We Believe Redfin Is Wrong

Since our founding in 1906, Coldwell Banker has always represented the highest ethical standards in the real estate industry. Our core values are grounded in the protection of the real estate home buyer and home seller’s interest, and always placing them above our own. Focus on the customer and success will follow are not mere words to those who wear blue, but rather fundamental to how we conduct our business.

Since our founding in 1906, Coldwell Banker has always represented the highest ethical standards in the real estate industry. Our core values are grounded in the protection of the real estate home buyer and home seller’s interest, and always placing them above our own. Focus on the customer and success will follow are not mere words to those who wear blue, but rather fundamental to how we conduct our business.

I recently read in Inman News, a real estate trade publication, that Redfin, an online brokerage with a limited market footprint, thinks it’s a good idea to publically display the negotiation process of offer and counter-offer terms between buyers and sellers on their website. They believe by sharing a variety of different experiences, the consumer would ultimately benefit. I don’t see it that way, as no one in our industry should ever compromise the sanctity of your privacy, detailed negotiations, financial information, etc., under the pretense of providing a public service.

Every real estate company seeks an opportunity to earn your business. And while there are benefits to enhanced transparency in real estate, I trust that most people are smart enough to know when an action taken in the so called interest of the consumer is really nothing other than self-serving.

I thought you might be interested in what I shared in response to Redfin’s idea in a letter to Inman News:

Dear Editor:

I am stunned that Redfin actually believes that sharing confidential information pertaining to individual buyer/seller negotiations is a worthwhile idea.

Real estate is a serious business, not a reality TV show. Brokers and agents have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients (both buyer and seller) before, during and after the transaction. Disclosing to the general public actual buyer/seller contract negotiation details, either at the neighborhood or actual property level, is nothing more than a theatrical side show and serves no constructive purpose.

Increased transparency is an admirable goal, but there must be limits. In addition, obtaining the consent of just one party to a negotiation ultimately compromises the confidentiality of the other party, from whom consent may not have been previously obtained.

While the recommendation of negotiation strategies and tactics to clients is an age-old practice, to disclose negotiation details on specific properties benefits no one. Because each transaction is so different, the lessons learned have diminished value to future buyers and clearly violate the privacy of the buyer and seller.

Real estate brokerage is a serious business, and I, for one, believe that such theatrics are best left to the reality shows and carnivals, not our industry.

Budge Huskey
President and CEO
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

President and CEO for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Budge grew up in a real estate family in Florida, where his father was a broker for 60 years, and he began his real estate career as an agent in 1984 in the Orlando area. Budge has served in a variety of roles over the course of his real estate career, including Branch Manager, President and COO with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Florida and Executive Vice President of NRT Southeast region. In 2010, he became President and COO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate and in 2013 was named President and CEO of the brand, overseeing all aspects of the international real estate franchise organization. He currently serves as a FAR and NAR Director and is a member of NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee. Budge is routinely sought out by the media on matters relating to the real estate industry

  • Jason

    How could they know the negotiation process unless the agents updated it?? Why would any agent update it to tell the world what the two party’s are trying to work out?

  • Aaron

    Thank you Budge for taking the time to respond to Redfin’s ridiculous idea. There is a reason why their footprint is “limited”.

  • Paul W

    Sorry to say, Budge, that to me your indignation sounds just like the newspapers complaining about internet distribution before their demise. I will say the same thing to you I said to them back when. It is a brave new world we (the younger generation) live in and we welcome you to join it. Alternatively you may end up looking like Don Quixote as they did.

  • Scott D

    I am confused on how this can be considered “self-serving” or industry theatrics? And I must agree with Paul W. in that the times are a changin.
    Redfin is unlike any other real estate firm and most certainly should not be considered an online brokerage firm. The industry is changing and those that embrace the change will prosper in the upcoming years and those that do not will be put to pasture or will be found working in another industry. Where will you and your income be in 2013 and beyond?

  • Tricia

    It’s hard to believe anyone could possibly think this is a good idea. I don’t think agents would support it anyway, as they are supposed to have ethics and common sense.

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