Redfin Review 2021

Jamie Ayers

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Jamie Ayers

July 22nd, 2021
Updated July 22nd, 2021

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What is Redfin? | How it works | How much can I save? | Pricing | Redfin vs. realtor | Top low commission alternatives | Selling | Buying | Redfin Refund | Redfin reviews | Locations & fees | Contact info

Redfin reviews

✍️ Editor’s take: Redfin offers real savings and a proven brand. But most Redfin sellers will compromise on service — especially agent experience and availability.

Redfin is a popular home search tool and discount real estate brokerage with licensed real estate agents who can help you buy or sell a home.

Redfin’s primary offering is discounted services for home sellers. You can save up to 20-30% on commission fees by selling with Redfin instead of a traditional realtor.

The biggest potential tradeoff is service. Redfin Agents handle roughly 3x more sales than the average realtor, which could limit their ability to provide personalized support to each customer.

Want to save on commission without sacrificing service? Clever pre-negotiates 1% listing fees (or $3,000 on homes under $350,000) with top-rated realtors from companies like Berkshire Hathaway and RE/MAX. You'll get the traditional agent experience for a third of the typical price.

» SAVE: Sell with a top local agent for $3,000 or 1%

Redfin, at a glance
1.5%*
$5,550^
3.2 (287 reviews)
80+ U.S. cities
*Minimum fees apply and vary by market
^Compared to a 3% listing fee at four different price points.

What is Redfin?

Redfin is best known for its popular home search tool, but it’s also a real estate brokerage with licensed agents who can help you sell or buy a home.

Unlike other big-name brokerages (think Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX), Redfin is a discount brokerage. In the simplest terms, that means:

  • Redfin offers potential commission savings for home sellers and buyers
  • Those savings may come at the expense of service quality and support

How much can you save with Redfin?

When you sell with a Redfin Agent, you’ll likely pay 4-4.5% in total commission fees — about 20-30% less than selling with a traditional realtor.

» MORE: How much does Redfin cost?

Home buyers can also save with Redfin. Redfin refunds eligible buyers a portion of the commission it collects from sellers — on average, $1,500 — though this offer is only available in select states, and numerous terms and restrictions apply.

» MORE: How does the Redfin Refund work?

More recently, Redfin launched RedfinNow, a direct cash buyer service (commonly known as iBuying) that makes instant offers with flexible closing timelines on qualifying homes — for an additional fee, of course.

Who should use Redfin?

Redfin is worth considering if…
  • You value savings over hands-on service
  • You're comfortable with a tech-driven experience.
  • You’re selling a more expensive home
  • Your selling situation is straightforward and you have a flexible timeline
You may want to avoid Redfin if…
  • You’re technologically averse
  • You value highly personalized, hands-on service
  • Your situation is complicated and requires more expertise / support
  • You’re selling a less expensive home

» COMPARE: Redfin vs. top alternatives

» MORE: See all Redfin locations and minimum fees

Is Redfin legitimate?

Yes, Redfin is a fully licensed real estate brokerage in all of the states it operates in. Since launching in Seattle, WA in 2004, it's become the largest discount broker in the United States by far, with more than 3,000 employees and offices in 90+ markets across the U.S. and Canada.

Redfin became a publicly traded company in 2017. This means it's subject to extra government oversight and the mandate for transparent business practices.

That said, you still have to do a lot of digging to unearth fine-print details about Redfin’s services and pricing. In particular, you’ll need to look out for:

  • Minimum fees for home sellers that vary by location
  • Exclusionary criteria that may disqualify you from a specific service or offer

How does Redfin work?

Redfin’s primary offering is savings for home sellers and buyers. But can it really offer discounted rates and rebates and still turn a profit?

The simple answer is yes, with a catch.

How Redfin creates savings

  • Promoting its real estate agent service to the millions of people already using its app and website, which helps Redfin save on marketing to find new customers
  • Using technology and a team-based approach to handle a higher volume of customers per agent
  • Upselling existing customers on additional Redfin services

Expect less customer service and support

The tradeoff is that its high-volume, tech-centric approach definitely limits the amount of attention and support agents are able to provide throughout a sale or purchase.

