Redfin Versus Traditional Realtor: Which Home Buying Option Is Right for You?

Oct 6, 2018 12:14:00 PM

Digital technology has changed the face of how business is done. We can book a carpool to the airport using a rideshare app on our phone, find and pay for a second-hand pair of shoes on social media, order dinner with the click of a button and so, so much more.

Until very recently, real estate was one of the few areas in which traditional business models still reigned supreme – but today that’s all changing, as online and mobile platforms like Redfin offer a digital-first way to buy and sell a home.

What are the benefits of working with Redfin versus a traditional realtor? Read on for a quick guide to the potential advantages and disadvantages of taking the digital path along your home buying journey.

A Familiar Platform – For Some

If you’re a millennial who’s grown up with digital ways of doing things, Redfin offers a familiar set of online and mobile tools that can make the process of buying or selling a home easier, and even more fun. It’s a breeze to simply hop online and book home tours, check out new listings and get an instant home value estimate – all with just at few clicks. At the same time, buyers or sellers who aren’t as comfortable navigating websites may find it quicker to simply call up a traditional realtor, rather than sorting through all the different information and services offered by an online real estate platform like Redfin.

The Million Dollar Question

The first question many potential buyers and sellers want to know is, how much money will I save by choosing an online real estate service like Redfin? The platform offers a few enticing deals. Home buyers get a special refund on commission fees, around $2,000 on average. Sellers can take advantage of Redfin’s listing fee which is 1.5%, as compared to traditional listing fees of around 5% to 6% of the home’s selling price. So while Redfin is unlikely to save you a million dollars, it could help to shave a bit of spending off your real estate transaction.

Your Agent

Having the right real estate agent can make a major difference to the home buying experience. Ideally, your agent will listen carefully to what you want, respect your budget and hard limits on housing requirements, and be able to tell you what’s feasible and what’s not in the current housing market. While Redfin does assign each home buyer their very own agent, tours are not always conducted by the same person, but rather whichever Redfin real estate agent is available at a particular time and location. This can be disconcerting for homebuyers who would prefer consistency in their touring experience, but at the same time, it can be a beneficial to get a range of views from different people in the industry when searching for your home.

Location, Location, Location

They say that location the most important thing to consider when you’re buying a home. After all, a number of aspects of how a home is built and designed can be altered, assuming you have enough time and money – but you can’t change its location. Many people moving to a new city prefer to work with a traditional realtor rather than an online service like Redfin so that they can rely on that person’s local knowledge of the area and choose the right neighborhood. Then again, there are plenty of online resources to help you study up on which part of town might be best for you and your family. Either way, do your location research when buying a new home.

Finances

Redfin offers online resources to help you prepare for the financial factors involved in buying a home, including insight into the mortgage process and more information on what documents you’ll need to apply for a home loan. Redfin can also help to connect home buyers with local lenders. Whether you work with a lender through Redfin or through a traditional realtor, be sure to choose an institution with a strong reputation for providing trustworthy financial products and straightforward, transparent assistance during one of the most important financial decisions of your life. HUECU, for example, offers a variety of mortgage options as well as home loan experts who can help to take the stress out of the home loan process.

Tags: Home Buying, Home loans, First Time Home Buyers, Mortgages, Personal Finance