Redfin is a Seattle-based real estate company that lets users buy and sell MLS-listed homes online. The company claims to be industry's first online real estate brokerage and was ranked in 2007 by the Swanepoel Trends Report as one of the Top 10 Trendsetters of 2006.
For sellers, it charges a flat fee to list the property on the MLS and it has local agents representing sellers in negotiations and closing. However, sellers need to take the pictures, host open houses and show the property to prospective buyers. For buyers, it refunds 2/3rds of the buyer's agent commission (usually 3% of sale price) and assists with paperwork along the way. Redfin provides 24/7 phone support and 100% money back guarantee, as do many other firms.
After nearly $1 million in initial financing, Redfin received $8 million second round funding from Vulcan Inc., the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen around May 2006. Redfin received a third round of $12 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson around July 2007. Momentarily, on May 13th, 2007, Redfin experienced a Slashdot Effect, which slowed down the servers, after gaining national exposure by 60 Minutes. In May, 2007, just a few days after being featured on 60 Minutes, Redfin was fined for $50,000 by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service and was forced to shut down its "Sweet Digs" blog, which used to contain reviews of the homes on the market. Northwest MLS pointed out, that such reviews are not allowed under MLS rules. Story in Seattle Post Intelligencer
- "The Last Stand of the 6-Percenters" by Damon Darlin, The New York Times, September 3, 2006
- "Swanepoel TRENDS Report" by Stefan Swanepoel, RealSure Publishing, February 1, 2007.
- "Redfin offers one-stop shopping for homes" by Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, February 4, 2006
- "2 Web Sites Push Further Into Services Real Estate Agents Offer" by Damon Darlin, The New York Times, February 8, 2006.
- "Redfin.com’s Real Estate Consumer’s Bill of Rights: A wolf in sheepskin clothing . . ." by Bloodhound Blog
- "Redfin revolution: In competitive real-estate industry, Redfin model is working" by Elizabeth Rhodes, The Seattle Times, February 24, 2007.
- "Redfin Forced To Shut Down House Reviews" by Mortgage News Daily, May 29, 2007.
- Up The Redfin Dust" by Rain City Guide
- "Redfin raises $12 million, eyes D.C., Chicago and Sacramento" by John Cook of Seattle PI, September 6, 2007