The TRUTH About HomeLight (Reviews & FAQs)

Michael Warford

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Michael Warford

July 1st, 2021
Updated July 1st, 2021

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Read HomeLight reviews | Is HomeLight worth it? | What is HomeLight? | HomeLight Simple Sale review | Is HomeLight legit? | How HomeLight works | HomeLight fees | Pros and cons | Top alternatives | HomeLight for realtors

HomeLight reviews from customers and real estate agents

✍️ Editor's take: HomeLight's agent matching service is fast, easy, and offers great selection of agents. But with no built-in savings, several competitors offer better value.

HomeLight is a free service that will match home buyers and sellers with local real estate agents from top national and regional brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. It’s the largest agent matching service in the country, with more than 70,000 agents in its network.

HomeLight’s service is faster and easier than finding an agent on your own. And its massive network means it offers more choice and better coverage than many of its competitors — particularly in smaller towns and rural areas.

However, HomeLight doesn’t offer any other substantial benefits beyond speed and convenience. Most importantly, it provides no savings.

Other brands offer the same free agent matching service, but with built-in savings for buyers and sellers. Clever Real Estate, for example, works with top, full-service agents nationwide and pre-negotiates a discounted listing fee for you of $3,000 or 1%.

» MORE: Learn how Clever helps you find the perfect agent and save thousands

To find out if HomeLight provides value to consumers, our team conducted extensive research to evaluate the service for buyers and sellers.

Learn what we found out about HomeLight — or skip ahead to read Homelight reviews from real customers.

Should you work with HomeLight?

👍 What we like about HomeLight:

  • Huge network of agents means more choice and better coverage
  • Easy-to-use and helpful customer dashboard
  • Get agent matches instantly
👎 Where HomeLight misses the mark:

  • Customers complain about receiving unsolicited calls and emails
  • No built-in savings for home sellers or buyers
  • Low quality control for who can join HomeLight’s agent network
  • Automated process can lead to poor agent matches

» MORE: See in-depth breakdown of HomeLight pros and cons

If saving money isn't a priority, there’s no harm in giving HomeLight a try. Getting matched is free and there’s no obligation to sign with any of its recommended agents.

Overall, HomeLight was fast and easy to use. We got our matches instantly and liked the informative and intuitive customer dashboard.

We mystery shopped from a variety of locations around the country, including in big cities, small towns, and rural areas. Most of our agent matches were highly experienced and had plenty of sales — although HomeLight missed the mark a few times, especially in some smaller markets.

We weren’t thrilled by the level of automation in HomeLight’s agent matching process. While HomeLight does have a concierge service, an algorithm generates your initial matches with zero human oversight. No one double checked our matches up front to ensure a good fit.

But we think the biggest drawback to HomeLight is that it offers zero commission savings for customers. Simply put, you’ll pay as much for an agent you find through HomeLight as you would if you found them on your own.

HomeLight’s lack of savings stands in stark contrast to some of its top competitors, who provide the same no-cost agent matching service, but with discounted commission rates.

In other words, some alternatives can match you with agents who are just as good as HomeLight’s (sometimes they even work with the same agents!), but you’ll pay thousands less come closing time.

Bottom Line: Is HomeLight right for you?

HomeLight’s agent matching service is free with zero obligation, so trying it out carries no risk. With its large network of agents, there’s a good chance HomeLight can match you with someone who is a great fit.

But if you want a great quality agent without paying full price, we suggest checking out alternatives, like Clever Real Estate, that offer built-in discounts.

💰 Save more with Clever

Looking for a great agent, but want to avoid high fees? Clever has a nationwide network of pre-vetted, full-service agents, but with savings you won’t get through HomeLight.

Clever’s partner agents charge a listing fee of just 1% or $3,000 for homes under $350,000. That’s a fraction of what you’ll pay for a HomeLight partner agent, where the standard listing fee of 2.5-3% is more common.

Ready to find agents and save thousands? Enter your zip code below to get started!

What is HomeLight?

HomeLight is an online real estate company that has a variety of services for home buyers and sellers.

