⚠️ EDITOR’S NOTE
Reali’s business model has changed quite a bit since we published this review. Some details, like their pricing and service model, are out-of-date.
Reali no longer advertises a 1% listing fee for sellers or home buyer rebates. If you’re looking for a low commission realtor or want to get cash back when you buy a home, check out our guide to the best discount brokerages.
Reali is a discount real estate brokerage that claims it can save home sellers an average of $12,000 in realtor commission. And, as the Reali reviews we’ll cover demonstrate, the potential savings are legit. Depending on your situation, the company’s discounted listing fees could save you up to 30% compared to selling with a traditional realtor.
However, Reali’s low commission rates come with possible tradeoffs. Reali reviews online indicate that you may sacrifice on service quality. Some other discount real estate services may actually provide a better blend of savings and personalized service.
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 never compromise on agent quality or support. Learn how to start saving today!
- Reali advertises a 1% listing fee, as well as commission rebates for buyers
- Reali agents handle up to 5x more customers than traditional realtors, which may result in less personalized support throughout your sale
- Reali is currently only available in California
What Is Reali?
Like other discount real estate brokerages, Reali’s goal is to disrupt the traditional realtor commission model.
In a conventional home sale, most sellers cover a total commission of 5-6% of the sale price, which is split between the two agents who handle the sale: the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.
Reali attempts to deliver the same range of services as traditional realtors — but charge a lot less. Its listing commission rates start as low as 1%, though some sellers pay higher effective rates due to minimum fees and premium options.
Reali currently has licensed agents in four California metro areas:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Francisco
How Does Reali Work?
Reali attracts customers by advertising listing fees that are much cheaper than what traditional, full-price realtors charge. To ensure it remains profitable, the company offsets its discounted fees by:
- Handling more customers per agent (up to 5x as many!)
- Charging minimum fees on homes worth less than $500,000
- Upselling customers on premium listing packages
- Persuading existing clients to use its in-house mortgage service
This approach allows Reali to charge lower commission rates than conventional brokerages, but still provide the same basic range of services.
If you’re selling a more expensive home, Reali’s 1% commission could save you thousands. However, you’ll pay more than 1% if your house sells for less than $500,000. And below $200,000 Reali may cost MORE than a traditional realtor.
|Price Point||Reali Listing Fee||Effective Rate||Savings*|
How much does Reali cost?
When you sell with Reali, the total real estate commission will likely cost 3.5-4% of your home’s sale price. This includes Reali’s 1% listing fee, plus 2.5-3% for the buyer’s agent fee.
|Reali Listing Fee||1% ($5,000 min.)|
|Buyer's Agent Commission||2.5-3%|
Why should you offer such a large buyer’s agent commission rate? As the seller, you’re free to advertise whatever buyer’s agent fee you want after all.
However, while Reali can reduce its listing fee with the cost-cutting measures we mentioned, the industry “standard” for realtor compensation still remains around 2.5-3%.
Average commission rates ARE declining — thanks, in part, to low commission companies like Reali. But if you advertise a lower rate than other sellers in your neighborhood, realtors may avoid your listing — and encourage their buyers to look at the home next door instead.
Reali minimum fees
Although Reali advertises a flat 1% commission, this rate is subject to a minimum fee of $5,000. If you’re selling a less expensive home, this minimum fee could limit your potential savings — or erase them altogether.
Reali vs. Traditional Realtors
On paper, Reali agents provide the same general types of services as traditional realtors. However, Reali’s business model may lead to some noticeable differences in service quality.
Reali agents juggle up to 5x more customers
One of the main reasons it’s cheaper to sell with Reali is that the company expects its agents to work on more transactions at once than traditional realtors.
This high-volume approach may limit your Reali agent’s ability to provide personalized customer service during critical phases of your sale.
After all, if you run into problems or need immediate assistance, you’ll be competing with many more customers for your agent’s attention.
Agent selection is extremely limited
The Reali business model depends on closing more deals with a smaller team than a traditional brokerage. As a result, you’ll have extremely limited options when selecting your agent.
For example, the company’s website shows just a single Reali agent in the entire San Diego area.
In fact, assuming Reali’s Zillow page is up-to-date, it has just 21 agents across all of California. And more than a third of their agents currently have 0 customer reviews.
To guarantee you get the best overall value, we recommend comparing Reali against other realtors or low commission companies in your area.
✍️ Editor’s Note
No matter what company you sell with, it’s important to choose a high-quality agent. That’s particularly true with a discount brokerage like Reali, simply because their agents juggle so many different customers at once.
Saving a few thousand bucks on listing fees is great. But if an overextended agent sells your house for $30,000 less than it’s worth, you’re losing money in the long run!
Our friends at Clever Real Estate can match you with top-rated local agents from major brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. You can interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit.
And since Clever pre-negotiates discounted listing fees of just $3,000 or 1%, you’ll never have to choose between savings and service.
Selling With Reali
In general, selling with Reali should be relatively similar to selling with a conventional real estate agent.
