Faira is a discount real estate brokerage that claims it can save home sellers an average of $20,000 on realtor commission fees. While most traditional agents charge 2.5-3%, Faira advertises a 1% commission rate, as well as a “zero-commission” tier for DIY-inclined sellers.
Unfortunately, as the Faira reviews we’ll cover indicate, misleading pricing, hidden fees, and potential service quality tradeoffs may compromise your overall experience. Depending on your situation, other low commission companies may offer better savings with fewer risks.
For example, our friends at Clever Real Estate offer a 1% listing fee (or a flat $3,000 fee for homes under $350,000). Their free agent matching process connects you with top full-service realtors in your area, ensuring you save big — but never compromise on agent quality or support. Learn how to start saving today!
- Faira’s commission rates start at 1%, though its premium package costs as much as 3.5%
- Faira also advertises a “free” listing service, which — as we’ll show — isn’t really free
- Common Faira complaints include confusing pricing, hidden fees, and lackluster agent quality
- Faira is currently only available in Washington state
What Is Faira Real Estate?
Faira is a discount real estate brokerage headquartered in the Seattle area. It launched in 2015 with an ambitious goal: create an online platform that simplifies home buying and selling, then pass savings onto consumers.
Born in Amazon’s backyard and co-founded by former eBay research scientist Kamal Jain, Faira believed it could use technology to disrupt the real estate industry — just as the internet did to brick-and-mortar commerce.
However, Faira quickly ran into a problem: selling a house is a lot more complicated than selling a pair of tennis shoes! As a result, Faira’s online platform is far less intuitive than eBay’s — and its pricing structure is way more confusing.
Despite raising $5.5 million between 2015 and 2018, Faira failed to deliver on the potential its investors thought it had. The company expanded into California and Arizona, but it never achieved sustainable growth. By 2020, it had closed up shop in those states.
According to its website, Faira currently has just four real estate agents, three homes for sale, and three properties under contract — all located in Washington state.
How Does Faira Work?
Like other discount real estate brokerages, Faira advertises low commission rates to attract customers, then finds ways to offset those discounted fees.
Every low commission company does this a little bit differently. Faira’s unique approach involves:
- Advertising a free listing package, then upselling sellers on premium options — including one that costs more than a conventional realtor
- Including fewer services and less support in its discounted plans
- Charging transaction fees that make its services more expensive than they appear
How much does Faira cost?
Selling with Faira could cost anywhere from 3-7% of your home’s sale price, depending on your listing package and how the buyer submits their offer. The overall price tag includes two main categories of expenses: realtor commissions and Faira’s transaction fee.
|Faira Listing Fee||0-3%|
|Buyer's Agent Commission*||2.5-3%|
|Faira Transaction Fee||0.5-1%|
Real estate commission
As with any company, you’ll encounter two types of real estate commission fees when you sell with Faira:
- The listing fee, which compensates Faira’s agents
- The buyer’s agent fee, which compensates the buyer’s realtor
Faira’s listing fee ranges from 0-3%, depending on which of its three listing packages you choose.
No matter which Faira service you use, you should also expect to pay a traditional buyer’s agent commission rate of 2.5-3%. Offering a competitive buyer’s agent fee is the best way to incentivize realtors to show your home to buyers.
If a buyer purchases your home without an agent, you won’t technically be responsible for buyer’s agent commission. However, Faira gives unagented buyers a discount equivalent to what their realtor would have earned, so you won’t really save on buyer’s agent fees.
Faira transaction fee
You’ll face real estate commission expenses no matter what brokerage you use. Faira’s transaction fee, on the other hand, is unusual for the industry.
When a Faira listing sells, the company charges a 0.5-1% transaction fee, on top of the listing fee. If the buyer submits their offer through the Faira website, the company charges 0.5% and calls this expense a “platform fee.”
If the buyer doesn’t submit their offer through the website, Faira charges the seller a 1% “offline offer” fee.
