How does Clever Real Estate work?
Clever Real Estate connects home buyers and sellers to experienced, top-rated real estate agents in their market. Clever works with agents from major brands you may be familiar with — like Century 21 and Keller Williams — to help sellers get a significant discount on commissions.
These agents are partners with Clever, rather than traditional W2 employees. Clever’s Partner Agents remain with their brand and brokerage and offer the same full service as other agents, the only difference is that they have agreed to offer Clever sellers a flat fee of $3,000 — or 1% if the home sells for more than $350,000 — instead of the traditional 3% listing commission.
For example, you may pay $12,000 (or 6%) on the sale of your $200,000 home by going the traditional route. Or, you could pay just $9,000 or less by using a Clever Partner Agent — the $3,000 flat fee to the listing agent and 2-3% to the buyer’s agent. With Clever, you would keep $3,000 in your pocket.
The greater the value of your home, the more you could save. If your home sells for $300,000, you could save $6,000 — on a $400,000 home, you could save $8,000.
How do I start the process?
Clever requires a name, email, zip code, and phone number to match you with a local agent.
Clever’s Concierge Team will get in touch within 5 minutes to answer any questions you have, give advice, and figure out exactly what you need in an agent. They suggest one or more agents to meet your needs, and then you’ll get to determine yourself whether they are a good fit as your agent.
At this point, you can begin your home selling journey with the Partner Agent for the discount commission, request more matches, or walk away without paying Clever a dime. If you do decide to work with a Partner Agent, you’ll work with them directly from this point forward.
This all sounds great – so what’s the catch? Why would agents work for less?
Agents spend most of their time searching for new customers to work with and marketing their services, so getting new leads without any effort is a huge benefit to agents. They also get to put a sign up in the seller’s yard and earn word-of-mouth referrals through the seller (assuming they do a good job), which can lead to more business.
It’s a win-win.
Should I use Clever Real Estate to find a discount agent?
Clever simply connects you with a local agent from a major brokerage — unlike other similar services that make you work with their in-house agents to receive the discounted commission rate.
Through Clever’s model, you know you’ll get someone experienced in your specific market, and maybe even someone who has previously helped someone you know buy or sell their home. Plus, there’s no obligation to use that agent once you’re connected. You get to vet and interview the agent before signing a contract to make sure it’s a good fit.
You may be wondering whether discounted commission means you’ll receive discounted service from your Partner Agent. Again, since Clever is working with local agents from brokerages like Keller Williams or Century 21, you receive the same service you would by approaching them directly. Clever negotiates on your behalf and only finds agents willing to work under the 1% or flat fee models it champions.
Overall, Clever Real Estate receives great reviews and has sought to make things right with the few users who had negative experiences. Most negative reviews we found were related to individual agents, in which Clever reevaluates its relationship after receiving this feedback. If a particular agent receives consistently negative reviews from buyers and sellers, it may discontinue working with that agent and remove them from its Partner Agent list.
What do Clever Real Estate’s reviews look like?
We need to look at Clever Real Estate’s reviews in order to determine the quality of service home buyers and sellers can expect when using this service. Let’s start with Trustpilot, the review site most commonly used by Clever’s customers.
Trustpilot: Clever Real Estate Reviews
Trustpilot.com is a consumer review website that reviews businesses worldwide. Nearly 1 million new reviews are posted each month, so it’s a great gauge of a company’s customer service and business model.
Clever received an overall excellent rating, with 97% of the 365 reviews on Trustpilot ranking the real estate company as excellent (5 out of five starts) or great (four out of five stars).
Considering those who have had negative experiences are generally more likely to write online reviews, this speaks volumes to the quality of service provided by Clever. Here are just a few of the recent reviews posted to Trustpilot from home sellers.
“Clever referred me to a Real Estate Agent to sell my home. I talked to 2 Agents they referred and found a real superstar. She helped me sell my home quickly and worked harder than any agent I have ever worked with before. She did it all at a fraction of the price of a standard agent. Clever did a great job of communicating and connecting me with a local agent. I would highly recommend.”
