What is UpNest?
UpNest is an online real estate company that matches home buyers and sellers with agents at top local brokerages.
Like all agent matching services, UpNest is free and comes with no obligation to use one of its agents. What makes UpNest different is how it offers potential savings. Instead of pre-negotiating a discounted commission, the company aims to drive down fees by having agents compete for your business.
Some UpNest customers save more money than others — and some don’t get a discounted rate.
If your main priority is connecting with a shortlist of quality local agents, UpNest is a good choice. But if your top priority is saving money, you might be better off with Redfin. UpNest doesn’t guarantee a discount.
» READ: Our full UpNest review
What is Redfin?
Redfin is one of the biggest discount real estate brokerages in the country. It operates in more than 100 US markets.
Redfin employs its own agents, who charge a 1.5% listing fee — about half of what traditional agents charge. But this reduced fee come at a cost. Redfin agents handle a high volume of customers compared to most agents.
If your biggest priority is saving money, this tech-centric brokerage is a solid choice. But make sure you research individual agents’ ratings and reviews, because sometimes Redfin agents are stretched too thin to offer hands-on support.
» READ: Our full Redfin review
Editor’s take: Clever is the better choice
If you want a quality agent who can also save you money, check out Clever Real Estate.
Like UpNest, Clever is an agent matching service that lets you choose from a pool of top-producing agents from major brokerages. But instead of asking agents to compete for your business, Clever has already negotiated a low 1.5% listing fee — the same rate as Redfin.
There’s no harm in shopping around. You can try UpNest, interview a Redfin agent, and check out Clever. But we recommend Clever for the best of both worlds: discounted rates (like Redfin) and multiple quality agents to choose from (like UpNest).
UpNest vs. Redfin: Detailed breakdown
Redfin offers cost savings, UpNest doesn’t
UpNest doesn’t guarantee savings. The idea is for agents to compete for your business by offering discounted rates, but results vary. On average, sellers pay a 2.2% agent commission with UpNest — just under the standard 2.5–3%.
Buying with UpNest gets you a $150 Amazon gift card. Some buyers also save on agent fees, but that’s up to the agent to offer.
Redfin does guarantee cost savings. Redfin agents charge a 1.5% fee to sellers or a 1% listing fee to customers who buy and sell with Redfin.
Ultimately, you’ll likely save more money with Redfin than UpNest.
UpNest has a larger agent network
UpNest has more agent selection than Redfin. That’s because UpNest doesn’t employ real estate agents. Instead, it taps into a nationwide network of agents from traditional real estate brokerages. Like Clever and other agent matching services, it offers multiple matches so you can choose the best fit.
Redfin also operates across the country, but it employs salaried agents. Currently, Redfin has about 2,400 agents across several large metropolitan markets. The number of agents available depends on your location. If you’re in Los Angeles, you may get to choose between multiple agents. But in some real estate markets, Redfin doesn’t have any agents.
We always recommend interviewing several agents to find the best one for your needs.
UpNest has higher customer satisfaction
|4.6/5 (6,342 reviews)||3.1/5 (580 reviews)|
Customer reviews can give valuable insight into the real estate companies you’re considering. In a direct comparison, UpNest’s 4.6/5 rating beats Redfin’s 3.1/5. But that’s not the whole story.
Most UpNest customers reported a great experience with their agents. Positive reviews praise agents’ professionalism, good communication, and solid industry knowledge.
Several complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) say that UpNest failed to deliver the promised $150 Amazon gift card to buyers. Some customers also reported that their agents flaked out, which might be a problem because those agents don’t work for UpNest.
Redfin has fewer third-party reviews because it collects reviews directly on its site. Unsurprisingly, the ratings on Redfin’s website are higher than the ratings on Google and Yelp.
Redfin seems to have more happy than unhappy customers, but reviews are more split with Redfin than UpNest. Redfin has many 5-star and 1-star reviews.
Positive reviews praise insightful, communicative agents. Negative Google reviews mention that agents don’t provide much support after listing the house. Negative Yelp reviews also describe unresponsive, unmotivated agents.
Best alternatives to using UpNest or Redfin
Clever Real EstateLearn More
Clever Real Estate is the best option for most sellers looking to save on realtor commissions. Its 1.5% listing fee is among the lowest of any full-service, nationwide brand. You’ll save thousands on commission and still get matched with top local realtors from well-known brokerages, like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. Plus, it’s free to try, and there’s no obligation to sign with an agent.
- You get a 1.5% listing fee (half the typical rate) without sacrificing service.
- You get matched with several local agents with strong sales records and great customer reviews.
- Clever’s service is free, and you have no obligation to sign with any realtor.
- Some add-ons, like drone photography and staging, may cost extra depending on the agent.
- You may not get matched with the specific realtor you want if they’re not in Clever’s agent network.
Clever Real Estate offers a 1.5% listing fee, half of what realtors traditionally charge. But you’ll still get a top local real estate agent, so you’ll save thousands without sacrificing quality.
How it works: After filling out an online questionnaire, Clever matches you with realtors in your area. You can choose to work with one of the agents, request more agent matches, or walk away with zero obligations.
Why we like it: Clever is the perfect balance of savings and quality: You get all the services and support of a traditional agent, but you pay a fraction of the typical price. By comparing agents, you ensure you’re getting the realtor who’s right for you.
Clever is available nationwide.
Ideal AgentLearn More
Ideal Agent does a good job of vetting its agents, and it offers decent savings for sellers. But it has a limited service area and a small agent network, which limits your ability to choose the best agent for your situation. Alternative services, like Clever, offer the same service — but with better savings, more coverage, and more agents.
- You’ll get matched with a top-performing realtor.
- The 2% listing fee gives you a slight discount.
- Fewer agents makes it harder to compare your options.
- Coverage is limited outside of big cities.
- Savings are mediocre compared to other brands.
Ideal Agent matches sellers and buyers with traditional agents. The company negotiates 2% listing fees with its realtors and screens them for quality and experience.
A 2% listing fee is decent, but you could save more with the 1.5% that Clever and Redfin offer.
Ideal Agent’s partner realtors are good, but there aren’t very many of them, and they’re mostly located in big cities. There’s no guarantee Ideal Agent will have a realtor in your area, and if they do, you’ll get matched with only one.
Ideal Agent is available nationwide.
SimpleShowing’s 1% listing fee looks like a great deal at first glance. But there’s a good chance you’ll pay more than that thanks to its high minimum fee of $5,000. On top of that, agents are stretched thin, so you risk dealing with lower customer service quality and less hands-on support.
- The low 1% listing fee can be a good deal for homes over $500,000.
- Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
- Its $5,000 minimum fee means you pay more than 1% on homes below $500,000.
- It’s only available in a handful of cities in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
- Its realtors handle a lot of clients, which can negatively affect service quality.
SimpleShowing offers a 1% listing fee with a high minimum of $5,000. If you’re selling a home for more than $500,000, you’ll pay more than 1% in listing fees.
Its agents juggle five times as many customers as a typical real estate agent. That isn’t necessarily a deal breaker if you’re selling a desirable home in a hot market. But if you expect your agent to provide more hands-on support, you could be disappointed and end up doing a lot of the work yourself.
SimpleShowing is available in FL, GA, and TX.