The Seattle-headquartered brokerage Redfin is now offering its Redfin Direct service in most of its California markets, including Fresno, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Redfin Direct enables buyers to purchase homes from Redfin listings without an agent. The company stated that the seller of a median priced home of $650,000 in Los Angeles could save up to $26,000 by listing with a full-service, local Redfin agent and selling to a Redfin Direct buyer, as compared to paying 6 percent in commission fees.
"Redfin Direct is a new way to buy a home for people who are confident making an offer without an agent," said Mark Bennett, Redfin's state broker in California. "In a multiple offer situation, helping the seller avoid paying a buyer agent commission is one way to make your offer stand out. For the buyers who are comfortable being unrepresented, we are making it easy to make an offer online. This is just one more way Redfin is redefining real estate and helping our customers save money."
Redfin Direct began as a pilot program in May and is now available to buyers in larger markets in Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and Texas, and the company plans to expand to additional markets in the future.
In August, the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) called out Redfin’s homebuying program
by warning that consumers could be exposed to financial risk in negotiating directly with real estate agents. In a press statement, NAEBA insisted that “buying a home is an adversarial process, regardless of how friendly everyone may seem,” adding that a seller’s agent is interested in getting the best price and terms for their client and the commission that goes with the transaction.
“As we have experienced, in nearly 30 years of representing homebuyers exclusively, many buyers do not know what they don’t know,” said Ron Huth, a spokesperson for NAEBA. “The difference is, do you want to be sold a home or walk away from the table with a home you bought? The subtle difference in words is the difference between sales–working with you as a customer–and advocacy–working for you as a client. Do you want to work with a mere facilitator, or confidently entrust yourself to a fiduciary? These are significant differences.”