What is Ideal Agent? | Ideal Agent reviews: Pros and cons | How it works | Top alternatives | Is it worth it? | FAQ
Ideal Agent reviews summary
Ideal Agent has mostly positive reviews online, with an overall 4.9/5 rating across nearly 6,000 reviews. The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.
Our review of Ideal Agent recognizes the company’s high-quality agent network. The agents and concierge team are knowledgeable and competent.
However, Ideal Agent falls short in a few key areas:
- The company matches customers with only one agent.
- Seller discounts are limited.
- There are no built-in savings for buyers.
Ideal Agent is a solid agent matching service, but most buyers and sellers can find a better deal elsewhere.
Our #1 Ideal Agent alternative
Clever Real Estate is the best alternative to Ideal Agent. Like Ideal Agent, Clever matches you with full-service real estate agents from top brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX.
But Clever also offers more savings for home sellers and cash back for eligible buyers. And unlike Ideal Agent, Clever gives you multiple agents to choose from so you can find the best fit.
💰 Find top local agents, get a 1.5% listing fee with Clever!
What is Ideal Agent?
Ideal Agent is an agent matching service that pairs sellers and buyers with top local real estate agents. While it offers some discounts for home sellers and generally has good agents, you can find a better deal elsewhere if savings are your main goal.
Here are some key takeaways about Ideal Agent:
- Sellers get a slightly reduced listing fee (2% vs. the typical 3%). Buyers get no savings.
- You get matched with only one real estate agent. Other brands match you with multiple agents.
- The company promises that all of its agents are in the top 1% in sales in their local markets.
Similar services match you with a top local agent, but they also provide better savings — and they give you more agents to compare.
How does Ideal Agent work?
Signing up for Ideal Agent is quick and easy. Simply fill out a form on the company’s website, providing basic details.
If you’re a seller, these details include:
- Property type (e.g., condo or single-family home)
- Estimated property value
- When you’re hoping to sell by
- Your contact information
If you’re a buyer, these details include:
- Your budget
- Your contact information
Within a few minutes of submitting the form, an Ideal Agent concierge will reach out via phone and email. During the phone call, the concierge will explain the benefits of the service, provide the name of a real estate agent, and highlight the agent’s experience and accomplishments.
After the call, you’ll receive an email with the agent’s name and contact details. Your agent will then reach out to learn more about your needs.
Note: Ideal Agent won’t provide an agent match until you speak to a concierge over the phone. The concierge team also communicates via text and email as well, but that outreach is mostly to set up a phone call. If you don’t like speaking on the phone, this service might not be for you.
» MORE: How we rate Ideal Agent’s agent matches
Ideal Agent fees and savings
Ideal Agent pre-negotiates commission discounts with its real estate agents on your behalf.
Its partner agents agree to sell your home for a 2% commission compared to the current industry average of 2.72%. You’ll still have to pay the full buyer’s agent commission, typically 2.5–3%. But with Ideal Agent, you’ll pay about 4.5–5% in total commissions rather than the conventional 5–6%.
|Fee||Ideal Agent||Traditional agent|
|Buyer's agent fee||2.5–3%||2.5–3%|
The potential savings are significant: on a $400,000 home sale, you could save $2,000–4,000. But it’s worth noting that some of Ideal Agent’s competitors offer bigger discounts without sacrificing service or agent quality.
For example, here’s the difference in potential savings between Ideal Agent and Clever:
|Listing fee||$6,000 (1.5%)||$8,000 (2%)|
|Buyer’s agent fee||$12,000 (3%)||$12,000 (3%)|
|Total commission||$18,000 (4.5%)||$20,000 (5%)|
Working with Clever means you’ll get a full-service, top-quality real estate agent for less. Clever pre-negotiates a 1.5% listing commission, compared to Ideal Agent’s 2%. You’ll get the same service, plus thousands more in savings!
How does Ideal Agent make money?
Ideal Agent makes money by taking a percentage of its partner agents’ commission. This is called a referral fee, and it’s how all agent matching services make money.
Is Ideal Agent available near me?
While Ideal Agent is available nationwide, its coverage is spotty. The company has only 2,000 agents in its network, so there are many areas of the U.S. it doesn’t cover, especially outside of major metropolitan areas. If you’re looking for a discount broker near you, you can find alternative brands with much better coverage.
Ideal Agent reviews: Pros, cons, and our experience
|✅ Pros||⛔️ Cons|
|Highly qualified agents||Limited savings for sellers|
|Dedicated, helpful customer service||You only get a single agent match|
|Agent match quality is inconsistent|
|No savings for buyers|
Ideal Agent reviews are mostly positive, with an average customer rating of 4.9/5 out of 5,842 reviews.
