Houwzer vs. Redfin: Which One Is Better?

Written by Elizabeth BoydJuly 29th, 20228 minute read

Houwzer and Redfin are both low commission brokerages with salaried agents that assist people with property sales and purchases. But Houwzer charges a flat $5,000 listing fee while Redfin charges a 1.5% listing fee. Redfin could save you more money than Houwzer if you’re listing a lower-priced home, but Redfin also sets minimum commission fees that vary by location.

Neither Redfin nor Houwzer is available nationwide and both work with in-house, salaried real estate agents, so you’ll have more difficulty getting area expertise and hands-on service than you would working with a local agent.

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We’ll help you choose a realtor who offers savings, value, and supportive customer service, whether that’s from Houwzer, Redfin, or a recommended alternative that works better for you.

Jump to section: Quick compare | Top alternatives | Pricing and savings | Service and support | Agent quality | Customer satisfaction | Agent selection | Article summary

Bottom line: Houwzer offers more savings than Redfin, but it’s less available

If your choices were limited to either Redfin or Houwzer, home value and location would likely be your determining factors. For instance, you can use Houwzer’s service only if you live in one of their service areas in Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. You’ll have more flexibility with Redfin, but you can still run into availability problems since their focus is limited to large cities and highly populated regions.

Once you clear that hurdle, you need to consider which fee gives you the best savings on your home sale. For example, if your house is valued at $350,000, Houwzer’s flat $5,000 listing fee represents a 1.43% commission rate. That’s slightly lower than Redfin’s 1.5% listing fee. So, with Redfin, you’ll pay $5,250 to your listing agent if your house sells for $350,000.

Although Houwzer offers the most average savings over Redfin, there are other real estate brands that are available nationwide, work with local agents, and offer better rates. Agent-matching services like Clever Real Estate and Ideal Agent offer more hands-on services with better agent selection. Here’s how those savings and benefits line up in comparison to what you’ll get from Houwzer and Redfin.

Houwzer vs. Redfin vs. alternatives

Company
Listing fee
Avg. savings
Availability
Avg. rating
Houwzer
$5,000 (flat fee)
$7,000
FL, MD, NJ, PA, VA, DC
4.8(1,300 reviews)
Redfin
1.5%
$5,550
80+ cities
3.9 (416 reviews)
1%
$7,375
Nationwide
4.9 (1,512 reviews)
Ideal Agent
2%
$3,750
Nationwide
4.9 (2,717 reviews)

» COMPARE: Best low commission real estate companies in 2022

We’d recommend starting your agent search with Clever Real Estate. With Clever, buyers and sellers enjoy greater savings, pre-vetted agent selections, nationwide coverage with over 14,000 partner agents, and top-rated customer support. There’s no obligation to contract with an agent once you match. So, check out the Clever agents in your area and see if there’s a good fit. You should also interview available Redfin and Houwzer realtors to ensure you find the best match.

Another option we’d recommend over Houwzer and Redfin is Ideal Agent. Like Clever, Ideal Agent is an agent-matching service that offers more selection and coverage than both Redfin and Houwzer. Ideal Agent has less agent selection than Clever (2,000 vs. Clever’s 14,000), but its agents are available nationwide. Ideal Agent also charges double what Clever does (2% vs. Clever’s 1%) because it works with only top performing agents.

Houwzer vs. Redfin: In-depth breakdown

Houwzer and Redfin are low commission real estate brokerages. They both maintain teams of salaried in-house licensed real estate agents that help customers buy and sell homes. They also rely heavily on technology and a team-based approach to serve their clients so each agent can serve multiple clients at once.

Pricing and savings

Home sellers

Savings for home sellers on a $500,000 home

Commission fees
Houwzer
Redfin
Listing fee
$5,000
1.5% ($7,500)
Savings*
$10,000
$7,500

Redfin’s listing fee is based on a percentage of the home sale price. Their rate is 1.5%, which is lower than the average real estate commission (2.5–3%). By contrast, Houwzer charges a flat $5,000 listing fee regardless of the sale price. So, the effective commission rate varies depending on the price point of the house. Savings over conventional rates (2.5–3%) kick in at around $200,000–250,000.

Comparing Houwzer’s flat fee to commission rates can get confusing. Ultimately, Redfin has some solid savings over the conventional rates, and it beats Houwzer on houses priced below $330,000. As the price point increases, Houwzer delivers better value than Redfin.

There's no question that Redfin's 1.5% listing fee saves you money over the 2.5–3% that conventional brokers typically charge. But it gets a bit more complicated when you compare Redfin's pricing and savings to what Houwzer offers. First, you'll probably save with Redfin on homes that sell below $330,000. But once your listing commission exceeds $5,000, Houwzer has the advantage in savings. For example, the Redfin listing commission on a $335,000 sale is $5,025 versus Houwzer's $5,000 flat fee. From there, savings with Houwzer just continue to increase as the price point rises.

