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Finding a realtor with a rebate

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  • Finding a realtor with a rebate

    If you have experience finding a "discount" or "rebating" buyer's agent, would you comment on the experience? Redfin offers 1% rebates for going with their realtors, but they have limited experience buying higher value homes.

  • #2

    If you have experience finding a “discount” or “rebating” buyer’s agent, would you comment on the experience? Redfin offers 1% rebates for going with their realtors, but they have limited experience buying higher value homes.
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    I don't know anything about rebates, but I've found most realtors will discount their commission on a higher value home. You just have to ask. I would interview prospective agents and tell them your price range. Make sure they have experience in that price range first of all. Ask their commission (probably 3% range), then ask if they would be willing to do it for 1.5%. That's the most we've ever paid as a buyer.


    • #3
      Just to clarify- obviously the seller technically pays the commission, and the buyer's agent would split the commission with the listing agent.

      if you agree ahead of time on a reduced commission (say 1.5%), and the buyer's agent stands to make 3%, the other 1.5% is credited back to you at closing.


      • #4
        We bought in 2012 for $650k (considered high for our area at the time) and used Redfin and got a rebate. Great deal. I think times have changed but we'd definitely consider using them again, though we have no plans to move for a very long time. We got 1/2 of our realtor's fee back.


        • #5
          We bought an investment property for $168K with Redfin and our main house for $778K (now worth $1.25M) with Redfin.  $1.25M would be a really nice house in San Antonio or Tulsa, but it's pretty unimpressive in Southern California.  (It would be less impressive still in Manhattan or the Bay Area, but I digress.)


          I'm not sure why you'd say Redfin has limited experience buying higher value homes.  There's no reason to pay the full 6% commission if other realtors will do a good job and take a smaller bite.  It really isn't reasonable to pay 6% on a $3+ million house.


          • #6
            I would give a cautionary anecdote regarding trying to cut costs to the realtor. We have a friend who selected a realtor because they offered a lower commission of 1.5% to sell the home. They ended up getting very poor advice throughout the homebuying process.

            As with everything in life, except for medicine, you get what you pay for, and you pay for quality. Try to get the best agent you can, and ask for a discount. However, the best agents probably know they are worth the full commission they receive.



            • #7
              Regarding Redfin's experience as buyer's agents, Redfin's agents do an incredible amount of deal volume compared to most agents, so their experience in negotiating a deal is probably very strong.  However, sometimes they struggle with paying individual attention to their clients (since they have so many because of the business model) in competitive markets where selling the house over the weekend is the norm and timeline is critical.

              My personal philosphy on real estate agents is to hire someone great to SELL and pay them well 2-3% for them.  Experience, connections, and multiple offers negotiating will easily recoup getting a 1% discount on the sell side.

              For a buying agent, I don't really care who I have as much because I find and drive the deal myself and they more or less write up the paperwork.  Therefore, I ask for discounts for a buyer's agent.  Sometimes on the buy-side I just ask the seller's agent to represent me which seems to at least get you the opportunity to match the best offer and they may lower their overall commission for the buyer to get the commission on both sides and the deal done.  If the seller's agent won't represent me, I have a different agent at the same agency represent me which accomplishes the same effect.

              Buyer's agent that have good pocket listing where they bring the deal to me I am happy to pay him/her full commision though.


              • #8
                Used Redfin for most of my purchase transactions since they are reliable, efficient, and no nonsense.  No bloated crap that realtors tend to inflate their importance.

                The sell is a little different since other agencies grey ball them as much as possible.


                • #9
                  a house we are interesting in buying, redfin is only offering 0.3% rebate.

                  I was hoping for 1-1.5%. anything to surmise from this and expect when asking other agents to rebate?


                  • #10
                    i have no idea if this would work but my plan when i next look to buy/sell is to walk into the branch of the nearest major realtor and tell them that i want to list my house with them but i will only work with and agent who has sold no more than 10 homes or so. looking for young and hungry.

                    i've been one of a stable of clients trying to work with a busy realtor, it sucks hard.

                    i don't know for sure but Redfin doesn't seem to be all that common in Chicago or at least it wasn't when we bought a few years ago. i might be totally off base they just seemed to have very few listings.