✍️ Editor’s take: Redefy’s flat fee could offer big savings. But hands-off service and non-refundable upfront fees make it a hard sell over other, less risky options.
Redefy is a discount real estate brokerage operating in select markets across nine U.S. states.
Redefy's business model is based on sellers paying a flat $3,500 listing fee, rather than the typical 2.5-3% rate. The potential savings are significant — but so are the risks.
Most Redefy sellers will compromise on customer service and agent selection. This, combined with a non-refundable $500 fee, makes listing with Redefy an iffy proposition.
What is Redefy Real Estate?
Redefy is a discount real estate brokerage with licensed agents who can help you buy or sell a home in 29 markets in nine U.S. states.
There are many differences between selling with Redefy and a traditional agent. The two biggest you should be aware of are:
- Price: Redefy offers potentially significant savings for home sellers, depending on the price of the property
- Service: Redefy Agents handle a higher volume of customers to offset the savings, so you’ll likely get less hands-on support and guidance throughout your sale
Redefy will help you sell any home worth less than $1 million for a flat $3,500 fee. You'll pay just 1% of the sale price for homes that sell for $1 million or more.
On the surface, that's a tantalizing offer. Traditional listing agents typically charge sellers 2.5-3% of the home’s sale price.
However, the potential tradeoff in service quality increases the risk that you'll encounter problems during the sale.
Redefy offers support to "for sale by owner" sellers too
For $379, Redefy DIY will publish your listing on your local MLS and several popular home search sites, including Zillow and Realtor.com. You’ll get a few other basic services, like downloadable documents and a sign for your yard, but no agent support (hence the “DIY”).
You can pay extra (up to $2,995) for varying degrees of remote support from a licensed Redefy Agent at certain points throughout your sale.
» MORE: What is a flat-fee MLS service?
Who should use Redefy?
Redefy is worth considering if…
You may want to avoid Redefy if…
Is Redefy legitimate?
Yes, Redefy is a licensed brokerage in each of the nine U.S. states it operates in. That said, in recent years, the company has displayed a pattern of instability that could be viewed as a potential red flag for would-be customers.
- Redefy has made major changes to its corporate structure several times since it launched in 2011
- It’s had to raise a ton of money from investors to pay for those changes and/or keep the business afloat
- In March 2020, Redefy was acquired by Home Captain, another tech-centric real estate brokerage
✍️ Editor’s note:
Redefy's pattern of instability suggests that its business model hasn’t worked well enough to keep it afloat. This has negative implications for service quality, resources, and customer outcomes.
Even if that’s not the case, hiring a company that’s in a constant state of flux is rarely a prudent move — particularly for a high-stakes transaction like a home sale or purchase.
How does Redefy work?
To remain viable, discount brokers like Redefy must offset the savings they’re offering consumers.
Redefy looks to offset its discounted rates by:
- Finding cheaper ways to attract new customers, via partnerships and creative marketing tactics
- Using a team-based approach to handle more customers with fewer resources
While Redefy’s savings are legit, there are a few big tradeoffs you should be aware of.
Why using a Redefy Agent can be risky
Redefy Agents may be handling a higher volume of customers than the typical agent. This limits the amount of attention and support they can provide throughout your sale.
While you’ll have a “dedicated” Redefy Agent as your point person throughout the process, key aspects of your sale will be handed off to other team members.
The more people juggling your sale, the greater the risk of disorganization, mistakes, and delays that could jeopardize the outcome — plus, it could just be a pain to deal with, adding extra stress to an already stressful process.
How much does Redefy cost?
$3,500 listing fee, plus buyer’s agent commission*
1% listing fee, plus buyer’s agent commission*
* Note: Redefy charges $500 of their listing fee up-front. This fee is not refundable if your home fails to sell.
You can sell a home worth up to $999,999 with Redefy for a flat $3,500 fee. If your home is worth $1 million or more, you’ll pay Redefy 1% of the final sale price.
Redefy charges $500 of its listing fee up front. The upfront fee is non-refundable, meaning Redefy keeps that money whether it manages to sell your home or not.
📢 Watch out for Redefy's non-refundable listing fee!
Redefy’s up-front fee is a significant drawback! Most real estate agents and brokers don’t charge upfront fees. Typically, you only pay if and when your home actually sells.
Outside of Redefy’s listing fee, there are a few other expenses you should budget for. These are typical costs that you’ll pay whether you sell with Redefy or another brokerage.
Buyer’s agent commission: 2.5-3%
In most real estate transactions, the buyer's agent's commission comes out of the sale proceeds. Rates vary, but 2.5-3% is typical. If you’re considering selling with Redefy, be sure to account for this expense in addition to Redefy’s listing fee.
Seller closing costs: 2-4%
Redefy sellers will still have to cover typical closing costs, which include things like: transfer taxes, title insurance, escrow, and other settlement fees, depending on the terms you negotiate with the buyer.
