What is Clever Real Estate?
Clever Real Estate is a free, nationwide service that matches you with full-service realtors from top national and regional brokerages in your area (think Coldwell Banker, Century 21, etc.) and gets you built-in commission savings, no negotiations required.
Sellers: Clever matches you with top local agents and pre-negotiates a flat $3,000 or 1% listing fee. Clever says its sellers save $9,600 in commission fees, on average.
Buyers: In addition to the agent matching service, Clever offers 0.5% cash back on qualifying homes. On a $400,000 purchase, that’d put $2,000 back in your pocket.
In effect, Clever is acting as your real estate agent matchmaker and negotiator. It helps you find a great agent quickly and save money compared to what you would’ve paid had you found that agent on your own. There are no upfront fees, hidden costs, or obligations. Not a bad deal!
We dove deep on Clever’s agent matching service to help you understand the ins and outs and decide whether it’s worth a try. We think the value on offer is pretty solid, but read on and judge for yourself!
- Clever is a fast and easy way to find a great local real estate agent and save money
- Its agent matching service is 100% free, no-obligation, and available nationwide
- At $3,000 or 1%, Clever’s pre-negotiated listing fees for sellers are the lowest of any full-service real estate company
- Clever buyers can qualify for cash back rewards, which offer numerous advantages over the commission rebates offered by many discount real estate brands
- People love Clever: It has a 4.9 average customer rating based on 1,289 reviews
✍️ Editor’s take: Is Clever Real Estate worth it?
Clever Real Estate is our #1 recommended pick if you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you sell or buy a home. It offers the best pound-for-pound value — e.g., savings, agent quality, and customer support — of any discount brokerage or agent matching service.
Moreover, because Clever’s agent matching service is free with no obligation, there’s absolutely no risk in signing up and seeing who it recommends.
Clever 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. You won’t owe Clever a dime.
Sellers only pay their agent’s discounted commission fee if and when the home sells. Buyers don’t pay any fees at all.
Below are a few of the key benefits that make Clever Real Estate our top recommended choice if you’re looking for a great real estate agent, max commission savings, or both.
✅ The lowest commission rates available today
Clever currently offers the lowest commission rates and biggest average savings of any full-service real estate company in the U.S. If Clever finds an agent you like, you’ll get the expert help you need to reach your goals AND net the best savings possible. Literally.
» LEARN: How much can you save with Clever?
✅ These are NOT “discount” agents
Clever partners with highly-rated realtors from major brands and top regional brokerages, like Keller Williams, Compass, RE/MAX, and more. All of Clever’s partner agents have solid track records and provide 100% full service sellers and buyers. That means you’re getting the exact same experience and support as their other clients who are paying full commission.
✅ A hassle-free, speedy agent matching process
Clever’s agent matching service is super fast and easy to use. After signing up and confirming your details, the initial agent matches usually come within a few hours — but often in minutes. You can request multiple matches to interview, compare, and choose the best fit.
✅ Ongoing support from fully licensed Concierge Team
Every member of Clever’s Concierge Team is a fully licensed real estate agent. That means they’re a secondary resource you can rely on for answers to general real estate questions and advice throughout your sale or purchase. And that’s in addition to helping you find the perfect realtor and ensuring they provide world-class service and support.
⚡️ Quick tip: Agent matching services are free. Why not try a few?
When it comes to finding a realtor, it’s not just about getting the lowest possible rate. The most important thing is finding the best agent for the job.
Like Clever, all agent matching services are free for consumers. So why not try out a few and see how the agents and savings stack up? Then go with the best option for your specific needs and priorities
We’re confident that Clever offers the best overall value. But considering the stakes in a home sale or purchase, always compare options to make sure!
How does Clever work?
Clever’s service is designed to match you with the best possible agents to suit your particular situation and priorities.
Clever looks to learn as much as it can about you and your needs to hand-pick highly personalized agent matches. But the company also leverages advanced algorithms and streamlined technology to make the process incredibly fast and easy.
How do you use Clever?
- You sign up on Clever’s website, via a simple form that asks you some basic questions about your upcoming sale or purchase.
- A Clever Concierge reaches out via phone or email to learn a little more about your specific situation and needs — and to answer any questions you might have about Clever’s service or real estate in general. (Note: You can choose to opt out of the phone call and connect directly with agents if you prefer).