HomeLight’s core offering is its agent matching service: When you sign up on HomeLight’s website, you’ll get a list of local agents within minutes. You can set up interviews, compare options, and choose the best fit — or, if you don’t like any of its recommendations, you can walk away. Like all agent matching services, HomeLight’s is free and there’s no obligation.

HomeLight asks for some basic info about your sale or purchase, such as your target price range and desired sale timeline, then uses that info to compile a shortlist of agents in your area it deems a good match. This list includes information about each agent designed to help you compare your options quickly, such as:

  • Sales numbers
  • Years of experience
  • Customer ratings
  • Achievements

So, instead of spending hours researching agents on your own — or just hiring the first agent who pops up in a Google search — HomeLight does the work for you.

HomeLight’s rolled out several other services for sellers and buyers in recent years, including HomeLight Home Loans and HomeLight Trade-in services. Among the most popular of these additional services is Simple Sale, which helps you sell your house directly to a cash buyer.

What is HomeLight Simple Sale?

HomeLight Simple Sale is a free service that helps you sell your house directly to a property investor or flipper. You submit some basic info about your home, such as its age and condition, and it compiles multiple, preliminary cash offers so you can compare and choose the best one.

Most cash buyers will then conduct an in-person inspection. If any issues come up during the inspection, the final offer may be lower than the initial offer.

HomeLight Simple Sale reviews online are generally positive, with no major customer complaints. Overall, customers love how easy it is to sell their home for cash. Note, though, that you likely won't sell your home for the best possible price — one of the major drawbacks of selling to an investor or flipper, even through a service like HomeLight Simple Sale.

That said, HomeLight Simple Sale may be a good choice if you:

  • Need to sell your house fast: This is common if you’re in pre-foreclosure, moving for work, selling an inherited property, or going through a divorce.
  • Are looking to sell “as is”: If your home needs significant repairs but you’re unable or unwilling to fix it up before listing, it's often easier to sell directly to a cash buyer.

» READ: Selling Your House for Cash: The Ultimate Guide

How much will HomeLight Simple Sale pay for my home?

When you sell directly to a property investor or flipper for cash, you’ll typically get 30-50% less for your home than you would get by listing it. Investors need to invest in repairs and upgrades in order to sell the house later on and make a profit, so they usually pay way less than market value.

You’re free to use an agent when selling directly to a cash buyer through Simple Sale, but doing so doesn't come with a lot of benefits. An agent can advise you about what your home is worth and how long it would take to sell, which is useful information regardless of whether you sell to a cash buyer or list it on the market.

But if you do have an agent and you sell directly to a cash buyer, you’ll have to pay the agent’s fees on top of a potentially lower sale price. That’s why many people who sell to cash buyers do so without an agent.

Ultimately, the best way to get top dollar for your house is to list it with a full-service agent. Clever can connect you with a top agent in your area fast, who will help sell your house while charging a low listing fee of just $3,000 or 1%.

Is HomeLight legit?

Yes, HomeLight is a well-established company and has positive reviews online. It is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it has an A+ rating as of this writing. It doesn't, however, offer discounted rates for buyers or sellers.

Find out how to get lower realtor fees.

HomeLight is the largest agent matching service in the U.S. and a licensed brokerage in California. All agent matching services are legally required to have an active brokerage license.

HomeLight, at a Glance
Avg. customer rating
BBB rating
A+
Year founded
2012
Agent network size
70,000+

🔒 Data privacy concerns?

Some HomeLight customers have complained about unsolicited phone calls and emails from agents. We tested whether these claims were justified and found they’re not — at least for the most part.

While we did receive phone calls from agents HomeLight matched us with, this is normal for an agent matching service and many customers actually prefer to have agents contact them first. Furthermore, we didn’t receive any phone calls from agents we weren’t matched with.

So why all the complaints? We think it’s because HomeLight matches you with up to five agents, more than most agent matching services. As a result, you’ll potentially have to field simultaneous calls from five different agents, which can get a bit overwhelming.

As far as emails go, we did get quite a few from HomeLight itself, but never got an email from any agent unless we explicitly requested communication from them.

If you want to avoid receiving a lot of phone calls, we suggest going with an alternative service that curates a more tailored list of initial agent matches. Handling calls from two or three agents — as opposed to five — is a lot more manageable.