Reali’s 1% commission package — also called the “Essential” plan — includes services and support like:
- Professional photography
- Virtual home tour
- Paid digital advertising
- Open houses (up to two)
- Negotiating with buyers
- Closing coordination
Reali agents typically have a heavier workload than traditional realtors, so they can’t provide quite as much on-the-ground support to each customer. They usually don’t attend home inspections or closings, but they’ll provide in-person support for open houses and some other parts of the process.
In addition to the Essential plan, Reali offers two premium home-selling packages.
Reali’s Concierge service includes enhanced marketing, as well as support for staging your home to help it attract more buyers. For a 2% listing fee ($10,000 minimum), you’ll receive the following add-ons:
- Professional home cleaning
- Home prep guidance
- Staging (up to three rooms)
- Zillow 3D home tour
- Premium digital ads
- Drone photography
- Two additional open houses
Compared to the Essential package, Concierge seems a bit pricey. It costs twice as much as the cheaper plan — approximately $10,000 more on a $1 million home sale.
Most of these “premium” services are relatively inexpensive to purchase individually. And many other discount brokers include things like home prep guidance, 3D home tours, and premium digital ads in their standard listing packages.
If you decide to list with Reali, you’ll likely find it cheaper to opt for the 1% commission plan and hire local contractors for services like professional cleaning and drone photography.
When you’re trying to sell a house and buy a new one simultaneously, the logistics can be tricky. Reali Trade-In simplifies the process — for a price.
If you use Trade-In, Reali will front you the cash to purchase your new home. You can move in immediately, although the company holds the title in its name until you have the funds to purchase it. Meanwhile, your agent will list your home for sale. After it sells, you’ll officially buy your new one from Reali at the original purchase price.
Reali Trade-In sounds extremely convenient, but it comes with several additional costs.
Alongside its 2.5% listing fee, Reali charges rent on your new home until you purchase it back (payments are deferred until your home sells). And since buying the house from Reali adds a separate transaction to the process, you’ll be on the hook for an extra set of closing costs.
Buying With Reali
When you buy with Reali, you’ll have support from a dedicated agent. However, the company manages much of your buying process through the Reali Real Estate app.
You’ll use the app to do things like:
- Browse listings
- Schedule home showings
- Chat with your agent
- Submit and track offers
Unfortunately, the Reali Real Estate app has mixed reviews on Google Play and the App Store. Many users complain that its functionality is limited compared to other options.
Reali commission rebate
Reali also offers savings for home buyers, along with a cash-offer service that may give you an advantage when shopping in competitive markets.
On eligible purchases, Reali refunds buyers up to 1% of the purchase price as a cash-back commission rebate.
Since it’s a cash-back rebate, you’ll receive it after you close on your home and can spend it however you want. Use it to start an emergency fund — or splurge on something more exciting, like a new set of living room furniture!
✍️ Editor’s Note
Home buyer rebates are typically subject to numerous conditions, including state regulations and lender approval. Always ask your mortgage provider and agent about eligibility restrictions before you start the purchase process.
Unfortunately, Reali’s rebate is subject to a minimum commission of $5,000 or 1.5%. Purchases below $250,000 won’t qualify for any cash back. Here’s what you could potentially save at different price points, based on the company’s savings calculator.
|Sale Price||Reali Rebate|
|Up to $249,999||$0|
Reali Cash Offer
With Reali Cash Offer, you can place an all-cash cash offer on a home, even if you don’t have the funds in your bank account.
Making a 100% cash offer helps your bid stand out when you’re in a hot market with lots of competition from other buyers. Sellers find all-cash offers attractive — since they’re not contingent on financing, there’s less risk of the sale falling through. Telling the seller you’ll pay cash increases your odds of being the winning bidder, even if another buyer’s offer comes in slightly above yours.
How does Reali’s Cash Offer service work? As with its Trade-In package, the company will loan you enough money to make an all-cash offer. It will purchase the house on your behalf, then sell it back to you at the original price once you get a mortgage.
✍️ Editor’s Note
Reali markets Cash Offer as a free service, but the company’s website doesn’t specify whether you’ll encounter any additional expenses, such as extra closing costs. Talk to Reali’s team and read the fine print to make sure you’re 100% clear on the program’s terms and conditions — and to avoid nasty surprises later on.
Using Reali Loans
Reali Loans is Reali’s in-house mortgage lender. The company launched its lending division in 2019 when it acquired online mortgage startup Lenda.
Reali Loans underwrites conventional home loans for both new purchases and refinances. Its biggest benefit is that it does not charge origination fees. However, the company offers a limited number of loan products. For example, it does not currently support FHA, VA, or USDA-backed loans.
Reali Loans locations
Although Reali Real Estate only operates in California, Reali Loans is currently licensed in 11 states.
Reali reviews are generally positive, with an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars across Google, Trustpilot, and Zillow. Reali’s streamlined customer service model allows it to charge much lower listing fees than traditional, full-price real estate brokerages. However, it’s not right for everyone.
Weigh Reali pros and cons carefully to determine whether it’s your best option, or if another low commission real estate company provides better value.
Pro: Commission savings for buyers and sellers
Most Reali customers choose it for its 1% commission rate or home buyer rebate. According to online Reali reviews, those potential savings are genuine.
