mortgage: An in-house mortgage broker
- Redfin Open Book: An affiliate network for service providers like contractors, electricians, and landscapers
Buying or selling a home is a hectic process, so it’s convenient to use these in-house services. However, just because Redfin has cheap listing fees doesn’t mean their title or mortgage service is a great value.
We recommend shopping around and comparing Redfin reviews and services against local providers to find the best combination of rates and service quality.
The Best Redfin Alternatives
Although Redfin offers genuine savings, its fees are relatively middle-of-the pack compared to other discount brands. Depending on your situation and priorities, you may find better value with one of these Redfin competitors.
|Company||Average Rating||Locations||Listing Fee||Buyer Rebates||Average Savings*|
|Redfin||3.2 (287 reviews)||National||1.5% (min. fees vary)||Yes||$6,000|
|Clever||4.9 (590 reviews)||National||1% (or $3,000)||Yes||$7,375|
|Trelora||4.7 (943 reviews)||AZ, CO, MO, NC, SC, WA||$3,000-4,000 (varies by location)||Yes||$9,000|
|REX||4.7 (765 reviews)||Select states||2.5%||Yes||-$300|
1. REX Real Estate
REX is a discount brokerage that claims it can save home sellers up to 50% on realtor fees. REX’s strategy involves eliminating the buyer’s agent commission by marketing its listings on social media and other digital platforms rather than advertising them on the MLS.
Unfortunately, this approach is risky — and customer reviews suggest it has a high failure rate.
Trelora is a discount brokerage with locations in five states: AZ, CO, NC, SC, and WA. Instead of percentage-based commission, Trelora charges home sellers a flat listing fee that starts at $3,000. Since sellers pay the same fee regardless of what their home is worth, Trelora offers more savings than Redfin on higher-end properties.
However, Trelora’s poor reputation could make it a riskier option than Redfin. Its own CEO even admitted that as many as 40% of Denver-area realtors refuse to show Trelora homes.
3. Clever Real Estate
Finally, we think Clever Real Estate is the best alternative to Redfin if you want to save, but don’t want to sacrifice service.
Clever pre-negotiates discounted commission rates with traditional realtors throughout the U.S. Its agent-matching service connects you with top-rated realtors in your area from major brands like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. You can interview as many agents as you like until you find one that’s the perfect fit.
If you sell with one of Clever’s partner agents, you’ll pay a listing fee of just 1% (or $3,000 for homes under $350,000). That’s a better deal than Redfin’s 1.5% rate, especially in markets where Redfin charges high minimum fees. Eligible Clever buyers may also receive commission rebates.
Don’t Compromise on Service. Work With the Best Agents at a Discount
Our friends at Clever Real Estate negotiate with top-performing agents so you don’t have to. Start saving thousands today.
If you’re looking for the pros and cons of selling with Redfin, it’s important to compare ALL of your options for saving money. We recommend reading the following resources to learn about other ways to save.
Discount Real Estate Brokers and Agents: Everything You Need to Know: Selling with a discount real estate broker like Redfin is often a very different experience from using a traditional realtor. Learn more about how discount brokers work and how to decide which company is the best fit for your situation.
What Companies Offer the Lowest Real Estate Commission Fees?: Redfin offers solid savings for home sellers, but some of its competitors charge even less. Find out which company charges the lowest commission fees.
The Best “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) Websites: Want to maximize your savings? Consider rolling up your sleeves by listing your house “for sale by owner” (FSBO). We’ve compiled a list of the BEST websites for FSBO sellers.
FAQs About Redfin
How does Redfin work for sellers?
On paper, selling with Redfin is similar to using a traditional realtor. Redfin will market your home on the MLS, help you negotiate with buyers, and help coordinate the closing process. However, the customer experience may feel a bit more impersonal. Redfin agents juggle 3x as many customers as the average realtor, so expect less face-time with your agent — and more time working with other Redfin employees who may be less familiar with your situation.
How does Redfin work for buyers?
Buying with Redfin is a lot like using a traditional realtor, although you'll handle more of the process virtually. Eligible buyers may also earn a commission rebate. As a buyer, you'll browse homes, schedule tours, and complete paperwork through the Redfin app and website. Your main point of contact will be your "lead agent," who will help you write offers and negotiate with sellers. However, your lead agent won't oversee every aspect of the buying process. For example, they'll send other team members to accompany you on home tours.
Is Redfin good?
Redfin is a good option if your main priority is a discounted realtor commission and you're comfortable with less personalized support than you'd expect from a traditional brokerage. However, it may not be the best fit if you're selling a home that needs updates, is in a less competitive market, or you don't have much prior real estate experience.
Why is Redfin bad for some customers?
Redfin's hands-off service model and mixed agent quality make it a less-than-perfect option for some customers. Additionally, while Redfin has nationwide brand recognition, its savings are relatively middle-of-the pack compared to its top competitors.
What are major pros and cons of Redfin?
Positive Redfin reviews typically highlight pros like realtor commission savings, a user-friendly app and website, and satisfactory experiences with individual Redfin agents. The biggest Redfin con is that agents handle 3x as many customers as traditional realtors. When agents get too busy, they may not be able to give you as much personalized support as you need. This hands-off approach isn't the best fit for everyone.
Should I use Redfin to sell my house?
If saving on real estate commission is your top priority, Redfin is worth considering. Its 1.5% listing fee isn't the best commission rate available, but nationwide brand recognition and a proven business model make it less risky than some of its newer competitors.