Our research team mystery shopped Ideal Agent, and we were generally pleased with the quality of service we received. We found that the company sets high performance standards so that only the best real estate agents can join.
Additionally, Ideal Agent’s concierges are highly qualified and knowledgeable. Each concierge is a licensed agent, so they’re legally allowed to provide advice about your real estate transaction.
However, the company fell short in several key areas:
- It offers only one agent match per customer.
- Commission discounts for sellers are limited.
- There are no built-in savings for buyers.
If you’re looking for an agent matching service that delivers maximum value, we recommend checking out alternatives — particularly Clever Real Estate. Clever offers the same service, but it provides more agents to choose from and bigger savings for sellers and buyers.
Here are the major pros and cons to help you determine whether Ideal Agent might be a good fit.
✅ Highly qualified agents
Ideal Agent sets a high bar in terms of agent quality. Agents in its network must:
- Have a minimum of five years of experience
- Have a minimum of 25 reviews on Zillow or Realtor.com with a 4.9-star rating or above
- Have closed at least 100 transactions in the last 12 months in large markets (or 50 in smaller markets)
- Be a member of the National Association of Realtors
- Be in the top 1% in local sales
The company does a thorough job of checking agents’ credentials before allowing them to join its network. An Ideal Agent representative told us it rejects 90% of agents who apply, ensuring only the best real estate agents join. This standard isn’t typical of larger competitors, like HomeLight, and made our shoppers feel confident in any realtor the service matched them with.
📌 Important note: Just because an agent meets quantitative criteria doesn’t mean they’re the best agent for you. Consider other factors, including personality and experience with your neighborhood, price range, and property type.
Many reviews agree that Ideal Agent’s agents are top quality.
✅ Dedicated, helpful concierge
Ideal Agent’s concierges are knowledgeable and helpful when answering questions. All of its concierges are licensed real estate agents. In fact, one of our shoppers’ concierges had been an agent for 20+ years.
In each of our shoppers’ experiences, a dedicated concierge handled all communication between the shopper and the company.
Having one point of contact means your concierge will be familiar with your situation, and you won’t have to re-explain your needs to several concierges.
Sometimes, with competing agent matching services, our shoppers interfaced with three or more concierges and were confused about who was doing what. This wasn’t the case with Ideal Agent.
Concierges generally communicated via text, email, and phone and responded promptly on all three channels.
Reviewers agree that the concierge team is effective.
⛔️ Limited savings for sellers
Ideal Agent pre-negotiates a 2% listing commission with partner agents, about 0.5–1% less than the typical rate. Other companies offer higher discounts.
Here are the listing fees that alternative brands offer:
|Ideal Agent||2% (min. fee $3,000)|
|Clever Real Estate||1.5% (min. fee $3,000)|
|Redfin||1.5% (min. fees vary)|
|UpNest||Varies. 2.2% on average.|
While any discount is nice, sellers can save more with other discount brands and get the same or similar service. If savings are your priority, we suggest comparing Ideal Agent to other low commission brokers.
For example, Clever pre-negotiates a 1.5% listing commission with its network, and it offers matches with top-performing agents just like Ideal Agent does. Why work with a company that charges more for the same service?
⛔️ Single agent match
Ideal Agent provides customers with only one agent match. The company claims it doesn’t want to overwhelm you with communication from several agents.
It’s never a good idea to sign with the first and only agent you speak to. You’ll want to interview at least two or three agents to determine the best fit. A typical agent matching service will provide two or three agent matches up front.
We assumed that if our shoppers requested a different agent, Ideal Agent would oblige. Instead, it denied our shoppers’ requests. Ideal Agent really is a take-it-or-leave-it service. We don’t believe this approach sets buyers and sellers up for success — with a qualified agent who fits your situation and can get you the best outcome on your transaction.
✍ Editor’s Note
If you want to try Ideal Agent, consider checking it out alongside another agent matching service. That way, you’ll have a handful of qualified agents to review and interview. Always do your due diligence before making an important real estate decision.
⛔️ Inconsistent agent match results
While Ideal Agent has many high-quality agents, sometimes it doesn’t offer a good match.
Our mystery shoppers’ opinions differed on the agent matches they received from Ideal Agent. One felt they received an appropriate match with solid experience in their neighborhood.
The other felt their match was likely a high-performing agent, but they had little knowledge of the local area. The agent was located in a major city, and the shopper sought to sell a home in a nearby suburban town. The agent had closed only one deal in that town since 2006, though he had many sales in the city.