✍️ Who pays the Faira platform fee?
According to Faira, the buyer pays the platform fee. But — as with buyer’s agent commission — it actually comes out of the seller’s proceeds when the house sells.
Either way, selling with Faira ends up costing a lot more than the company’s advertised commission rates would lead you to believe. On higher-priced homes, this subtle difference in fees could add up to thousands of dollars, making your home sale a LOT more expensive!
Looking for a better way to save on realtor commission? Clever’s agent-matching service can pair you with top-rated realtors in your area. Sell with one of their partner agents, and you’ll pay a listing fee of $3,000 — or just 1% for homes above $350,000.
The best part? Clever’s service is 100% free. No hidden fees, no strings attached, and absolutely no obligation.
Clever Real Estate negotiates with top agents so you can focus on selling your home for top dollar.
Selling With Faira
Faira offers three three different listing packages that include varying levels of service and support — with price points to match.
|Service||Faira Free||Faira One||Faira Premium|
|Yard sign and flyers||✅||✅||✅|
|Faira One Listing Fee||1%|
|Buyer's Agent Commission*||2.5-3%|
Faira One, which has a 1% listing fee, is the company’s most popular service. Alongside the basics outlined above, Faira One includes support from a dedicated real estate agent, as well as a complimentary home inspection.
🚨 Editor’s Note
Although you’ll have your own “dedicated” Faira agent, they WON’T provide any in-person service. This could severely limit their ability to provide personalized guidance as you navigate your home sale.
For example, if you ask your agent for advice on your listing price, they’ll give their best estimate using public records and market data. But since they haven’t seen your property in-person, they’re more likely to overlook unique features or other information that would help them price it accurately.
Why does this matter? If your listing price is too high, your home could be a lot harder to sell. Price it too low, and you may walk away from the sale with a lot less money than you could have.
And since your agent is remote, they won’t attend any showings or home inspections. This means you won’t have an expert on-hand to answer questions from buyers or advocate on your behalf if a buyer raises concerns about the property’s condition — or your asking price.
|Faira Premium Listing Fee||3%|
|Buyer's Agent Commission*||2.5-3%|
Faira Premium is the company’s only full-service listing package. With this plan, your agent will provide in-person support. It also includes:
- A home warranty
- A home inspection
- Upgraded photo options
However, Faira Premium is also quite expensive. Once you account for its 3% listing fee and 0.5-1% transaction fee, this package costs significantly more than a traditional realtor.
Not quite what you’d expect when working with a “discount” real estate brokerage!
|Faira Premium Listing Fee||Free|
|Buyer's Agent Commission*||2.5-3%|
Faira will list your home on the MLS, arrange professional photography, and supply you with a lockbox. You won’t have support from an agent, nor will you get any of the premium services included in Faira’s pricier selling packages.
The biggest advantage is that unlike a flat-fee MLS listing company, Faira won’t charge you anything up front when you use this service.
Unfortunately, while Faira Free has no listing fee, it’s NOT actually free. As with its other packages, Faira deducts a 0.5-1% transaction fee from your sale proceeds.
On a $500,000 sale, this “free” plan could cost you as much $5,000! In comparison, most flat-fee MLS companies offer the same services but only charge you a few hundred bucks.
Buying With Faira
Faira offers two services for home buyers, both of which give you the opportunity to earn a commission rebate.
💰 What Is a Commission Rebate?
A commission rebate — also called a “home buyer rebate” — is when you earn money back when you purchase a home. If you qualify, your agent (or their brokerage) may return a portion of their fee to you, either as cash or a credit toward your closing costs.
If you buy with Faira Essentials, you could qualify for a home buyer rebate worth up to 2% of the purchase price. In exchange, you’ll receive limited support from Faira — and you won’t have a dedicated real estate agent.
In fact, Faira provides zero assistance until you are ready to make an offer on the home you want to purchase. At that point, Faira will help you write your offer, negotiate with the seller, and coordinate the closing process.