How does HomeLight work?

HomeLight's agent matching service is relatively straightforward: You sign up on the company's website and provide some basic info about your sale or purchase. HomeLight's algorithm uses that info to instantly generate your initial agent matches. Unlike other companies, HomeLight won't provide you with discounted realtor fees.

The initial process when using HomeLight’s agent matching service is similar for both buyers and sellers:

1. Provide your information for matches

Start by entering some information about the property you’re looking to sell or buy via the form on HomeLight’s website, such as your target price range and your timeline for selling or buying.

After submitting your information, you’ll initially get a list of three agents in your area. Each agent match will look something like this:

HomeLight customer dashboard, agent preview

You’ll then be asked if you’re happy with these first three agents. You can choose to stick with the ones you already have or request additional agents, in which case two more matches will be displayed immediately:

HomeLight customer dashboard, extra agents

Clicking “View details” under the agent’s name will bring up a popup screen that looks like this:

HomeLight customer dashboard, agent details

This screen features additional information about the agent, including:

  • Their brokerage
  • Number of homes sold in your area
  • Years of experience
  • Total number of HomeLight clients they’ve helped
  • Achievements, such as if they are top negotiators or sell quickly

You’ll also see a map of properties each agent has helped a client buy or sell in your area.

You can then choose to contact one of these agents, either by sending them a direct message through the HomeLight dashboard, phoning them, or by clicking “Get Introduced,” which will prompt the agent to email or call you.

HomeLight customer dashboard, Get Introduced button

2. Talk with a HomeLight concierge

Usually within a few hours, a HomeLight concierge will contact you via email and phone to discuss your list of results. On a call, you’ll provide more details about the type of buying or selling experience you want. You can discuss priorities like:

  • Agents with lots of experience in your price range
  • Agents who are good at negotiating
  • Agents who will spend a lot of time with you (a great option for first-time home buyers)

By giving the concierge as much information about your situation, preferences, and goals as possible, you'll help them create a customized list of prospective agents that will be a strong match.

3. Speak with your agents

If you haven’t already done so, you can arrange to speak with any of these agents by phone, email, or through HomeLight’s direct messaging platform. You’re under no obligation to work with any agent HomeLight refers you to.

After talking about your results with your concierge, you’ll mostly work with your agent directly. However, you can keep track of the progress in the purchase or sale of your home in the HomeLight dashboard:

HomeLight customer dashboard, progress bar

» MORE: Learn how HomeLight works for realtors

How much does HomeLight cost?

HomeLight’s agent matching service is free for buyers and sellers. However, some of its other offerings — like HomeLight Trade-In — do charge fees.

But remember, if you’re selling, you’ll still have to cover the realtor commission fee when your house sells, just as you would if you found your agent without going through HomeLight. Realtor fees vary by market, but the current nationwide average commission rate is 5.50% of the sale price.

So, while HomeLight doesn’t cost you anything extra, it doesn’t save you money either. This is a big drawback, given that several of its competitors offer the same free agent matching service and built-in savings.

Sell with a top agent, save big on commission

Like HomeLight, Clever matches you with top local agents for free. But unlike HomeLight, Clever also pre-negotiates commission savings on your behalf!

When you find your agent through Clever, you get the same full-service experience for a fraction of the typical cost: a flat $3,000 listing fee — or just 1% for homes over $350,000.

Clever sellers save an average of $9,600 and get offers 2.8x faster than the national average.

Ready to find agents and save thousands? Enter your zip below to get started!

How does HomeLight make money?

HomeLight makes money through its agent matching service by charging its partner agents a “referral fee.” Whenever an agent helps a HomeLight customer finalize the sale or purchase of a home, HomeLight gets a cut of the agent’s commission.

All agent matching services make money through referral fees. It's how these companies can provide their services to buyers and sellers for free.

In addition to referral fees, HomeLight makes money through several other service offerings, like HomeLight Simple Sale, HomeLight Home Loans, and HomeLight Trade-In.

Why do agents work with companies like HomeLight?

Agents partner with (and pay) companies like HomeLight because it’s an easy, low-risk way for them to attract new business and close more deals.

