Real Estate Report

(May 17, 2019) If you watch the regional news stations, you may have seen the television ads for a real estate company called Redfin.

That is because Washington D.C. and Baltimore have been added to Redfin’s 80-plus markets in the U.S. and Canada.

Redfin began as a map-based real estate search website, but has evolved to become its own brokerage advertising a 1 percent listing fee in the areas they cover.

They hire their own agents and pay for salaries and health insurance, which is not the norm in the real estate industry where most real estate agents work as independent contractors under a broker of record.

This past week, RE/MAX withdrew from its corporate partnership with Redfin. The partnership, which had only just been created in March, was for Redfin to provide referrals to RE/MAX agents in Canada and roughly 5,000 zip codes in the U.S.

According to statements issued, the decision to withdraw the partnership developed over concerns surrounding Redfin’s newly announced Redfin Direct.

This new service is being piloted in Boston for Redfin’s listing customers to get offers from unrepresented buyers.

In a statement released Friday, RE/MAX said, “RE/MAX strongly believes the role of a real estate agent in the homebuying and selling process is more important than ever.

“Consumers faced with the largest, most complex financial transaction of their lives should have a knowledgeable professional to guide and advise them. We believe real estate agents provide this essential service to a successful buying and selling experience.”

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, in a news release said, “Redfin understands this concern, as we employ thousands of licensed professionals and believe the vast majority of homebuyers need professional advice, and will happily pay for it.

“But we also have a duty to get as many offers for our customers’ listings as we possibly can, and to give those listing customers the best value. We believe in consumer choices; our mission is to redefine real estate in consumers’ favor.”

According to Redfin’s news release on the end of the RE/MAX partnership, Redfin is hopeful that they can develop new partnerships with other brokerages over time.

Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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