What is Clever Real Estate?
Clever Real Estate is a free, nationwide service that matches sellers and buyers with full-service real estate agents from top brokerages, such as Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, and Century 21. It offers commission savings and doesn’t charge any hidden fees.
Clever matches sellers with multiple agents and pre-negotiates a 1.5% listing fee on their behalf. That’s about half the price that realtors typically charge. Clever claims its sellers save an average of $7,000 in commission fees.
Buyers who work with Clever receive full service and support from a top-rated agent. They can also qualify for cash back after closing.
We researched Clever’s agent matching service — and interviewed actual Clever Real Estate customers — to help you understand the process and decide if it’s worth a try.
✍️ Editor’s take: Is Clever Real Estate worth it?
Clever Real Estate is our top pick for most people looking for a real estate agent. We compared Clever to ten other brokerages and found it offers the best value in terms of savings, agent quality, and customer support.
Clever’s agents are fully vetted, with strong sales records and excellent customer reviews. Many come from name-brand brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX, so you’ll get the same service as a traditional agent.
Clever also gives you multiple agent matches to interview and compare. If the agents don’t feel like a good fit, you can request more — or simply walk away. The agent matches are free, with no obligation to commit.
If you’re hoping to save on full-service realtor commissions, Clever offers some of the best rates in the industry. As a seller, you’ll pay a low 1.5% listing fee — about half the price that most realtors charge. On a $400,000 home, you’d save around $6,000. Learn how much you can save with Clever.
Clever Real Estate vs. top competitors
We compared Clever Real Estate to 10 other agent matching services based on agent quality, savings, and customer service. Here’s how Clever stacks up against the top three competitors.
Real estate agent quality
Clever gets top marks for real estate agent quality. Many of its agents come from recognizable national brands, like Berkshire Hathaway, Keller Williams, and Century 21. Customers get the same full service with Clever agents as they would with a traditional agent.
Clever also has the highest performance standards of any agent matching service. Its agents are rigorously vetted and have proven track records in terms of sales, years of experience, and positive customer feedback. If a partner agent isn’t performing up to standard, Clever is willing to remove them from its network.
Ideal Agent is the only competitor with similar performance standards, but it has far fewer agents. With Clever, you have a higher chance of getting matched with a good agent in your area.
Other services have almost no vetting standards for agents or fail to enforce them consistently. For example, any licensed agent can join HomeLight’s network.
Clever’s 1.5% commission rate is among the lowest in the industry. You’ll pay half the rate that most traditional realtors charge (2.5–3%). Other agent matching services don’t come close to Clever’s rates. Ideal Agent charges a 2% listing fee, for example, and HomeLight doesn’t offer discounted fees.
With inflation and interest rates on the rise, reduced commission rates help sellers keep more of their home’s equity in their pockets.
Some of the customers we spoke to were initially concerned that there must be a “catch” with Clever’s fees being so low. After meeting with their Clever partner agents, they realized they’d be making no sacrifices in terms of service.
Clever is one of the few agent matching services — along with Ideal Agent — that requires its concierges to be fully licensed real estate agents. This matters because only licensed concierges can legally give you real estate advice.
Many other agent matching services, like HomeLight and UpNest, don’t require their concierges to be licensed. This means they can offer limited help with your real estate transaction.
We were particularly impressed by how Clever has improved its customer service over time. Before, a single Clever concierge was responsible for handling the entire customer journey. Today, there are multiple Clever concierge teams, each dedicated to handling just one aspect of the customer journey.
The result is a better and more streamlined experience. As customer Steve said:
Clever was very responsive and walked me through every step of the process and checked in regarding the service I received.”
Clever concierges are also willing to step in if a customer has concerns about their agent or any other aspect of their home sale or purchase. In the rare event that an agent isn’t living up to expectations, Clever concierges may exclude that agent from future transactions.
No other agent matching service we found goes to the lengths that Clever concierges do to ensure their customers are satisfied. On the contrary, other services were difficult to get in touch with and were often unhelpful with solving concerns after providing the initial agent match.
How does Clever Real Estate work?
Clever Real EstateLearn More
Clever Real Estate is the best option for most sellers looking to save on realtor commissions. Its 1.5% listing fee is among the lowest of any full-service, nationwide brand. You’ll save thousands on commission and still get matched with top local realtors from well-known brokerages, like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. Plus, it’s free to try, and there’s no obligation to sign with an agent.
- You get a 1.5% listing fee (half the typical rate) without sacrificing service.
- You get matched with several local agents with strong sales records and great customer reviews.
- Clever’s service is free, and you have no obligation to sign with any realtor.
- Some add-ons, like drone photography and staging, may cost extra depending on the agent.
- You may not get matched with the specific realtor you want if they’re not in Clever’s agent network.
Clever Real Estate offers a 1.5% listing fee, half of what realtors traditionally charge. But you’ll still get a top local real estate agent, so you’ll save thousands without sacrificing quality.
How it works: After filling out an online questionnaire, Clever matches you with realtors in your area. You can choose to work with one of the agents, request more agent matches, or walk away with zero obligations.
