redfin.com Expands Despite Legalities

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redfin.com, a US-based online brokerage, has now added Oregon to the list of states where it has a presence. The addition of Portland and most of Western Oregon will increase the number of listings on the website by eight percent.

But there’s a catch to this particular expansion, which comes just a few months after redfin.com added Atlanta.

As CEO Glenn Kelman explains in a blog post, the redfin.com commission refund is illegal Oregon, and in eight other US states:

“If a redfin.com customer pays $500,000 for a house in Vancouver, Washington, we usually get $15,000 of that as a fee for our service, and give half of that, $7,500, to our customer. A mile across the river in Portland, we can’t give the customer any money directly.

All we can do in Portland is apply the refund to closing costs, lender permitting. This is usually worth a few thousand bucks. And then we donate the rest to one of four charities chosen by the customer.”

Portland is redfin.com’s 11th market, and Kelman says the company “has big growth plans”, but stopped short of naming which location is next on the list.

Along with the new market, redfin.com has also added a new “x-out” option for its users, allowing them to keep track of the properties they don’t wish to click on again while searching.

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