We strive to deliver objective reviews. The Real Estate Witch team and its mystery shoppers spent a collective 1,400+ hours over a six-week period testing and researching agent matching services. Our goal is to help you find an agent who can get you the best possible value when you buy or sell your home.
What is FastExpert?
FastExpert is an online real estate agent directory with a free service that connects home buyers and sellers with realtors.
Beyond providing a list of realtors in your general area, FastExpert’s agent matching service doesn’t offer much value — there’s no quality control for agents, its website is difficult to navigate, agents spam customers with calls and emails, and it doesn’t offer discounts.
Alternative agent matching services offer better service and more value. Our friends at Clever, for example, pre-negotiate discounted commission rates with Clever’s network of top-rated local realtors. Sellers can list with Clever for $3,000 or 1% instead of the typical 2.5-3% rate. Eligible buyers can get 0.5% of their home’s purchase price in cash back after closing. That’s $2,000 on a $400,000 home.
- FastExpert is a quick way to get introduced to several local realtors.
- Agents in the FastExpert network don’t need to meet minimum criteria. Because of this, agent quality is hit or miss.
- Agents can pay for FastExpert referrals. Customers may be matched with the highest bidder rather than the agent who best meets their needs.
- With no built-in savings, FastExpert offers minimal value to home buyers and sellers. We recommend checking out alternative agent matching services that provide cost savings.
Is FastExpert legitimate?
Yes, FastExpert is a licensed brokerage in California. All agent matching services must be licensed to collect fees from realtors, which is how they make money.
FastExpert claims it has 43,000 agents in its network and has served 400,000 home buyers and sellers since launching in 2014. However, almost no FastExpert reviews from past customers can be found online, which seems suspicious. You’d think at least a handful of 400,000 customers would have bothered to leave a review somewhere!
FastExpert is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, with an A+ rating.
Though FastExpert is a licensed and legitimate company, some of its business practices warrant alarm from potential customers.
🚨 Agents can pay to get more matches
FastExpert offers agents who join its network a paid option to upgrade their account.
Agents who choose this pay-for-play service are highlighted with a “Featured Agent” badge when a buyer or seller searches for a realtor in their area. FastExpert promises these agents more visibility and twice as many leads.
We’re not fans of paid upgrade opportunities like this because they mislead customers. Home buyers and sellers assume they’re paired with an agent because they’re best suited to help them, not because they shelled out the most money.
The Featured Agent badges and greater prominence FastExpert gives paying agents makes customers think these agents are better qualified to serve them and, in many cases, they’re not.
🚨 No quality control for agents
Most agent matching services have minimum criteria agents must meet to join their network. This includes things like:
- Number of years’ experience
- Number of deals closed annually
- Positive customer rating on Zillow.com
- Current licensing
These requirements ensure agents have the experience it takes to drive successful outcomes for the buyers and sellers they serve.
However, any agent can join the FastExpert network. The company has no prerequisites for membership.
This means your agent matches may not be top performers in your neighborhood. Instead, they may be mediocre agents in your general area mining for clients.
🚨 Excessive, spammy outreach from agents
Most agent matching services pair you with 1-3 agents. FastExpert may match you with a dozen agents or more.
You will receive calls, emails, and texts from most of your agent matches (who are very eager to earn your business). This can be overwhelming with three matches. With 12, you’ll want to change your name and number!
One of our mystery shoppers continued to receive calls from their FastExpert agent matches for more than a month after signing up.
How does FastExpert work?
You can sign up for FastExpert by answering a few straightforward questions on FastExpert’s website, such as your price range and desired property location.
Immediately after signing up, you’ll receive a list of a few agent matches and a link to a customer dashboard where you can view more information about your matches. We recommend doing some independent research to confirm your agents’ qualifications, since FastExpert doesn’t seem to vet its agents.
Within the hour, a FastExpert rep will call you to learn more about your needs. The rep uses this information to curate additional matches, which they send you in 24 hours or fewer.
