Reali, at a glance
- Reali is a real estate broker that offers listing fee discounts for home sellers and commission rebates for home buyers throughout California.
- Reali sellers pay a flat fee of $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000 depending on your home's value — see the full breakdown here.
- Expect to pay a buyer's agent commission as well. Rates vary, but 2.5-3% is typical nationwide.
- Eligible Reali buyers can get a commission rebate of 0.5-1.5% depending on their home's purchase price — learn more here.
- Manage your sale or purchase and communicate with your Reali agent via Reali's mobile online portal and mobile app.
- Reali also offers in-house loan services for new purchase and refinance loans with fixed or variable rates — see full details here.
- Buyers who get pre-approved through Reali's Loan service can opt for Reali to back their offer with cash to make it more competitive.
- Similarly, Reali offers an ibuyer-like trade-in program that lets qualifying sellers buy first, sell second.
- As of May 20, 2020, Reali's average customer rating is 4.5/5 based on 287 reviews across Trustpilot, Zillow, and Google — see more reviews here.
What is Reali?
Reali is a real estate broker that offers a variety of savings-centric services to home buyers and sellers throughout California. The company was founded in 2015 and is based in San Mateo, CA.
Sellers and buyers will work with an in-house Reali agent who specializes in their local area or region. These agents will provide full service and support, but with built-in cost savings.
Reali sellers pay a flat listing fee based on their home's value. Listing fees range from $2,500 to $10,000.
>> LEARN more about selling with Reali here.
Reali buyers can get a commission refund — ranging from ~0.5-1.5% of the home's purchase price — depending on the home's value.
>> LEARN more about buying with Reali here.
Reali offers a variety of additional services for home buyers and sellers, including:
|Reali Loans||In-house mortgage broker service — home loans and refinancing options||Learn more|
|Reali CashOffer||Pre-approved buyers can opt for Reali to back their offer with cash to make it more competitive||Learn more|
|Reali Trade-In||iBuyer-like program that lets sellers trade in their homes for cash so they can make non-contingent offers||Learn more|
Is Reali legit?
Yes, Reali Inc. is a licensed real estate brokerage in the state of California that provides legitimate services to homeowners, sellers, and buyers. Reali relies on technology and an in-house team of salaried agents to handle more transactions at a lower operating cost. It passes some of those savings along to customers in the form of a reduced listing fee or commission rebate.
|Trustpilot||4.5/5 (151 reviews)||See Trustpilot reviews|
|Zillow||4.9/5 (99 reviews)||See Zillow reviews|
|3.7/5 (37 reviews)||See Google reviews|
|N/A - no reviews||See Facebook profile|
|Better Business Bureau||A+ rating||View Reali's BBB profile|
|Weighted Average||4.5/5 (287 reviews)|
Reali has an average customer rating of 4.5/5 rating based on 287 reviews across Trustpilot, Zillow, and Google. Reali has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with 0 customer reviews.
Selling a house with Reali
When you sell a house with Reali, the experience will be somewhat similar to working with a traditional realtor.
Reali will pair you with one of its in-house, salaried agents that covers your local market. You'll get help with pricing, preparing your home for sale, listing on the MLS and other real estate sites, marketing, negotiations, paperwork, and more.
There are a few key differences between selling with a traditional realtor and Reali, including:
- The Reali App: The majority of your sale — including communications with your agent, your listing details, offers, status updates, and more — will be managed via Reali's proprietary app.
- Commission savings: Reali sellers pay a flat fee of either $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000, depending on the home's value. We provide an in-depth breakdown of Reali's fee structure in the next section.
One additional consideration worth noting is that unlike traditional agents, who earn a commission of the final sale price, Reali's agents are full-time Reali employees who work on salary. This has a few positive and negative implications that are worth being aware of.
On the one hand, a salaried agent is, at least in theory, getting paid whether a sale goes through or not. As such, they may be less likely to pressure you into accepting a less-than-optimal offer just for the sake of closing the deal and collecting their check.
On the other, commissions are a powerful incentivizer for agents to get you a great price for your home. When an agent's paycheck is directly linked to your home's final sale price, they're going to be highly motivated to drive a hard bargain and get you the best deal possible.
Reali fees and pricing
While listing commission fees are technically negotiable and will vary based on myriad factors including location, property type, and local market demand, 2.5-3% is a typical rate among traditional agents nationwide.