Agents have to invest time and money in their own marketing to attract new clients. HomeLight saves agents time by handling the marketing, so the agents can focus more of their time and energy closing more deals (remember, agents get paid for closing deals, not signing new clients).

Moreover, agents only have to pay HomeLight the referral fee if the deal actually closes and they collect a commission on the sale. Because there’s no upfront cost, there’s less risk for the agents, plain and simple.

So, while agents may make less off of each individual transaction through HomeLight, they can increase their total number of transactions — and potentially make more money in the long run.

✍️ Editor's note:

You may wonder if an agent is less motivated to provide you with high-quality service when HomeLight is taking a cut of their fee. One way HomeLight guards against this risk is by taking customer satisfaction and success with previous HomeLight clients into consideration when making agent matches.

If an agent isn't performing well with HomeLight customers, there's a good chance HomeLight will decrease the amount of clients it sends their way. That incentivizes agents to provide excellent service.

Plus, HomeLight only gets paid when you close on a sale or purchase with one of its partner agents. So it's in HomeLight's best interests to match you with an agent who is likely to help you get your transaction across the finish line.

HomeLight pros and cons

👍 HomeLight has good agents almost everywhere

No matter where you live, HomeLight usually has a good agent nearby it can match you with. With more than 70,000 agents nationwide, HomeLight’s network is much larger than its closest competitor. More agents mean HomeLight can cover more of the country than many other services.

The quality of those agents is usually pretty high. This is largely thanks to HomeLight’s algorithm. When making a match, HomeLight’s algorithm takes many performance metrics into account, including:

  • Price range
  • Geographic area
  • Number of transactions
  • Average sale price vs. average listing price
  • Prior reviews
  • Average days on market
  • Success rate with previous HomeLight referrals

You’ll usually get paired with an agent who’s not only nearby, but has closed many transactions in the area as well..

That said, data isn’t everything and no algorithm is perfect, including HomeLight’s. In fact, we found HomeLight’s algorithm led to some poor agent matches.

👍 Customer dashboard is helpful and easy to use

HomeLight’s customer dashboard is streamlined and easy to use. Each agent and their key performance data are presented on one page, making comparing and contacting your different agent matches simple .

For example, you can view your agent matches from the main dashboard page where you can see their:

  • Years of experience
  • Number of homes sold in your area
  • Achievements
  • A map showing their recent sales

If you want more information, read their bio and more data about their sales via their profile.

Your dashboard also includes additional features, like:

  • A message center where you can contact HomeLight and your matched agents
  • An option to try out HomeLight’s Simple Sale service
  • A section to keep track of the progress of your home sale or purchase

👍 You get to choose from multiple agents

HomeLight’s algorithm uses the information you provided during signup to immediately match you with up to three local agents.

If those agent matches don’t seem right for you, you can immediately request an additional two matches, giving you up to five matches in total. That's more than most other agent matching services offer.

Your additional matches are also generated immediately through HomeLight’s algorithm. In contrast, other agent matching services usually require you to speak to a representative to get additional matches.

That said, while getting additional matches right away is certainly more convenient, they aren’t being handpicked by a human concierge. In some markets, we’ve found that that can lead to agent mismatches.

✍️ Editor's note

Don't assume the first three agents you're matched with are the best. In our experience, while the first three matches are usually good, sometimes the additional matches we requested were just as good or even better.

👎 Fully automated process doesn’t always produce great matches

HomeLight’s agent matching process is fully automated, meaning it relies 100% on an algorithm. While a concierge will contact you immediately afterwards to review those matches — and potentially suggest different ones — the fact that the concierge doesn’t verify whether those matches are a good fit first is a drawback.

While data is important when making a match, we prefer services that combine data with human oversight. After all, an agent may look good on paper, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good fit for you.

You want an agent with the right kind of experience to help you reach your goals and feel comfortable throughout the entire process. A lot of what makes an agent the right “fit” can’t be figured out by an algorithm. It requires an actual person learning about your needs and preferences, then consulting the data and hand-picking the best possible matches.

Case in point: We were generally pretty happy with the agents HomeLight matched us with, but it missed the mark a few times.

When we tried mystery shopping for an agent in Lawrence, KS, for example, our top match only had two sales in Lawrence, but hundreds in Kansas City — about 40 miles away.

