✍️ Editor’s take: Prevu offers solid commission savings for buyers and sellers. But at certain price points, other discount brands may offer better value.
Prevu is a discount real estate brokerage with locations in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, and Fairfield County, CT.
However, those savings come with some tradeoffs: limited agent selection, high minimum fees, and less hands on service throughout the process.
Depending on your price point and situation, you may be able to get better value from another discount service — or even a traditional agent.
What is Prevu?
Prevu is a real estate brokerage with licensed agents who can help you buy or sell a home in Los Angeles, as well as four Northeastern metros:
- New York City
- Fairfield County, CT
What differentiates Prevu from most brokerages is that it offers big commission savings for buyers and sellers compared to typical industry rates.
✍️ Editor’s note
As with most companies that offer savings on realtor commission, Prevu has limited agent selection, so you may not find an agent you like.
Additionally, discount brokers generally have service quality tradeoffs, especially in terms of how much personalized attention their agents provide.
That's not necessarily the case with Prevu, but it's a good idea to discuss these concerns when you interview agents.
It always pays to shop around! We recommend comparing Prevu against other local realtors — both traditional agents and discount services — to find the best overall value for your situation.
How much can you save with Prevu?
When you buy a house with a Prevu Agent, you could qualify for a commission rebate worth up to 2% of the purchase price.
Home sellers can save with Prevu too. The company advertises listing fees as low as 1.5%. This means sellers can save up to 25% on realtor commission compared to going with a traditional brokerage.
Who should use Prevu?
Prevu is worth considering if...
You may want to avoid Prevu if...
Is Prevu legitimate
Yes, Prevu is a legitimate licensed brokerage in each of the markets where it operates.
Prevu has an average customer rating of 4.9 based on 115 reviews. To date, the startup has raised upwards of $2.2 million in investor funding.
Our biggest concern with Prevu is that you have to do a lot of digging to unearth fine-print details about its services and pricing. In particular, you'll need to make sure to ask an agent for specifics about:
- Minimum fees that vary by location — and aren't listed on Prevu's website
- Restrictions that may disqualify you from taking full advantage of Prevu's advertised savings
How does Prevu work?
Prevu offers one of the largest home buyer rebates of any discount broker we've reviewed. It also charges sellers up to 25% less than traditional realtors.
How is Prevu able to charge so much less than the other guys? Currently, Prevu offsets its advertised savings by:
- Targeting customers who are buying or selling expensive homes
- Attempting to assist customers more efficiently
Prevu targets high-end real estate markets
The primary reason Prevu can offer such large rebates and discounts is that it serves some of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
✍️ Editor's note
By targeting buyers looking at higher-priced homes, Prevu can dangle big rebates and still pocket a hefty payday itself.
In theory, it should take a realtor roughly the same amount of time to help a buyer purchase a $1 million home as one that costs $100,000. However, the buyer's agent commission on the $1 million home purchase could be as much as $30,000, compared to just $3,000 on the cheaper property.
So, if Prevu helps you buy a $1 million home, they can refund $20,000 to you and still pocket more than 3x as much as if they'd kept the entire commission on the $100,000 house purchase.
Prevu's strategy probably wouldn't work in say, Milwaukee, where the median home sale price is $155,000. They wouldn't earn enough from each transaction to offset the cost of the rebates.
That said, you can buy or sell a less expensive home in one of Prevu's markets. But after factoring in the company's minimum fees, you probably won't save all that much.
Prevu attempts to assist customers more efficiently
Alongside targeting pricier markets, Prevu's customer service approach aims to increase efficiency. To achieve this, Prevu reduces the time agents spend doing tasks buyers can do themselves, such as researching home listings.
While many traditional realtors meet with buyers upfront to discuss their situation and then spend time researching properties that meet their needs, Prevu Agents don't step in until buyers are ready to tour a home.
Prior to that, Prevu directs buyers toward its online platform, where they can view listings and schedule tours.
By letting buyers do the early-stage legwork themselves, Prevu Agents can offer full-service support while minimizing the time they spend dealing with "tire-kickers" who express interest in buying a home but don't end up making a purchase.
How much does Prevu cost?
Prevu listing fee
Buyer's agent commission
*Minimum fees apply and vary by location
**Based on average real estate commission rates nationwide
Prevu doesn't cost home buyers anything out of pocket. But if you sell a house with Prevu, you'll be responsible for covering two different fees:
- Prevu's listing fee: 1.5% of the sale price
- Buyer's agent commission: 2.5-3% of the sale price
Prevu's minimum fees could wipe out your savings
While Prevu advertises a 1.5% rate, you'll need to watch out for minimum fees that could wipe out your potential savings if you're selling a lower-end home.
For example, Prevu charges a minimum commission of $12,500 in New York City. This means you won't actually pay 1.5% unless your home sells for at least $835,000. And if it goes for less than $415,000, you could end up paying MORE than if you'd used an old-school realtor who charges 3%.
✍️ Editor's note
Prevu doesn't list its minimum fees on its website, but from our conversations with Prevu Agents, we discovered that they vary quite a bit between locations.