Redfin Agents close three times as many deals as the typical real estate agent

Source: Redfin Investor Presentation, February 2020

This likely means less personalized, hands-on service than a traditional agent, but the degree to which this matters really depends on your specific situation and preferences.

Redfin listing fees: How much does Redfin cost?

Service
Fee*
Sell with Redfin
1.5%
Buyer’s agent commission
2.5-3%
Total
4-4.5%
*Minimum fees apply and vary by market. Source: Redfin

Redfin offers a discounted 1.5% listing fee, rather than the typical 2.5-3%. That translates to an average $5,550 in listing fee savings across four price points, with higher dollar savings for higher home prices.

Price Point
Listing Fee*
Rate
Savings**
$100,000
$3,350
3.4%
-$350
$250,000
$3,750
1.5%
$3,750
$500,000
$7,500
1.5%
$7,500
$750,000
$11,250
1.5%
$11,250
Average
$6,450
2.0%
$5,550
*Redfin's average minimum fee is $3,350. Actual minimum fees vary by market
**Compared to a 3% listing fee.

If you sell and buy with a Redfin Agent within a single calendar year, Redfin will issue a 0.5% refund at the time of your purchase. This effectively drops your listing fee to 1%.

» MORE: Find the best low commission real estate companies

Redfin's listing fee isn’t the only expense you’ll be on the hook for when you sell your house. Here are some other things to be aware of when assessing how much it will cost to sell your house with Redfin.

You’ll still likely cover the buyer’s agent commission

In a typical real estate transaction, the seller offers a commission to the buyer’s agent for bringing their client to purchase the home. Rates are negotiable and vary by market, but 2.5-3% is typical nationwide.

Redfin sellers are not exempt from this arrangement, so you should budget for a total commission of 4-4.5%.

» MORE: What is buyer’s agent commission?

Watch out for Redfin’s minimum fees!

Though Redfin advertises a 1.5% commission, it has minimum fees ranging from $2,000 to $6,500, depending on the market you’re selling in.

Translation?

If you’re selling a less expensive home in a market with a higher minimum fee, you could end up paying an effective rate well over 1.5%.

» FIND: See Redfin's minimum fee in your area

Don’t forget about closing costs

When you sell with Redfin (as with any real estate broker) you’ll still be on the hook for some closing costs. These may include transfer taxes, title insurance, escrow and settlement fees — possibly more, depending on what you negotiate with your buyer. You should budget for at least 2-4% in additional closing-related fees and taxes.

✍️ Editor's note

Before listing with Redfin, compare your expected savings against the average commission rate in your area. Take the time to shop around to make sure you're getting the best value.

Hire the agent you believe will get you the best price for your home — not just charge the lowest commission. Saving 1.5% on realtor fees is great, but if the agent sells your home for 10% less than its fair market value, you're losing a lot more than you're gaining.

Are Redfin Agents good?

All Redfin Agents are fully licensed real estate agents and provide the same general range of services and support as traditional realtors. That said, there are a few key differences that could affect your experience or outcome.

Redfin Agents are less incentivized than traditional realtors

Traditional realtors typically work solely on commission. They get paid ONLY if and when the sale goes through. This makes them highly motivated to help you sell quickly and for the highest price possible.

In contrast, Redfin Agents are full-time salaried employees. This means they’re getting paid whether your home sells or not.

Redfin does offer bonuses to agents who close a lot of deals and get high customer satisfaction scores. BUT compared to a traditional realtor, there’s simply less direct incentive to hustle hard and get you the best deal possible.

Redfin Agents are a mixed bag

Just like Keller Williams, Compass, and Century 21, Redfin has some great agents — and some no-so-great ones…

Don’t just assume they’re all the same and roll with the first Redfin Agent you see. Remember, you’re hiring a person, not a brand!

Redfin’s Agent Finder tool is useful — but has limitations

The good news is that Redfin is actually pretty good at being transparent about customer satisfaction. Redfin surveys all of its customers and posts every completed review to the associated agent’s profile.

