For a brokerage, the folks at RealDirect.com have an unusually anti-broker stance. Instead of the usual 6 percent commission approach to selling real estate, RealDirect lets buyers and sellers choose how much broker help they want, and the commission is up to 2 percent depending how much help the buyer or seller takes. And the firm’s just released a new set of search features that might bring that commission percentage down a bit, including a bunch of graphing tools, a search lasso tool, and property compatibility rankings. Any kind of metric designed to compare NYC properties against a buyer’s ideal criteria seems bound to induce melancholy or rage among NYC’s non-millionaires. But we took the site for a spin anyway.
Just for the fun of it, we tossed a few parameters into RealDirect’s search engine, seeking an Upper East Side 2BR with an in-unit washer/dryer for $800,000 or less. And hey, an elevator would be nice, too! Unfortunately, the cheapest pad that appears to meet our criteria is $880,000 (with a monthly maintenance of $1,633/month), and we are only 87 percent compatible with it. Good thing this is a purely fictitious search!
Aside from the compatibility rankings, the site’s other features are similar to those found on other real estate search sites. But maybe buyers will be lured over to this one by the promise of a smaller commission payment in the long run.