As soon as you receive agent matches, the agents begin contacting you.
From this point on, you can connect directly with your agent matches. If you decide to work with one, a rep from FastExpert will continue to touch base and ensure your transaction progresses smoothly.
If you’re not happy with any of your matches, you can ask your FastExpert rep for more. You can also choose to walk away — there’s no obligation to work with a FastExpert agent once you’ve signed up.
What is 3Best?
FastExpert also does business under the name 3Best. The sign-up process for 3Best is similar to that of FastExpert.
Once you’ve signed up for 3Best, all of the communication you receive is from FastExpert, from the welcome email to the customer dashboard.
We’re not sure how the company currently differentiates these services or if it has plans to.
How much does FastExpert cost?
FastExpert is free for home buyers and sellers — all agent matching services are.
But if you’re selling, you’ll still have to cover the agents’ commissions, which typically amount to 5-6% of the home sale price. Half generally goes to your listing agent, and half goes to the buyer’s agent.
Alternative agent matching companies offer better service than FastExpert and discounted commission rates.
For example, our friends at Clever have pre-negotiated a 1% listing fee with their agents. Clever gives eligible buyers 0.5% of their home purchase price in cash back after closing.
How does FastExpert make money?
FastExpert makes money by charging the agents in its network a referral fee, which is a percentage of the commission they make on deals they close for buyers and sellers referred to them through FastExpert. All agent matching services make money by charging agents referral fees.
FastExpert also charges agents for its premium membership option that promises greater visibility and more customer leads.
Additionally, FastExpert has a directory of home-related service providers on its website, including loan officers, interior designers, handymen, and cleaning people. FastExpert presumably makes money by referring customers to these service providers as well.
✍️ Editor’s Note
Always evaluate any service provider and comparison shop before signing on the dotted line. If you decide to use FastExpert to find a realtor, don’t assume the loan officers it recommends will also meet your needs. Do your due diligence and research at least 2-3 options to find the best fit for you.
Why do agents work with companies like FastExpert?
Agent matching services like FastExpert provide a low-cost, low-risk way for realtors to grow their businesses.
Real estate is a competitive field; most agents devote substantial time, energy, and resources to attract new customers. FastExpert delivers a stream of new customers so agents can spend less time and money on marketing their services.
Since agents only pay FastExpert on deals that actually close, it’s less risky than conventional marketing methods, which may cost a lot up front and net zero customers or closed deals.
FastExpert’s referral fees are affordable enough for agents to pay them and still turn an attractive profit on the deals they score through the service.
FastExpert reviews: Major benefits and drawbacks
Almost no FastExpert reviews from past buyers or sellers exist online. This is strange, especially considering the company claims to have connected more than 400,000 customers with agents over 6+ years in business.
Most alternative agent matching services have hundreds of reviews online. We’re not sure what’s going on with the lack of FastExpert reviews, but we put our team of mystery shoppers on the job to fill in the blanks.
Overall, we think FastExpert isn’t worth your time. Our shoppers’ agent matches were off-base, the FastExpert website was hard to use, and the company doesn’t offer discounts or rebates for customers.
Plenty of alternative agent matching services provide better value and superior service. We suggest you give one of them a try instead of FastExpert.
FastExpert pros and cons
✅ Easy sign-up; agent matches come quickly
The sign-up process for FastExpert is simple — just answer a few straightforward questions on the company’s website.
Some agent matches come immediately. Additional tailored matches come within a day, personalized by your FastExpert rep after a phone call.
While the speed and convenience of FastExpert are helpful, these qualities aren’t unique to the company. Most agent matching companies deliver the same benefit.
✅ Informative customer dashboard
FastExpert provides a dashboard for customers where they can view their agent matches and learn more about them, including:
- Agent bio
- Average price point
- Customer reviews
- Map of recent sales in the area
- Years of experience
The dashboard also has a place to ask questions of FastExpert’s reps or request that an agent contact you.
