Howard Hanna Real Estate Review: Is it Worth It?

Steven Porrello

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Steven Porrello

December 29th, 2022
Updated December 29th, 2022

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Howard Hanna Real Estate Review:

Overall rating | Customer experience | Agent quality | Brand visibility and reach | Service value | Locations | Methodology

✍️ Why trust us: We strive to provide objective recommendations and advice. Learn more about how we research.

Founded in 1957, Howard Hanna is a reputable, family-owned real estate company operating in 12 states. It's grown into a major brand, with a strong presence in the Pittsburgh area.

Below we’ll analyze Howard Hanna on four major points and help you decide if their agents will be the best fit for your situation.

Bottom line: Do we recommend Howard Hanna Real Estate?

⭐️ Howard Hanna Real Estate: Overall score
4.3
4.0
3.5
5.0
5.0
Ratings based on 1–5 scale, with 5 being the best

We think Howard Hanna provides exceptional service, with unique extra services offered to both sellers and buyers, on top of all the standard ones you’d expect. But we were less impressed with the quality of their agents, which was very average. Given the company's massive size, that means your agent could be fantastic or terrible. Reviews are generally positive, but quite a few offices have numerous complaints on the Better Business Bureau.

Because no brokerage can be the best fit for everyone, we recommend you interview a few agents before working with Howard Hanna. The most important thing is the agent, not the brand.

🏡 Compare agents, save money! Try Clever’s free agent matching service. Choose from top local agents from the best brokerages, get built-in savings. Learn more.

Howard Hanna Real Estate: Our in-depth breakdown

Reputation and customer experience

📊 Our rating: 4.0/5

  • Customer reviews were mostly positive
  • Complaints around customer service and communication
  • Numerous BBB complaints for specific offices

Each local Howard Hanna office has its own Better Business Bureau profile, so check out the BBB profile of the office in your area. The number of complaints varied by office: one had 11 complaints in the past three years, while others had zero.

To evaluate the brokerage’s reputation, we looked at 261 reviews across 18 offices. The overall reviews were favorable, with an aggregate rating of 4.45, which is on par (but not exceptional) with similarly sized brokerages.

We then ran these reviews through a program that identifies emotional language and found the following themes:

🟢 Top positive themes
🔴 Top negative themes
  • Home buying process
  • Teamwork
  • Responsiveness
  • Closing
  • Customer service
  • Communication

The positive sentiments outnumbered all the negative and neutral reviews combined, which is especially good since third-party review sites complain rather than praise.

Agent quality

📊 Our rating: 3.5/5

  • Average agent experience and track records

According to Clever's data, the average Howard Hanna agent has 10.7 years experience, which is slightly higher than the industry. However, agents at many of the brokerages we’ve reviewed have 16 years or more. And Howard Hanna agents average just under the industry standard of 12 transactions per year.

Because Howard Hanna has so many agents, we highly recommend interviewing one or two individually. Ask them how many transactions they complete per year, how many years they’ve been an agent, and if they would give you references from past clients.

Brand reach and visibility

📊 Our rating: 5/5

  • Strong online presence
  • Large team of agents and number of offices

Howard Hanna has excellent market share and coverage. Around 92,000 people search “Howard Hanna” and other branded terms on Google each month. Our analytics also show its website gets over 419,000 visits every month — an impressively high amount of traffic for a real estate brokerage.

The brokerage has 10,385 agents, 288 offices, and thousands of active listings across 12 states. Most offices are in urban areas (such as Buffalo, NY, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh), but there’s a fair amount of representation for rural areas, too. Given the size of its brokerage and its ability to market homes, you can rely on a strong local network that will connect you with buyers and listings faster.

Service value

📊 Our rating: 5/5

  • Offers all the standard services of a full-service brokerage
  • Exclusive programs for buyers and sellers

Sellers can expect all the basic services from a full-service brokerage, such as help with pricing, listing on the MLS, photography, and showings. But what sets Howard Hanna apart are its signature programs:

  • Buy Before You Sell: If you both buy and sell with Howard Hanna, the brokerage will let you use your current equity as a down payment on your next home. This could allow you to buy a new home before selling your current one.
  • Sunday Showcase of Homes: The brokerage has a local television and YouTube series that showcases listings. It’s free to have your home showcased, but you have to submit a request through your listing office first.

Likewise, buyers also can enjoy more services than the average brokerage:

  • Find It First: The brokerage will alert you when new homes are about to hit the market — even before they appear on popular listing sites.
  • Apartment Dwellers Trade-In: If you find a home before your lease is up, the brokerage will help you work around the rental contract.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee: If buyers are unsatisfied with their purchase, Howard Hanna will buy the home back from them for 100% of the purchase price — a rare refund policy in real estate. This gives buyers peace of mind with their purchase and can attract more offers to your listing.

