Redfin, the Seattle-based brokerage that launched as a disruptor, has brought it’s Redfin Direct service to Texas. Announced publicly last week, Redfin Direct soft-launched two weeks ago and already has active participants.
Redfin Direct gives real estate buyers in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio the ability to make direct, online offers on Redfin-listed homes without the help of a buyer’s agent.
In other words, paying zero commission.
The company has 231 active listings in North Texas. According to NTREIS data, Redfin has a 0.7 percent market share for units and an 0.8 percent market share for sales volume in North Texas.
“We have seen 10 offers thus far,” said Tony King, Redfin’s Texas broker. “Clearly, there is already a demand for this type of service in North Texas.”
Who are the buyers, what are the price points? King says he hasn’t seen any high-end luxury Redfin Direct sales as of yet, but Redfin Direct buyers are coming from across the board: investors, more-informed home buyers, even some first-time homebuyers who have done their research online.
“In places like the Park Cities (and Preston Hollow) we represent an incredible value,” said King.
But local brokers say Redfin Direct is no big deal: Consumers have always been able to buy homes without an agent in tow.
“Consumers have always had the ability to purchase direct from a seller and listing agent, that part isn’t new,” says Chris Kelly, President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies. “However, guiding a buyer and protecting their specific interests is the entire point of buyer agency. Helping to identify the property is just step one of about 100 that the buyer’s agent does, and is likely one of the smallest parts of their value proposition. Representing and protecting the interests of buyers should be expanded not diminished.”
Redfin also believes this could jump-start Redfin listings. If sellers can make their homes more competitive on price (minus the 3 percent agent commission), they might be more likely to list with Redfin.