Our shopper asked their concierge for another agent closer to the town, since driving into the city for meetings and signings could be inconvenient. They also mentioned a concern with the agent’s lack of experience in the area. The concierge didn’t acknowledge that these concerns were valid and refused to provide another agent match until our shopper gave the original match a shot.
We wonder if agent coverage may be uneven in certain areas due to the company’s relatively small agent network, limiting match options.
Other customers have been dissatisfied with the quality of their agent match.
⛔️ No buyer savings
Ideal Agent isn’t a buyer-focused company. It doesn’t offer savings for buyers, and there’s no place for buyers to sign up online (though representatives confirmed Ideal Agent does work with buyers).
If you’re looking for a way to save money when purchasing a home, Ideal Agent won’t be a good fit.
The good news: Similar services offer potential savings for home buyers. Clever Real Estate, for example, gives eligible buyers up to $500 back after closing. That’s some legit cash in hand just for buying with Clever!
Ideal Agent vs. top alternatives
Ideal Agent has plenty going for it, especially discounts for sellers and high-quality real estate agents. But it doesn’t particularly stand out among similar 2% commission companies.
Some alternative brands offer equally good agents but bigger discounts. Or they have more agents for you to choose from, especially outside of major cities.
Here’s how Ideal Agent stacks up against some of its biggest competitors:
Clever offers the same quality and more selection for less
Clever Real EstateLearn more
- Listing fee: 1.5% (min. $3,000)
- Available nationwide
- Full service, zero trade-offs
Sellers save an average of $5,625 when they list with Clever, compared to a traditional 3% listing fee.*
*Average savings based on listing fees at four common price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $750,000.
Clever has a 4.9 out of 5 rating (1,995 total reviews) on popular review sites like Google, Facebook, and Trustpilot.
Clever is available to sellers and buyers nationwide.
If you’re looking to sell with a top local realtor for a lower commission rate, Clever Real Estate is your best option.
Both Ideal Agent and Clever match you with great agents from local brokerages. The big difference is that Clever offers even more savings, plus cash back for eligible buyers.
Clever pre-negotiates discounted listing fees of just 1.5% with top agents nationwide, a better rate than Ideal Agent’s 2% listing fee. That means thousands more in your pocket when you sell your home.
Enter your home sale price below to see how much you could save with Clever vs. Ideal Agent:
Another key difference is the number of agent matches. Ideal Agent connects you with only one agent. Clever provides multiple agent matches so you can compare options and choose the best fit.
Selling a house is high-stakes, complex, and stressful. We recommend interviewing at least two — ideally three — agents to ensure you choose the best person for the job. Ideal Agent and Clever are both free to use with no obligation, so there’s no risk in trying both to see how the agents and savings stack up!
HomeLight and other agent matching services have more (but not always better) agents
Largest agent network
- Automated match process
- Impressive localized coverage
- No built-in commission savings
HomeLight is the largest agent matching service in America, with more than 28,000 agents in its network. That means more choice in terms of agents and brokerages relative to its competitors — particularly in rural and small town markets. The agent matching process is fully automated, which makes it a bit more streamlined but also comes with some quality risks. HomeLight does not offer any kind of commission savings for home sellers or buyers.
- Well-known and established agent matching service
- More choice in terms of agents and brokerages
- May offer better coverage in small towns and rural markets
- Does not pre-negotiate savings for customers
- Process is 100% automated — lack of human oversight can result in bad matches
- Many customer reviews cite unsolicited calls and spam emails after signing up on the HomeLight website
Sellers who are just looking to compare agents fast and aren’t worried about savings.
100 First St., Ste. 2600
San Francisco, CA 94105
While Ideal Agent technically operates nationwide, it has a lot fewer real estate agents than most of its competitors. HomeLight, for example, has 70,000 agents in its network compared to Ideal Agent’s 2,000.
However, HomeLight has almost no screening process, which allows it to build a larger (but not necessarily better) agent network.
When considering agent matching services, you’ll want to weigh both agent quality and network size. A smaller network means that some areas will have few or even no agents to choose from. If you live outside of a major metropolitan area, Ideal Agent may not have any local agents for you.
Another problem with a small agent network is that you might not get matched with several agents. We suspect Ideal Agent’s small network is why it matches you with only one agent, as opposed to alternative brands that let you choose from several local realtors.
Redfin and other discount brands offer bigger savings
- Listing fee: 1.5% (min. fees vary)
- Available in 80+ U.S. markets
- Listings featured on Redfin app
Sellers save an average of $5,541 when they list with Redfin, compared to a traditional 3% listing fee.*
*Average savings based on listing fees at four common price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $750,000.
*Accounts for Redfin’s average minimum fee across all U.S. markets.
