This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.
Redfin is a real estate site with the unique ability to empower the user in the home buying market. Like its main competitor and fellow Seattle startup Zillow, Redfin is a prime online resource with an intuitive interface to look up what real estate is available on the market and gather its details. But there are two things that make this service unique; the ability to schedule tours of up to 6 homes with a Redfin tour agent, and the option to bypass the traditional real estate agent and purchase directly from the Redfin website.
As mentioned above, two features make this site stand out from its competitors. Through the service, you can schedule home tours. You can select up to six properties you’d like to view, and schedule a time slot to view those houses. After receiving appointment confirmation, a Redfin “field agent” will meet you at your first home and give you a tour. The tour experience is the same as if you were to go with an agent, but the difference is that these field agents don’t work on commission. Because of this, you won’t get hounded or pressured to buy. This makes it a much more pleasant and comfortable experience.
The second unique feature is the ability to purchase directly through Redfin’s website. Much like airline travel sites take out the middleman when buying plane tickets, Redfin has developed a process for submitting an offer through its service. You write up the offer, and Redfin has licensed real estate agents on its payroll to serve as professional medium. The agent is still involved. Since you provided the offer, there is not much more work to do except review and present to the seller. Now, you must understand that because of this, the help and knowledge you’d normally receive from a personal real estate agent won’t be there. You’re pretty much on your own to make sure you know everything you want to about the property, so use this service cautiously! I’d recommend you not actually buy through Redfin if you’re a first time home-buyer. The perk? Instead of the agent receiving a commission, you receive that percentage back in your pocket! So it’s a good option to use if you want to get some kickback.