For the last few months, my wife and I have batted around the idea of buying a new home. There’s nothing wrong with our current home but we’d really like a place that had some character to it. A place that was slightly bigger and one that wasn’t quite cookie-cutter (we’re in a townhome now, so we’re identical to everything around us). We love our current house, so we don’t have a big reason to leave, and with her focus on school and mine on work, it’s one of those passive searches.
We use Redfin to do the searching because their technology is by far the best of any I’ve seen. The integration with Google maps, the search capabilities (you can search on the type of home, type of listing, whether it has a view, garage, etc.), regional sales data ($ per square foot, charted by date in a particular city), ability to save listings, and it’s ease of use make it perfect for house searching. My wife and I share the same account and save listings we like to show one another. You can search within some of the most convenient geographic restraints too – city, county, university, etc.
Their claim to fame though, is the fact that they refund half of the buyer’s agent’s commission (more on their commission refund). They pay their agents a salary, not a commission, so you pocket those savings at 1.5% the purchase price of the house, with a minimum commission of $5,500.
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