Houwzer and Redfin are discount real estate brokerages that help people buy and sell homes. They offer the same services as traditional brokerages but at a lower commission rate — a 1% listing fee with Houwzer and a 1.5% listing fee with Redfin.
Houwzer is great for sellers who want to save money with a full-service brokerage, but it only operates on the East Coast. Redfin has a larger service area and more agents, but it charges a slightly higher listing fee. With either company, you may get less hands-on support than you would working with a traditional agent.
If you want to save on realtor commissions, you may find better alternatives. Our advice is to price-check a few brokerages and talk to multiple agents before hiring a realtor. In the end, you hire the agent, not the brand.
Houwzer vs. Redfin
Which discount real estate brokerage is better depends on your location and service needs. Houwzer offers more savings than Redfin, but it’s less available and doesn’t vet its agents as thoroughly.
These companies offer essentially the same services, but here are some differences to consider in how they operate and the overall experience they offer.
|Service model||✅ Houwzer offers full service for buyers and sellers.||✅ Redfin offers full service for buyers and sellers.|
|Fees and savings||✅ Sellers get a 1% listing fee. Buyers who bundle mortgage and title services get a $2,500 rebate.||✅ Sellers get a 1.5% listing fee. People who buy and sell get 0.5% back.|
|Agents||❌ Houwzer allows agents with less experience into its network.||✅ Redfin has higher vetting standards for its agents.|
|Customer reviews||✅ Houwzer has mostly positive customer reviews.||❌ Redfin reviews are mixed.|
|Availability||❌ Houwzer has limited availability.||✅ Redfin is one of the largest discount brokerages in the US.|
Both Houwzer and Redfin are full-service discount brokerages. They offer the same services you'd get with a traditional brokerage, including professional photography, marketing, open houses, and help with negotiations and closing.
However, both brokerages employ salaried agents who work with a high volume of customers. So it may be difficult to get dedicated one-on-one support.
|Houwzer services||Redfin services|
How Houwzer works
The company offers selling, buying, mortgage, and bundling services.
Selling a house with Houwzer is similar to selling with a traditional brokerage. The main benefit is saving on your listing fee.
Here’s what you can expect when you sell a house with Houwzer:
- Get paired with a Houwzer real estate agent.
- Interview the agent.
- Start the home-selling process with these services from Houwzer:
- An MLS listing
- Up to 25 professional photos of your house
- A 360° virtual house tour
- Targeted mailers sent to buyers in your area
- An online dashboard to monitor the process
- An online support team
- Work with your Houwzer agent on negotiating or accepting bids until a buyer closes on your house.
Houwzer can pair you with an agent who specializes in buying. The company also partners with Newfound Mortgage, which can pre-approve you for a mortgage.
Here’s what you can expect when you buy a house with Houwzer:
- Get paired with a Houwzer agent.
- Consult with the agent on which neighborhoods and properties might fit your budget and lifestyle.
- Work with Newfound Mortgage to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Start touring homes with your Houwzer agent.
- Work with your agent to submit an offer.
- Close on the home.
Houwzer offers mortgage services to home buyers or homeowners who want to refinance.
If you use Houwzer’s mortgage services, a salaried agent will find the best loan options for your finances. This can be a good option for home buyers who prefer working with a mortgage advisor who doesn't work on commission.
Customers who bundle Houwzer’s mortgage and title services get a $2,500 rebate during closing. Bundling with one broker also helps streamline your experience by allowing you to manage the process all in one place.
We recommend shopping around to see who offers the best rates before choosing to bundle services.
How Redfin works
Redfin is a discount real estate brokerage that was founded in 2002. Like traditional brokerages, Redfin charges a percent-based listing fee.
Redfin offers selling, buying, mortgage, and renting services.
Selling with Redfin is similar to selling with a traditional brokerage. You can choose between Redfin Full Service (the standard service) or Redfin Premier (for luxury properties). Both cost 1.5%.
Redfin also has a Concierge Service that can help you renovate and stage your home to prepare it for listing. The cost varies and comes out of the sale proceeds at closing.
