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11-10-2009 01:22 AM - edited 11-10-2009 01:36 AM
So a while back I posted an early review of Redfin's service and I promised to post a more detailed update if/when we closed Escrow. Well, I am happy to say that my wife and I are now first time homebuyers. We bought a beautiful house in Magnolia Park area of Burbank, and now I will do what I promised everybody on the forums and post a pretty detailed review. Sorry in advance for the length, I just remember my early questions and concerns when we decided to ditch our traditional realtor (worked for Sotheby's) and give Redfin a shot, and so I wanted to address those here...
The process started off a little bit rocky. It seemed like it took a while for my first home tour to get sheduled, but after a few emails and a post on this forum, all was resolved. Mark Bennett (one of the higher ups) contacted me personally to apologize, explaining that they were dealing with rather rapid growth and were trying to hire more field agents, but also wanted to make sure they hired quality people. I really appreciated his openness and honesty, two words that continued to surface throughout working with Redfin.
After touring some 40-50 houses all over Los Angeles, we found the house we loved on a home tour with Srbui (who rocks!) and then came back to the website and put in an offer. Upon submitting our offer, we were quickly (same day) contacted by Joyti, who discussed our offer and really listened to what we felt like was a fair offer and she gave some advice and we went with the number we wanted. It was SO AWESOME to not feel like she was pushing us to put out a higher offer just so as to not lose the sale or to try and make more money off the commission. Obviously I would think Joyti does not want to just submit tons of terrible offers that won't get accepted, but she really talked through our thinking on it and brought relevant comps to the table that she knew a lender would pull to help inform us and our offer. She was really great, and being first time homebuyers, it was really nice to have someone explain the process and answer any questions we had, no matter how dumb they may have been.
The seller received our offer, and countered. We considered it and upon learning a few other offers were coming in that evening or the next day, we decided to sign the counter, and lo and behold... we were all of a sudden in escrow on our first house!!
Without getting into too much detail here, the next 45 days or so were amazing. Lots of ups and downs, but mostly just ups, as we got closer and closer to owning our first home. Joyti and her team were fantastic, helping us through inspections and contingency removals. Joyti was great via email, usually responding within minutes, and great by phone as well, just depending on the amount of communication necessary. Redfin even provides you with a list of recommended vendors for house and sewer line inspections and other inspections should you need them. They also provided us with a fantastic lender, Brian McKim at Bank of America in Glendale. We were FHA and he did a fantastic job helping is get a great rate and walking us through the process. He and Joyti had done numerous deals, so it was nice that they were already familiar with each other and had worked on lots of deals together prior to ours.
At the end of the whole process, we ran into kind of a huge snag. The lender's underwriter all of a sudden decided she was going to throw out the higher of two appraisals and only use the lower one, which was told to us just a few days prior to close. This was a real huge shock as we were all scheduled to move on our set close date, which now looked like it was not going to be met. Joyti and Brian worked tirelessly to remedy the situation, not only getting the underwriter to reconsider and use both appraisals, but even helping us work with the seller to let us move in on our scheduled close date (using a standard rental agreement to remove any liability) even though we wouldn't close until early the following week. Even Mark Bennett got involved personally. This was just totally above and beyond the call of duty, and saved us hundreds of dollars and lots of headaches not having to reschedule our moving date at the last minute.
OVERALL: Every concern we had moving from our traditional realtor to Redfin was put to rest throughout the process. We got an incredibly personal service and literally cannot stop telling our friends about how great the experience was. Joyti was a total pro, Brian at BofA was also fantastic, and everyone at Redfin was just totally on top of the ball the whole time (Srbui and Todd the field agents, Sara helping with escrow, and Mark overseeing when need be). We had little to no complaints, and I am typing this in our new house and sitting next to me is a check for $8525 (I will post a pic in the next thread). Amazing!! My only advice if you choose to go with Redfin is 1) educate yourself as much as possible. The more you know, the more power you have in any business deal, and 2) if you aren't happy about something with them, make it known. From what I found, this is a rapidly growing company that cares about making sure its clients are happy. And from my end, they're doing a great job so far...
11-10-2009 10:48 AM
11-10-2009 11:41 AM - edited 11-10-2009 11:42 AM
@greenyjay Thanks so much for posting about your experience with Redfin! Congrats on the new home and thanks again for the kind words about our service and the whole team. We really appreciate your business.
@HarryV I'm sorry we didn't respond to your tour request and weren't able to get you into the home you liked before it went into escrow. That's a breakdown in our service and we'll work to make sure it doesn't happen again.
