Online real estate brokerage Redfin is expanding into the Charlotte and Raleigh markets, saying it will bring new technology to the real estate market and save buyers money in fees.
The Seattle-based housing research and brokerage firm says its sales model differs from traditional companies in that its agents are salaried and dont work on commission. Instead, bonuses are dependent on customer satisfaction ratings.
The company says it refunds homebuyers up to half of the buyers agent commission.
For a $300,000 home, a Redfin client would save more than $2,000, the company says. For listing clients, Redfin charges 1.5 percent as opposed to the typical 3 percent of a traditional agent, depending on the selling price of the home.
The company also touts its online database, which includes all broker-listed homes for sale and for-sale-by-owner homes that dont pay brokers a commission. Research services also include a feature called Offer Insights, which tells people what houses are on the market and what the actual purchase process was like for homes its agents sold in a given neighborhood.
Charlotte is growing fast, especially among the young professionals who have traditionally been the largest segment of Redfins business, said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.
We hope to offer folks across the Carolinas real estate data and service that had never been available to them before: national-caliber online tools but with locally sourced data on every home for sale, and an agent whos really accountable for delivering the result thats right for them.
Pat Riley, president and chief operating officer with Allen Tate Co., one of the Carolinas largest and oldest real estate companies, said he is familiar with Redfins model.
We always welcome competition and look forward to working with their agents, he said. We believe that any real estate fee paid must result in delivering the seller maximum exposure for their listing and for the buyer full-time seasoned professional counselors.
There should be no shortcuts when working with a clients largest single investment. We have experimented with the non-commission agent model and found that we were not able to attain the most qualified and passionate individuals for our clients needs.
Redfin has been raising money from investors and expanding and is now in 21 U.S. markets.
Charlotte native Julie Sharpe will serve as Redfins area manager for North Carolina.
Redfin understands that a real estate companys best assets are its agents, which is why were salaried employees with a voice in how the company is run, she said.
Redfin is hosting a free welcome event on Thursday, March 7 at Byrons South End in Charlotte, from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate.
For every person who attends this event, Redfin will donate $10 to Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc.