SEATTLE - Oct. 3, 2006:
Online real estate broker Redfin Corporation (http://www.redfin.com) today announced the company has refunded $1 million in commissions to home buyers. In a separate announcement today, Redfin launched "Red Carpet Services" to offer home buyers free home tours and pre-inspections.
Redfin reached the million-dollar milestone in less than six months by refunding $1,011,985 in commissions, for an average refund of $9,825, to 103 home buyers in California and Washington. In addition, 28 home sellers have used Redfin to sell their home saving $289,173 in commissions, for an average of $10,328.
Home buyers get a refund by finding a home on their own through Redfin.com and then draft an offer using Redfin's online home-buying service, Redfin Direct for Buyers. Local, experienced Redfin agents consult with the customer about the offer, negotiate with the listing agent and coordinate the closing. At closing, Redfin refunds two-thirds of its commission to the customer, usually 2 percent of the final home price. More recently, Redfin has begun to offer an e-commerce service for home sellers, Redfin Direct for Sellers, which costs $2,000 for an MLS listing, negotiations and closing support.
The first Redfin home purchase was on March 29, 2006 to Gregory Lozensky of Seattle. Dawn and Scott Austin's closing of a Seattle home put Redfin customers over the $1 million mark on Sept. 22, 2006.
"Redfin really streamlined the home-buying process. It was a lot more efficient to do everything online rather than trying to coordinate busy schedules," said Dawn Austin. "We applied our $13,478 commission refund to closing costs, which will save us almost double the refund in interest," said Scott Austin. "The service exceeded our expectations so now we're going to have Redfin sell our previous home."
"The argument that customers don't want real estate e-commerce or that it won't work has been laid to rest for good over the course of one remarkable summer," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "Because our agents focus on negotiations and closing rather than spending their time looking for customers or picking out houses for them to see, we've been able to achieve a 97 percent satisfaction rate at a far lower price. For a new generation of home-buyers, this is simply a better way to buy a home."