Redfin has a 3.7 out of 5 rating (301 total reviews) on popular review sites like Google, Yelp, and Consumer Affairs.
Redfin is available in 80+ U.S. markets, giving it near-nationwide coverage.
Ideal Agent is one of a handful of brands that negotiates discounted listing fees for sellers. Ideal Agent’s listing fee is 2% compared to the industry average of 2.72%. While any savings are good, other brands offer bigger discounts while still providing customers with full service.
Redfin, for example, offers a discounted listing fee of 1.5% — plus a 0.5% refund if you sell and buy with Redfin. Clever, meanwhile, offers a 1.5% listing fee and cash back after closing for eligible buyers.
These aren’t the only brands offering better rates than Ideal Agent. If you’re selling a high-value home and are comfortable taking on most of the sale process yourself, a flat-fee brand may offer even more savings.
To learn more about how you can save on real estate commission when you sell your house, we recommend reading our list of real estate companies that offer the lowest commission.
Is Ideal Agent a legitimate business?
Yes, Ideal Agent is a legitimate company. It is a licensed real estate brokerage in Florida. Agent matching services like Ideal Agent must be licensed to collect payment from agents they work with, which is how they make money.
IdealAgent.com reviews are generally favorable, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5,842 reviews (read Ideal Agent reviews). The company is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
CEO Steve Johnston founded Ideal Agent in 2016. Johnston previously started other similar companies in the real estate industry. Ideal Agent is currently funded by private investors.
Ideal Agent only has 2,000 agents in its nationwide network, which is considerably smaller than its competitors (HomeLight, a top competitor, has 70,000). However, Ideal Agent claims it’s created a more exclusive network. It rejects 90% of agents who apply, according to a company representative we spoke to.
Ideal Agent says admission to its network is by invitation only, though it provides a link to apply on its website. A company representative told us Ideal Agent invites the top 1% of realtors to join, determined by regional sales volume. As far as we can tell, Ideal Agent adheres to its strict criteria for agent performance, which is rare in the agent matching space.
Bottom line: Is Ideal Agent worth it?
Ideal Agent is worth considering because it offers savings for sellers and the quality of its agents is generally high. However, alternative brands offer even better savings without sacrificing quality. And if you’re a buyer, Ideal Agent doesn’t offer you any savings, so you’re better off looking elsewhere.
For example, brands like Clever Real Estate and Redfin provide lower listing fees for sellers. And, unlike Ideal Agent, they also provide savings for eligible buyers.
Clever charges just a 1.5% listing fee compared to Ideal Agent’s 2%. And, just like Ideal Agent, Clever’s agents are pre-vetted local experts. In other words, you’ll save thousands more with Clever while still getting a top-rated, full-service real estate agent.
Ideal Agent: Company info
|Public or private company?||Private|
Is Ideal Agent really 2%?
Yes, if you sell with an Ideal Agent partner agent, you'll pay a 2% listing fee instead of the standard 2.5–3%. You'll still need to pay the buyer's agent commission, which is 2–3%. In total commission, you'll likely pay 4–6%. We recommend shopping around before committing to Ideal Agent. Other brands offer even better savings without sacrificing quality. Find the top discount brands available near you!
Is Ideal Agent a scam?
No, Ideal Agent is a legitimate company and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. It generally has positive customer reviews and can save sellers some money on real estate commission. However, Ideal Agent doesn’t offer the best savings. Other discount brands have even steeper discounts. Compare the best low commission brokers near you!
What are the biggest Ideal Agent complaints?
The biggest Ideal Agent complaints include a lack of agents in some markets, especially outside of major metropolitan areas. Ideal Agent also doesn't let you choose between different agents. You get one choice, take it or leave it. Finally, some customers say they're disappointed with the lack of buyer savings. If you're buying and looking to save, consider other discount brands that offer buyer rebates.
How much does Ideal Agent cost?
Ideal Agent is free for home buyers and sellers, like all agent matching services. The company makes money by charging realtors a 25% referral fee.
Is Ideal Agent worth it?
Yes. Ideal Agent is free for buyers and sellers, and it provides a small commission discount for sellers. However, other agent matching services offer bigger savings.
What do Ideal Agent reviews and ratings say?
Most Ideal Agent reviews are positive. The company receives high marks for qualified real estate agents and customer service. Ideal Agent customer complaints focus on the inconsistent quality of agent matches.
Why do real estate agents work with Ideal Agent?
Agents work with Ideal Agent to grow their business. The company and its competitors provide realtors with a steady stream of prospective customers at zero up-front cost, so agents don't have to spend a lot of time and money to attract new customers. Agents earn less on each deal, but they get more deals with less risk and still turn a profit.
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