06-01-2012 01:19 PM - edited 06-01-2012 01:20 PM
I just had a disappointing experience with Redfin, which is the second time now. I'm a real estate broker/attorney in San Francisco. I was recruited by Redfin to handle their client referrals where they were inexperienced or understaffed. They asked me to attend an hour long webinar which I did. They set up the webinar. They set up an interview afterwards. During the interview they said "ooops, we just realized you work with Coldwell Banker and we can't continue with you because of a corporate dispute."
Well, why did you recruit me then? The answer is they can't keep track of basic information such as which brokerage their recruits are affiliated with. What does this mean for clients who choose to work with Redfin agents?
I'll tell you what it means because I have worked with a Redfin agent before. He was completely incompetent, had no idea with at tenancy in common was and alienated me and the seller with his lack of experience and professionalism.
Beware if you go down the path of a discount broker. This is one of your largest investments, so why cut corners?
06-01-2012 01:38 PM
I also had a great experience with Redfin. I do agree with you on the getting educated part. It is important to do a lot of research if this is your first purchase.
I wasn't super happy with the recommended inspectors, but I don't think they were intentionally bad. I would just use a service like Angies list or yelp to review inspectors before you choose one.
06-06-2012 11:22 AM
I’m the recruiting manager for Redfin’s Partner Program. We really do strive for every candidate’s experience to be a positive one and I’m sorry you had a disappointing experience in our interview process. We want to allow every agent who is interested in the program the opportunity to learn more about our referral program, which is why you were invited to our webinar.
We have a lot of brokerages participating, but at this time we’re unable to move forward with any NRT owned and operated Coldwell Banker offices.
Best, Eden Emerson
07-16-2014 01:19 PM
Aviva Lomeli, the main agent for Long Beach and the surrounding areas, is an incompetent real estate agent who DOES NOT have your best interest in mind.
While working with her these past few months, she has proved her negligence multiple times. She neglects to answer phone calls, will take days to respond, and wants a quick sale regardless of how it affects you as a client.
My family and I were using her to sell our home in Downey, while we were looking to purchase a new home closer to Los Angeles with my husband’s Veteran’s Loan. Numerous times Aviva discounted our loan and even her manager called us telling us to change our loan to a traditional loan because a Veteran’s Loan “is not good” and told us no one is going to accept our offer while using a VA Loan.
When it came down to finding a buyer for our home, Aviva was unprofessional when it came to negotiating price and speaking out of term. She would tell the buyer’s agent that they did not have to meet out counter because she would “try to convince” us to settle and accept their terms and that we were loosing $3,000 every month that we were not finding a replacement home due to the fact of the rising cost of the Los Angeles area we were searching in. We also needed to ask for an extension to find a replacement home and she told the buyer’s agent that we’re “having a hard time finding a home because of the VA Loan” which in turn, made the buyers not want to sign the extension. She sabotaged our deal more than once. She had no right to tell anyone about our loan, discount it, or be sharing information she should not have been sharing with the buyer’s agent.
In June we accepted a buyer’s offer for our home for $615,000—a fair amount for our beautifully remodeled four bedroom, two bath home with a pool in North Downey. The time came and went for the appraiser to come to appraise our home and Aviva never kept us informed or gave us any papers to sign for an extension. She called us on a Thursday night telling us that the appraiser would be there the very next afternoon and have it turned in by five pm the same day. Appraisals take a good two to three days to prepare so I already knew we were not going to have a fair appraisal. When the appraiser finally did come, he left my house at one and had to drive to Moreno Valley for two more appraisals, and still turned mine in at five o’clock so he rushed the appraisal and did not take into account any of the upgrades we have in our house. When we asked Aviva if we could pay for another appraiser to come, someone who would be thorough, she told us no that it was a finished deal even though when we talked to other agents, they said it was fine we could have ordered another appraisal ourselves. It resulted in the buyer offering us $603,000 instead of the $615,000.
In result of Aviva’s negligence, incompetence, and unprofessionalism, the buyer refused to sign our contingency for two more weeks to find a new home. From the beginning he refused to agree for a thirty-day contingency but did agree for the two week. However, when Aviva told their agent that our difficulty finding a replacement home was due to the fact that we were using a VA loan (which is not true because some of our offers were accepted, they just kept countering for more and more money and we did not purchase them after all), the buyer refused to sign even the two-week contingency. We then decided to cancel with that particular buyer and relist the house.
When I spoke to Aviva about my concerns about speaking of term and not having our best interests in mind, she got upset and told her broker, Mark Bennet, that we were “abusive” with her. Or at least that’s what he told us when he very abrasively called me this morning saying that Redfin is ending their relationship with us. She is deceitful and a liar. And Mr. Bennet neglected to care about my side of the story and only believed Aviva.
This whole experience with Aviva Lomeli has been a HUGE headache and I highly advice you to NOT work with her. Get out while you still can.