New-School Redfin Investor Uses Old-School Agent

Jeanne Lang Jones of the Puget Sound Business Journal writes about the ongoing "do I need a real estate professional in the age of Zillow/Craig’s List/Redfin etc., and notes that an investor in Redfin hired a traditional real estate professional to sell his home. (via 360 Digest)

Take Seattle residents Matt McIlwain and his wife, Carol.

The McIlwains used Seattle’s online residential real estate agency Redfin to buy their new home, but turned to Windermere Realtor Barbara Shikiar to sell their old home.

That the McIlwains were willing to try Redfin isn’t surprising — Matt McIlwain is a managing director at Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, which has invested in Redfin. For his part, McIlwain said there is value in both approaches, especially given his family’s circumstances.

"When the consumer is more online savvy and can do their own research, a site like Redfin can lower the cost on the buyer agent’s side," McIlwain said. Despite multiple offers on the home they wanted, Redfin helped them win the bidding.

"They did a terrific job," he said.

But faced with the prospect of two mortgage payments, the McIlwains hired Shikiar because her "deep experience" in their neighborhood could help them set the right price on their house and get the word out quickly that it was for sale.

There’s no substitute for experience, said Shikiar, a 28-year veteran Realtor.

No shame in selling your property the way most people sell their homes. Just a little irony in this case, perhaps.

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