In contrast, Reali offers many of the same services and support for a flat listing fee, determined based on the value of the home being sold.
The table below breaks down Reali's flat listing fee structure.
|Price Range||Reali Fee||Percentage of List Price|
|$100,000-$249,999||$2,500||2.5% to 1%|
|$250,000-$749,999||$5,000||2% to 0.7%|
|$750,000+||$10,000||1.33% and down|
A few things worth noting:
Technically, Reali's first tier for the $2,500 fee is $0-$250,000. If you're selling a property for less than $100,000, your fee will probably end up being higher than if you worked with a traditional, full-commission realtor.
Because of Reali's tiered system, sellers at the very top of one tier get a much better overall rate than those at the bottom of the next.
For example, if you sell your house for $249,999, you pay a $2,500 flat fee, an effective 1% commission rate.
However, if you sell your house for $250,000 — just $1 more — the flat fee just doubled to $5,000, as did your effective commission rate, which is now 2%.
Lastly, as with almost any open market home selling approach, you should expect to offer a buyer's agent commission in addition to your flat, Reali listing fee.
While buyer's agent commission rates vary by market and property, 2.5-3% is typical nationwide. Below, we've outlined what the fees might look like for a Reali seller listing a $580,000 home, the approximate median home value in California as of April 2020.
|Reali listing fee||0.86%||$5,000|
|Buyer's agent fee||3%||$17,400|
*Based on a $580,000 home.
**Compared to a typical 6% commission rate.
Reali agents vs traditional realtor
|Listing commission fee||$2,500-$10,000 flat listing fee||2.5-3%*|
|Buyer's agent commission||2.5-3%*||2.5-3%*|
|Professional home valuation||✓||✓|
|Listing on MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, etc.||✓||✓|
|Sign in yard||✓||✓|
|Open houses & showings||✓||✓|
|Help with closing||✓||✓|
Buying a home with Reali
When you buy a house with Reali, you'll get a similar range of services and support you would with a traditional realtor. However, there are a few key differences:
- A majority of the process will be managed via Reali's app — from meeting your agent to house hunting, scheduling tours, and making offers.
- Reali offers additional in-house services for home buyers, including:
- Reali offers a built-in commission rebate, typically coming out to 0.5%-1.5% of the home's purchase price. See the next section for an in-depth breakdown of Reali's home buyer rebate offering.
When you work with a traditional agent, they typically collect a commission fee — commonly referred to as a buyer's agent commission (BAC) — from the home seller ranging between 2.5-3%. Sometimes, you can negotiate with your agent to get a portion of this fee back at closing. This is known as a commission or buyer rebate.
Like many discount real estate brokerages, Reali offers a rebate as a built-in part of its service. There are a few things that set Reali's rebate apart from the rest:
- According to Reali, its rebates are paid out in cash, typically hitting the buyer's bank account 7-10 days after close of escrow.
- Reali takes a flat fee out of that rebate, which is determined by the purchase price of the home. See the table below for a full breakdown of the Reali Rebate pricing structure.
|Purchase Price||Total BAC*||Reali's Take||Your Rebate|
*Commission estimate based on a typical 2.5% buyer's agent commission. Actual rate may vary.
Important to note: Just like we saw in the Reali's pricing structure for sellers, there's a quirk in this system that you should definitely be aware of, as it significantly affects the size of your refund.
As you can see below, when a home's value crosses the threshold into a new price range tier, the flat fee Reali collects increases by $2,500. As a result, the rebate for sellers listing at the top end of one tier will net far more than those listing at the bottom of the next.
The table below shows the refund drop two different price points.
|Home Price||Total BAC*||Reali's Take||Your Rebate|
*Commission estimate based on a typical 2.5% buyer's agent commission. Actual rate may vary.
In other words, if you buy a home for $499,999, you can get up to $7,500 back. If you buy a home for $1 more — i.e., $500,000 — the size of your rebate drops to $5,000.
We recommend reaching out to Reali for clarification on terms in advance to avoid any potential misunderstandings or surprises at closing time.
|Min. Credit Score||Min. Down Payment||Loan Types Available|
|620||5%||Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, FHA, VA|
Source: Nerdwallet 2020
Reali Loans came to be in 2019, when Reali acquired online mortgage startup Lenda, which had been in operation since 2014.
Reali Loans offers fixed- or variable-rate new purchase and refinance loans for home buyers and current homeowners, respectively. It underwrites FHA- and VA-backed mortgages, and qualified buyers can get jumbo loans up to $3 million.