Why we like it: Clever is the perfect balance of savings and quality: You get all the services and support of a traditional agent, but you pay a fraction of the typical price. By comparing agents, you ensure you’re getting the realtor who’s right for you.
Clever is available nationwide.
What services do Clever’s real estate agents provide?
When you sell or buy with a Clever partner agent, you’ll get the same service and support you’d expect from a traditional agent charging full commission.
Full service for Clever sellers includes:
- Comparative market analysis (CMA) and pricing strategy
- Recommendations for pre-listing repairs and staging
- Professional photography
- Full listing on the MLS and hundreds of other real estate sites
- Showings and open houses
- Help with offers, counteroffers, and negotiations
- Contract and paperwork support
- Closing and title coordination
- And more
Full service for Clever buyers includes:
- Real-time MLS alerts
- On-demand house tours
- Help with offers and counteroffers
- Support during inspection and any renegotiations
- Final walkthrough and closing coordination
- And more
Clever’s partner agents sign an agreement that stipulates they must provide 100% full service. Clever’s concierge team will check in with you and the agent on an ongoing basis to ensure your agent is delivering the promised level of service and support. Clever Real Estate reviews from past customers confirm that Clever’s agents genuinely offer full service throughout the selling or buying process.
Why do agents agree to work for just 1.5%?
You may be wondering why any real estate agent — especially one who already has a solid track record — would agree to work for 1.5% commission when the standard rate is 2.5–3%. In fact, Clever’s 1.5% model is a win-win for both agents and customers.
Here’s why: Agents typically spend a lot of time and money on marketing and trying to find new clients. Clever takes on this work for real estate agents by sending potential clients to them, which in turn means agents don’t have to spend as much on marketing. The result is that agents get more business — which is good for their bottom lines — and are able to pass on the savings to you. So everybody wins.
How much can sellers save with Clever?
Clever sellers typically save between 40–50% on listing fees versus what they’d typically pay with a full-service agent. That translates to about $7,000 in average savings.
See for yourself how much you could save with Clever by entering your home’s sale price below.
Clever Real Estate savings calculator
How Clever’s commission rates work for sellers
All Clever partner agents have agreed to offer full service and support for a fraction of the typical 2.5–3% listing fee rate. You’ll get the same service as you would with a traditional agent, but at a significantly reduced rate.
- Sellers with homes over $200,000 pay a 1.5% listing fee
- Sellers with homes under $200,000 pay a flat $3,000 listing fee
In addition to the listing fee, expect to offer a competitive buyer’s agent fee to incentivize local agents to show your home to their clients. Buyer’s agent commission fees are negotiable and vary by market, but 2–3% is typical and encouraged.
With Clever, you’ll usually pay a total commission between 3.5% and 4.5%. That’s significantly less than the typical 6% total commission most sellers pay.
Finding a buyer’s agent through Clever
Clever can also match you with a high-quality agent when buying a home. Its buyer’s agents come from name-brand brokerages like Berkshire Hathaway and Century 21. These agents meet high performance standards, like a minimum number of transactions, years of experience, and positive customer reviews.
Clever’s vetting process ensures that no matter which agent you get matched with, they’ll have the necessary experience to help you find a house that fits your needs and budget.
As with most home purchases, you won’t have to worry about covering the buyer’s agent commission. The seller pays for that commission from their sale proceeds.
How much can buyers save with Clever?
Eligible home buyers can save with Clever Cash Back. The program offers you a gift card of up to $500 when you buy a home with a Clever agent:
- $250 if you buy with a Clever agent
- $500 if you buy and sell with a Clever agent
Clever Cash Back is available in the 42 U.S. states that allow commission rebates and cash back rewards for home buyers.
Clever’s buyer savings program isn’t available in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee. The U.S. Justice Department supports commission rebates and cash rewards for home buyers and is actively working to make them legal in all 50 states.
Also note that Clever Cash Back has some purchase price criteria. Homes purchased in qualifying states for over $50,000 are eligible for cash back. Homes purchased below $50,000 aren’t eligible.
Clever Real Estate reviews from real customers
|Review site||Average rating||Total reviews|
|Better Business Bureau||4.9||66|
Clever Real Estate reviews online give the company a rating of 4.9/5 out of 1,995 reviews across Trustpilot and Google. Plus, Clever Real Estate has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.
What customers like about Clever
Customers tend to praise Clever for two main things: the quality of its agents and the savings.
“Clever matched me with the PERFECT agent.”
“Clever delivered as promised.”
We repeatedly found Clever Real Estate reviews that highlighted how effective and diligent agents were, with some customers even saying they had built friendships with their agents after their transaction closed.
This quality is likely a reflection of Clever’s vetting process for agents. Unlike some other agent matching services, Clever doesn’t let just any realtor into its network. Instead, realtors need to have a great track record in terms of experience, sales, and customer reviews.
Customers also pointed out that they saved a lot on commission with Clever. The listing fee with Clever is just 1.5% — about half of the 2.5–3% that’s typical for the industry — which on a $400,000 house can amount to savings of $6,000.
