The Homelight reviews are in—and they’re brutally honest.
If you are looking for good agents, they can be hard to come by. Whether you are buying or selling your home, finding the perfect person to represent you in the maze that is often real estate transfers can be tricky.
Luckily, there are plenty of digital resources out there to help you discover your perfect match from agents based in your area. One of them is Homelight.
Is it any good? Here’s what its users have to say…
What is Homelight?
Homelight is an online real estate agent encyclopedia. It ranks over 1 million agents based on their track record. The website runs the numbers to determine the “best” agents in your neighborhood. That is, who has the most sales, the quickest sales, and the biggest sales.
As someone who is interested in selling a house, you can find a list of agents in your area before narrowing it down by certain criteria that fits your wish list.
Do you want a master negotiator? You can find one. What about a top seller? Well, if the quantity of homes sold is important to you, you can definitely find those top agents on Homelight.
The website boasts that, because of the hundreds of data points used to match agents with buyers and sellers, that you can easily find the perfect agent in moments.
Now, is that actually the case? Let’s take a closer look…
What are the benefits of using Homelight?
If you feel a little bit (or a lot!) overwhelmed by the idea of choosing a real estate professional from the thousands of options available to you, the simplicity of Homelight could be a major draw. You can use Homelight to find pretty good options that are used to working in your price range.
How does Homelight work?
The premise of the company is that you get an agent experience that is bespoke for you. You start off by telling Homelight whether you are interested in buying or selling a house. Then, you choose the home’s location. With each data point you enter, the list gets smaller and smaller.
Let’s say you put in Houston, Texas. The first thing it’ll want to know is what kind of home you are selling. Let’s say a single-family home. Then, it’ll want to know how much the home is worth. If you haven’t had it officially appraised yet, just put in a rough estimate. Next, Homelight will ask you how soon you’d like to sell your home and if you’d like to buy one as well.
Finally, you do have to sign up for the service by putting in your contact information, but you have control over the types of emails that it sends you afterward.
The main goal is to give the tool as much information about your preferences and goals as possible. This way, you can easily meet your perfect real estate agent match.
You can also ask that Homelight includes things like:
- Agents with lots of experience in my area
- Find agents with lots of experience in my price range
- Agents who are good at negotiating
- Look for agents who will spend a lot of time with me (a great option for first-time homebuyers)
- Agents who can sell homes very quickly
With all of these customizable options, it’s kind of like setting up a dating profile, but just for real estate professionals instead of a partner.
If it works the way it’s supposed to, then you should end up with a short list of agents that all meet your desired criteria. From there, you can arrange to speak with these agents over the phone or meet up with them in person to decide if they are the “one.” That is, the one who is the perfect match to sell your house.
What are the drawbacks of using Homelight?
Homelight is nationwide but if you live in a smaller market or a more rural area, you might find it difficult to use the service. While it has plans to keep expanding, their services may not be available.
There is also something to be said about the kind of data that is uses to match you with the local agents.
The website’s analytics focus on the sales volume of a particular Realtor. When looking only at a person’s sales to listing ratio, it’s not possible to get the whole picture of their career and concept as a professional. This means that sometimes it’s hard to just rely on data when you’re choosing an agent.
On paper, someone could look like a perfect fit for you when in reality you’re a terrible match. Because of this, sometimes it’s best to take results generated solely by computers like Homelight with a grain of salt.
Remember that the human element of finding someone to help you navigate buying or selling a home is the most important one of all. So, sure, use an online database as a starting point, but always have a conversation with any potential agents. And always, always trust your gut.
Homelight vs. Clever
Homelight seems to do its job just fine, but it leaves out one major factor: the costs of the agents! It doesn’t really matter if you hire an agent who can sell your house for the highest price possible if they are just going to turn around and take a huge cut of your proceeds for their commission!
The current national average for real estate agent’s commission in the United States is about 6% of the final sales price. For some agents, it’s even higher! Because of this, you can actually lose out on a lot of money if you use an agent that you find on Homelight.
Here’s some quick math to back up our claim.
If you sell your home for $300,000, you would lose out on $18,000 in Realtor’s commission. Your agent would take about $9,000 for themselves and then give the other half to the buyer’s agent. Either way, it’s money out of the seller’s pocket.
If you used an agent that you found on Clever instead, here’s how it would go:
You would sell your house for $300,000. Then, you would give your Clever agent $3,000, because Clever only charges a flat fee of $3,000 for homes under $350K. That’s $15,000 more in your pocket than if you use a “traditional” Realtor.
And the best part?
You get all of the same services and inclusions. It’s the same value, just at a better cost. Now that’s Clever.