My husband and I have just started to think about buying a house again. We had owned our own place back in Tucson, but being first time home owners didn’t realize how naive we were while hunting and settled on a house that ended up needing a lot of TLC. Additionally, we were put off by the entire home buying process then and in subsequent years while searching here on the east coast.
We are a very tech-savy couple, like most of those in our generation, and as such utilize the various online tools available to us while searching for homes. What this means is that we already know EVERYTHING that is on the market, current buying trends and how much houses in different neighborhoods are going for. By the time we bring in a realtor it is just to see the houses we want, making their job practically obsolete. So why then am I paying them 3% of the total price of the house? Are they really doing $3-5K of work? Additionally, are they really working for us? When your commission is based on the total price of the house sold, my guess is no. In Boston, houses can and do sell for $50K less than asking pricing which comes out to around $1500. Realtors would like you to think that they are on your side and that the final price doesn’t make a huge difference in their commissions; but, being in sales and working on a commission base I can tell you $1500 is a huge motivator.
Enter technology and cloud based realtors! I’m talking about Redfin, which has over the past couple of days become one of my favorite tools for house hunting. They completely understand the ‘new’ home buyer and have built their business around the tech-savy consumer; allowing me to do all of the grunt-work of the sales cycle. Their sales rep’s are all salaried with bonuses based off of customer satisfaction, and at the end of the sale they refund their customers the 3% commission! I love this new model! So thanks Redfin for understanding the amazing power of cloud technology and building a business around today’s consumer.