HomeLight customer dashboard, agent map

This pattern repeated in a few areas, most often small-to-mid-sized cities within striking distance of a larger metro area. While we can’t say for sure, we believe HomeLight’s algorithm prioritizes agents who have closed the most sales vs. those with the most relevant experience (i.e., past deals in your neighborhood, specifically).

We think this is a big gap in HomeLight’s algorithm. Having a local agent is important, and an agent who has sold 20 homes in your town may be a much better fit than one who has sold 100 homes in a nearby city.

✍️ Editor's note

Watch out for when HomeLight describes an agent having sold X number of homes in "your area" vs. in your specific city or town.

If the dashboard only includes the number in "your area," HomeLight's search radius may be too wide and factoring in agents with high sales numbers outside of your immediate market.

Other agent matching services, like Ideal Agent and Clever, also use algorithmic matching technology — but a human concierge reviews those matches before sharing them with the customer.

Adding that human element helps reduce the likelihood of a computer making the wrong assumptions about what you’re looking for in an agent. It also saves you time you would otherwise waste with a bad agent match.

👎 Little quality control for agents

It’s very easy for agents to join HomeLight's network. Any agent with a license can sign up for HomeLight, regardless of how well they perform in their local markets.

Other agent matching services require agents to meet certain performance criteria, especially in terms of the number of homes sold in the past year.

As a result, HomeLight’s agent network varies in quality and its size needs to be taken with a grain of salt. In other words, don’t just assume any agent HomeLight matches you with is great — we recommend interviewing multiple agents before making your final decision.

👎 No built-in or guaranteed savings

HomeLight’s agent matching service doesn’t cost you any money, but it won’t save you money, either. Unlike some of its competitors, HomeLight doesn’t provide built-in savings for sellers or buyers.

In most cases, you’ll pay the full listing fee for your realtor, usually 2.5-3% of the sale price depending on your local market. That’s the same rate you’d pay if you found an agent on your own.

Companies like Ideal Agent and Clever, in contrast, pre-negotiate discounts with their partner agents on your behalf. With Ideal Agent, the listing fee is 2% while for Clever it's just 1% for homes over $350,000.

For a $400,000 home, this is how much you could save in listing fees with Clever or Ideal Agent compared to HomeLight:


Clever
Ideal Agent
HomeLight
Listing Fee
$4,000
$8,000
$10,000*
Total Savings**
$6,000
$2,000
$0
*Assuming a 2.5% listing fee
**Compared to 2.5% listing fee

We recommend working with companies that net you the most possible value. If you can get the same no-cost agent matching service plus significant savings without sacrificing on quality, why wouldn’t you?

» MORE: Which company charges the lowest commission?

HomeLight reviews from real customers

In general, HomeLight reviews online are positive, with an average rating of 4.7 across 1,119 total reviews.


Rating
Total reviews
Weighted avg.
4.7
1,119
4.81
591
4.6
344
4.6
184

We dug through hundreds of reviews to discover what customers had to say about HomeLight’s services. Here’s what we found they liked best about HomeLight and where they felt the company could do better.

What customers like about HomeLight

HomeLight has very good reviews overall. Customers especially praised the quality of the agents they were matched with and the platform’s ease of use.

'A ton of experience in our neighborhood'

We found many HomeLight reviews highlighted that customers were usually matched with local and experienced agents. This customer, for example, felt her agent exceeded expectations and provided exceptional service.

Sylvia W. (5/5) Selecting a great realtor would have been impossible without HomeLight. We met S*** A*** and immediately found her approachable and with
a ton of experience in our neighborhood. We initially selected to interview S*** based on her stellar sales track record but quickly found that she demonstrated care and thoughtfulness managing viewings with my elderly mother in the home during COVID.
Most importantly for us S*** priced the home well, coached us through the process thoughtfully and kept us informed of every step.

Because of HomeLight’s large network, customers often had an easy time finding a local agent. With more than 70,000 agents nationwide, HomeLight has coverage in just about every market.

We believe HomeLight’s algorithm prioritizes agents who have lots of previous sales, which explains why customers were often pleased with the level of experience agents typically brought to the table.

