What Is a Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent?
A flat-fee real estate agent or brokerage will help you list and sell your home for a straightforward, flat fee — as opposed to taking a large percentage of the final sale price — saving you up to 50% of the traditional cost of selling a home.
If you're looking to list with a flat-fee real estate agent, there are several options you can choose from:
- Flat-fee real estate brokerages are companies that offer flat-fee listings with limited services and support
- Flat-fee agents who provide partial service will simply list your home on the MLS — the support ends there
- Full-service agents who run a traditional business, but will take on new clients for a flat fee if the seller connects with them via an agent referral network, like Clever Real Estate
Clever connects you with top-rated, local real estate agents from major brands or regional brokerages (Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Century 21, etc.) who have agreed to offer Clever clients their full service and support for a simple, flat fee.
That means you get the exact same level of service and support as any of their full-commission clients — e.g., pricing guidance, professional photos, marketing on the MLS and hundreds of other listing sites, showings, negotiation support, and everything/anything else you need to close on your home — only you pay a fraction of their typical fee.
Here's how Clever stacks up against other flat-fee agents and brokerages:
As you can see, unlike other flat-fee options, Clever Partner Agents offer full listing services and support for just $3,000.
As of 2019, sellers who listed their homes with Clever saved an average of $10,000 on commission fees!
If you're looking to sell your home with a top-rated, full-service agent but don't want to pay a fortune, Clever can help!
Call us at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out the form below. We'll be in touch to answer your questions and connect you with one of our top Partner Agents in your area for a no-obligation consultation!
Is There a Difference Between a Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent and a Traditional Agent?
Flat-fee real estate agents are licensed agents or brokers, just like their traditional, full-priced counterparts.
The main difference is that where traditional agents provide full service, many flat-fee agents only offer limited services and support in exchange for their reduced rates.
For example, some flat-fee agents will only list your house on the MLS — that means you get zero assistance with other, crucial aspects of the sale like marketing, pricing, photos, inspections, negotiations, and closing.
Before signing with any flat-fee real estate agent or broker, it's vital that you ask exactly what services you'll be getting in exchange for their fee.
In contrast, the experience of selling with a Clever Partner Agent is exactly the same as working with a traditional, full-service agent — only you save thousands on commission.
Here's how the savings break down:
To put this into real terms, if you sell a $300,000 home with a traditional agent, you'll end up paying about $18,000 in commission fees.
Were you to sell that home with a Clever Partner Agent, you'd get all the same services and support throughout the process — and you'd walk away with $6,000 in savings. Now that's Clever.
> Ready to get started? Find a Flat-Fee Agent Near You!
How Is Clever Different From Other Flat-Fee Real Estate Companies?
All of our Partner Agents work with us to supplement their traditional business. In other words, while they normally charge a full commission fee in exchange for their services, they've agreed to offer our customers significant discounts.
But rest assured, when you work with one of our Partner Agents you'll get the exact same services, support, and advantages they offer their traditional customers — including use of their professional branding.
That means Clever's logo won't be in your online listing or the “for sale” sign in your yard. Instead, both only will feature your agent and their parent company or brokerage, e.g., RE/MAX, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, etc.
In other words, prospective buyers will have no idea that you saved thousands on your listing commission — information that, when made public, can result in lowball offers or difficult negotiations.
The key takeaway is that while saving on commission is great, it shouldn't come at the expense of the outcome of your sale — or your experience throughout the process.
When you list with Clever, you don't have to choose between savings and service. Instead, you get the best of both worlds: a top-rated, full-service real estate agent for a fraction of the typical cost.
Why Do Agents Partner with Clever and Agree to Work for a Flat-Free Commission?
One of the biggest costs for a real estate agent is marketing to find new customers.
Agents who partner with Clever get a steady stream of new business without having to prospect for it themselves. That means they can spend the majority of their time closing deals — not hunting for new clients.
In addition to bolstering their bottom line, Clever helps agents grow their client network and awareness of their professional brand around town. As their reputation grows, that means more traditional, full-commission referrals as well.
Importantly, our Partner Agents know that if they fail to maintain a high standard of service and provide the exact same level of support they offer their traditional customers, Clever will stop sending them new business.
Clever partners with agents who are in the top 5% of their local markets. Our Partners understand the importance of maintaining a pristine and glowing reputation, which means they are motivated to provide the same excellent service and support to all of their clients — regardless of how much they're paying in commission.
What services do Clever's flat-fee Partner Agents provide?
Our partner agents and realtors provide the following services:
- Comparative market analysis
- Professional price opinion
- Provide staging tips and professional photos
- Listing on the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and many other real estate marketplaces
- Leading negotiations when an offer comes in
- Coordinating inspections, the title, escrow, and closing
- Offering advice every step of the way
Sound like a full service listing? That's because it is.
Clever Partner Agents provide the exact same experience as a traditional agent—for a flat fee.
What are home sellers saying about Clever flat fee agents?