A few things set Reali Loans apart from other mortgage services:
- It doesn't charge any lender fees — that means when it comes to common mortgage-related costs like origination, application, and credit fees, you pay $0
- Its loan product feeds into other value-add service offerings, including its CashOffer and Trade-In programs, which are detailed in the next two sections.
Note: you will have to pay typical third-party fees, such as title and home appraisal, as well as interest, insurance, and taxes.
While Reali's real estate broker services are only available in California, Reali Loans operates in 12 U.S. States. See the table below.
Reali Loans locations
Visit Reali / Lenda's FAQ page to learn more.
Buyers in competitive markets can take advantage of Reali's CashOffer program to make a cash offer, backed by Reali.
Here's a quick overview of how it works:
- First, you get pre-approved through Reali Loans
- Reali backs your offer with cash, making it more appealing to sellers
- You make your down payment to escrow — Reali kicks in the rest
- Closing can take as few as three days
- You then must refinance within 60 days of closing — you can do so via Reali Loans or another lender of your choosing
In a nutshell, the key benefit here is the power of a cash offer, if that's not something you can swing on your own. Generally speaking, cash offers are more appealing to sellers than contingent or financed offers, as there's less risk of the sale falling through — and it speeds up the closing process.
Reali also offers an iBuyer-like Trade-In program for qualifying homes. Here's a quick overview of how it works:
- Get pre-approved through Reali Loans to determine your buying power
- Work with a Reali agent to find a new home
- Once you're ready, Reali makes an all-cash offer on your behalf
- Within 48 hours of your offer being accepted, you pay the 3% earnest deposit — Reali takes care of the rest
- Reali assumes “ownership” of your new home until you're ready to buy it back from them
- During this period, you'll continue paying your old mortgage payments and Reali will “defer rent” on the new property until you assume ownership
- Reali preps, lists, and sells your old home, then sends you the money — minus closing costs and the built-in 5% fee.
- You then buy back your new home from Reali at the same price they purchased it for, regardless of any short term market appreciation (or depreciation, for that matter)
Reali Pros and Cons
|Reali Pros||Reali Cons|
|Flat listing fee structure could mean significant savings, depending on your home's final sale price||Savings for sellers can vary significantly depending on where your home's price falls within its tiered system|
|Mobile app centralizes communication and streamlines the selling and buying process||At some price points, rates are comparable to selling with a traditional, full-commission agent|
|Reali Rebate can yield significant savings for buyers||Same for buyers — the relative size of your rebate will vary considerably depending on the home's purchase price|
|Offers additional in-house services like Reali Loans, Reali CashOffer, Reali Trade-In, etc.||In-house, salaried agents could be less motivated to sell your home for the best price possible|
Compare Reali to top alternatives
If you're looking to sell or buy a house in California and commission savings is a top priority, Reali is definitely worth looking into.
However, when the stakes are this high, it's important to do your homework. We recommend evaluating at least 2-3 different services, agents, and/or approaches before making a final decision.
To help you compare options, we've compiled some basic info on similar companies that can help you get discounted and flat commission rates. We recommend reading the full reviews, via the links below, and reaching out to these companies directly to learn more.
|Brokerage||Listing fee||Buyer rebate*|
|Reali (back to top of page)||~0.5-1% — exact rate varies by seller||Up to 0.3%|
|Clever Real Estate||1% — $3,000 flat fee for homes under $350,000||Up to 1% of purchase price|
|Redfin||1-1.5% — minimum fees vary by market||Average $1,500|
|REX Real Estate||2% — $9,000 min fee for homes under $450,00||1-1.5% (only if buying a non-REX home)|
|Home Bay||~0.5-1% — exact rate varies by seller||Up to 0.3%|
*In states where buyer rebates are legal.
Before choosing to list with a discount brokerage or service, you may want to evaluate some other home selling approaches as well. These guides will help you understand all of your options so you can make a more informed decision.
- Flat-fee MLS services
- iBuyer services
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies
- Selling for sale by owner (FSBO)
- Flat-fee real estate agents
Next steps: Get advice from a real estate expert
If you're trying to determine the best way to sell your home — or buy a new one — Clever can help!
Our fully Licensed Concierge Team is here to answer your questions and offer free, objective advice on how to proceed, based on your unique situation and goals.
Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your basic info below to get started.
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