FastExpert’s dashboard helps customers streamline their research and compare potential agents. It delivers most of the information you need to make an informed choice in one place.
⚠️ Ample agent matches mean a lot of selection
Therefore, FastExpert may have better agent coverage for those in smaller towns or rural areas than some other brands with smaller networks. But just because FastExpert has agents in your area doesn’t mean they’re any good. Because any agent can join FastExpert’s network, there’s zero guarantee when it comes to quality.
FastExpert matched our shoppers with 7-12 agents each. Most other agent matching services provide 2-3 matches.
While it might seem good to have 7-12 matches to choose from, it actually gives you more work to research and compare each one. We think 2-3 matches is the sweet spot — you have some selection, but it’s not overwhelming to research and interview each agent.
Additionally, most of your FastExpert agent matches reach out to you via phone, text, and email trying to land you as a client. We appreciate it when agents reach out proactively and express interest in your business. But having a dozen agents blowing up your phone is super annoying.
⛔️ No commission discounts for sellers or savings for buyers
FastExpert doesn’t offer any cost savings for home sellers or buyers. Alternative agent matching services (like our friends at Clever) do.
Clever has pre-negotiated a 1% commission rate (or $3,000 for home sales under $350,000) with the agents in its network. On a $400,000 home sale, you’ll save $8,000 with Clever.
Clever also offers eligible buyers Clever Cash Back — a check for 0.5% of their home sale price after closing. If you buy a $400,000 home with a Clever agent, you’ll get a check for $2,000, which will definitely come in handy when you’re moving to a new place.
⛔️ Website is glitchy and outdated
The FastExpert website isn’t user friendly.
While most websites are automatically customized based on the location data you’ve entered, FastExpert displays strange results for random locales. For example, one shopper based in North Carolina saw site results customized for Tacoma, WA and San Antonio, TX.
We encountered many broken links on the site and search boxes that didn’t work. FastExpert’s inability to maintain a functional website didn’t instill confidence in our shoppers.
It’s challenging to even find the FastExpert agent matching service when visiting the company’s website. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and select “Home Selling Tips” or “Home Buying Tips” to find the place to sign up.
This isn’t exactly intuitive! Other agent matching companies have more user-friendly websites to make finding a high-quality realtor simple.
⛔️ Agent matches aren’t qualified or targeted
Our shoppers weren’t impressed with some of their agent matches.
One shopper received a match with an alleged 40 years of experience but only one sale. Other shoppers got matches without much experience and no recent sales. Some got matches specializing in rural properties when they were selling in the suburbs.
FastExpert doesn’t seem to do any customization when providing agent matches. You just get whatever agents have signed up in your general area.
Additionally, Featured Agents ranked above other agents when they definitely weren’t better matches for our shoppers. For example, one shopper was matched with a highly ranked Featured Agent who was located outside the town where they were looking when there were plenty of other agents with strong experience in that town. But that agent ranked lower because they hadn’t paid for a Featured Agent listing.
We learned that another way for agents to improve their ranking on FastExpert is to regularly update their profile on the platform. While this may benefit FastExpert, we’re not sure how it matters to customers.
It really doesn’t seem like providing the best agent match for home buyers and sellers is FastExpert’s priority.
Top FastExpert alternatives in 2021
Clever Real Estate
Clever Real EstateFULL REVIEW
- List for $3,000 or 1%
- Up to 0.5% cash back for buyers
- Helpful, licensed Concierge
Clever is a free, no-obligation service that matches home sellers and buyers with top-rated, local real estate agents nationwide. Unlike most of its competitors, Clever pre-negotiates big discounts with its agent network, so customers land major savings! Sellers can save up to 50% on realtor commission fees. Buyers can qualify for 0.5% of their purchase price back after closing.