When you search for Redfin Agents near you, you’ll be able to view their average customer rating, read detailed reviews (good and bad), see past and active deals on a map (which tells you what neighborhoods they typically work in), and so on.

Screenshots of Redfin's Agent Finder tool

Screenshots from a profile page for a Redfin Agent in Houston, TX.

Redfin Partner Agents may cost more

Redfin’s agent finder tool may also display results for “Redfin Partner Agents.” These are agents from other brokerages who pay Redfin a fee for sending customers their way. Importantly, these agents DO NOT have to honor Redfin’s pricing model or offer any discounts whatsoever.

One of the big drawbacks of Redfin’s tool is, of course, that it only shows Redfin Agents and Partner Agents — the best agent (or price) might be with a different brokerage.

How does Redfin compare to similar services?


Redfin
Clever
Redefy
Avg customer rating
3.2 (287 reviews)
4.9 (1,143 reviews)
4.6 (345 reviews)
Dedicated point of contact?
Yes
Yes
Yes
In-person support?
Partial
Full
Partial
Regions covered
National (select markets)
National
CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Listing fee
1.5% (min fees vary by market)
1% or $3,000
$3,500 ($500 due up front)
Avg savings*
$5,550
$7,375
$8,500

*Average of savings vs. a 3% commission at four price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $750,000.

Redfin savings: comparable to other discount brokers — but not the best

While Redfin offers significant savings over traditional realtors, its 1.5% listing fee is actually pretty middle-of-the-pack compared to other discount brokers and services.

If you’re selling a more expensive home, a flat-fee broker, who offers a fixed rate regardless of home price, will probably offer the best hard savings — BUT these smaller companies are only available in a handful of areas and have fewer resources to support you throughout your sale.

Most sellers will find the best overall value with a low commission company like Clever, which pre-negotiates 1% listing fees (or $3,000 under $350,000) with traditional agents from top brands like Keller Williams.

That's got Redfin's 1.5% commission beat, plus you get all the benefits, service, and support that come with a traditional realtor.

👋 Get a better agent AND bigger savings

Why pay more in commission fees for less service? Clever offers you bigger savings without sacrificing the service you expect from a traditional realtor.

With Clever:

 ✅ You'll only pay $3,000 or 1% to list your home

 ✅ You'll work with a full-service realtor from a top broker

 ✅ 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 may offer better service and tech than other discount brokers

On the customer experience side, Redfin may be a safer bet than other discount brokers. Remember, the proof is usually in the pudding! Redfin is a hugely successful company with thousands of satisfied customers — clearly it’s doing something right.

💡 What makes Redfin different?

Redfin has invested a ton of time and resources into developing the technology it uses to streamline its real estate agent services.

The tech-centric approach helps mitigate the customer service and quality tradeoffs that typically go hand-in-hand with a discount business model.

While all discount brokers claim they can handle a higher volume of business without scrimping on service quality, Redfin is probably the only one with the requisite tech and resources to come close.

In other words, Redfin beats most of its peers when it comes to its service model, but chances are it’ll still feel a bit more “hands-off” than working with a traditional realtor.

Redfin Agent quality and experienced is mixed

Like most discount brokerages, Redfin Agents are a mixed bag in terms of quality and experience. But Redfin offers more transparency in the agent selection process. It also gives you a much larger pool to choose from.

Most discount brokers will only have a handful of local agents. In fact, some may literally have only one agent in your area. Redfin has more than 1,500 agents nationwide, which gives you a better chance of finding a good fit.

While Redfin offers more selection than other discount brokerages, it pales in comparison to agent-matching services like Clever and HomeLight.

But HomeLight doesn’t offer any sort of built-in cost savings, whereas Clever negotiates low rates on your behalf (lower than Redfin, in fact).