Make sure to ask about minimum fees if you talk to a Prevu Agent. We also recommend getting quotes from a few other local realtors to compare rates, service quality, and overall value. Depending on your price range and location, you may be able to find an agent or discount service who offers better bang for your buck.
How good are Prevu Agents?
All Prevu Agents are fully licensed, and they provide the same general range of services and support as traditional realtors. That said, there are a few key differences that could potentially affect your experience.
Prevu Agents juggle more clients than traditional realtors
The biggest difference you should be aware of is that Prevu Agents juggle more clients than most realtors.
Prevu Agents close around 36 deals per year. That's three times the average among all realtors, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
It's possible this high volume approach could put you at a disadvantage. If your agent becomes stretched too thin, they won't be able to provide you the level of personalized service and support you need to achieve an optimal outcome.
That said, Prevu Agents may be able to handle more clients without service-level tradeoffs than a typical realtor. After all, they stay relatively hands-off until buyers are ready to tour specific homes. And since Prevu's discounts attract customers for them, they don't have to spend as much time generating leads.
Agent selection is limited
If you're interested in taking advantage of Prevu's built-in savings, you'll have limited options when it comes to selecting an agent.
Prevu's team is relatively small, and its agents handle a higher volume of deals than the average realtor.
For example, when Prevu expanded into Massachusetts, it had only two agents serving the entire Boston region.
Hopefully, you'll hit it off with one of the Prevu Agents in your area. But if not, you may just have to settle for whoever's available.
Prevu's compensation structure may not attract top agents
One other thing worth mentioning is Prevu could have trouble attracting the best real estate agents.
While most realtors get paid exclusively on commission — meaning their income is directly tied to how many deals they close — Prevu Agents are salaried employees.
This compensation model isn't unique to Prevu; it's common for discount brokers whose agents manage a high volume of deals to pay salaries instead of commission splits.
They typically advertise this as a benefit: since your agent is earning a salary, you can trust their advice and don't have to worry they'll pressure you into making a purchase.
However, there's a potential downside too: the top real estate agents probably aren't going to work on salary.
They're going to join a brokerage that allows them to maximize their income, which typically means one that pays commission.
How does Prevu compare to top alternatives?
Avg customer rating
4.9 (115 reviews)
4.9 (590 reviews)
3.2 (287 reviews)
4.7 (765 reviews)
Dedicated point of contact?
CA, CT, MA, NY, PA
Southwest, West, Southeast, Mid-atlantic, Northeast
0.5% in Clever Cash Back
1.5% (min. fees vary by market)
$3,000 or 1%
1.5% (min. fees vary by market)
2.5% or $9,000
*Maximum rebate advertised; restrictions and minimums apply
Prevu's commission rebate is hard to beat for expensive homes
Prevu advertises one of the largest commission rebates offered by any discount broker.
It's a lot more common to find rebates in the 1% range, so Prevu's 2% refund seems like a legitimately attractive offer.
If you're buying a higher-priced home in Prevu's service area, you'll likely have a tough time finding better savings.
Compare your options if you're buying a lower-priced house
However, Prevu's commission refund may not be your best option at lower price points.
According to the savings calculator on Prevu's website, you won't actually receive the full 2% refund unless you buy a home worth at least $750,000.
The percentage you'll get back shrinks along with your price range. Buy a home worth $300,000 or less, and your potential savings will max out at 0.5%.
Depending on your budget and location, you may be able to find another discount service — or even a traditional brokerage — that offers a larger commission rebate than Prevu.
Home sellers can save more with other discount services
Unlike its home buyer rebate, Prevu's discounted listing fees aren't particularly competitive at any price point.
Several discount services will sell higher-priced homes for 1%, which is considerably cheaper than the 1.5% rate Prevu advertises.
Prevu is an even worse value for less expensive homes. Because of the company's minimum fees, sellers could end up paying MORE than it would cost to list with an old-school real estate brokerage.
Buying a house with Prevu
Biggest benefits of buying with Prevu…
Biggest risks of buying with Prevu…
Buying a home with Prevu should be a similar experience to using an old-school real estate brokerage.
Prevu Agents provide marginally less support at the start of the home buying process, but they'll step in once you've identified one or more homes you'd like to tour.
Prevu offers a 2% commission rebate for *eligible* buyers
The biggest advantage of buying with Prevu is the potential to earn the company's "Smart Buyer" rebate. Eligible buyers could receive a refund of two-thirds of their agent's commission, up to a maximum of 2% of the sale price.
📢 A few important notes about Prevu's Smart Buyer rebate
How much can buyers save with Prevu?
Prevu says that the average buyer who receives a Smart Buyer rebate saves $25,000. However, your actual savings depend on your eligibility and price point.
Assuming your purchase qualifies for a rebate, here's what you could expect to save across different price points:
*Estimates based on Prevu's savings calculator; restrictions apply
How Prevu's commission rebate works
Buyer's agents typically receive 2.5-3% in commission when their clients buy a house.