- Clever’s team will then scour its 14,000-strong partner agent network and identify the best matches for you based on location, experience, and a variety of other data points.
- Clever will send out individual agent introductions via text message or email (you can choose one or the other, or both) so you can set up interviews and start comparing your options. You’ll also be able to view your agent matches and their contact info via Clever’s customer dashboard, which makes it easy to track progress and centralize communications.
- Once you’ve identified the perfect agent and signed, you can hit the ground running. And Clever’s team will be there throughout your entire sale or purchase to ensure your agent is delivering world class service — and back you up if any issues arise.
Do Clever partner agents provide full service?
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 on you and the agent on an ongoing basis to ensure your agent is delivering the promised level of service and support.
How much can sellers save with Clever?
Clever sellers typically save between 40-50% on total commission fees vs. they’d typically pay with a full-service agent. That translates to about $9,600 in average savings.
Clever is currently the only nationwide, full-service real estate brand offering a true $3,000 or 1% listing fee. As of this writing, Clever has the best average savings and lowest commission rates of any brokerage or agent matching service in the U.S.
Clever’s pre-negotiated commission rates for sellers
All Clever partners agents have agreed to offer full service and support for a fraction of the typical 2.5-3% listing fee rate.
- Sellers with homes under $350,000 pay a flat $3,000 listing fee
- Sellers with homes over $350,000 pay a 1% listing fee
In addition to Clever’s discounted 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 fee rates are negotiable and vary by market, but 2-3% is typical nationwide.
With Clever, you’ll usually pay a total commission between 3-4%. That’s about nearly 50% less than the typical 6% total commission most sellers pay. The table below shows how the savings would break down on a $400,000 home sale.
|Listing fee||$4,000 (1%)||$12,000 (3%)|
|Buyer’s agent fee*||$12,000||$12,000|
How much can buyers save with Clever?
Clever offers Clever Cash Back on eligible home purchases. The program puts up to 0.5% of your new home’s final sale price back in your pocket after closing. It’s a pretty solid deal, considering all you had to do was connect with your agent through Clever vs. reaching out on your own.
While 0.5% doesn’t sound like a lot, keep in mind that homes are big-ticket items. As you can see, 0.5% is a pretty hefty chunk of change, regardless of your price point.
|Home purchase price||Cash back amount|
Are you eligible for Clever Cash Back?
Clever Cash Back is available in the 41 of 50 U.S. states that allow commission rebates and cash back rewards for home buyers.
Clever Cash Back is not currently available in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.
However, 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, so it’s likely the program will be available nationwide in the near future.
Also note that Clever Cash Back has some purchase price criteria.
Homes purchased in qualifying states for over $150,000 are eligible for 0.5% cash back. Buyers who purchase homes between $50,000 and $150,000 get a flat $250. Purchases of homes below $50,000 are not currently eligible.
Cash back rewards vs. buyer rebates
Some real estate companies and agents offer home buyer rebates — or commission rebates — as an incentive for buyers. We recommend cash back over rebates, when possible, because cash back is way less complicated.
Buyer rebates and cash back programs are subject to the same state restrictions, which means both are available in the same 41 states.
👎 Buyer rebate disadvantages
Buyer rebates have one major disadvantage: They’re almost always issued as closing credits, which means they:
- ⛔️ Require lender approval
- ⛔️ Can only be spent in certain ways (to cover closing costs, buy points, etc.)
- ⛔️ Are NEVER 100% guaranteed in full
👍 Cash back advantages
Cash back, on the other hand, is issued as — you guess it — cash. The check typically comes after closing and isn’t taken directly out of the agent’s commission, which means it’s not a part of the actual transaction and, therefore:
- ✅ Usually won’t require lender approval
- ✅ Can be spent however you want
- ✅ Is 100% guaranteed in full on eligible purchases
In other words, when you see a company advertising a seemingly enticing “up to x%” commission rebate, proceed with caution. Things might not turn out as promised. If you qualify for a company’s cash back program, that might be a surer bet.
Clever Real Estate reviews from real customers
|Review site||Average rating||Total reviews|
Clever has an overall excellent rating on Trustpilot, with 4.9 out of 5 stars. 98% of the 1,289 reviews on Trustpilot rank the real estate company as excellent (5 out of 5 stars) or great (4 out of 5 stars).
