Broker ‘Big Boy" Bryant serving up Redfin for you enjoyment!


OK, I think you guys are going to like this one. I received this Email last night:

Subject: Redfin Rebate to the Buyer

I saw one of your posts and wanted to get your thoughts about rebating "the selling commission" to the buyer. It seems to me if I am the seller and am charged x% for the listing agent and x% for the buyers agent but y% of the sales price of the home is rebated back to the buyer then I have been falsely charged for the buyers agent's fee? Apparently this is legal in some states but other not? END OF EMAIL. NOT EDITED

Now isn't that interesting? My take on this, is that this consumer (?) has agreed to pay Redfin a certain amount to list his home and has also agreed to offer a co-broke in order to get the home listed in the MLS. Redfin has now also provided the Buyer (double dip) and is rebating part of the selling side commission to the Buyer. The consumer's perspective is he is being taken advantage of. Hmmm……

Is he? Well I guess it depends on how the listing agreement was written. Legally, probably not. But he certainly brings up a good point. Remember perception is everything.

As a listing Broker I rarely work with Buyers. And if I do, I pass the savings on to my Seller, since they are the ones that have hired me. Granted, this may enable my Seller to accept a lower purchase price, which does benefit the Buyer as well BUT it is not a Buyer rebate. The NET to the Seller would look the same, as in the above scenario, BUT the Seller's perception is much different. Hmmm…..

Now as we all know, an ABM (alternative business model) such as Redfin depends on doing volume, they MUST work both sides of the transaction, when the opportunity presents itself, to make their numbers work. So the million dollar questions are:

  • Where does their loyalty lie? 
  •  Are they looking out for the Seller at all? 
  •  Would Redfin EVER counsel a Buyer to walk away from a deal? 
  •  Or are they just paper pushers?

Folks, I do not know the answers to these questions. As I've stated many times, I have NO problem with any ABM. But when I read this Email it really got me thinking. I will be linking this post to the consumer that sent me the Email, so, have at it. What is your opinion? How would you answer his question?

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