Home Bay Real Estate: Reviews, How it Works, Top Alternatives

By 

Jamie Ayers

Updated 

May 20th, 2020

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Home Bay offers discounted listing fees for sellers and commission rebates for buyers — but a largely hands-off experience via its online platform and remote team.

Home Bay Real Estate, at a glance

  • Home Bay is a real estate technology platform, service, and broker available in six U.S. states — CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, and TX.
  • A ~0.5-2% listing fee gets you access to Home Bay’s online platform and tools, plus remote support from its in-house team.
  • Home Bay’s fee structure varies by home value, type, and location, so you’ll need to reach out for an actual quote — view full fee info here
  • Note: 10% of the listing fee is due up front, whether your home sells or not.
  • Expect to pay a buyer’s agent commission as well — rates vary, but 2.5-3% is typical nationwide.
  • Qualifying buyers can get up to 0.3% of the purchase price back at closing.
  • If you already have a buyer lined up, get transaction coordination services for a flat $1,500 — or $2,000 to handle for both seller and buyer.
  • Home Bay also handles undeveloped land sales for a flat $1,800 fee.
  • As of May 20, 2020, Home Bay’s average customer rating is 4.5/5 based on 469 reviews across Zillow, Trustpilot, Google, and Yelp — see more reviews here.

What is Home Bay Real Estate?

Home Bay is a real estate technology platform, concierge service, and multi-state broker. The company was founded in 2015 and is currently based in San Diego, CA.

Home Bay is different from some other discount real estate services in that its primary focus is providing online tools and remote support — not in-person, agent assistance.

With Home Bay, sellers and buyers manage the entire process themselves via an online platform, with support from its in-house team of licensed agents, transaction coordinators, and legal advisors.

Sellers use the online platform to communicate with their dedicated Home Bay agent and manage every other aspect of the process, e.g., set up their listing, coordinate showings, handle offers, paperwork, and more.

>> LEARN more about selling with Home Bay.

Buyers use the platform to house hunt, request and schedule tours, submit offers, negotiate, handle paperwork — and communicate with Home Bay’s in-house team for support throughout the process.

>> LEARN more about buying with Home Bay.

Home Bay reviews

Review SiteRatingLink
Zillow4.7/5 (119 reviews)See Zillow reviews
Trustpilot4.5/5 (247 reviews)See Trustpilot reviews
Google4.1/5 (95 reviews)See Google reviews
Yelp3/5 (8 reviews)See Yelp reviews
FacebookN/A - no reviewsSee Facebook profile
Better Business BureauA+ ratingView Home Bay’s BBB profile
Weighted Average4.5/5 (469 reviews)

Home Bay has an average customer rating of 4.5/5 rating based on 469 reviews across Zillow, Trustpilot, Google, and Yelp. Home Bay has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with 0 customer reviews.

Selling a house with Home Bay

When you list and sell your house with Home Bay, the experience will be somewhat different than working with a traditional agent or discount brokerage.

Home Bay’s service model is centered around an online platform through which sellers manage every aspect of their sale — from listing through closing.

The company employs an in-house team of licensed agents, transaction coordinators, and legal advisors, who provide remote, ad hoc support throughout the process.

You technically get all the services you’d expect with a traditional agent and brokerage, e.g., help with pricing, negotiations, paperwork — even professional photos and a sign for your yard.

However, all of this will happen remotely. That means although some aspects of the sale will be handled by Home Bay’s team, your dedicated agent does not visit your home at any point — be it to help inform pricing strategy, offer staging tips, manage showings, oversee the inspection, or any other aspect of your sale.

The tech platform helps you by centralizing communication and coordination throughout your sale, and providing information and data typically only available to licensed agents to help inform your decision making.

>> COMPARE Home Bay to other discount real estate services.

Home Bay fees

Home Bay sellers pay a listing fee of anywhere between 0.5-2% of the final sale price of their home.

Here’s a rough overview of Home Bay’s tiered pricing structure, based on the savings calculator featured on its website. 

Price RangeListing Fee
$100,000-$225,000$2,000
$225,001-$275,000$2,250
$275,001-$325,000$2,750
$325,001-$375,000$3,250
$375,001-$425,000$3,500
$425,001-$725,000$4,000
$725,001-$1,250,000$6,000
$1,250,001-$2,000,000$7,500
$2,000,000+$10,000

That being said, all of these fees are estimates. Home Bay’s pricing structure varies by location and home type, so you’ll need to reach out to Home Bay directly for an actual quote.

If you do decide to list with Home Bay, keep in mind you’ll have to pay 10% of your listing fee up front — based on the above table, for a $500,000 home, that’s about $400.

With many other discount services (and traditional agents, for that matter), payment is due at closing, i.e., only if and when the home actually sells.

Expect to offer a buyer’s agent commission as well. Rates vary by market and property, but 2.5-3% is typical nationwide.

The table below breaks down what typical fees could look like for a Home Bay seller, along with cost estimates, based on a $680,000 home — the approximate median home value in San Diego, CA as of April 2020.