Some customers admitted they were initially skeptical about these savings, or worried there was a “catch.” They were quickly reassured after meeting their realtors that they’d get the same service as a traditional, full-priced real estate agent, but for thousands less.
Where customers thought Clever could improve
A few Clever customers were disappointed with the quality of their agents, with some wishing their agent had gotten a better price for their home or were located closer to them.
“We would have liked more recommendations.”
“The first agent didn’t work out, but the second one did.”
Other negative experiences were a result of Clever’s commission structure not being explained clearly. For example, some customers were under the impression that the 1.5% listing fee is the only cost they would have to pay. In fact, as is true when selling a house with any agent, homeowners also have to cover the buyer’s agent commission (which is typically around 2.5–3%) as well as any closing costs.
Fortunately, Clever has improved its customer service model since some of these negative Clever Real Estate reviews were written. Today, different Clever concierge teams are responsible for different steps of the customer journey. We suspect that this more focused approach to customer service will help cut down on misunderstandings and give customers a clearer idea of how the service works.
Bottom line: Is Clever Real Estate right for you?
Based on our research of Clever Real Estate and other popular agent matching services, we think Clever offers the best overall service for the vast majority of buyers and sellers. Clever’s partner agents are consistently high quality, its savings for both sellers and buyers are the best in the industry, and you can try it for free with zero obligation.
The only situation where you may want to look elsewhere is if you’re selling a house at a low price point — typically less than $100,000. At that price, a traditional, full-priced real estate agent may be able to provide a better deal given Clever’s flat $3,000 listing fee for homes less than $200,000.
For all other sellers and buyers, however, Clever is a good deal. You’ll get a top, full-service real estate agent and pay only a fraction of the price. In other words, you’ll save thousands of dollars for the exact same service as you’d get from a traditional broker.
Our advice: Start your real estate journey with Clever. You’ll have an expert in your corner from the beginning, but because Clever is free and comes with no obligation, you’ll still be able to pursue other options at any point.
We strive to deliver objective real estate reviews. The Real Estate Witch team and its mystery shoppers tested and researched Clever and 10 other agent matching services over a six-week period. We regularly update all our reviews to ensure they are accurate and relevant. Our goal is to help you find an agent who can get you the best possible value when you buy or sell your home.
Real Estate Witch is a partner brand of Clever. However, we form our opinions based on the same facts we share with you, and we apply the same objective standards to Clever that we do to all companies we review. Our focus is to let you know who Clever is and isn’t right for.
FAQ about Clever Real Estate
Is Clever Real Estate legitimate?
Yes, Clever Real Estate is a legitimate and well-reviewed company that makes buying and selling real estate more affordable. Clever has an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars based on over a thousand customer reviews. Clever is a licensed brokerage in Missouri and partners with agents all over the country from top brokerages like Keller Willams, Century 21, and Coldwell Banker.
How much can I save with Clever?
Clever sellers typically save between 40–50% on total commission fees — or $7,000 or on average — thanks to the pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fee. See how much you can save with Clever!
Is Clever Real Estate free?
Yes! As a seller or buyer, you won’t ever pay Clever a referral fee. Sellers only pay their Clever partner agent’s discounted 1.5% listing fee when their home sells. Buyers won’t pay any agent fees, because their agent’s fee is typically covered by the seller.
How does Clever make money?
Like other agent matching companies, Clever collects a small fee from its partner agents in exchange for referring new customers. This allows Clever to offer a free service for its customers.
Why do agents work with Clever for lower rates?
Most agents burn a lot of time and money trying to attract new clients. Clever’s partner agents get a steady stream of new business with zero up-front cost or effort (they pay Clever a fee only when a deal closes). The arrangement boosts their revenue, sales numbers, and visibility within their local market — and the volume allows them to lower their rates, helping sellers and buyers save money. In other words, it’s a win-win for all parties.
How good are Clever partner agents?
To be a Clever partner agent, realtors must have an active real estate license, at least five years of experience, and a proven track record of success. Clever also states on its website that it will remove agents from its network that don't provide excellent service, and its team actively reviews its partner agents’ performance on an ongoing basis.
Do Clever agents really provide full service?
Yes. All Clever’s partner agents have signed contracts that they'll provide 100% full service and support to Clever customers.
Am I obligated to use Clever Real Estate 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, whereas if you reach out directly to an agent, you'll likely pay full commission.
How to Choose a Realtor: The Complete Guide: A good agent can make a big difference in how well your home sale or purchase goes — and how much you get or save for your house. Find out how to choose the right realtor for you.
Top 10 Low Commission Real Estate Agents: Low commission real estate companies can help you save thousands on your home sale. Check out our ranking of the best low commission companies, and see what options are available in your local real estate market.
The Best Discount Real Estate Brokers and Agents: Discount brokers can save you a lot of money, but some come with significant drawbacks. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a discount realtor.
Negotiating Realtor Fees: 5 Tips to Lower Commission: Negotiating real estate fees centers on knowing the market and your situation, then using that info while talking to multiple agents.