RE/MAX and Redfin have put the brakes on their two-month old partnership. In March, the brokerage firms agreed to exchange their U.S. and Canadian customer referrals via Redfin’s Partner Agents program.
However, after Redfin announced its intention to launch a cutting edge tool named Redfin Direct, RE/MAX decided to back out on its promise and plans to dissolve its referral partnership with Redfin.
The new tool allows buyers to purchase properties online instantaneously without having any representation by a realtor. The advantage to a seller is that when their home sells through the Redfin Direct program, there are lower commission fees.
In a statement, RE/MAX said that the role of a realtor in the selling and purchasing of homes is “more important than ever. Consumers faced with the largest most complex financial transaction of their lives should have a knowledgeable professional to guide and advise them. We believe real estate agents provide this essential service to a successful buying and selling experience.”
Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, alerted consumers of the partnership’s end on the Redfin website. “We had briefed RE/MAX on the technology prior to announcing the partnership, but RE/MAX became concerned that Redfin Direct would undermine the standing of North American buyers’ agents. Redfin understands this concern. …But we also have a duty to get as many offers for our customers’ listings as we possibly can, and to give those listing customers the best value,” Kelman wrote.
The new program is hoping to model itself off the iBuying platform that has a similar program to the one being rolled out by Redfin.
Through the Redfin Direct platform, a buyer will be able to bid on a property directly. Redfin is rolling out the program in various stages throughout the U.S.
Since March, the program has been tested in Boston. During its test time in Boston, five homes sold through the Redfin Direct program.