Dave Ramsey has helped hundreds of thousands of people get out of debt or better understand their personal finances. His Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) service refers people to investors, realtors, and financial advisors that he trusts.
ELPs are backed by Dave's reputation and are those that share his principles surrounding debt and finances. But, real estate ELPs do pay to be a part of Dave's network and there's no real financial benefit to using them.
Other alternatives, will refer high-quality, top agents and save you money while selling your home. After you reach out to Clever, you get connected with a local agent who's one of the top 5% performing agents in the market. Plus you can save up to 50% on real estate commission.
Here, we'll share more about Dave's ELP program — specifically related to real estate — how they work, and the pros and cons of the program.
Who is Dave Ramsey?
Dave Ramsey is a financial guru and real estate investor with a popular radio show (among other things). Dave is anti-debt and helps people out of credit card debt, teaches college kids about the dangers of taking on excessive student loans, and advises entrepreneurs.
Dave's main claim-to-fame is the debt snowball technique in which you list your debts from smallest to largest, make minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest, and pay as much as possible on your smallest debt. You then repeat until each debt is paid in full. This idea is that you gain momentum as you start to see major progress.
Along with his books and other products, Dave also recommends his Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) for certain professional services.
What are Dave Ramsey's Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs)?
Dave Ramsey's ELPs are professionals who have earned his recommendation through their proven track record and their teaching mentality. It is important to note that ELPs do pay a fee to Dave Ramsey, but are held to a high standard. If one receives consistently low scores from users, the ELP is dropped from the program.
Dave has ELPs in the areas of insurance, tax services, and real estate.
Anyone who has listened to Dave for any amount of time knows he is a strong believer in term life insurance, specifically services provided by Zander Insurance — and not so fond of whole life insurance.
He also recommends homeowners and renters insurance, car insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance for extra coverage. If you drive your own vehicle for your job or own your own business he has commercial insurance ELPs as well.
ELPs for each of these areas can be found on his website.
Dave highly recommends getting help with your taxes, especially if you own your own business. Most people won't know which tax deductions and credits they are eligible for and having a pro check for every possible savings is worth it.
Dave says that a real estate agent can make you $39,000 more on average than if you sell your home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). And for buyers, they can help you juggle all the balls needed to find your perfect home and have your offer accepted.
Dave's ELPs can help you find a trusted agent with experience in your local market who fits your specific needs.
For the rest of this piece, we'll be focusing specifically on Dave's Real Estate ELPs.
What are the requirements to be a Dave Ramsey ELP?
Dave stresses that his ELPs must understand the principles of “working the plan” — a.k.a. the debt snowball. They must be willing to work with people who may not have a ton of money to invest or to purchase a home and do so with their best interest at heart.
After an interested real estate agent applies to be an ELP, Dave's team reviews their background and verifies that they have proper licensing and that they are in good standing as an agent. They must also have experience during “challenging times as well as good times” in their industries — meaning they weren't just helping clients buy or sell a home in an easy market.
Agents must also have a long-term business trajectory and understand Dave's financial principles in order to help their clients understand their options and make their own decisions related to money and buying a home.
After an agent becomes an ELP, Dave holds them accountable to a high standard of service through coaching from his team. If they consistently receive negative reviews, they may get the boot.
Does Dave Ramsey charge a fee for ELPs?
While Dave's website doesn't list what ELPs pay to be a part of the network, a little research discovered that real estate ELPs pay around $60 for each lead with a 25% to 30% closing rate, which is good for the industry.
Dave says this fee covers maintenance for the website and employment costs. He also receives a broker-to-broker payment if the referred buyer or seller ends up closing the deal with the ELP agent, which is common in the real estate industry.
While agents are paying a price to be an ELP, this doesn't mean they're buying their way into the program. ELPs are more than likely agents you can trust if they've made it through the screening and into the program, and it doesn't hurt to reach out to them via Dave's website. If you decide they're not a good fit, you can always decide not to work with them — no harm done and no money lost.
Pros and Cons of Working with Dave Ramsey ELPs
Since Dave is willing to tie his name — and thus, his reputation — to his ELPs, it's likely these professionals can be trusted with your big financial decisions in life, including the sale or purchase of your home. While Dave does get a kickback from the transaction, ELPs are fully vetted and experienced.
While you can be pretty sure you'll receive excellent service from an ELP, you'll likely pay full price — usually in the form of 5% to 6% commission if you're selling your home. You may be able to receive the same service at a discount through other alternatives.
However, there's no harm in reaching out to an ELP to see what they offer or to try and negotiate a lower commission.
Top Alternatives to Consider
When it comes to finding a top real estate agent, Dave Ramsey's ELP service isn't your only referral option. Here are the ins and outs of other ways to find an agent.
HomeLight is an online real estate agent referral service that uses data to match home buyers and sellers with top-performing agents in their area. While HomeLight's referral service is undeniably useful for choosing an agent, just like Dave Ramsey's ELPs, there are no financial benefits. After picking an agent, sellers still pay a typical commission of 5% to 6% — or have to negotiate for a lower rate on their own.
UpNest is a real estate agent referral service that connects home buyers and home sellers with local full-service agents, who then compete for their business. The idea is that this competition helps UpNest clients find right-fit agents quickly, and helps drive costs down in the form of a reduced commission rate or buyer rebate.
Because UpNest doesn't pre-negotiate rates on your behalf, your price tag will vary on a case-by-case basis.
Zillow's Premier Agent Network
While Zillow is well-known for its extensive network of current listings, the company also connects sellers to agents through its Premier Agent network. These agents pay a fee to Zillow to be listed as a Premier Agent.
Among other perks, they appear in Zillow's real estate directory which allows you to view and compare real estate agents, read reviews, see an agent's current listings and past sales, and contact agents directly.
Similarly to the other matching services above, you're likely to still pay full commission rates as a seller. Plus, just because an agent has paid to be a Premier Agent doesn't mean they're top-performing in their market.
Clever Real Estate
Clever is a nationwide platform that connects home sellers and buyer with top-rated real estate agents in their area. Clever only works with top performing agents who work at well-respected brokerages like Keller Williams and Century 21. Plus, we'll connect you with as many top agents as it takes until you find the agent who's the right fit.
As another major bonus, Clever Partner Agents offer their full services, but we have pre-negotiated a commission discount on your behalf. When you sell a home with a Clever Partner Agent, you pay a flat fee of $3,000 on homes under $350,000. If your home sells for more than that, the listing agent's commission is 1% instead of the typical 3%.
Alternatively, if you're buying and use a Partner Agent, you're eligible for a $1,000Home Buyer Rebate on any home you purchase for more than $150,000 (in 40 states).
Reach out to Clever to get connected with a top agent in your local market today and start saving.