» MORE: Who pays closing costs?
How much could you actually save by selling with Redefy?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the potential savings at four different price points, compared to a 3% listing fee, which is on the high end of typical commission rates nationwide.
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
You could save a lot with Redefy, particularly if you’re selling a higher value home. But make sure you’re considering the risks alongside the potential rewards.
Redefy’s business model sacrifices service and support for savings, which could negatively impact your experience or outcome. Moreover, if your home fails to sell, not only do you have to start over from square one — you’re also out $500.
✍️ Editor's note
Make sure you’re shopping around for the agent or service that gets you the best price for your home, not just the one that charges the lowest commission.
Saving 1-2% on commission fees is great, but if your home ends up selling for 10% less than its fair market value, you’re not really saving at all!
How good are Redefy Agents?
Redefy Agents are fully licensed real estate agents that provide the same general range of services and support as traditional realtors (minus open houses and printed flyers).
That said, there are a few things to be aware of that could affect your experience or outcome.
Redefy Agents have less direct incentive
One of the biggest differences between Redefy Agents and traditional realtors is the compensation and incentive structure.
Most agents earn a commission — or percentage of the sale price — ONLY if and when they close a deal. This makes them highly motivated to help you sell fast and for top dollar.
In contrast, Redefy Agents are full-time, salaried employees, meaning they get paid whether your house sells or not. And don’t forget you paid Redefy that non-refundable $500 up front, which means the company is getting paid no matter what, too.
While Redefy and its team are undoubtedly looking to provide a quality service and get your home sold, there’s simply not as much direct incentive for them to hustle hard and get you the best outcome possible.
Mixed agent experience and limited selection
As with agents from major brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX, Redefy’s team is going to be mixed in terms of experience and service quality.
📢 Never feel pressured to hire the wrong agent
Remember, you’re hiring the agent, not the brand. Evaluate the individual and, if you don’t think they’re the right fit for the job, ask to be connected with someone else.
One of the drawbacks of going with a relatively small brokerage like Redefy is that your selection is going to be limited. Redefy is only going to have a handful of agents for you to choose from, even in its biggest markets. Some markets only have one agent!
It’s entirely possible that a Redefy Agent could, in fact, be the best fit to sell your home. But considering what’s at stake, you should always compare multiple options to be sure. The best agent (or price) may be with a different brokerage or discount service.
Avg customer rating
4.6 (345 reviews)
4.9 (590 reviews)
3.2 (287 reviews)
4.7 (765 reviews)
Dedicated point of contact?
CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Southwest, West, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast
$3,500 or 1% ($500 due up front)
1% or $3,000
1.5% (min fees vary by market)
2% or $9,000
*Average fee compared to a 3% commission at four price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $750,000.
Redefy's savings are legit — but there are MAJOR drawbacks
How much you stand to save with Redefy ultimately depends on the value of your home. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating Redefy’s costs relative to other options.
- Redefy’s $500 upfront, non-refundable fee is a BIG drawback. Most reputable full-service realtors and discount brokerages DO NOT charge upfront fees.
- If you’re looking to sell your home for $350,000 or less, other discount brokers will offer better savings than Redefy.
- Redefy’s pricing model favors more valuable homes, offering greater savings as home values increase (up to the $999,999 mark).
- For $1M+ homes, Redefy’s fee changes to 1% of the final sale price. Luxury realtors typically charge lower rates for higher value homes, meaning you may be able to find agents offering better experience and support for a similar price.
Redefy's business model may negatively affect service quality
While Redefy’s flat fees are quite low relative to other discount brokerages — particularly if you’re selling a more expensive home — it’s important to consider the overall value on offer.
Redefy’s model is based on handling a higher volume of business with fewer resources to create savings for its customers. However, it’s unclear how it could handle that higher volume of business without it negatively affecting service quality.
Agent-matching services might offer better value
Other discount services, such as Redfin or Clever’s agent-matching service, have proven business models that also offer more built-in advantages.
Redfin, for example, has developed technologies that help it operate more efficiently. This allows it to handle more customers to offset its discount rates. If you value a tech-driven process over dedicated service and support, Redfin is definitely worth considering.
While Redfin doesn’t offer the most competitive rates, it's a hugely successful company with thousands of satisfied customers. In other words, it’s clearly doing something right.
Clever, on the other hand, isn’t a discount broker. It’s an agent-matching service that negotiates low fees (lower than Redfin’s, in fact) with top local realtors from major brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and Coldwell Banker.
If you value highly personalized service and support or have a complicated selling situation, Clever is probably your best bet. In a nutshell, you get full service from a traditional realtor for a fraction of the typical cost.
Selling with Redefy
Biggest benefits of selling with Redefy…
Biggest risks of selling with Redefy…
Redefy Agents provide the same general range of services as traditional realtors, including: pricing recommendations, professional photos, listing your home on the MLS and popular real estate websites, and help with offers, contracts, negotiations, and so on.