Selling with Redfin

Biggest benefits of selling with Redfin...
  • More agents and customer satisfaction transparency than most discount brokers
  • Stronger reputation among traditional agents and buyers than most other discount brands
  • Offers technology well-suited for selling during COVID-19
Biggest risks of selling with Redfin…
  • High-volume approach could negatively impact service quality and support
  • Risk of being paired with an inexperienced or unmotivated agent without careful vetting
  • Could get lower initial offers because buyers and their agents know you’re listing with a discount brand

When you sell with Redfin, you’ll get the same general range of services you’d expect from a traditional realtor.

Redfin agents offer an expert valuation, professional photos, MLS listing, digital marketing, showings, help with offers, contracts, negotiations, closing, and more.

✍️ Editor's note

You don’t need to sell with Redfin to list your home on Redfin.com! Redfin automatically pulls in listings from the MLS and several "for sale by owner" websites. So it's possible to market your home on Redfin's app and website no matter how you sell.

There are a few key differences you should be aware of, though.

Redfin agents juggle 3x more clients than typical realtors

Redfin Agents handle approximately 3x more sales than the average realtor. This limits the amount of attention they can offer each individual customer.

To manage the higher volume of deals, your Redfin Agent will hand off aspects of your sale to other team members. While the team-based approach has become more common with traditional realtors as well, it’s going to be more pronounced with a discount broker.

Why does this matter?

Having more people involved in the process means a greater risk of disorganization, mistakes, and delays that could jeopardize your sale. It’s also possible dealing with a different person every other day will add undue stress to an already stressful process.

Redfin handles most of the sales process remotely

Most of the home sale process will be handled remotely, via phone and your “Seller Dashboard” on Redfin’s website (Redfin told us the Dashboard doesn’t work on its mobile app yet).

This isn’t unique to Redfin. But Redfin may have a slight edge because its technology is more sophisticated and user-friendly. This could mean less friction for you, compared to other agents or brokers who are still trying to adapt.

Buying with Redfin

You can also buy a home with a Redfin Agent. They provide the same general range of services as a traditional realtor. But, as with selling, expect less hands-on attention and support.

Buying with a Redfin Agent won’t cost you anything — in real estate, the fee for the buyer’s agent comes out of the seller’s proceeds from the sale. However, there are a few savings opportunities to be aware of.

  • If you sell and buy with Redfin, you’ll get back 0.5% of your listing fee, dropping you to an effective 1% rate
  • Depending on your location and situation, you could qualify for a Redfin Refund, which means you’ll get back a portion of Redfin’s commission to put toward your closing costs

What is the Redfin Refund?

The Redfin Refund is a commission rebate — also known as a home buyer rebate — to buyers in select markets. If you’re eligible, you’ll get a percentage of Redfin’s commission back that you can put toward your closing costs.

Average refund for *eligible* buyers is $1,500

Redfin doesn’t specify an exact amount or percentage, but says the average refund for qualifying buyers is $1,500.

Fair warning:

There are a TON of rules and restrictions surrounding commission rebates. This is why you’ll almost always see conditional language in advertisements — i.e., “Get up to X%” or “$X on average.”

Redfin Refund terms and restrictions

Commission rebates typically require lender approval, can only be used in certain ways (e.g., to buy points on your mortgage, cover closing costs, etc.), and are never guaranteed. In fact, some states don’t allow them at all.

Here are some additional Redfin Refund terms and conditions you should be aware of:

  • The Redfin Refund may be cancelled or adjusted if the commission received by Redfin is less than 1% of the home’s list price or $6,500 (whichever is greater).
  • The Redfin Refund may not be paid if the home is purchased as a short sale.

Where the Redfin Refund is NOT Available

The Redfin Refund is not available in certain Redfin markets, including:

Alaska
Missouri
Birmingham, AL
Nebraska
Cleveland, OH
Oklahoma
El Paso, TX
Oregon
Iowa
San Antonio, TX
Kansas
South Texas
Little Rock, AR
Tennessee
Louisiana
Tucson, AZ
Louisville, KY
Wisconsin
Mississippi

Redfin 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.


Rating
# of reviews
Weighted Average
3.2
287
4.4
48
3.5
123
1.9
91
3.7
25
*These reviews are for Redfin’s Seattle, WA office. Reviews will vary by location.