'We were able to choose 4 agents’

HomeLight also stands out for the relatively high number of agents it connects customers with. You get up to five agent matches immediately, which is a lot for an agent matching service.

While having so many agents to choose from overwhelms some customers, others appreciate being given so many options.

Jessica S. (5/5) We were contacted almost immediately with suggestions of real estate agents in our area. From the choices provided to us, we were able
to choose 4 agents to interview and from those agents we found our perfect fit. Without HomeLight I am not sure we would have found our agent who ended up selling our home in 24 days!

Having plenty of matches gives some customers a sense of greater control over their choice of agent. As the above review shows, more agent matches means you have the option of interviewing multiple agents instead of just sticking with the first agent HomeLight recommends.

'Prompt, helpful, and much appreciated'

A number of HomeLight reviews also noted the quality of its customer service, with many clients pleased with the level of support they received throughout their transaction.

We found that after filling out the online form, a HomeLight representative typically contacts you within minutes, both by email and phone.

This reviewer, for example, praised HomeLight’s customer service as especially helpful, which made the process of selling a home less stressful.

Pamela C. (5/5) HomeLight was just wonderful in helping me through the process of selling my home! They partnered me with the best Real Estate Agent for
my neighborhood and my needs. They also continued to offer me any help or support that I may need throughout the sale and closing of my home. HomeLight's Services were very prompt, helpful, and much appreciated in making my home selling experience
less stressful and convenient!

HomeLight complaints from customers

Negative Homelight reviews are rare. The few we did find mostly concerned the high frequency of agents' calls to customers after they signed up.

As we mentioned above, it's normal for agent matching services to share your contact information with agents you are matched with. And many customers do appreciate that agents are the ones that call them, not the other way around.

However, wHomeLight could do a better job of being transparent about this process. As this customer notes, getting calls from multiple agents when you’re not expecting it can catch you off guard:

Haley M. (1/5) The moment you input your information you will be bombarded with endless calls from multiple realtors in your area

Top HomeLight alternatives

Brand
Built-in savings?
Avg rating

4.9

4.6

4.9

1. Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate

Full Review

💲 Listing Fee

$3k or 1%

💰 Buyer Savings

Up to 0.5% cash back

⚡ Avg. Customer Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

✍️ Editor's Take
✔️ Pros
❌ Cons
🏆 Reviews

Clever is a quick, easy, and free way to find a top-rated local agent. And, unlike many similar companies, Clever pre-negotiates big discounts on your behalf, so you can save thousands without sacrificing on service.


Learn how Clever helps you find the perfect agent and save thousands

  • Free, nationwide agent-matching service that partners with full-service local agents from conventional brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX
  • Provides multiple agent matches so you can interview, compare marketing plans, and choose the best fit
  • Pre-negotiates low rates on your behalf — you get full service for a flat $3,000 listing fee, or just 1% if the home sells for more than $350,000
  • If you buy with Clever, you could get a check worth up to 0.5% of the home price
  • You may not get matched with an agent from your preferred real estate brokerage.
  • Like other agent matching services, Clever may have fewer agents in rural areas.
  • Agents may not provide premium services like drone photography and professional home staging.

As of April 2, 2021, Clever has an average customer rating of 4.9 on Trustpilot, based on 974 reviews.


Read reviews from real Clever customers here.

SHOW MORE

Like HomeLight, Clever is a nationwide agent matching service that connects you with a full service local real estate agent. Clever also lets you interview multiple agents, so you can choose the one you think is the best fit.

However, Clever offers more value than HomeLight in some key areas, namely cost savings and personalized agent matches. For instance, Clever pre-negotiates discounts with realtors, which HomeLight doesn’t do.

With Clever you pay a listing fee of 1% or $3,000 (for homes under $350,000) — much better than the standard 2.5-3% you’re more likely to pay with a HomeLight partner agent.

Plus, qualifying buyers can get 0.5% of the purchase price back after closing when they opt for a Clever partner agent.

Finally, while Clever also uses data to make agent matches, a human concierge double checks those matches beforehand. That helps lower the risk of agent mismatches, which ultimately saves you time.