Trustpilot.com is a consumer review website that reviews businesses worldwide. Nearly one million new reviews are posted each month, so it’s a great gauge of a company’s customer service and business model.
Recent Clever reviews from real customers on Trustpilot paint a picture of what you can expect from this service.
Clever reviews on the Better Business Bureau
Clever Real Estate received an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) — a national organization that sets the standards for marketplace trust — which is the highest rating it awards.
Ready to work with Clever? Learn how much you can save today!
How does Clever compare to top alternatives?
|Company||Listing fee||Average rating|
|Clever||$3,000 or 1%||4.9|
Clever currently has the lowest commission rates and highest average customer rating of any full-service, nationwide discount brokerage or agent matching service. That’s why it’s our top pick if you’re looking for a realtor to sell (or buy) a house.
We’ve summarized Clever’s cost savings and service vs. top alternatives below — or you can check out our ultimate guide for an in-depth breakdown of the best discount real estate brands today.
Redfin vs. Clever Real Estate
|Listing fee||$4,000 (1%)||$6,000 (1.5%)|
|Buyer’s agent fee||$12,000 (3%)||$12,000 (3%)|
|Total commission||$16,000 (4%)||$18,000 (4.5%)|
Redfin is a well-known discount real estate brokerage, currently available in about 80 U.S. markets, that offers discounted 1.5% listing fees for home sellers. If savings are your top priority, Clever’s flat $3,000 or 1% listing fees have Redfin beat.
If service is also a top priority, Redfin might be a risky bet: Redfin Agents are in-house, salaried employees who handle roughly 3x more customers than the typical realtor, which could limit their ability to provide hands on attention and support throughout your sale.
Ideal Agent vs. Clever Real Estate
|Listing fee||$4,000 (1%)||$8,000 (2%)|
|Buyer’s agent fee||$12,000 (3%)||$12,000 (3%)|
|Total commission||$16,000 (4%)||$20,000 (5%)|
Like Clever, Ideal Agent is a free, nationwide agent matching service that will match you with top local realtors and pre-negotiate discounted rates on your behalf.
But there are a few major differences between Ideal Agent and Clever:
- Ideal Agent’s discounted 2% rates are literally 2x more expensive than Clever’s flat $3,000 or 1% listing fees.
- Ideal Agent only matches you with a single agent, take it or leave it. Clever offers multiple agent matches so you can compare and choose the best fit.
Ideal Agent does have legitimately high quality agents in its network — but so does Clever. And it’s not even close when you look at the pricing.
UpNest vs. Clever Real Estate
|Listing fee||$4,000 (1%)||$8,800 (2.2%)|
|Buyer’s agent fee||$12,000 (3%)||$12,000 (3%)|
|Total commission||$16,000 (4%)||$20,800 (5.2%)|
UpNest is also a free, nationwide agent matching service, but its approach is slightly different from Clever and other competitors.
Instead of pre-negotiating low rates, agents use UpNest’s platform to “compete” with one another for your business. This artificial competition does drive some cost savings, but compared to Clever, they’re pretty marginal — and never guaranteed.
According to UpNest, its average total commission rate is 5.2%. Most Clever sellers will pay between 3.5-4% in total commission fees.
Both UpNest and Clever are fast, easy to use, and can match you with great agents. But when it comes to savings, Clever is the clear winner.
FAQs 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 for consumers. Clever has an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars based on hundreds of 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 30-50% on total commission fees — or $9,600 or on average — thanks to its pre-negotiated $3,000 or 1% listing fees. Clever buyers can qualify to get a check for 0.5% of their new home’s purchase price back after closing. On an eligible $500,000 purchase, that’d put $2,500 cash back in your pocket. 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 fee. Sellers only pay their Clever partner agent’s discounted $3,000 or 1% listing fee if and when their home sells. Buyers won’t pay any fees at all, as 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, which is how it makes money — and keeps its service free for consumers.
Why do agents work with Clever for lower rates?
Most agents burn a ton of time and money trying to attract new clients. Clever’s Partner Agents get a steady stream of new business with zero upfront cost or effort (they only pay Clever a fee if and 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 involved.
How good are Clever Partner Agents?
To be a Clever Partner Agent, realtors must have an active real estate license, 5+ 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, where if you reach out directly to an agent, you'll likely pay full commission.