Judd Family

Redfin vs. Traditional Real Estate Agents: Personalization Matters

If you ask Sheri Salo, she’ll likely tell you we’re ‘particular’ clients. If she admits to representing at all.

Lord bless her. We’re not particular. We’re difficult. We’ve done enough research to feel like we know something, but not nearly enough to be experts. We have intense opinions, somewhat conflicting wants, high standards, and very particular needs.

To make matters worse, like many millennials we’ve flirted with the question of, “Why do we need a traditional real estate agent when we have Redfin?”

As very ‘particular’ buyers, I am here to tell you — get yourself a good, experienced, and all-in real estate agent. They are worth their weight in gold!

While I can’t say enough about Sheri’s expertise, I’m going to try.

5 Reasons to Work with a Qualified Real Estate Agent

We worked with Sheri to buy and sell our first house, and buy our current home. The following looks at the obvious advantages of working with Sheri or one of her highly-experienced pers for both buying and selling.

Quick Caveat: We still ‘used’ Redfin: There is no better online platform for monitoring and viewing MLS listings. Redfin’s invested millions in their app and it shows. But, when it came to getting additional insights from the MLS that Redfin doesn’t disclose or getting the inside scoop from other agents — an ‘app’ and a corporate agent doesn’t stack up.

1. Resources

Sheri has a wealth of resources with whom she has personal relationships. This was particularly important when it came to selling our house. She helped us identify what items really needed to be addressed, who to use, when to DIY (and save money), and how much things would cost (so we could budget).

And in terms of cost, Sheri’s contacts were reasonably priced, really good, and bent over backward to accommodate ‘Sheri’s customers.’ 

2. The Art of Real Estate Pricing

There’s a fine art to listing your home. Not only do you need to understand what ‘get it ready’ items will really add to the purchase price, but deciding on a purchase price is a big deal.

Price it too low and you run the risk of leaving money on the table. Price it too high and you’ll likely muddy the buyer’s water right out of the gate.

It’s also worth noting — which Garrett and I didn’t know previously— if you receive a full list offer with no stipulations and you don’t accept it, you could be legally liable to compensate the buyer’s agent for the commission they would have collected.

Based on what we learned from Sheri, selecting the right list price is often based on the following:

  • Supporting comps in the area (what other similarly sized homes or similarly sized lots similarly equal school districts are selling for)
  • Determining the minimum it would take for you to sell
  • Looking at current market trends for how likely it is your home could enter in a bidding war

3. Evaluating Value Adds

There are some things that a pretty easy for the everyday person to see and understand. A Wolf stove versus a GE stove. The beauty of a powder room off the main living space.

There are other value adds I would have never thought to consider. These items included:

  • Do the kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling?
  • In homes with a v-shaped roof, do you notice any settling cracks along the roofline?
  • Is there a coat closet off the main entry?
  • How old are the windows?

Evaluating these value adds is important when you’re house hunting, to be sure. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of two similar homes. But seeing these value adds is particularly a big deal when listing a home.

A trained agent knows how to stage, direct photographers, and write descriptions to highlight these ‘extras’ — helping you get better offers. (We sold our home in just 3 days for $50K over list!)

4. Drafting a Compelling Offer

It’s not always the purchase price that seals the deal. There are a variety of other ways to sweeten the pot that don’t come down to just dollars and cents. These were all things that Sheri helped us consider to make our offer more compelling without costing us extra cash:

  • Waiving Inspection
  • Waiving Financing
  • Ernest Money
  • Quick Close
  • Extra Move Out Time
  • A Moving Buyer’s Letter

It’s important to note, that all of the above considerations are not without risks. This is another reason to work with an experienced real estate agent. They can help you fully consider what the potential risks are, so you can determine which ones you’re willing to take.

5. Availability

One of the ways some companies (like big ‘Red’ ones) make their money is with extra fees. While they say they take a smaller percentage of the purchase price, they may do things like only offer to show you so many homes (sometimes just 3!) before they charge you for every additional showing.

Garrett and I saw 20+ homes, started the offer process for 4 different homes, and ultimately submitted 3 offers before we found a house. It was a crazy market (and still is). Homes went pending nearly as fast as they were listed. And to be competitive, you needed to get in the door as fast as possible. 

We were in constant communication with Sheri — sometimes touring a home within hours of it being posted on the MLS. This gave us choices and helped us be competitive. 


Sheri Salo

Expert Real Estate Agent

For the past 22 years, Sheri Salo has been helping individuals, couples, and families successfully buy and sell homes. Her process is ultra-personal, offering decades of industry experience into neighborhoods, home construction, and real estate values. I would recommend her to anyone, without hesitation.

425-785-9444 | sherisalo@cbbain.com