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Re/Max drops referrals to Redfin over agent-free buying program

Wallace Witkowski

Re/Max Holdings Inc. said late Monday it is dropping its referral program with Redfin Corp. because of the online real-estate company's move to encourage home purchases without an agent. "Consumers faced with the largest, most complex financial transaction of their lives should have a knowledgeable professional to guide and advise them," Re/Max said in a statement. Because of Redfin's recent announcement of a program to make real-estate agents optional in the home buying process, Re/Max said: "We have begun the process of dissolving our exclusive referral agreement with them beginning today." With the exclusive agreement gone, Redfin said it can now enroll agents from other brokerages in its partner program, and said it understood Re/Max's concerns about its Redfin Direct program. "Redfin understands this concern, as we employ thousands of licensed professionals and believe the vast majority of homebuyers need professional advice, and will happily pay for it." Redfin said in a statement. "But we also have a duty to get as many offers for our customers' listings as we possibly can, and to give those listing customers the best value." Both shares of Re/Max and Redfin were flat in after hours trading.