The New York Times has an interesting story of a Seattle couple that was shunned by a real estate broker because they used the services of local online real estate company Redfin.
The article has a lot to say about Redfin, which rebates two-thirds of its sales commission to its customers, and questions the future of the traditional 6 percent commission for real estate agents.
But as the couple's story shows, people who want to use Web-based brokers often have to fight to do so. Many are, and there are growing signs that they are succeeding. BuySideInc.com, an online buyer's broker in Chicago that offers a 75 percent commission rebate, said that at one point 12 percent of its customers reported that traditional agents had refused to show houses to them.
Rob McGarty, Redfin's director of West Coast operations, said in the article that his company has become a "pariah" to the industry.