Redfin Review: Pros, Cons, and More

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What is Redfin and how does it work?

Redfin is a full-service real estate platform for buyers and sellers. It caters to homeowners and prospective home buyers who prefer to use an agent, rather than try to buy or sell on their own. The Redfin mobile app, however, only offers a fraction of the features that the Redfin website provides. For example, the app lacks the mortgage calculators and agent directory available on the website.

That said, it’s still a good option for casual shoppers who want to browse the latest home listings. That’s because it offers all the search tools you’d expect from a top-rated real estate app. You can filter your property search with more than a dozen criteria, including things like home size and property type. Additionally, individual listings can be saved or shared — or crossed off the list, never to haunt your results again.

Top perks

Comprehensive search filters

Browsing Redfin listings is a breeze, and it’s easy to narrow down your results with the robust search filters. You’ll see all of the standard filters, such as square footage, bedrooms, and property type. You can also filter for more specific details, like setting the exact number of stories or parking spaces you want a property to offer.

For the visually inclined, you can choose to only search properties with 3D walkthrough and virtual tours. And you can even filter by GreatSchools rating and include local schools on the map view. Results can be browsed in list view or map view, and you can create custom map lines to narrow your search to just your preferred area.

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Save, share, and block individual listings

One place the Redfin app excels is in its ability to customize your browsing experience. For example, you can save any listing that catches your eye with a simple click of the heart icon. Or you can “X out” a listing that just doesn’t meet your needs, keeping it from popping up in future searches. This is a helpful feature many other popular real estate apps seem to lack.

If you’re shopping with a spouse or friend, share your favorite listings easily through the Redfin app with dozens of third-party apps. Email the listing with Gmail, Outlook, or your device’s email app. You can also share via tweet or Twitter DM, or send a listing to a friend through Zoom.

Ask questions or schedule a tour from the app

When you find a property you like, you can use the in-app contact form to connect with a Redfin real estate agent or partner agent who can help with any questions. You can also reach out to schedule an in-person or virtual tour. In addition, you can browse for more information on Redfin and partner agents, including reading reviews from real clients. However, you won’t see direct contact information for either the listing agent or the Redfin agents. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the contact form to get in touch with someone about the listing.

Track past tours and upcoming open houses

The longer it takes to find the right home, the more organized you need to be. The Redfin app makes it simple to keep track of the homes you’ve visited with a handy list of your past tours. You can also browse any upcoming open houses in your desired area, and save future open houses to your in-app calendar. You’ll also be able to see a list of open houses you’ve been to recently so you don’t forget a thing.

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What could be improved

No ability to search rental listings

Perhaps the biggest flaw of the Redfin app compared to other top real estate apps is its complete lack of rental properties. You can’t search for rental listings or list your own property for rental. Nor will you find many alternatives to single-family houses, as there are no apartment listings, even from the big property management companies. This is a major downside for a buyer looking to rent before owning, or for property owners who want to simultaneously list their home or condo for rent and for sale.

In-app features limited compared to website

Although the Redfin platform has a lot of useful features, many of those features aren’t actually usable in the app. For example, the Redfin website offers a ton of home mortgage tools — none of which are accessible in the app. This includes the mortgage calculator and market insights.

Similarly, one of Redfin’s major selling points is the savings you can get by using a Redfin or partner agent to buy or sell your home. And one of the ways the website facilitates finding an agent is through its searchable directory of Redfin and partner agents. Unfortunately, you can’t search the directory through the mobile app. You either need to open a browser window on your mobile device or access the website through a regular computer browser.

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No free option for sellers

Redfin offers no options — either in-app or online — for free home seller listings. To sell through Redfin, you’ll need to use one of their service options.

The cheapest option, Redfin Full Service, provides the help of a Redfin listing agent and comes with a 1% listing fee. Redfin Concierge service is even more expensive, charging you a 2.5% listing fee with the option for getting 0.5% back if you use Redfin to buy your next home. However, the Concierge service does offer a lot more help getting ready to sell, including a custom design plan and help setting up renovations and repairs from a Redfin agent.

If you don’t want any of the hassle of dealing with buyers and repairs, you can choose the Redfin Now option. With Redfin Now, you can get a cash offer directly from Redfin. This option comes with a variety of fees, including a selling fee and closing costs, with total fees averaging around 6% to 14%.

Limited neighborhood details

As they say in real estate, it all comes down to location, location, location. Finding the ideal property is about more than just the floor plan — it’s also about the neighborhood. While the Redfin app provides some useful details, such as the option to add local schools to the map view, it lacks some of the helpful neighborhood data you can get with other apps. For example, you can’t see crime or traffic statistics for a given area or see a list of local eateries.

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View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/mortgages/redfin-review/

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