Overall, Redfin’s reviews across third-party sites are mixed, with an average customer rating of 3.2 across 287 total reviews.

But it’s important to remember:

  • Redfin’s reviews will vary by location. For example, Redfin’s Seattle, WA office has a 4.3 average rating on Google, whereas its Houston, TX office has a 2.8.
  • The vast majority of reviews are on Redfin’s website, not third-party sites.

So what are people saying about working with Redfin?

Positives: savings and a user-friendly website

The most common themes among positive Redfin reviews are:

  • Great savings / value
  • Great technology (app and website, specifically)
  • Good experience with specific agents

Here’s an example of a positive Redfin review on Yelp from a seller who was very pleased with her Redfin Agent’s level of knowledge and customer service:

We have been working with Mark Queen at Redfin to sell our house in Kent. He was extremely knowledgeable and helped us determine what we needed to do to prepare
our house for sale. He even provided referrals to cleaners, stagers and people who could update our insulation. Mark visited us several times prior to putting the house on the market. We felt like we could ask him for all kinds of advice. When it came
time to put the house up on the market he worked tirelessly to show the house and vet all of the offers that came in. I would recommend to anyone who is trying to sell their house... ask for Mark Queen. He is fantastic.

Negatives: Poor customer service and spotty agent quality

In contrast, the most common themes among negative Redfin reviews are:

  • Agents are unmotivated, offering little guidance or proactivity
  • Poor communication, delays in process
  • Disorganized, lackluster service / support, no real expertise

Here is an example of a negative Redfin review on ConsumerAffairs from a seller who was very unhappy with the lack of effort, communication, and customer service he experienced with his Redfin Agent:

Slack, lackadaisical, lazy, worthless. My Redfin agent was a complete hack, provided ZERO guidance. My listing has been on the market for almost 60 days and
he has made no effort to proactively reach out. I am driving each interaction. Every real estate agent I have worked with in the past has at the very last made an effort to communicate status, next steps, etc. These redfin agents are completely passive
and do not take any proactive steps to help you sell your home. I would strongly advise against using redfin to sell your home. Pay the extra 1% and get a real agent.

The key takeaway here is that, assuming you’re on board with Redfin’s tech-centric and team-driven approach, the experience and outcome really comes down to the individual agent you work with.

ALWAYS read local reviews and interview multiple agents — from Redfin and other brokerages in your area — to compare rates and find the best option for you.

Compare top local agents, save thousands!

Try Clever’s free agent-matching service today.

Be wary of the 'Redfin upsell'

One of the ways Redfin is able to offer discount rates and remain profitable is upselling existing customers on additional, premium, and/or affiliate services.

In other words, it uses the 1.5% listing fee or Redfin Refund offer to get you in the door, then tries to sell you on its mortgage company, title service, local partners, and so on.

While the idea of a “one-stop-shop” sounds easy and appealing, it will rarely get you the best service quality or value available.

Your best bet will usually be a local company that specializes in the service you’re looking for. If you’re considering a Redfin “add-on,” always compare it to several other options in your area.

Additional Redfin services

Here’s a quick overview of some of Redfin’s additional services:

  • Title Forward: Redfin’s in-house title and settlement service, which has mixed reviews and no apparent unique benefits.
  • Redfin Mortgage: Redfin’s in-house mortgage broker service with no lender fees and $1,000 toward closing costs if your loan doesn’t close on time.
  • Redfin Open Book: Redfin’s local home services provider network. If you hire a landscaper, carpenter, electrician, etc. through this platform, Redfin gets paid.
  • RedfinNow: Redfin’s new direct cash buyer service. If your home qualifies, you can get a cash offer and close in as few as 10 days for a 6-12% fee.
  • Redfin Concierge: Redfin’s premium home sale prep service oversees pre-listing improvements like landscaping, painting, staging, etc. Note: Redfin’s fee does not include the actual work — just the planning and oversight. It’s only available in a handful of markets in California, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Conclusion: Is Redfin a good option for you?