But what if you want to look at a home in-person? You’ll have to pay extra. Faira sells Essentials customers individual showings for $99 — or you can buy a bundle of five for $399.
When you’re paying Faira to show you homes, costs can add up quickly. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average buyer visits nine houses before making a purchase. Tour nine homes with Faira Essentials, and you’ll rack up nearly $1,000 in additional fees!
✍️ Editor’s Note
If you’re an experienced home buyer, already know exactly what house you want to purchase, and aren’t worried about competition from other buyers, Essentials may be worth considering.
If you’re a new home buyer or you just want a bit of help with finding a home, you’re likely better off hiring an agent who can provide more personalized support throughout the entire process.
Faira Plus offers a more conventional home buying experience, but the maximum commission refund you can earn is 1%.
With this package, a Faira agent will assist you throughout every step of the purchase process, and they won’t charge you money to accompany you on home tours.
That being said, be aware that home buyer rebates are typically subject to numerous terms and conditions, including:
- Minimum home price or buyer’s agent commission
- Lender approval
- State regulations
Always ask for eligibility restrictions from your agent AND lender that could prevent you from earning the maximum refund BEFORE you start the purchase process.
Faira Reviews: Pros, Cons, and Areas of Concern
Faira reviews are a bit mediocre compared to other discount real estate brokerages. The company has an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars across Google, Yelp, and Zillow reviews.
Pro: Potential commission savings
The biggest reason home sellers choose Faira is to save on listing fees. And according to positive Faira reviews, the potential savings are genuine.
This seller enjoyed a quick sale after listing on Faira Free. Since they already had FSBO experience, they felt comfortable navigating the sale without support from a dedicated real estate agent.
This next customer bought and sold with a Faira agent. They experienced a few communication issues, but they ultimately felt that the commission savings and home buyer rebate more than offset the service tradeoffs.
As both of these Faira reviews illustrate, Faira may be a good fit if you’re in a hot market where your home will “sell itself.” However, customers who need additional support may find the company’s service lacking.
Con: Discount listing packages include very little agent support
Faira claims all of its listing packages include “everything” you need to sell your home. But the reality is that only Faira Premium is comparable to selling with a traditional realtor — and it costs more than the 2.5-3% that most full-price agents charge.
Faira’s low commission plans, meanwhile, come with significant service quality tradeoffs. With Faira One, your agent will be 100% remote — and if you list with Faira Free, you won’t have a dedicated agent at all.
Con: Faira’s advertised commission rates are misleading
While Faira’s discounted listing packages cost less than selling with a traditional realtor, the company’s pricing structure is convoluted — and frankly, a bit misleading.
In addition to its advertised commission rates, Faira charges a hefty transaction fee. Faira tells sellers that this cost is the buyer’s responsibility. But when buyers browse homes, the “asking price” already includes the transaction fee, which gives the impression that the seller pays it out of the sale proceeds.
This pricing structure is NOT a normal practice among real estate brokerages, and it makes it seem as though Faira is concealing how much its services actually cost.
Con: Confusing platform may turn buyers away
Faira’s initial goal was to build an online platform that made buying and selling real estate nearly as simple as an eBay auction. However, one of the most common Faira complaints is that buyers find the company’s website confusing.
For example, this buyer wanted to purchase a Faira listing, but they had trouble understanding how the company’s online system worked. In the end, they didn’t feel comfortable using it to submit an offer.
This can put sellers in a frustrating situation. Because Faira wants buyers to submit offers through the website, it charges sellers an extra 0.5% if they accept an offer outside of the online platform.
Unfortunately, as this Faira review demonstrates, sellers may have trouble getting buyers to submit offers through the website.
The Best Faira Alternatives
While Faira may be cheaper than a traditional realtor, the potential tradeoffs make it a riskier option than some of its competitors.