Keep in mind if you choose to list with a Howard Hanna agent, you should expect to pay full commission for their services. To get a rough estimate of how much that could cost, here’s the averages for the states where Howard Hanna operates:

State
Avg. listing fee
Avg. total commission
Avg. cost*
Indiana
2.96%
5.66%
$12,900
Kentucky
2.72%
5.44%
$11,300
Maryland
2.60%
5.11%
$20,800
Michigan
2.77%
5.65%
$13,300
New Jersey
2.63%
5.13%
$24,400
New York
2.61%
4.97%
$20,500
North Carolina
2.86%
5.60%
$18,500
Ohio
3.19%
5.81%
$12,600
Pennsylvania
2.81%
5.53%
$15,100
South Carolina
2.82%
5.63%
$17,000
Virginia
2.56%
5.22%
$20,100
West Virginia
2.72%
5.44%
$8,000
* Based on each state's median home price from Zillow

» MORE: Average Commission Rates Across the U.S. 2022

💰 Top agents, big savings:

Clever’s free service matches you with top local realtors from the best brokerages (like John L. Scott) but negotiates big savings.

Sellers save thousands on listing fees. Buyers can get cash back after closing.

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Additional info about Howard Hanna Real Estate

General contact info (corporate office)

📍 Address
119 Gamma Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
☎️ Phone
(412) 967-9000
📱 Social media

Howard Hanna Real Estate local offices and contact information

Howard Hanna Real Estate provides a helpful search tool to filter through its offices. We've also listed the locations that get the most search on Google, indicating they're probably popular or in a highly populated area.

Office location
Phone number
Erie Southwest/Sterrettania
3738 Sterrettania Road
Erie, PA 16506
(814) 835-1200
Mt. Lebanon
701 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(412) 561-7400
Cleveland Heights University Circle
12435 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
(216) 721-1210
Rochester Main
217 W Main St.
Rochester, NY 14614
(585) 756-7300
Jackson
2131 Ferguson Road
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 787-9800

Other Howard Hanna Real Estate services

This review is focused on Howard Hanna Real Estate's core real estate agent service. We’ve listed its other services (mortgage, title, insurance, etc.) and links to their respective websites below.

Make sure you shop around to get the best fit and value. Don’t go with a Howard Hanna service just because of the convenience!

Next steps: Start interviewing agents!

Interview multiple agents (ideally two to three) to ensure you get the best fit and value. Remember: always hire the agent, not the brand. When you’re ready to start searching, check out our guide on how to choose the right real estate agent. Clever’s free agent-matching service makes agent shopping fast and easy, and it can save you money.

🚀 Ready to get started?

Sign up below to get matched with top-performing agents in your area! Compare options, choose the best fit, and save money.

  • Sellers get a pre-negotiated discount on listing fees (avg. seller savings is $9,600.)
  • Buyers can get a rebate after closing

Clever is 100% free with no obligation. Give it a try today!

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Rating methodology

We evaluate brokerages based on four core criteria we think will help readers make informed decisions. We broke those criteria down into discrete metrics so we could make the score as objective as possible. Here’s a quick breakdown of that criteria and methodology:

Do most people who work with this brokerage have a generally positive experience? Are there any red flags?

What we looked at:

  • Average customer ratings across various third-party review sites, like Zillow, Realtor.com, and Google
  • The content of those reviews, via sentiment analysis tools and manual reading, to pull out key positive and negative themes and summarize key risks and benefits
  • The Better Business Bureau profile for formal complaints

How strong is the agent team? What are the chances of ending up with a solid realtor that will meet different needs, preferences, and availability?

What we looked at:

  • Total number of agents vs. offices to gauge how wide the selection is
  • Average experience of the entire team, based on public agent data on sites like Realtor.com and Zillow
  • Average annual transactions per agent, sourced from RealTrends or brokerage-provided data, compared with the industry average

How much "brand power" does this brokerage have? Does it increase awareness and get more eyes on your listings, more showings, or quicker offers?

What we looked at:

  • Social media presence across all major consumer-facing social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
  • Online audience size through web traffic volume and monthly Google searches for the brand name
  • Marketing reach, like listings on all major MLSs and populator listing sites like Zillow and Realtor.com

How does the brokerage compare with other conventional brokerages? How does it compare with the market rates for commission (~3% listing fees)? Are you getting too little, the right amount, or more service for the tentative fee?

What we looked at:

What we consider "full service" for a real estate brokerage:

  • Professional home valuation
  • Advice on how to stage your home
  • High-quality professional photography
  • Listing on a multiple listing service (MLS) and home-buying websites
  • Open house management
  • Negotiation
  • Assistance with paperwork

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