Reali tends to be the best fit for people selling desirable homes in competitive markets. When there’s so much demand that homes are “selling themselves,” you may not need as much personalized attention as you’d expect from a traditional realtor.
The following buyer had a generally positive experience with Reali too. They encountered some communication issues — a common complaint in Reali reviews — but they ultimately felt that the commission rebate more than compensated for the service quality challenges.
Pro: Cash Offer program gives buyers an advantage
When you use Reali’s Cash Offer or Trade-In programs, Reali lends you enough money to put an all-cash offer on the home you want to purchase.
As this Reali review illustrates, being able to submit cash offers may give you an advantage over buyers whose bids are contingent on getting approved for a mortgage.
However, using these services may cost more than a traditional home purchase, and Reali doesn’t do a great job of explaining that on their website. This customer felt that the company failed to tell her about additional Trade-In package fees.
Con: Overextended agents may provide less-than-stellar service
To make up for the company’s cheap listing fees, Reali agents shoulder a much heavier workload than the average realtor. They still provide the same basic services — at least on paper — but they may not have the bandwidth to give you as much personalized guidance.
As this Reali complaint indicates, the light-touch service model may not be a great fit for sellers with complicated situations.
This buyer also had a disappointing experience with a Reali agent. After encountering multiple problems, they wanted to pick a different realtor. Unfortunately, they didn’t feel like they had much of a choice since they’d already started the buying process.
Con: Agent quality varies — and you have limited options
Many positive Reali reviews praise the quality of individual agents, but there are plenty of complaints too.
The reality is that you’ll find mixed agent quality at any real estate brokerage. And everyone’s going to hit it off with some agents better than others.
Unfortunately, Reali doesn’t give you many choices when it comes to selecting your realtor. It has less than two dozen agents across all of California, and some metros have just one agent.
If finding the right agent is a top priority, it’s a good idea to compare your options! Our friends at Clever offer a free service that connects you with full-service local realtors who will sell your home for just $3,000 or 1%.
Reali Loans Reviews
For the most part, Reali Loans reviews are positive. Satisfied customers often comment on the “smooth” online application process.
However, much like Reali’s brokerage division, negative Reali Loans reviews consistently call out poor communication, which can make the experience more frustrating than it should be.
Top Reali Alternatives
Although Reali costs less than a traditional realtor at most price points, it comes with some tradeoffs. Depending on your needs and unique circumstances, you may find better savings, service quality — or both — with one of these Reali competitors.
|Company||Average Rating||Locations||Listing Fee||Buyer Incentives||Average Savings*|
|Reali||4.6 (615 reviews)||CA||$5,000 or 1%||Yes||$6,375|
|Clever||4.9 (1,512 reviews)||Nationwide||$3,000 or 1%||Yes||$7,375|
|Redfin||3.9 (416 reviews)||Nationwide (select markets)||1.5% (min. fees vary)||Yes||$5,550|
|Prevu||5 (278 reviews)||CA, CT, MA, NY, PA||1.5% (min. fees vary)||Yes||$2,450|
Reali only has a handful of agents in most California markets. Depending on your situation, it may be difficult to find one who’s a good fit. If agent quality is your top priority, you’ll have a lot more options with Redfin agents. However, Redfin’s 1.5% commission rate is more expensive than Reali at most price points.
Prevu is a discount real estate brokerage that recently expanded into the Los Angeles area. It advertises a 1.5% listing fee, as well as one of the larger home buyer rebates available in California. Unfortunately, it comes with many of the same tradeoffs as Reali, including limited agent selection and a customer service approach that’s relatively hands-off.
3. Clever Real Estate
Clever is a free agent-matching service that offers big commission savings WITHOUT the compromises on agent selection and service quality that come with Reali’s business model.
It 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.
What states does Reali service?
At present, Reali Real Estate serves only one state: California. If Reali isn't available in your area, check out our rankings of the best low commission companies to find a low cost realtor near you.
Is Reali legit?
Yes, Reali Real Estate is a legitimate company. It's licensed as a real estate brokerage in California. Online Reali reviews confirm that its advertised savings are genuine, too. However, customers may encounter some service quality tradeoffs compared to selling with a traditional brokerage. Compare Reali against other 1% commission realtors.
How does Reali work?
Reali Real Estate charges home sellers a flat 1% commission rate, subject to a minimum fee of $5,000. The company offsets its discounted rates by requiring its agents to handle up to 5x more transactions than the average real estate agent. Find other 1% commission real estate agents in your area.
Looking to sell a house in California without breaking the bank? Read on to learn about alternatives to Reali, as well as the other costs you’ll encounter during your home-selling journey.
What Companies Offer the Lowest Real Estate Commission Fees?: Reali’s listing fees are cheap, but how do they stack up against the competition? Find out which discount service charges the lowest commission rates.
Top Real Estate Agents in San Diego (Updated for 2022): We’ve combed through the data and identified the BEST real estate agents in San Diego, CA. See the rankings here!
Cost to Sell a House in California: Seller Closing Costs and More: We crunched the numbers to discover how much it REALLY costs to sell a house in The Golden State. See the data here.
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%.