On the handful of negative reviews they received, a Clever representative responded to each one to either inquire more about the negative experience or further explain its process.
In the example above one of the co-founders, Luke Babich, reached out via phone to learn more about the issue the customer had and resolve it. Clever is a start-up that’s still working on improving its business, but that level of attention to customer satisfaction is difficult to find at larger companies.
Overall, the majority of customers appear to be satisfied with Clever based on its online review profile.
Better Business Bureau: Clever Real Estate Ranking
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a national organization that sets the standards for marketplace trust and ranks companies based on reviews, complaints and other factors. Clever Real Estate received an A rating — the highest it awards — although there are only a few reviews for the service.
This may be due to the nature of Clever’s business model. Since clients are connected directly with a local agent that may work for a broker in their area, they are more likely to review that specific agent or broker, rather than Clever itself.
Amazon: Clever Real Estate Reviews
On Amazon, Clever Real Estate received 5 stars. While only three people left actual reviews, they all had positive experiences with the company and the agent it referred them to.
Final Rating for Clever Real Estate
Clever Real Estate is an excellent choice for home buyers and sellers looking to save money while still getting a full-service agent. It’s a young startup that’s still learning, but the core service has a strong value proposition.
For home sellers looking to save money, this no-obligation service is worth checking out. If you aren’t happy with your agent matches, you can ask Clever for different agents, or you can walk away — you won’t owe Clever a dime.
Clever Real Estate FAQs
Is Clever Real Estate legitimate?
Yes. Clever Real Estate is a legitimate company that refers home buyers and sellers to their network of agents. They negotiate with agents to offer home sellers reduced commission rates, and they offer buyer rebates for home buyers. Their goal is to make the home selling process more affordable. Companies like Home Openly write negative reviews of competitors (even though they've never used the product) to siphon off visitors to their website. Be wary of negative reviews from competitor websites! Their motives are usually questionable.
What is Clever Real Estate?
Clever Real Estate is an online platform that connects home buyers and sellers with top-rated agents who provide full-service at a discount rate. Agents who partner with Clever agree to work under a 1% or $3000 flat fee model, where Clever earns a portion of that commission for referring the client. They collect a referral fee after the house is sold and the agent is paid. They effectively act as negotiators in the real estate transaction, sticking up for consumers who aren't aware that real estate commissions are negotiable.
How does Clever work?
Clever's goal is to find the best real estate agent for a particular buyer or seller. Once you submit your information, a licensed Clever Advisor will reach out via phone or email and ask you questions in order to connect you with the best agent for your needs. Clever will send text messages and emails to try to connect you with prospective agents, giving home sellers and buyers the opportunity to interview their agents and find the best match. There's no contract or agreement until the home buyer or seller has vetted the agent.
How does Clever find agents?
According to Clever's website:
"To be a Clever Partner Agent, realtors must meet the following minimum criteria:
1. Active real estate license
2. 5+ years of real estate experience
3. Great reviews from past sellers and buyers
4. Proven track record of success in their local market
5. Excellent communication and responsiveness"
Clever will remove agents from its network that don't provide excellent service, ensuring customers are happy.
Do Clever's agents offer full service?
Yes. All agents have signed contracts that they'll provide the best service possible, and it's a breach of their contract not to provide the services laid out on Clever's website.
Is Clever Real Estate free?
Yes. Clever Real Estate connects you with an agent and charges the agent for the the referral. The agent will charge you $3000 or 1% of the home, but Clever's service (i.e. connecting you with top agents and negotiating them down to a reduced commission) is free.
Am I obligated to use Clever's service if I request an agent?
No! You can interview as many agents as you'd like through Clever. Until you've connected with an agent you like and decided to move forward, you don't sign a thing. The benefit of Clever is getting a reduced commission, where if you reach out directly to an agent, you'll likely pay the full commission.
What happens if I don't like the agent Clever sends me?
If you don't like your agent, Clever will find another one for you, free of charge.
Why should I work with Clever instead of negotiating with an agent myself?
Clever Real Estate has trained professionals to handle negotiations for you. If you negotiate yourself, you might end up getting reduced service or paying more.