Depending on your unique situation, needs, and priorities, you may find better overall value with one of these Faira competitors.
|Company||Average Rating||Locations||Listing Fee||Buyer Incentives||Average Savings*|
|Faira||4.3 (133 reviews)||WA||0-3%**||Yes||N/A|
|Clever||4.9 (901 reviews)||Nationwide||$3,000 or 1%||Yes||$7,375|
|Redfin||3.2 (287 reviews)||Nationwide (select markets)||1.5% (min. fees vary)||Yes||$5,550|
|Trelora||4.7 (943 reviews)||AZ, CO, GA, MO, NC, SC, WA||$3,000-4,000||Yes||$8,500|
If you want to save on realtor commission but aren’t comfortable sacrificing on-the-ground support, Redfin may be a good fit. Redfin’s 1.5% commission rate is roughly as expensive as Faira One, but Redfin agents provide in-person services like pricing consultations.
Trelora is a discount brokerage that charges sellers a flat listing fee, no matter what their home is worth. With rates starting at $4,000 in Washington state, Trelora is cheaper than Faira One above a $270,000 listing price. Plus, its agents provide more dedicated support, which may make it a better fit for less experienced sellers.
3. Flat-fee MLS listing service
If you’re thinking about selling your house with Faira Free, you may want to consider using a flat-fee MLS listing service instead. Like Faira Free, these companies will list your home on your local MLS, marketing it to a wide pool of buyers. The main difference is you’ll pay a flat-fee MLS listing company an upfront fee — usually around $299-399 — whereas Faira Free costs 0.5-1% when your home sells.
4. Clever Real Estate
Clever is a free agent-matching service that offers big commission savings WITHOUT the hidden fees and service-quality compromises that you may experience with Faira.
Clever pre-negotiates low rates with traditional realtors from major brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. With Clever, you’ll sell with a top-rated, full-service agent for a 1% listing fee — or $3,000 if your home sells for less than $350,000. Eligible buyers may also receive a cash refund with Clever Cash Back.
Faira isn’t the only real estate company that offers discounted commission rates, so compare your options! Read on to learn about Faira alternatives that offer lower listing fees, better service quality, or both.
What Companies Offer the Lowest Real Estate Commission Fees?: Faira One’s listing fee is cheap, but how does it stack up against the competition? Find out which discount service charges the lowest commission rates.
Top Real Estate Agents in Seattle (Updated for 2021): We’ve crunched the numbers and found the BEST real estate agents in Seattle, WA. See the rankings here!
Discount Real Estate Brokers and Agents: Everything You Need to Know: Selling with a discount real estate broker like Faira Real Estate is often a very different experience from using a conventional realtor. Learn more about how discount brokers work.
Clever Real Estate: Must-See Reviews: Whether you’re buying or selling, Clever can help you find top-rated realtors in your area. Learn how its free agent-matching service can help you find full-service agents who charge just $3,000 or 1%.
FAQs about Faira Real Estate
What is Faira?
Faira is a discount real estate brokerage that advertises low commission rates for home sellers in Washington state. Selling somewhere else, or just want to compare your options? Find the best low cost real estate companies near you!
How does Faira Real Estate work?
Faira offers home sellers cheap real estate commission rates to attract a larger number of customers. It claims it gives sellers "everything" they need, but Faira reviews suggest the company compensates for its low rates by charging hidden fees and providing limited support compared to traditional realtors. See how Faira stacks up against the competition.
How does Faira make money?
Faira advertises "free" listing fees for home sellers, then upsells them on "premium" features like support from a real estate agent. It also makes money by charging additional fees that make its actual commission rates MUCH more expensive than they initially appear. Many of Faira's top competitors offer better savings with fewer tradeoffs. Find the top low-fee brokerages here.
Who can list on Faira?
To list on Faira, you must be selling a house in Washington state. Faira used to serve home sellers in Arizona and California too, but it no longer operates in those states. Selling somewhere else? Find 1% commission realtors near you!