Redfin’s brokerage services and listings website are officially live in Toronto, Canada with Vancouver coming soon and other cities to follow. Starting Tuesday, users can log onto www.redfin.ca to see homes for sale in the greater Toronto area and across Canada.
“I’m not sure when I’ve seen the people at Redfin as excited as we are today to open for business in Toronto,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said in a statement. “Many of us have lived, worked or traveled in Canada, and we’re excited to give the people here our best service, good value, and all the benefits of our technology.”
As is the case in the United States, Redfin agents are considered employees rather than independent contractors, and don’t work solely on commission. Rather, they’re paid a salary and receive bonuses based in part on customer satisfaction. That’s a rarity compared to the majority of the rest of the residential real estate market.
At launch, Redfin will have two employee agents in Toronto.
Redfin is launching in Toronto with its 1 percent listing fee for homesellers who work with the brokerage, which the company says will save a seller in Toronto $11,250 on a $750,000 home sale compared to the standard 2.5 percent listing fee (for the seller’s side). The seller may still have to pay a 2.5 percent commission to the buyer’s agent.
Redfin’s listings website in Canada looks similar to that in the United States, with options to book tours instantly, see agent profiles, draw search areas, set up search notifications and others. It will also include homes for sale by other brokerages, not only homes represented by Redfin.
The site will launch with one Redfin listing, but will also be populated with other brokerage listings in Toronto via the Toronto Real Estate Board. National listings will come from the Canadian Real Estate Association. When Redfin launches in Vancouver, the non-Redfin listings will come from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
“Canadians are discerning and tech-savvy, and I suspect they’ll be very receptive to Redfin’s unmatched combination of agent service, technology and value,” Blair Anderson, who will run Redfin’s brokerage services in Toronto, said in a release. “Especially given today’s shifting Canadian real estate market, buyers and sellers will appreciate the transparency of the data Redfin provides on recent home sales and market trends.”
“When you combine that information with our agents’ local expertise, Redfin helps consumers make more informed decisions about the big questions like when to sell or what to offer on a new home,” Anderson added.
As is the case in the United States, Redfin will be going toe-to-toe with Zillow for eyeballs on its listings website. Zillow officially launched in Canada in October.