People in California who want to buy a home without using a real estate agent can now do exactly that, thanks to Redfin.
The online real estate brokerage, which has been growing its mortgage and direct homebuying operations over the last several years, also now offers a program that allows homebuyers to buy a Redfin-listed home without utilizing a buyer’s agent.
And now, that program will be available to homebuyers in California.
Redfin announced earlier this week that it is expanding its agent-free homebuying program to “most” of its California markets, including Fresno, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.
Through the program, which the company calls “Redfin Direct,” buyers can visit and buy Redfin-listed homes without needing to contact or use a buyer’s real estate agent.
According to the company, this allows buyers to “make their offer more competitive by saving the seller from paying thousands in commissions to a buyer’s agent.”
But the program isn’t totally free of real estate agents. In fact, the program is only available on homes that are either listed by Redfin agents or owned by Redfin itself.
For Redfin-listed homes, buyers can schedule a home tour with a Redfin agent with a few clicks through the company’s “Book It Now” feature.
For homes that Redfin owns through its iBuying program, buyers can use “Direct Access,” which allows them unlock the door with their phone and tour properties on their own schedule, without an agent.
Then, when a buyer is ready to make an offer on either a Redfin-listed or Redfin-owned home, Redfin Direct offers tools that help guide the buyer through the process, including laying out the elements of the contract and providing information on typical Redfin seller preferences so the buyer can make their offer stronger.
“Redfin Direct is a new way to buy a home for people who are confident making an offer without an agent,” said Mark Bennett, Redfin’s state broker in California.
“In a multiple offer situation, helping the seller avoid paying a buyer agent commission is one way to make your offer stand out,” Bennett added. “For the buyers who are comfortable being unrepresented, we are making it easy to make an offer online. This is just one more way Redfin is redefining real estate and helping our customers save money.”
Redfin already offers lower than traditional commissions for homes it lists in California. The company’s commission rate varies from 1% to 1.5%, depending on the market in California.
According to the company, on a median-priced home of $650,000 in Los Angeles, a seller could save up to $26,000 by listing with a Redfin agent and selling to a Redfin Direct buyer when compared to paying the traditional 6% in commission fees.
Redfin Direct is also available to buyers in larger markets in Massachusetts, Northern Virginia, and Texas, and the company plans to expand the program to additional markets in the future.
[Update: This article is updated to reflect that sellers pay the commission on real estate deals, not buyers.]