For anyone looking to rent or buy a home, the process starts online. At the first thought of moving to a new place (even if it is months or years before they are actually ready to pack up) people flock to any number of websites to see what’s available and what their dream space is going for. 

CivicScience conducted a survey on how people look for new homes and their approaches to working with realtors. Among the sites we studied, big-name Zillow was the preferred site for homebuyers and renters.


While Redfin is a real estate search engine, it’s also a business with a non-traditional approach to realty. The biggest differentiator between Redfin and a traditional real estate company is that it keeps commission costs low by paying its agents a flat rate. What do consumers think about Redfin? 

In a CivicScience survey of more than 2,700 U.S. adults, 46% had never heard of Redfin. That is fairly low awareness among the Gen Pop. Coupled with the fact that 43% had heard of it but weren’t interested in using it, means only 11% have had some experience with or interest in Redfin.

Redfin agents boast more authentic customer care as a side effect of not needing to rely on a big sale to bring home a decent paycheck. But other sources argue that full-service agents are the better option. 

Among people who have bought a residential property, 54% have contracted with a realtor and thought it was helpful. Sixteen percent of homebuyers had the opposite experience.

Age data suggests a shift in how people view realtors. Thirty percent of those under 35 who have purchased a residential property report the greatest amount of dissatisfaction with agents and also that they don’t plan on using one in the future. 

While there are still many potential homeowners under the age of 35, younger generations have opted for the Redfin experience at a higher rate than older generations. And their experiences have been more positive.

Next week, CivicScience will host a webinar on the housing market’s unique boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider joining us for an enlightening deep dive into CivicScience data on everything related to home buying.