Redfin vs Traditional Realtor: How Do They Compare?

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Mar 25, 2022

Most Americans would agree that technology has forever changed the way we do business. With the advent of Zillow, mobile search and online valuations, technology is also changing the way consumers buy and sell homes for the better. Buyers are transforming the way they sell and purchase homes—and they now have choices. Gone are the days when you were forced to employ a traditional, full service real estate broker that you didn’t feel was necessary. Now, you can choose the level of support you need to suit your specific buying or selling needs.

In this blog, we’ll show you the comparisons and differences between Redfin and a traditional real estate broker.

Redfin vs Realtor

Redfin fees are lower than traditional realtors when selling

Selling a house through Redfin can save 10–20% of the listing Realtors commission costs. Discount brokerage firms such as Redfin and SimpleShowing can help reduce the listing fee side of the equation — namely Redfin charges sellers 1.5% compared with an average listing fee of 3%.

TIP: Keep an eye on Redfin minimum fees. While Redfin advertises 1-1.5% listing commissions in several markets, it also requires a minimum commissions for most markets or it may require that you buy with them also.

The Selling Process

As a seller, it’s also smart to look into all the different ways you can save money on realtor commissions. One popular approach to avoid agent commissions is “For Sale By Owner”. However, this approach can be tough as you are representing yourself. If you are looking for representation, it’s essential to do your research and find out which agency will help your specific situation and save you the most money possible while still getting the job done right.

What is Redfin’s Commission Fee?

Redfin’s listing commission is 1-1.5 %, but for several markets the commission is reduced to 1% if you buy your next home with them also. It is a quarter lower than the average brokerage fee.

Is Selling with Redfin a Good Idea?

Selling with Redfin depends upon the seller’s experience, price point and personal preferences. Some sellers claim that Redfin agents do provide the same personalized service as a traditional agent service. It is possible that Redfin is a bit more impersonal but it truly all depends on the agent you get.

Redfin: Salaried Agents

Redfin agents are paid via a salary plus bonus, which may not provide the same economic incentive for selling the house as a commission.


Redfin also offers an alternative option to pay less in listing fees when you sell your home. With Redfin, the seller pays a 1.5% listing fee and then agrees to pay a commission to a buyer’s agent (typically 2.5%-3%). Redfin does offer a 1% listing fee in some markets, but it is subject to you also buying a home with their team within 360 days of closing.

Traditional Real Estate Brokerage

By and large, a traditional real estate agents livelihood depends on the commission he or she makes from the sale of your home. So, very few special deals or incentives are offered by these types of firms unless you’re able to successfully negotiate the Realtor commission up front. The typical cost to list with a traditional brokerage is 3% of the home’s sale price plus the buyer’s agent commission of 2.75%-3%.


At SimpleShowing, we offer a 1% listing fee which includes all the services of a traditional brokerage but at a fraction of the cost. So, this means you get to save thousands of dollars in commissions ($7,500 on average) while keeping more of your home’s equity. The SimpleShowing Listing Fee does not include buyer’s agent commission which can be 2.5%-3% of the purchase price.

The Buying Process

As mentioned above, current homebuyers have more options than ever for the route they can take when buying a home. Gone are the days where your only option is to find an agent before you can start the home buying process. Now, you can start your search and book tours online. Plus, you can save thousands in fees and earn money back through special programs found with companies like SimpleShowing or Redfin.

Comparison chart for savings when you buy a home with SimpleShowing, Redfin or a traditional real estate brokerage. Refund’s represented above are average savings and vary by transaction.


Redfin offers similar incentives for buyers in that they also offer a “Redfin Refund’. The Redfin Refund program allows buyers to receive part of the commission that their Redfin Agent receives. The refund amount is based on the asking price of the house, and typically is around $1,500 that gets applied to closing costs. If the savings happen to be higher than the closing costs, then they will provide a check for the difference.The Redfin Refund tends to be 4x smaller than the average SimpleShowing Refund of $5,037.

Traditional Real Estate Brokerage

Typically,  commission rates are 6% of the home’s sale price, with roughly 3% going to the seller’s agent and 3% going to the buyers’ agent. For the traditional broker like ReMax or Keller Williams, a home with a $300k price tag would equate to $15,000 in commission—or $7,500 to each agent. This is a substantial amount of money. By and large, the traditional real estate brokerage model does not offer any refunds in the buying process. But given that the agents don’t get paid until you buy a home, they are vested in helping you quickly and creatively find your ideal home.


One of the great benefits of SimpleShowing is our Buyer Refund Program. This program allows the buyer to get a check for up to half of their Agent’s commission at closing. On average, the refund amounts to $5,037. The amount of the refund is based on the purchase price and how many homes you tour. Because many homebuyers are finding homes on their own online and negating a lot of the work in the home search process, SimpleShowing feels its’ buyers deserve to keep up to half of the commission for their hard work.

Agent Support


Redfin employs a well-diversified staff which includes real estate brokers and agents. These agents provide exactly the same services as a traditional brokerage but are paid by salary as opposed to commission. They also earn bonuses based on customer satisfaction. Redfin initially avoided assigning specific agents to specific buyers, but over time, has moved towards assigning staff that will stick with their client throughout the process. In some areas, Redfin uses Redfin Partner Agents that help in rural towns and these agents are typically licensed through a completely different brokerage.

Traditional Real Estate Brokerage

Whether buying or selling, a traditional real estate brokerage like—Keller Williams—will provide you with a dedicated Agent to guide you through the entire process.  If selling, they will typically help you list your home and market it through closing. When buying, they will show you prospective homes and help you put in an offer when you’re ready. These agents tend to be everything you’d expect from a typical agent, but they will charge full commission

Consumers are lucky these days to have options when buying or selling a home because one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Whether you are a go-getter that loves to research online, or someone that prefers to have it taken care of for them, everyone now has the option to find a company that fits them perfectly.


At SimpleShowing, we offer all the services that you’d expect from a traditional agent with a goal to provide high quality service throughout the buying or selling process. If you’re buying, your Agent will work to ensure your absolute satisfaction starting with your first tour, while negotiating the best price, until the keys to your new home are in your hands. If you’re selling, your agent will offer expert pricing assistance and market your listing to get your home sold fast and for the highest price, without sacrificing service quality.

Overall, we do everything that a traditional agent does except charge full commission. In addition to your SimpleShowing Agent, you’ll have 24/7 access to a dedicated support team that can be reached by phone or online chat via our website. In other words, we are much more sophisticated than a typical discount real estate company.

To learn more about discounted commission and how SimpleShowing is innovating on the buying and selling side of real estate, check out these articles:

What Is A Home Buyer Refund or Rebate?

Should I use a Redfin agent?

Redfin can help you find a buyer in your area. But there may be other local agents that are more suitable alternatives. Most sellers can look for another lower commission agent that offers the same rates but provides a higher level of services. Suffice it to say, traditional agents are feeling the heat from more innovative, price-effective agents.

Keep in mind that hiring the top local agents does not always produce the expected outcome. Selling a house has much more to do with the market conditions, interest rates and accuracy of asking price than it does agent competence. Licensed real estate agents are worth their weight in gold, but if you price your home too high, even the best agent won’t be able to sell it.

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