When you buy with Prevu, the company splits that commission with you, refunding as much as two-thirds of their fee after closing. For a $1 million home, that's $20,000. Not too shabby!
Note there are a TON of rules and restrictions surrounding commission rebates. This is why you’ll almost always see conditional language in advertisements — i.e., “Get up to X%” or “$X on average.”
Make sure to read the fine print up front so you don't encounter any unwelcome surprises later on.
Compare your options to find the right buyer's agent
Although Prevu offers a great rebate, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s your best option. There may be other services or approaches that:
- Are better suited to your situation
- Offer comparable built-in rebates and savings opportunities
That's especially true if you're buying at a lower price points, since you won't qualify for Prevu's full 2% rebate.
It's always a good idea to compare your options. Another discount service — or even a traditional realtor — may offer a better combination of savings and service quality.
Selling a house with Prevu
Although Prevu's business model is centered around offering commission rebates to home buyers, it also offers discounted rates for sellers.
If you sell with Prevu, you can expect your agent to provide the same basic service and support as a traditional realtor.
📢 Read your listing agreement carefully BEFORE you sign
A Prevu representative told us that sellers sign a 90-day listing agreement. However, one online reviewer remarked that they were "stuck" in a six-month exclusive contract.
Remember: you're locked into your listing agreement until the term expires, so make sure you read the details carefully before you sign.
» LEARN: What you NEED to know about signing a listing agreement
Salaried agents may have less incentive
Because Prevu Agents earn a salary, they may have less direct motivation to help you get the best price possible for your home.
If you list with a traditional realtor, it's likely their income is 100% commission-based. This gives them a clear incentive to go above and beyond to deliver stellar customer service. After all, if you fail to sell your house — or it sells for less than it's worth — your agent loses money too!
But while Prevu Agents earn performance-based bonuses, most of their income comes from their salary. And they earn that salary whether your home sells for its full market value or not.
Individual Prevu Agents may still work hard to deliver stellar outcomes for their customers. But incentives DO matter. Compared to a conventional brokerage, Prevu simply doesn't give its agents as much direct motivation to hustle on your behalf.
Prevu customer reviews
Note: The following review information is up-to-date as of 1/15/2021. We will update this section as new information becomes available.
Prevu's reviews across third-party sites are generally positive, with an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 115 total reviews.
So, what are past customers saying about Prevu?
What people like about Prevu
The most common themes among positive Prevu reviews are:
Prevu had 'growing pains' but turned into a 'great product'
Yelp reviewer A. Aaron B. initially had a poor experience with a Prevu Agent, who he said communicated poorly and may have cost him the chance to purchase the property he wanted.
However, he later worked with a different Prevu Agent and said he was "astounded" by how much the service quality had improved. Now that he's successfully bought a house with Prevu, he said he will "definitely" recommend it to others.
Prevu was a 'refreshing change'
Michael T. purchased an investment property with one of Prevu's agents in Philadelphia, and he said he was "extremely impressed" with the company.
He particularly called out the Prevu team's local market insights, as well as the value proposition of the commission rebate.
What people DON'T like about Prevu
The most common themes among negative Prevu reviews are:
My agent was inexperienced and visibly overextended
Kevin C. tried to use Prevu to buy an apartment, but he felt his agent was inexperienced and overextended. He said the lack of support ended up costing him money when a deal fell through.
'Horrible' communication and zero follow up
Here's an example of a negative Yelp review from someone who tried to use Prevu to sell their apartment.
In addition to poor communication from their agent, an unusually long listing agreement term made for a "horrible" experience.
Conclusion: Is Prevu right for you?
Prevu is a totally legitimate company that has helped many people buy and sell homes.
Ultimately, whether it's the right fit for you really depends on:
- Your price range
- Your situation and priorities
- The quality of the Prevu Agents in your area
Prevu provides excellent savings if you're buying a higher-priced home.
However, its commission rebate eligibility restrictions, middle-of-the-pack seller discounts, and limited service area mean that many consumers may be able to find better value elsewhere.
Remember: It pays to shop around! There's no obligation to move forward or commit when you’re interviewing different real estate agents or services.
We recommend interviewing 2-3 different realtors from different companies. Compare rates, experience, and personalities to find the perfect match.
Prevu locations and contact information
Corporate office address
575 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Prevu service area
Prevu is available in the following locations, as of 1/15/2021. Click on your state to see if agents are available in your area.
Fairfield County, CT
Staten Island, NY
Crunchbase. "Prevu Crunchbase Profile." Accessed 1/15/2021.
Redfin. "Milwaukee Housing Market: House Prices & Trends." Accessed 1/15/2021.
HousingWire. "Digital homebuying platform Prevu announces $2 million in seed funding." Accessed 1/15/2021.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Prevu Eyes Expansion of Customer-Centric Homebuying Model." Accessed 1/15/2021.
National Association of Realtors. "2020 Member Profile." Accessed 1/15/2021.
Boston Globe. "A new online real estate brokerage coming to Boston will bank on a buyer rebate." Accessed 1/15/2021.