Redfin is a totally legitimate company and service that has helped thousands of people buy and sell homes. Ultimately, whether it's a good choice for you really depends on your preferences, situation, and the quality of the Redfin Agents in your area.

Remember, there’s never any obligation when you interview an agent or service. Always conduct multiple interviews so you can compare rates, strengths and weakness, and personalities to find the right fit and get the best outcome on your sale.

👋 Next Steps: Talk to an expert!

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

Our fully-licensed concierge team is standing by to answer questions and provide free, objective advice on getting the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your info below. Our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

Remember, this service is 100% free and there’s never any obligation.

Redfin locations, minimum fees, contact info

Redfin locations and minimum commission fees

Redfin has agents in more than 80 U.S. markets, but coverage is limited in many areas.

See the full list of Redfin locations below, and check out our rankings of the best low commission companies to find other discount services available in your area.

Market
Listing Fee
Minimum Commission
Asheville
1.50%
$3,000
Albany
1.50%
$2,000
Anchorage
1.50%
$2,000
Atlanta
1.50%
$3,250
Austin
1.50%
$3,500
Birmingham
1.50%
$3,000
Boise
1.50%
$3,000
Boston
1.50%
$5,000
Buffalo
1.50%
$2,250
Charlotte
1.50%
$3,000
Chicago
1.50%
$3,250
Cincinnati
1.50%
$2,250
Cleveland
1.50%
$2,750
Columbus
1.50%
$2,500
Connecticut
1.50%
$3,750
Dallas
1.50%
$3,250
DC
1.50%
$5,250
Delaware
1.50%
$3,000
Denver
1.50%
$3,750
Des Moines
1.50%
$2,750
Detroit
1.50%
$2,750
El Paso
1.50%
$2,250
Flagstaff
1.50%
$2,000
Fort Myers
1.50%
$2,750
Grand Rapids
1.50%
$3,250
Hampton Roads
1.50%
$3,250
Hawaii
1.50%
$6,000
Houston
1.50%
$3,000
Indianapolis
1.50%
$3,000
Inland Empire
1.50%
$4,250
Jacksonville
1.50%
$2,750
Kansas City
1.50%
$2,750
Knoxville
1.50%
$2,750
Lake Tahoe
1.50%
$3,750
Las Vegas
1.50%
$3,000
Little Rock
1.50%
$2,000
Los Angeles
1.50%
$6,250
Louisiana
1.50%
$3,000
Louisville
1.50%
$2,500
Maryland
1.50%
$3,750
Memphis
1.50%
$3,000
Miami
1.50%
$3,500
Minneapolis
1.50%
$3,000
Nashville
1.50%
$3,500
Nebraska
1.50%
$2,250
New Jersey
1.50%
$3,250
New Mexico
1.50%
$3,500
New York City & Long Island
1.50%
$5,000
Northeast Virginia
1.50%
$4,500
Northern New England
1.50%
$3,250
Oklahoma
1.50%
$2,250
Orange County
1.50%
$6,500
Orlando
1.50%
$3,250
Palm Beach
1.50%
$3,500
Palm Springs
1.50%
$3,500
Philadelphia
1.50%
$3,000
Phoenix
1.50%
$3,000
Pittsburgh
1.50%
$2,750
Portland
1.50%
$3,750
Raleigh
1.50%
$3,000
Rhode Island
1.50%
$3,250
Richmond
1.50%
$3,750
Sacramento
1.50%
$4,250
Salt Lake City
1.50%
$3,000
San Antonio
1.50%
$2,750
San Diego
1.50%
$5,500
San Francisco
1.50%
$6,500
Savannah
1.50%
$2,250
Seattle
1.50%
$4,750
South Carolina
1.50%
$3,000
South Texas
1.50%
$3,000
Spokane
1.50%
$2,750
St. Louis
1.50%
$3,000
Tampa
1.50%
$2,750
Tucson
1.50%
$2,750
Wisconsin
1.50%
$2,750

Contact info

Phone
1-877-973-3346
Customer service
Hours
8am-5pm PST, 7 days / week

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