John L. Scott 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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John L. Scott 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.

John L. Scott is a family-owned real estate brokerage and one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest. First founded in 1931, the company now operates 100 offices with over 3,000 agents across California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll no doubt come across John L. Scott Real Estate agents. How do these agents compare with other brokerages, and could you be better served elsewhere?

Bottom line: Do we recommend John L. Scott?

⭐️ John L. Scott Real Estate: Overall score
4.25
4.5
4.5
4.0
4.0
Ratings based on 1–5 scale, with 5 being the best

Based on our analysis, we think John L. Scott lives up to its reputation. As a full-service brokerage, it offers all the basic services a brokerage is expected to have, plus an invaluable historical perspective on markets it's operated in for decades, such as Seattle and Portland.

The company operates on high volume. With 3,000+ agents at its disposal, John L. Scott completes around 34,000 transactions per year and bills around $16 billion in sales. That’s around 11.3 transactions per agent, which is above the industry standard of 8.

John L. Scott, however, will likely charge fixed commission rates for their agents (i.e., non-negotiable), no matter what the market standards. For a full price, you might be working with a reputable brand, but keep in mind it’s the agent that determines your experience, not necessarily the company. To ensure you’re working with the right agent for you, we recommend interviewing at least two to three agents (ideally from different brokerates).

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John L. Scott Real Estate: Our in-depth breakdown

Reputation and customer experience

📊 Our rating: 4.25/5

  • No major red flags

  • Solid ratings for all offices

  • Some complaints about communication, paperwork, and closing

After analyzing 516 reviews across 26 offices, we found that John L. Scott has an aggregate customer rating of 4.27. That means for every 10 people that work with John L. Scott, 8.5 are likely to have a positive experience. That’s fairly good when compared with similar brokerages.

When we ran those same 516 reviews through a program that picks out emotional language we found the following themes:

🟢 Top positive themes
🔴 Top negative themes
  • Service

  • Professionalism

  • Quality

  • Support

  • Calls

  • Price

From our analysis, we found that reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The balance of negative, neutral, and positive sentiments tells us most clients reported good experiences, even despite the fact that people use third-party review sites to complain more often than to praise.

There are no reviews filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Agent quality

📊 Our rating: 4.5/5

  • Average agent has 16+ years of experience and 11.3 transactions a year — above industry standards

  • Individual agent reviews applaud agents for hardworking attitudes but complain of high fees and mis-pricing homes for sale

Compared with similar brokerages in the Pacific Northwest, the quality of agents at John L. Scott is remarkably high.

For one, agents have an average of 16 years of experience, which is double the industry median of eight years (based on 198 agents who listed their experience on Realtor.com). Agents also complete around 11.3 transactions per year, which is pretty standard.

The few individual agent reviews on Facebook and Yelp are outdated. The little we could gather told us that clients appreciate the thoroughness and professionalism of John L. Scott, but they sometimes regret not shopping around for a lower agent commission.

Because these reviews aren’t necessarily representative of the entire company, you should still evaluate individual John L. Scott agents before enlisting their services. Interview the agent thoroughly, and ask for sales numbers and references from past clients.

Brand reach and visibility

📊 Our rating: 4/5

  • Dense presence in Portland and Seattle, less so in other PNW markets

  • Huge influx of monthly online visitors to main website

  • Small social media following, with different offices managing their own regional channels

As one of the longest-standing real estate brokerages in the Pacific Northwest, John L. Scott has certainly cemented a reputation of excellence.

It has good brand reach and visibility online, especially for a regional company, with 35,000 monthly searches for “John L. Scott realty” and other branded terms. According to our analytics, John L. Scott’s website receives over 49,000 monthly visits, which is above average for a company of this size.

Although the company claims to operate in four states, most of its offices are divided between Portland and Seattle, with a smaller number representing cities in Oregon and Washington. The company has fewer offices in Idaho (mostly found in Boise) and only two in northern California.

Buyers and sellers looking for homes in rural areas might be better served by a local real estate company, rather than John L. Scott, which mostly covers metropolitan areas. That's because brokerages with strong local networks can connect you with buyers and listings faster.

Service value

📊 Our rating: 4.0/5

  • Good value for a full-service brokerage

  • Innovative listing price technology

  • Free downloadable guides to buyers and sellers

John L. Scott seems like a good value. As a full-service real estate company, agents at John L. Scott offer services buyers and sellers need, such as home valuations and walk-throughs, as well as some neat features to serve clients' best interests.

Buyers get:

  • A customizable mobile app for a unique home-search experience
  • Free property tracking with new-listing alerts for targeted markets
  • Free guide to jump-start the buying process (access it here)

Sellers get:

  • A free home valuation assessment, which claims to be more accurate than Zillow’s “Zestimate,” though that's not verified
  • Free guide to pricing strategies (access it here)

Sellers should keep in mind that John L. Cline agents will charge fixed commission rates — no matter what the local rates are. To give you a frame of reference, here are the state averages for the markets in which John L. Scott operates:

State
Avg. listing fee
Avg. total commission

California
2.50%
4.91%
$37,800
Idaho
2.68%
5.36%
$25,300
Oregon
2.54%
4.99%
$25,700
Washington
2.67%
5.30%
$32,500
* Based on each state's median home price from Zillow

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

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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 John L. Scott

General contact info (corporate office)

📍 Address
11040 Main St., Suite 280
Bellevue, WA 98004
☎️ Phone
(253) 245-9194
📱 Social media

John L. Scott local offices and contact information

The website provides a helpful search tool to filter through dozens of John L. Scott 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
Medford
871 Medford Center
Medford, OR 97504
(541) 779-3611
Bellingham
2930 Newmarket St., Suite 111
Bellingham, WA 98226
(360) 671-9640
Ocean Shores
711 Point Brown Ave. NW
PO Box 444
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
(800) 562-6670
Port Orchard
1954 SE Lund Ave.
Port Orchard, WA 98366
(360) 876-7600
Puyallup South Hill
10223 132nd St. E, Suite 101
Puyallup, WA 98374
(253) 268-3500
Snohomish
108 Union Ave.
Snohomish, WA 98290
(360) 217-8670
Spokane
1500 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 202
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 455-8600
Vashon
13401 Vashon Hwy. SW
Vashon, WA 98070
(206) 567-1600

Other John L. Scott services

This review is focused on John L. Scott'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 John L. Scott 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.

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  • 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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