Let me start by saying, I know I just wrote a review post. But, I figure posting a review is better than not posting at all, and I promise I'll be back soon(ish) with something more interesting to the general population that reads this blog (aka: Mom and Dad).
(In the interest of full disclosure, Redfin recently rolled out their "Refer a Friend" program, but I was already planning on writing this post.)
When we bought our first home, we went with a realtor we found through a program with Tom's work. They promised to credit a small portion (10%, maybe?) of their commission back to us at closing, and not knowing any real estate agents, we picked a name and called it good.
And she was fine. Ish.
At least that's what we thought at the time.
This time around though, I had heard about Redfin. Their website is the very best I've found for looking at real estate, and their rebate program is in a class by itself. They don't have agents everywhere, but if they have them in your area, (and you're in the market to buy or sell a home,) you should seriously check them out.
But even without those extras, our agent knocked our last one out of the water. She was super nice. She never made us feel like we were wasting her time when we wanted to look at more houses (or at the same ones again). And she never pressured us in any way. Even when we were super wishy-washy and kept changing our minds. At one point, mid-purchase, we were considering backing out of the deal for a couple of reasons. I felt horrible telling her, since she had spent so much time and effort on our behalf, but not only did she reassure me that she was totally supportive of whatever decision we made, she ended up giving us a great work-around for our main problem.
My favorite comparison between the two agents, though, is the way they handled the inspection. At our inspection for our first house, the inspector brought several things to our attention: old water heater, deteriorating siding, aging roof, etc. that would need work sooner than later. Our agent encouraged us not to request any repairs because "that would bring us back to negotiation." Not knowing anything, we agreed, and bought the house "as is." And I would say we regretted that.
Our Redfin agent, on the other hand, encouraged us to ask for repairs, with the logic that, "the worst they can do is say no." While the sellers didn't agree to everything we requested, they did (among other things) have the furnace serviced, and subsequently repaired to the tune $2500. Needless to say, were were so glad we didn't gloss over the inspection!
I think the best part, though, is the attitude of the agents. Our first realtor seemed to be in a hurry to get us into a house. The sooner, the better. And, quite frankly, the closer to the top of our price (tiny) range, the better. But Redfin agents are paid based on customer satisfaction, not commission, so there is never any pressure to pay more than you want or to move faster than you want. And though they only had a few agents in our area, they also have "field agents" whose sole job it is to take you out to look at houses. And they get paid for it, so you don't feel like you're wasting anyone's time looking at MORE houses. (Believe me, we looked at TONS.)
Add to all of that the fact that we got nearly a full percent of the purchase price back (nearly 1/3 of the commission), and we were fans for life.
So, if you are looking to buy or sell a home, I would highly recommend checking Redfin out. And if you use my referral link, you get an extra $200 on your rebate, just for being referred. (And I get a $25 amazon giftcard, or something. But I would seriously be telling you about Redfin anyway.)