In addition, you should keep in mind that you’re also responsible for the buyer’s agent commission. That’s usually about 2.5–3% on top of your listing fee. With Redfin, that brings the commission total to 4–4.5% vs. the 5–6% you’d pay with a conventional agent. If you sell with Houwzer, you need to first calculate the effective rate of the $5,000 listing fee. Then, add the buyer’s agent rate to determine the total commission you’ll pay.

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Home buyers

Redfin has a home buyer rebate program called Redfin Refund. The savings differ by state, but the average is 0.22% of the home’s sale price. It’s subject to lender approval, not available nationwide (some states have outlawed home buyer rebates), and buyers usually have to apply it to closing costs rather than use the cash for what they want.

» MORE: Match with a top local agent, get .5% Clever Cash Back

Redfin also rewards customers who buy and sell with them within 365 days. Those home buyers receive a 0.5% rebate on the sale price of their home after they close on their new house. That's why Redfin advertises a 1% listing fee in some cases—despite the fact that you’ll still pay 1.5% and just get the .5% back later.

Houwzer has no standalone home buyer rebate program. However, it offers a transferable $2,500 credit to customers who buy and sell with Houwzer. The credit applies to the second transaction. If you sell first, you can earn a $2,500 credit towards closing costs when buying a home with a Houwzer agent.

If the purchase comes first, Houwzer will drop their $5,000 listing fee to $2,500 when you sell your house with them later. There’s no time limit between the two transactions. The company will also let you “gift” your credit to a friend or family member instead of using it yourself.

Service and support

Both Houwzer and Redfin are full-service brokerages that provide essential realtor services, like professional photography, 3D tours, open houses, online and offline marketing, and closing documentation and guidance.

However, a separate administration team at Houwzer handles the sales documents. In addition, Houwzer limits their photos to 25 images. That may not be enough for big homes and houses with unique or custom features.

Both companies do volume business and rely on teams to serve their customers. But Houwzer agents often carry three times the standard customer load. So, dedicated support is likely nonexistent. Redfin agents also provide less one-on-one support than conventional agents. You’ll get more hands-on service if you go through a local agent-matching service like Clever Real Estate or Ideal Agent.

Agent quality and experience

There’s a noticeable divide between agent criteria for these two brokerages. Houwzer only requires that their licensed agents have a high school diploma and two years of experience working in any office. Redfin sets higher standards, but it also accepts new agents who have just earned their realtor license. You’ll need to shop around to find the most qualified agent for your transaction.

Customer satisfaction

Company
Avg. customer rating
Total reviews
Houwzer
4.8
1,300
Redfin
3.9
416

Though Houwzer has a higher rating (4.8) than Redfin (3.9), customer satisfaction reviews are a mixed bag. The most common complaints are about poor communication and lack of responsiveness. Moreover, Houwzer agents are not incentivized to get you top dollar for your home. Instead, they’re motivated to sell as many houses as possible.

You can run into some of the same issues with Redfin agents. They, too, work for salaries plus bonuses for hitting specific metrics. Doing volume business means less dedicated support. Redfin agents also handle a lot of their tasks on the internet. So, you should be comfortable dealing with an online dashboard when working with a Redfin team.

If you’re more comfortable with dedicated support, a one-on-one sales or purchase experience, and an agent with a proven sales background, start your agent search with Clever Real Estate instead.

Agent selection and availability

Even if you're in one of their service areas, Houwzer doesn't make it easy to vet their agents. First, you have to meet with the realtor they select for you to learn whether they're a good fit. Then, only after an interview can you request and meet with a different agent. Houwzer only services the following areas:

  • Florida: Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando
  • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Maryland: Baltimore
  • South New Jersey
  • Virginia: Arlington
  • Washington, D.C.

Redfin has a much more extensive coverage area, present in about 100 markets across the U.S. Redfin also makes the agent selection process a little easier. First, they match you online with a few agents in your area. You can then look up their professional bio and ratings on the Redfin site to prequalify them before setting up an interview.

We recommend exploring all your options to find the most qualified agent at the best price. Using Clever's agent matching service is an effective way to expand your agent search with no obligation. First, research your matches online to decide who to meet with, compare your choices, and then decide who to hire. If you don’t like any of your matches, you’re not obligated to meet with them.

Houwzer vs. Redfin: Summary

  • Redfin charges a listing fee (1.5%) based on the sale price while Houwzer charges a flat listing fee ($5,000) regardless of sale price.
  • Redfin's listing fee is lower than conventional listing rates (2.5–3%) across all price points.
  • Houwzer's $5,000 listing fee beats conventional listing rates (2.5–3%) on homes that sell for more than $170,000–200,000.
  • The Redfin Refund gives eligible buyers 0.22–0.25% of the purchase price back to help lower closing costs. Houwzer has no buyer rebate program.
  • Redfin refunds sellers 0.5% of their listing fee if they buy a home with Redfin within a year of selling, lowering the effective listing rate to 1%.
  • Houwzer offers a $2,500 transferable credit to customers who buy and sell with Houwzer.
  • Redfin is available in about 100 markets across the nation while Houwzer has limited service in five states and Washington, D.C.
  • Redfin customers can request more matches (if available) after reviewing their initial agent matches online, but Houwzer customers must first meet with original matches before requesting more.

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