Here's what you can expect when you sell a house with Redfin's standard package:
- Get paired with a Redfin agent.
- Start the home-selling process with services like:
- Pricing help
- Professional photography
- 3D walk-through for virtual tours
- Open houses
3. Work with your Redfin agent on negotiating or accepting bids until a buyer closes on your home.
Redfin's extensive online inventory makes it easy to browse and quickly book home tours with a Redfin agent. That's great if you want to buy a home in a fast-moving market. And if you're buying a luxury home, you can work with a Premier Agent.
However, Redfin is a tech-based platform. You might not get to interview and choose an agent who matches your personality and needs. Agents at Redfin also work in teams, so you could work with one agent for open house tours and another for closing.
Redfin also offers mortgage and rental services.
If you want to buy or refinance your home, Redfin can connect you with its partner, Mortgage Research Center (MRC). Through a Redfin website questionnaire, MRC will identify a lender and help you get pre-approved.
If you're a renter, Redfin's extensive list of regularly updated listings can help you find your next home. You can use filters to search for exactly what you need and find contact information for property managers.
Fees and savings
Houwzer and Redfin both offer solid savings compared to traditional brokerages, which charge average realtor fees of around 2.5–3%.
At face value, Houwzer offers more savings for sellers. But Redfin also offers a 1% listing fee to sellers who also buy with the company within one year.
Houwzer fees and savings
Houwzer charges a 1% listing fee — about one-third of the typical rate. That means if you sold a house for $500,000, you could save $10,000 using Houwzer instead of a traditional brokerage.
The company also offers a $2,500 rebate for customers who bundle its mortgage and title services.
Redfin fees and savings
Redfin's listing fee for sellers is 1.5%, about half the traditional rate. If you sold a house for $500,000, you could save $7,500 with Redfin.
The company also offers a 1% listing fee for customers who buy and sell with Redfin within one year. If you buy first, you pay 1% for your listing fee. If you sell first, Redfin refunds 0.5% after you purchase your new home.
Redfin's discounts are subject to location-based minimum fees, which means sellers could end up paying more than the advertised 1–1.5% rate.
In an affordable market like Fayetteville, Arkansas, sellers pay a minimum listing fee of $2,000. But in a high-cost market like San Francisco, California, the minimum fee is $9,000.
Houwzer and Redfin agents offer full service. But both companies rely on a high volume of business to earn a profit. The more clients your agent has, the less likely they'll communicate regularly and provide hands-on service.
With Redfin, you get a greater selection of agents
Choosing the best agent to sell your home is a huge financial and personal decision. And Redfin makes it easier to vet and choose your realtor. On the company website, you can view each agent's reviews, past transactions, and contact information.
Houwzer assigns you an agent.
Both companies employ salaried agents who work in teams
Agents with Houwzer and Redfin earn a salary and work in teams, whereas most traditional agents earn commission and work independently.
In some reviews, customers complained that salaried agents are less motivated to quickly close the sale or maximize your profit. And the team-based approach can sometimes be confusing, like when you correspond with one agent for showings and another for making and negotiating an offer.
At any brokerage, some agents are naturally more motivated than others. If you vet and choose your own agent, pay attention to customer reviews. These can give you insight into how hard an agent works for their clients.
Clever is one of the best alternatives to Redfin because you get the same discounted commission rates — without the discount agents.
✅ Sell with a top agent from major brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams
✅ Full service and support from a dedicated agent through your sale
✅ Get a pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fee
✅ It's free, with zero obligation — you can walk away at any time
Saving on realtor fees doesn't have to mean sacrificing service. Find a top local agent today!
Redfin agents meet stricter eligibility requirements
Houwzer and Redfin employ licensed real estate agents, but the quality and experience of these agents vary.
Redfin has stricter criteria for the agents it allows into its network. They must have 20 recent transactions or 50 lifetime transactions. Houwzer agents only need a high school diploma and two years of office experience.
Houwzer has a 4.9/5 rating from 1,200 customer reviews. Positive reviews praise its agents for their professionalism and no-pressure approach. A few negative reviews mention poor communication.