💰 Compare 1% commission agents and save thousands

Try our free, no-obligation agent-matching service! Clever will get proposals from the top agents in your area — and negotiate discounted rates of just $3K or 1%.

2. UpNest

UpNest

UpNest

💲 Listing Fee

Varies

💰 Buyer Savings

Varies

⚡ Avg. Customer Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

✍️ Editor's Take
✔️ Pros
❌ Cons
🏆 Reviews

UpNest has agents compete for your business, which often results in you getting a discounted rate. But savings aren't guaranteed and you will usually find a better rate with competitors like Clever.

  • Agents compete for customers, which often results in slightly discounted rates
  • Customer dashboard is easy to use and provides lots of each information about each agent
  • Savings are not guaranteed and are often only a little better than the national average
  • Agent quality and coverage varies, with smaller markets having fewer options than big cities

As of April 2, 2021, UpNest has an average customer rating of 4.6, based on 2,934 reviews across Better Business Bureau, Google, Facebook, and Shopper Approved.

SHOW MORE

Like HomeLight, UpNest also has a large agent network and can connect you with multiple agents.

UpNest differs in that agents compete for your business and you get to choose which one makes the best offer. In theory, this business model can lead to discounts on the agent listing fee.

However, we’ve found that discounts tend to be mediocre on UpNest, with listing fees usually hovering around 2-2.5%. That’s better than the national average of 2.5-3% that you’ll likely get from a HomeLight partner agent, but not by much.

It also means you’ll likely pay more for an agent through UpNest than you would with other agent matching services, namely Clever and Ideal Agent,

3. Ideal Agent

Ideal Agent

Ideal Agent

💲 Listing Fee

2% ($3k minimum fee)

💰 Buyer Savings

None

⚡ Avg. Customer Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

✍️ Editor's Take
✔️ Pros
❌ Cons
🏆 Reviews

Ideal Agent can match you with a local realtor who sells a lot of homes. But although it pre-negotiates discounted listing fees, you can save twice as much with competitors like Clever.

  • Agents in network must meet strict quality standards
  • Pre-negotiated listing fees of 2% (or $3k for homes under $150,000)


  • 2% listing fee is less than the national average, but it's not the best rate out there
  • No built-in savings for buyers
  • Only matches you with a single agent

As of April 2, 2021, Ideal Agent has an average customer rating of 4.9, based on 2,010 reviews across Google and Trustpilot.

SHOW MORE

Ideal Agent is another agent matching service with nationwide coverage. Like HomeLight, Ideal Agent matches you with a local full-service agent.

Ideal Agent’s agent network of 450 agents, however, is much smaller than HomeLight’s and you only get matched with one. That said, Ideal Agent has a more rigorous vetting process for agents. Your matches are usually highly experienced.

Also, Ideal Agent pre-negotiates a discounted rate of 2% with the seller’s agent. This is below the national average of 2.5-3% you’re likely to pay with HomeLight. While it’s a decent discount, it’s far from the best in the industry and double what you would pay through Clever.

👋 Next Steps: Talk to an expert!

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

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How does HomeLight work for real estate agents?

HomeLight referral fees | Sign-up requirements | Lead quality | HomeLight reviews from realtors

HomeLight is a low-risk way for real estate agents to grow their business while saving money on expenses. The company provides a steady stream of prospective seller and buyer leads at no upfront cost. Agents pay referral fees only if and when a deal closes.

Do agents pay to be on HomeLight?

HomeLight charges a 25% referral fee, due 10 days after closing, when you close a deal for a customer that came to you via HomeLight’s platform. The referral fee is 30% for properties over $4 million.

HomeLight also collects a referral fee for any deal with a client referred via HomeLight’s platform within two years of the initial referral.

As is the case with most agent matching services, there are no signup, cost-per-lead, or monthly subscription fees.

What are HomeLight’s minimum requirements for partner agents?

Any agent can join HomeLight’s network, as long as they have a valid agent's license. However, because of the way HomeLight’s algorithm functions, you likely won't get any leads if you don’t already have some sales under your belt — especially in more competitive and populated markets.

HomeLight’s algorithm places a high value on the number of transactions agents have completed. If you’re looking for a steady stream of leads, be sure to upload your past sales into the platform when you sign up — and keep it up-to-date with new sales you close on your own.

