The bottom line
Redfin’s business model focuses on selling homes through a reduced agent commission fee, while also servicing buyers. Open Listings exclusively focuses on buyers. The average commission refund with Open Listings is $9,604 compared to $2,000 with Redfin.*
* Avg. refund last updated 8/21/2018. Redfin average from redfin.com. Refunds vary by sale price, market and are subject to a minimum commission. Refund Terms and Conditions.
Who are Redfin and Open Listings?
Open Listings and Redfin are both full-service real estate brokerages that use modern technology to help people buy and sell homes. Unlike traditional agents, both Open Listings and Redfin provide discounted commission rates instead of a full 5-6% commission fee.
Redfin is a Seattle-based company founded in 2004. Their business model is based on sellers paying Redfin a reduced fee to list their home with a Redfin agent, in the 1% to 2% range, compared with the 2% to 3% commission fees charged by traditional listing agents.*
In some areas and price ranges, buyers who purchase a home with a Redfin real estate agent are given a small portion of this fee in the form of a commission refund. The average Redfin buyer refund is one-third the amount you’d receive on the same exact home if purchased with Open Listings.
Open Listings is a Los Angeles-based company founded in 2015 focused entirely on helping homebuyers. The service offers robust online tools to house hunt 24/7, book tours on-demand, and submit offers online with the help of a top-rated local agent. When you buy your home with Open Listings, you get back up to 50% of your buying agent commission fee – $9,604 on average.
How do these companies work?
- Both are tech-enbabled brokerages. Users create their own accounts to view listings from local MLSes rather than waiting for an agent to set up their search.
- Unlike sites like Zillow or Trulia, which aren’t brokerages, you can actually use both Open Listings and Redfin to submit offers and buy a home.
- Both connect buyers with vetted local real estate agents and provide home searching tools to learn about neighborhoods, crime rates, school quality, etc.
- For buyers, Open Listings’ commission refund is thousands more than Redfin’s on average. OL offers a 50% commission refund, subject to a $3,000 commission minimum. This means in most situations, if you’re buying a property over $100,000, you’ll get money back. Redfin’s refund ranges from 0 – 14%. Their pricing structure is unclear and varies by market. The average buyer refund when buying a property through Redfin is $2,000. OL’s is $9,604.
- Open Listings is exclusively focused on supporting home buyers. The core of Redfin’s revenue is driven by supporting home sellers and buyers with a reduced commission fee. Open Listings is laser-focused on helping people buy homes, which means bespoke technology, processes, & features to make sure buyers have the easiest house hunt possible. Open Listings buying agents represent your best interests, not a seller’s.
- With Open Listings, you won’t have to wait on an agent for answers. In addition to on-demand tour bookings, Open Listings offers instant information such as comps, disclosures, & property reports.
- Open Listings has a partner agent network, connecting buyers with local agents. Leveraging a network of top-rated local agents at independent and big name brokerages means buyers get access to the best in their area, not just full-time employees. Therefore, buyers are able to submit competitive & appealing offers, all while getting expert support when they need it.
What sets Open Listings apart?
|Avg. commission refund||$9,604||$2,000|
|Online support team||✔||✔|
|Free property reports||✔|
|On-demand private tours||✔||✔|
|Manage offers online||✔|
|Top-rated buying agent||✔|
How much money do buyers save when using Open Listings and Redfin?
Redfin uses vague language like, “Redfin contributes part of that money to your closing costs,” or “we typically give you a check for the rest.” Redfin doesn’t definitively state the formula by which they arrive at their total estimated refunded amount. So, it’s best to use an example of identical properties on Redfin’s and Open Listings website to determine what buyers will be refunded on each platform. For example, 3341 22nd Street, Dolores Heights – San Francisco, CA 94110:
- Redfin Estimated Refund = $5,790
- Open Listings Estimated Refund = $17,400
At Open Listings, transparency is key – we clearly state that buyers receive a 50% commission refund, subject to a $3,000 commission minimum and lender approval or outstanding restrictions.*
* Refunds/savings listed are estimates. Refunds/savings vary by sale price, market, and are subject to a minimum commission.
What do customers say about Open Listings?
My husband and I looked into buying a home at the beginning of August this year. Since we look young to be a homeowner, the traditional agents and the lenders recommended by the agent didn’t take us very seriously. While looking through our options and do a bit more research, we decided that we would like to go with Open Listings. At Open Listings, we really like how they work in our best interest… Read more on Yelp
– Serena N.
When I was using a traditional realtor, I felt like I was on his/her schedule. Open Listings adjusts to my schedule and keeps in constant contact, but not in a ‘needy’ or annoying way. I needed to schedule a home visit and with my previous realtor I would need to make sure her schedule was free and that she was not working with another client or running an open house. With OpenListings.com I was immediately matched with a local realtor and OpenListings let me set the time and day that worked for ME. Upon arrival I was met by a friendly realtor who opened the home up and let me view the home with ZERO PRESSURE because he was not working for a commission… Read more on Yelp
– Keith C.
It is a great home buying experience working with the OL team. The UI is just awesome super easy to use, I could put my preference in seconds and it listed all the property of interest. The support is the best next to none, I had several interaction with the team and every time they were on top of my request. It is so easy to track the offer process online, working with my buyer experience agent was also great as she stayed on top of my offer and followed up with the seller closely. Read more on Yelp
– Ritesh S.
What do customers say about Redfin?
I was looking for a senior home for my Father. I found one, I did a search and found out the house is for sale by century 21. I would not want to put my Father there if i new it was up for sale. I called Redfin and spoke to Brian Lannon. I told him what was going on. He called century 21 and confirmed the house is for sale. So now Iam not putting my Father there. Brian was very professional. He didn’t have to help me but went out of his way… Read more on Yelp
– C H.
Buying a house is no joke. It’s our third time buying but this time is more complicated than the previous two. Jessica Daugherty helped us and worked so hard for the buying process. There was a huge mess on my loan and she’s there to speak for us and made things straight. I will recommend Jessica Daugherty as a realtor. She’ll take care of you. Read more on Yelp
– Genna D.
I enjoyed working with Redfin as my selling agent as well as buying agent! Roddy is an experienced agent who were giving me very helpful insights and advises. During the escrow of my condo contract, he kept me informed of buyer ‘requests’ and ‘wishes’ and provide wise advise (to me). Roddy and the entire team were flexible and attentive to make sure an agent is present during any required visits (inspection, open house, walk through, etc). I didn’t have to worry a thing. Read more on Yelp
– Wsclink C.