Fee typePercentageCost*
Home Bay listing fee0.6%$4,000
Buyer’s agent fee3%$20,400
Total fee3.6%$24,400
Estimated savings**2.4%$16,320

*Based on a $680,000 home.
**Compared to a typical 6% commission rate.

Home Bay vs traditional realtor

Home Bay provides nearly all of the services you’d expect to receive from a traditional realtor or brokerage; however, it should be noted that all are administered remotely. Your agent does not visit your property or offer in-person assistance. Your listing and all communication is managed via Home Bay’s online platform.

ServiceHome BayTraditional Realtor
Listing commission fee~0.5-2%*2.5-3%**
Buyer’s agent commission2.5-3%**2.5-3%**
Professional home valuation
Listing on MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, etc.
Professional photos
Sign in yard
Marketing
Open houses & showingsx***
Negotiation support
Help with closing

*Home Bay’s fee structure depends on your home’s value, location, and type. You’ll need to reach out directly and request a quote.
**These rates are negotiable and may vary by market or property — but 2.5-3% is typical for traditional agents.
***Home Bay will help coordinate showings and open houses, but your listing agent will not attend or manage them in-person.

Buying a house with Home Bay

Just like it does for sellers, Home Bay offers buyers useful online tools to help streamline the experience, as well as remote support and guidance from its in-house team of agents and coordinators.

Home Bay buyers get:

  • Useful house hunting tools like MLS alerts and organizational tools
  • Automated house tour scheduling
  • Help with offers, negotiations, paperwork, and closing

Another key benefit is that Home Bay offers a built-in commission rebate of up to 0.3%. To put this in perspective, for a $400,000 home, that would be about $1,200 back in your pocket (assuming a 3% buyer’s agent commission). This refund is typically credited to the escrow account at closing.

It’s worth noting that:

  • Some traditional realtors offer commission rebates as well, but you’ll typically have to negotiate for it
  • Several other discount brands offer 1-2% rebates for qualifying buyers, so it may be worth shopping around a bit to see if you can find a better deal

>> LEARN more about commission rebates here.

Home Bay pros and cons

Home Bay ProsHome Bay Cons
Listing fee is considerably less than what you’d likely pay working with a traditional, full-commission realtorHands-off approach not ideal for less experienced buyers and sellers, or those wanting more dedicated support
Online platform and tools puts you in the driver’s seat — great for experienced buyers and sellers who want more controlYour agent never actually visits your house. On-site visits are important for accurate pricing, staging, marketing, negotiations, and more.
Offers flat fee for transaction coordination services and empty lot salesSome other brands offer considerably more service at a similar price point — particularly for homes around and below the $500,000 mark

10% of the listing fee is due up front — most services and agents don’t charge upfront fees

Many discount services offer built-in commission rebates of 1-2%, compared to Home Bay’s 0.3%

Home Bay locations

As of April 23, 2020, Home Bay is available in select markets in the following U.S. states.

CaliforniaGeorgia
ColoradoIllinois
FloridaTexas

We recommend reaching out to Home Bay directly to find out if it’s currently available in your area.

Compare Home Bay to top alternatives

If you prioritize technology and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and run your own show, Home Bay can offer solid value — particularly for higher value homes.

That said, it may not be a great option:

  • Less experienced sellers and buyers
  • People with less time and energy to manage their own sale
  • Those who prefer more hands-on support and guidance

Either way, when the stakes are this high, it’s important to do your due diligence. We recommend evaluating at least 2-3 different services, agents, and/or approaches before making a final decision.

To help you compare options, we’ve compiled some basic info on similar companies that offer discounted and flat commission rates. We recommend reading the full reviews, via the links below, and reaching out to these companies directly to learn more.

BrokerageListing feeBuyer rebate*
Home Bay (back to top)~0.5-1% — exact rate varies by sellerUp to 0.3%
Clever Real Estate1% — $3,000 flat fee for homes under $350,000Up to 1% of purchase price
Redfin1-1.5% — minimum fees vary by marketAverage $1,500
REX Real Estate2% — $9,000 min fee for homes under $450,001-1.5% (only if buying a non-REX home)
Redefy$3,500N/A

*In states where buyer rebates are legal.

>> LEARN more about discount real estate brokers here.

Additional resources

Before choosing to list with a discount brokerage or service, you may want to evaluate some other home selling approaches as well. These guides will help you understand all of your options so you can make a more informed decision.

Next steps: Get advice from a real estate expert

If you’re trying to determine the best way to sell your home — or buy a new one — Clever can help!

Our fully Licensed Concierge Team is here to answer your questions and offer free, objective advice on how to proceed, based on your unique situation and goals.

Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your basic info below to get started.

Ready to get started?

Enter your basic info below. Our Concierge Team will be in touch shortly to answer your questions, offer advice, and match you with top-rated agents in your area. Remember, this service is 100% free and there's no obligation!

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