How good are HomeLight leads?

Customer lead quality varies on HomeLight. The company claims agents can expect fewer referrals compared to other platforms, but that these referrals are “serious, action-oriented buyers and sellers” who HomeLight reps contact and vet on an individual basis.

This claim seems misleading. In our experience, HomeLight’s concierges typically contact prospective customers after the introductions have already been made. In other words, there’s very little vetting happening up front.

HomeLight also claims customers only get introduced to three agents. This is also misleading. While it’s true that HomeLight initially presents clients with three matches, they can request two more agent matches right away. So, you’ll potentially be competing with four other agents for a single customer lead.

Lower lead quality ultimately means you risk wasting time with people who aren’t serious about selling or buying a home. Companies that pre-vet leads typically help you waste less time and net you higher close rates.

For example, last year, Clever’s best agent closed 60% of her referrals, thanks in large part to leads being thoroughly vetted.

💰 Close more deals with Clever

Are you a top-rated agent? Clever Real Estate wants to partner with you! 

Clever's partner agents typically have a 20% close rate (minimum!), with most closing around one-third of the leads we send their way. 

Stop wasting time and money on dead-end leads. Apply to become a Clever partner agent today!

HomeLight reviews from realtors

Most online reviews of HomeLight come from customers rather than agents, which makes it difficult to assess how most agents feel about the company.

The handful of HomeLight realtor reviews that do exist paint a mixed picture of working with the company.

What realtors like about HomeLight

HomeLight’s large size means it attracts a high volume of customers. Realtors can potentially find a steady stream of new leads, which can help you grow your business.

This agent, for example, commended HomeLight for helping his real estate business succeed.

Ian C. (5/5) Since starting with Homelight, I have found the service, it’s support staff, and managers to be impressive. I have received qualified leads
in my area on a consistent basis, have bi weekly meetings to assist in moving my leads through the pipeline, and been offered several programs to assist my sellers and buyers with either the sale or purchase of their properties. Homelight has been an
invaluable asset to our company and I look forward to growing more with them.

If you can maintain a high volume of leads through HomeLight, that should make up for the referral fees HomeLight charges.

HomeLight complaints from real estate agents

The most common complaints from agents about HomeLight concern glitches with setting up a realtor profile and uploading past transactions. This realtor, for example, ran into a series of issues getting his HomeLight profile complete.

Pascal (1/5) I was extremely disappointed with Homelight. I created a profile as a real estate agent, and every time I would upload my past transactions,
the same ones would not appear on my profile even though I would send spreadsheet after spreadsheet, the * listing as proof etc. They would state that it would be up within 48 hours, but nothing would ever change. One of my transactions was nearly a year
old, and in all that time it would never appear on my profile meaning the stats about me were incorrect. After a while because the issue could never be resolved, they just decided not to respond to my emails. Not sure what archaic system they have there,
but whatever it is, it doesn’t work. I have hence removed my profile. A lot of wasted time and energy creating my profile unfortunately.

On a related note, some agents complained about poor support from HomeLight when troubleshooting problems.

The following agent, for instance, had trouble even getting in touch with HomeLight to help resolve an issue with their profile.

John G. (1/5) This company has the worst customer service set up I have EVER worked with. I have been trying for over THREE MONTHS to get the correct agent
profile to reflect for our real estate team and you literally cannot reach a human being by phone when you click ANY option. Everything refers you to an email that is run by people who have NO idea how to manage their own systems. As of today an outdated
profile is STILL showing up through our Yelp page and shows the incorrect brokerage and essentially all outdated information. Even when we got a person to

Problems like these can potentially give leads inaccurate information about your business. You may even miss out on client matches because HomeLight’s algorithm has incorrect data about you.

Finally, as mentioned above, some customers don’t like the high volume of calls and emails they receive from HomeLight or HomeLight partner agents after signing up. Unfortunately, this may end up reflecting poorly on your business, as this realtor found out:

Patty (1/5) They are bugging my clients for a review of me.My clients opted out - but continue to get emails. My clients think I started this solicitation
of a review. I have never heard of this company. They should leave my clients alone - they

Better real estate agents at a better rate

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