Note: Redefy explicitly says it doesn’t do open houses or print out physical flyers.
There are a few service-level differences you should be aware of, though. Redefy Agents are handling more customers at once than the typical realtor, which will likely limit the amount of time and attention they can personally dedicate to your sale.
Team-based approach may increase the risk of problems
To manage a higher volume of customers, Redefy spreads many aspects of the selling process across a back-office team, which helps it operate more efficiently. This approach is actually becoming more common among traditional realtors as well, but it may be far more pronounced with a discount brand.
Redefy's team-based approach may or may not be an issue for you. However, keep in mind that having more people involved in the process increases the risk for:
These things could negatively affect (or even derail!) your sale.
Moreover, constantly being passed around to different people can sometimes add undue stress to an already stressful process — though the degree to which this is a problem will really depend on your personal preferences for customer service.
Buying with Redefy
When you buy with a Redefy Agent, you’ll get the same general range of services traditional realtors typically provide. It also won’t cost you anything, as the seller typically covers the commission fee for the buyer’s agent in real estate transactions.
Redefy doesn't offer ANY built-in savings for buyers
Some discount brokers and traditional agents alike will offer refunds and other savings opportunities as incentives for home buyers to work with them. Redefy does not. In fact, it doesn’t offer ANY built-in cost or competitive advantages if you’re buying a home.
But there are some significant built-in risks…
Why buying with a Redefy Agent could be risky
As we’ve already mentioned, Redefy Agents — and most discount brokers, for that matter — handle more customers than the typical realtor, which affects the amount of attention and support they can provide.
Remember, as a buyer, you aren’t paying your agent’s fee out of pocket. Aim for the stars! If you’re considering Redefy as an option, just make sure you're shopping around to see how its agents stack up against the very best-of-the-best in your area.
Redefy customer reviews
Note: The following review information is up-to-date as of 1/4/2021. We will update this section as new information becomes available.
Redefy’s reviews across third-party sites are generally positive, with an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 345 total reviews.
Note that Redefy’s customer ratings will vary by location — for example, Redefy’s Denver office has an average rating of 4.4 on Google, whereas its Tampa, FL office has a 3.4.
So what are people saying about working with Redefy?
What customers like about Redefy
The most common themes among positive Redefy reviews are:
- Good process, communication, momentum
- Certain agents are just as good as traditional realtors
My Redefy Agent 'fights for his clients'
Here’s an example of a positive Redefy review on Google from a seller who had a great experience with his Redefy Agent.
When the initial offer fell through for reasons beyond anyone’s control, their agent was able to get them a better offer from more qualified buyers.
I couldn't have asked for a 'more professional' realtor
Here’s an example of a positive Redefy review on Zillow from a buyer who successfully purchased a condo with a Redefy Agent.
They specifically commended their agent’s level of professionalism, knowledge, and caring throughout the sale.
Redefy is a 'great deal' — but the company is 'very hands-off'
Here’s an example of a semi-positive Redefy review on Google from a customer who failed to sell their home.
They liked the low cost, but felt their agent was very hands-off and lacked some of the expertise needed to manage the sale.
Note: The review above states that Redefy’s fee is $2,500 if you pay up front. However, Redefy’s fee is currently $3,500. You pay a non-refundable $500 fee up front and the remaining $3,000 at closing.
What customers DON'T like about Redefy
The most common themes among negative Redefy reviews are:
- Lack of responsiveness
- Home underpriced
The Redefy Team we worked with 'refused to have our back'
Here’s an example of a negative Redefy review on Google from a seller who was unhappy with the outcome of their sale with Redefy.
They specifically called out the challenges of dealing with multiple people throughout the process, the many important services Redefy did not provide, and that they felt Redefy did not work hard to get them the best possible outcome.
Redefy Agents have 'minimal incentive' to provide quality service
Here’s an example of a negative Redefy review on Yelp from a seller who was unhappy with his agent’s lackluster performance.
He specifically calls out the upfront fee and the fact that Redefy Agents work on salary, not commission, as the reasons he felt his agent was not motivated to provide a quality service or get his home sold for a good price.
It’s clear there are some systemic problems with Redefy’s pricing and service model; however, as these reviews highlight, your experience and outcome will likely come down to the specific agent you work with.
ALWAYS read local reviews and interview multiple agents — from Redefy and other brokerages in your area — to compare rates and find the best option for you.
Conclusion: Is Redefy a good choice for you?
Redefy is a totally legit service that has helped many people sell their home successfully. Whether it’s a good choice for you really comes down to:
- Your personal preferences (and tolerance for risk)
- The situation surrounding your sale
- The quality of the Redefy Agents in your area
Remember, there is never any obligation to move forward when you interview agents or services.
You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by shopping around and comparing rates, experience, and personalities to find the perfect fit.
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