- Partners with full-service agents from top brokerages like Century 21 and RE/MAX
- Provides multiple agent matches so you can compare and choose the best fit
- Pre-negotiates low rates with agent network
- As with most agent matching services, customers may have fewer agent options in certain rural areas
Clever is a free service that connects you with local real estate agents it has vetted to ensure they’re top performers in your local area.
Clever provides 2-3 tailored matches per customer, as opposed to FastExpert’s sprawling lists of agents.
Best of all, Clever pre-negotiates commission savings with the agents in its network to save you money. Sellers can list their homes for $3,000 (or 1% on homes that sell for more than $350,000).
Eligible buyers receive Clever Cash Back upon closing, equal to 0.5% of their home sale price.
- Agents compete for your business
- Potential commission discount
- May offer buyer rebate
UpNest calls itself a “real estate agent marketplace” because agents compete for your business through its platform. After you sign up on UpNest’s website, local agents will submit proposals for you to review. Because they’re competing with one another, they’re incentivized to lower their rates to make their proposals more attractive. While this may drive savings, they may not be significant — particularly in less competitive markets. And unlike some other brands, the savings aren’t actually guaranteed.
- Agents compete for your business, which can drive savings
- Platform allows customers to easily shop around for the best agent match
- Discounts are not guaranteed and may be minimal
If commission savings sound good to you, UpNest is worth checking out. UpNest’s model is a “real estate marketplace” where agents bid for your business by submitting proposals.
Most of the time, UpNest’s agents will reduce their commission rates or offer a rebate to make their proposals more enticing to buyers and sellers. However, the savings you’ll score on UpNest aren’t guaranteed, and usually pretty minimal.
UpNest’s customer dashboard provides helpful information, which allows customers to compare agents and make an informed choice.
Ideal AgentFULL REVIEW
- List for 2%
- Limited agent network
- Licensed, helpful concierge
Ideal Agent can match you with a top-rated local realtor who has agreed to offer full service for a discounted 2% listing fee. Ideal Agent has strict standards for its agent network, claiming it only works with agents whose sales numbers are in the top 1% of their local markets. Notably, Ideal Agent only provides customers with one agent match, so if comparing options is important to you, it might not be a good choice. And while it does offer built-in savings for sellers, they’re not as significant as those offered by some top competitors, like Clever.
- Offers some built-in savings for home sellers
- Sets high performance standards for its agent network
- Offers a discounted 2.5% buyer’s agent commission, which might disincentivize realtors from showing your home to clients
- Only matches you with one agent
- Its limited network size may mean spotty coverage in smaller towns and rural areas
Unlike FastExpert, Ideal Agent has stringent guidelines for agents who join its network. They must be among the top 1% sales performers in their local area and close a high number of deals annually.
Ideal Agent provides some commission savings. Sellers can list for an overall 4.5% commission rate, compared to the typical 5-6%.
Ideal Agent only provides a single agent match opposed to FastExpert’s many. If you try Ideal Agent, we recommend doing so alongside another agent matching service or a DIY search to ensure you’re able to pick the one that’s the right fit for you.
The bottom line: Should I work with FastExpert?
Don’t waste your time with FastExpert. With no agent vetting or match customization, there’s really no point.
We especially dislike that unqualified agents can pay for matches and featured placement, which misleads customers.
Plenty of other good agent matching companies exist. We think you should give Clever a try — not only does it provide a better service overall, but you’ll land significant savings!
How to Choose a Realtor: Not sure where to start when shopping for a real estate agent? This guide will point you in the right direction.
How Does a 3% Real Estate Commission Work?: Need help understanding realtor commissions? This article explains it all.
Top 10 Low Commission Real Estate Agents + Companies: These businesses will save you money when selling your home.
How much does FastExpert cost?
FastExpert is free for buyers and sellers. However, you'll still have to pay agent commissions, which are 5-6% of the sale price.
How does FastExpert work?
FastExpert connects home buyers and sellers with local real estate agents. Reviews suggest other agent matching companies provide better customer service and lower commission rates.