Redfin recently announced “agent-free” home buying in “most” of its Los Angeles markets via its RedfinDirect program. “Most” of Redfin’s Los Angeles markets includes Fresno, the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, Palm Springs, San Diego and Santa Barbara.

According to Redfin, “agent-free” home buying allows buyers to “make their offer more competitive by saving the seller from having to pay thousands of dollars in commissions to a buyer’s agent.”

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There is one caveat, however. “Agent-free” buying is only available to homes listed by Redfin agents or owned by Redfin itself via its iBuying program.

For Redfin agent-listed homes, buyers can book a home tour with a Redfin agent on the company’s website by using a “Book It Now” feature. For Redfin owned homes, the potential buyer can use Redfin’s “Direct Access” feature on its website which enables the prospective buyer to unlock the door of the home with their phone and see the home for themselves without having to coordinate schedules with an agent.

In either case, the prospective buyer of the Redfin agent-listed home or the Redfin owned home can then buy the home without an agent. RedfinDirect has tools that actually guide the buyer through the transaction process. Those tools include elements of the buy-sell contract and information about the seller’s preferences so the buyer can make the most appealing offer to the seller.

An example of an agent-free transaction in Los Angeles might look like this…for a median-priced home of $650,000, the seller could save up to $26,000 when selling the property to a RedfinDirect buyer. No commission fee of nearly 6% as in a traditional transaction.

Given such an example, Redfin already has much lower fees charged to sellers in Los Angeles than fees charged by “traditional” brokerage transactions. Those lower fees range from 1%-1.5% depending upon the specific market within the Los Angeles region.

“For the buyers who are comfortable being unrepresented (in a home purchase transaction), we are making it easy to make an offer online,” said Mark Bennett, Redfin’s state broker in Los Angeles. “…For people who are confident about making an offer without an agent…helping the seller avoid paying a buyer’s agent commission is one way to make the buyer’s offer stand out…(particularly) in a multiple offer situation.”

Los Angeles is not the first market in the country to experience RedfinDirect. The program is also available in larger markets within Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and Texas. Redfin plans to expand its agent-free buying opportunities in additional markets throughout 2020.

Thanks to HousingWire’s Ben Lane for source data.

Also read: How California Became Nation’s Worst Housing Nightmare, Are Empty Garages An Answer to California’s Housing Shortage?, Refinance Volume Gets Larger and Larger

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