Redfin has a 2.9/5 based on 680 reviews. The company has many positive reviews on its site, but it has much fewer positive reviews that are verified and on third-party sites.
Some Redfin reviewers rave about their agent’s professionalism and negotiation skills. But an alarming number of reviews complain that Redfin’s salaried agents have poor customer service and aren't motivated to close.
As with any real estate agency, experiences with Houwzer and Redfin vary depending on the agent.
Pro: Responsive, professional agents
Reviewers consistently praise Houwzer agents for their professionalism and communication.
Zillow user Brett B. said their Houwzer agent “remained available from listing date to closing and was quick to return any calls, texts, or emails.”
Several other positive reviews mention how agents went “above and beyond” to share their knowledge of everything from the local real estate market to décor ideas for the new house.
Pro: No-pressure sales
Several happy customers mentioned that Houwzer’s agents take a refreshingly no-pressure approach to house hunting. Yelp reviewer Ciara N. called the process “totally pressure free.” This is likely because Houwzer agents receive a salary whether or not they close the transaction.
Con: Some unmotivated agents
Some unhappy Houwzer customers say customer service suffers because agents aren't motivated to facilitate new sales. Yelp user Daniel M. reported feeling “completely underwhelmed by [Houwzer's] agent and so-called service.”
Pro: Discounted fee
Most sellers choose a brokerage like Redfin because of the savings. With percentage-based listing fees, the savings only increase with higher-cost properties.
Yelp reviewer M A. emphasized that Redfin's salaried agents and fee structure seemed more "honest and transparent and leaves more money in the buyers' and sellers' pockets."
Pro: Good agents
Happy Redfin customers raved about getting good service from knowledgeable agents. Many customers reported that their agents were also communicative, professional, and courteous.
For example, Google user Amanda I. said, "My agent was very responsive and professional, and he really advocated for us throughout the offer process."
Redfin's discounted listing fee saves you money, but it may be negated if your agent lowballs your property. Multiple reviewers reported that Redfin agents undervalued their properties. Yelp user Brian D. wrote that he "would've lost out on $55,000" with his Redfin agent's recommended list price.
|7 locations across DC, FL, MD, NJ, and PA||100+ markets across US and Canada|
Houwzer operates in select counties across Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Its service area will expand soon, according to the company website.
If you're interested in using Houwzer, contact your local office to find out which services it offers in your region.
Redfin operates in more than 100 major markets across the United States and Canada. It's available in most states, except for Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Its footprint is expanding rapidly, according to the company website.
Not all services are available in each market. Contact your local office to find out which services Redfin offers in your area.
Best alternatives to using Houwzer or Redfin
|Company||Clever Rating||Customer Rating||Listing Fee||Availability|
5/5 (2,940 reviews)
1.5% (min. $3,000)
4.9/5 (6,254 reviews)
2% (min. $3,000)
5/5 (336 reviews)
1% (min. $5,000)
FL, GA, TX
5/5 (465 reviews)
1.5% (min. fee varies)
CO, DC, FL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, TX, VA, WA
Houwzer and Redfin aren't the only low-commission real estate companies that can save you money.
For example, Clever Real Estate can connect you with multiple top-performing agents in your area who charge a 1.5% listing fee through its network. Clever has much stricter vetting criteria than Houwzer and Redfin, and its team checks in throughout the transaction to make sure your agent is living up to your expectations.
Ideal Agent also has strict vetting standards. It only works with agents who are performing in the top 1% of their respective markets. However, this means Ideal Agent doesn't have as many agents in its network. It only matches you with one agent, and it may not have an agent in some rural or smaller markets.
Ultimately, the agent you hire is more important than the brand they work with. We recommend scoping out different brokerages and interviewing at least 2–3 agents before committing to a realtor.
Clever has helped thousands of customers save big on commission fees — we can help you keep more money in your pocket too!
✅ Sellers pay only 1.5% in listing fees
✅ Buyers earn cash back on eligible purchases
✅ You'll work with a local realtor from top brokers, like RE/MAX and Keller Williams
Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. You can interview as many agents as you like, or you can walk away anytime. Enter your zip code to find a top local agent today!