Clever Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent FAQs
How does Clever make money charging only $3,000?
Clever is able to charge a small flat fee and remain profitable because we've created a system that streamlines the process of connecting buyers and sellers of real estate with great agents. Our low rates allows us and our agents to achieve a significant volume while keeping costs down.
At Clever, we spend our time assisting potential sellers and buyers. When the time is right, we connect these individuals with our agents. This helps our partner agents by not having to focus on looking for new clients, which means they can spend more time helping you buy or sell a home.
Why do agents love working with Clever? Because they know that if they provide high-quality service that receives good reviews, we will send them a constant stream of business, so they never have to worry where their next deal is coming from.
How does the flat-fee listing process work?
The flat-fee listing process works exactly the same way as a traditional listing. Your agent will be with you every step of the way from listing to close doing everything they can to make your sale simple and stress-free, while netting you the most cash at closing as possible.
The process starts when Clever connects you to one of our Partner Agents, whom you can interview by phone or in-person. Your agent will assess your home, provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) that lets you know how your home compares to others in the area, and recommend a listing price.
If you decide to move forward, the process is the same as working with any other agent. Your agent will coordinate photos, marketing, showings, open houses, and everything you need to get through to closing.
The only difference? When you get to the closing table, you'll save thousands on commission!
Does a Clever flat-free real estate agent provide a lockbox and sign in the yard?
Yes. Your local agent will provide a lockbox on your front door and sign in the yard with the branding of their local brokerage.
The only people who will know that you listed for a discount are you, your agent, and Clever.
Does a flat-fee listing look different than traditional listing?
Most listings that aren't led by a full-service agent will look different, which makes buyers and their agents suspicious that you're saving on seller commission.
Clever is different.
Because we match you with a local real estate agent in your community who mostly does traditional listings, your listing will look identical other homes for sale in your market.
We believe that this is important. If prospective buyers know how much you're saving on commission, they might factor that into their offer.
Does a Clever listing include photos?
Yes, your Partner Agent will either take photos or hire a professional photographer. Some Partner Agents will even include a 3D virtual home tour.
When is payment due?
With Clever, you only pay if your home sells.
If your home doesn't sell, you don't owe us a dime.
We don't charge anything upfront because we're confident that our partner agents will do a great job getting your home sold!
Why are flat-fee agents better than for sale by owner?
According to the National Association of Realtors, only 8% of homes sell for sale by owner. Of those, they sell for an average of $50,000 less than homes listing with an agent.
Clever allows you to receive the price increase that comes with a full service agent, while enjoying some of the savings on commission that comes from selling FSBO.
Are there any additional fees?
Clever has no hidden fees.
In addition to the fee to your Clever partner agent, you still must pay the typical buyer fee that will be recommended by your agent. And regardless of who you list with, you will still need to pay closing costs. Closing costs are usually substantially lower when you sell compared to when you buy.
Brian and Sarah found out they were having a daughter and wanted to sell their small home to buy a larger one where they could raise their family. Money was tight, and they needed all of the proceeds from the sale of their house to use as down payment on a new, bigger house.
They couldn't afford to pay 6% to a real estate agent and afford the down payment on the home they needed to raise a family.
Brian and Sarah began looking at homes but weren't sure what they would be able to afford, or which areas would have the best school districts for their children.
Brian and Sarah contacted Clever Real Estate and got connected to a local agent who listed their home for a flat $3,000 fee.
Their home sold quickly! The extra $7,000 they saved on commission helped them fund their down payment on a new, larger home.
Their Clever Partner Agent also showed them which areas have the best schools and were close to public transportation.
When buying their new home, their Clever Partner Agent also provided them a small commission rebate, which allowed them to buy points on their mortgage, made their new home more affordable, and helped them save money on their monthly mortgage payments.
- Brian and Sarah were able to buy their dream home.
- They avoided high commissions and preserved their equity.
- Brian and Sarah were able to afford a large home in a better school district for their new baby.
- They saved money on both selling the old house and buying their new home.
Joe bought a home at the peak of the real estate bubble in 2007 and was concerned that he was still underwater on his mortgage. Then Joe took a new job in another state and had to sell his home so he could move.
Joe didn't have the cash saved up to pay for the down payment on a new home and he didn't want to bring capital to the closing table when he sold his old one.
Joe was very concerned that the commission from selling his home would mean he couldn't afford a similar home in his new town.
He began to search for other ways to sell his home and save on commission.
While Joe was researching, he discovered Clever Real Estate and decided to give us a shot. He got connected to a fantastic local agent who visited his home, gave him a better idea of what his home was worth, and calculated how much he could expect to walk away with at close.
Joe liked what he heard and decided to list with a Clever Partner Agent.
Joe's agent sold his home quickly, and the $9,000 he saved in commission actually provided a small profit at the closing table.
- Joe was able to buy a new home in another state.
- Joe didn't have to bring cash to the closing table.
- Joe used the profit from selling his home to help pay the down payment on his new home.