RealSure Review (Is It Worth the Fees)?

Katy Byrom

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Katy Byrom

April 14th, 2022
Updated April 14th, 2022

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What is RealSure? | RealSure vs. the competition | Who should use RealSure? | How does RealSure work? | RealSure costs | RealSure reviews | Where is RealSure available? | FAQs

If you’re in search of flexible options for selling your current house — or a competitive edge for purchasing a new house — RealSure could be a decent option. Just be prepared for extra selling fees.

As a home seller, RealSure gives you the assurance of a guaranteed cash offer as a backup if you can't sell your home the traditional way. It also pairs you with a real estate agent so you can try to outdo that initial offer on the open market.

For buyers, RealSure also offers the ability to make a cash-backed, contingency-free offer on a new home.

Unlike most iBuyers, which purchase homes at a slight discount to resell them at a higher price later on, RealSure’s goal isn’t actually to buy homes.[1] Instead, RealSure acts as a lead generator for the more than 30,000 agents affiliated with its parent company, Realogy — using their cash offer “safety net" to win your listing.

While RealSure claims to offer homeowners a “best of both worlds" solution — a guaranteed cash offer and a dedicated agent who works to beat it — its combined service fee and agent commission could end up costing you anywhere from 1–7% more than alternatives ($5,000–35,000 on a $500,000 house).

If you are strictly interested in a cash offer, you’re probably better off going with a traditional iBuyer like Offerpad or Opendoor, both of which have relatively low fees and don’t require you to work with an agent.

If you’re interested in getting the highest profit from your home sale, your best course of action is probably to work with a discount agent who can get you top dollar while saving you thousands over the standard agent commission.

What is RealSure?

RealSure is an iBuyer program developed as a joint venture between Realogy — the parent company behind Coldwell Banker, Century 21, and other well-known brokerages — and Home Partners of America, which acts as the funding partner for the homebuying platform.

The RealSure brand encompasses two distinct programs: RealSure Sell and RealSure Buy.

Available as an add-on service when you work with a Realogy-affiliated agent, RealSure Sell gives home sellers the peace-of-mind of a guaranteed cash offer to fall back on while they attempt to sell their home the traditional way.

For those who are simply looking to buy, RealSure Buy can help you make a competitive, good-as-cash offer on a house when you qualify for a mortgage with its lending partner.

When you find the home you want, you can remove the financing and appraisal contingencies from your offer, helping it stand out against offers from buyers who aren't fully approved for a loan.

The two programs can also be used in tandem as a sort of trade-in service, allowing sellers to leverage RealSure’s cash offer on their current home as proof of funds on a new one — no home sale contingency required.

Sellers who accept RealSure’s cash offer have the flexibility to move out as many as 30 days past closing for a daily occupancy fee.

No upfront fees and no obligation

There is no upfront enrollment fee or requirement to accept RealSure’s cash offer — once enrolled in the program, you have 45 days to fetch a better price, after which the RealSure offer simply expires without penalty.

If you want to keep marketing your home after the initial 45 days, you can reapply for the program to receive a new offer.

RealSure Buy’s $500 enrollment fee is also relatively low — and in most cases will be credited back to you at closing.

There is also no cancellation fee should you decide not to move forward with buying the home — that is, as long as you're still within your inspection period. Otherwise, you forfeit your enrollment fee.

You have to use RealSure’s preferred agents and lenders

To take advantage of either of RealSure’s programs, you need to work with an agent from one of Realogy’s franchise or company-owned brokerages, so you might not be able to negotiate a lower listing commission or rebate when you buy.

Additionally, to enroll in RealSure Buy, you’ll need to complete your loan application with its preferred lender, meaning won’t be able to shop around for lower interest rates or lending fees.

You’ll also need to use RealSure’s preferred title company (or pay a $650 fee to use your own).

RealSure vs. the competition

If you want the security of a cash offer, top iBuyers like Opendoor and Offerpad charge comparable service fees without requiring you to sign a listing agreement with a realtor to unlock their offers.

With a goal of ensuring “homeowners receive fair market value for their homes on the open market," RealSure’s core value proposition is to be a safety net for those who need to sell their current home while also trying to buy a new one.

If an offer falls through once you are already under contract on the new home, you can still meet the close date by accepting the cash offer from RealSure. While your net proceeds will certainly be less, you avoid the trouble of having to carry two mortgages while you look for another buyer.

Receiving a lower asking price than what you could find on the competitive open market is a downside of any iBuyer. But with RealSure, you might end up accepting a lower offer and STILL paying full commission to an agent.

OpenDoor and Offerpad are legit alternatives with lower fees


RealSure
Opendoor
Offerpad
Service fee
2.5–6% (+3% agent commission)
5%
5%
Average rating
N/A
4.3
3.9

When we asked how much it typically offers on a home, RealSure stated that it tries to get “as close to fair market value as possible." However, the costs of actually accepting RealSure’s cash offer may be considerably higher than competitors.

Between the variable 2.5–6% service fee and typical 3% realtor commissions, a cash offer from RealSure could cost you as much as 9%, compared to just a 5% service fee with Opendoor and Offerpad.

With almost no verified RealSure customer reviews out there, it’s hard to know the average fees that accompany its offers.

Well-known alternatives like Offerpad and Opendoor charge a flat 5%, and there’s no need to work with an agent to access their services.

Like most iBuyers, RealSure makes a preliminary cash offer contingent on a home inspection and deducts the costs of repairs from your final payout.

However, since RealSure’s business model is to compete with its own cash offer on the open market, you may encounter additional costs when getting your home ready to go on the market — something you don’t have to worry about with a traditional iBuyer.

If your intent is to sell your home for the best possible price — like RealSure promises — using a 1% commission agent (or a realtor you already know and trust) is probably a better bet.

Whether you end up accepting RealSure’s cash offer or selling to a third-party, chances are you’ll pay more than if you had just gone through a traditional iBuyer or worked with an agent of your choosing to sell your home the traditional way.

Trade-in services like Knock offer more benefits


Service Fee
Presale Home Prep Credit
Agent
Knock
1.25%
Up to $25,000
Your choice
RealSure
$500
N/A
Participating partner agent

If you’re primarily concerned about timing your home sale with a new home purchase, a trade-in service like Knock is a better option. Here’s why.

Like RealSure, Knock helps you leverage the value of your current home to make an all cash offer on a new one. However, Knock is available in 50 markets across the U.S. vs. RealSure Buy’s seven.

As an added benefit, Knock fronts you as much as $25,000 (interest free) to cover pre-sale home prep and allows you to choose your own agent, which could potentially fetch you a higher sale price while saving you thousands in commissions. With RealSure, pre-sale home improvements and staging are up to you.

Unlike other trade-in services, which front you the cash to buy your new house and let you rent it while they take care of selling your old one, RealSure doesn’t offer that option.

With RealSure, if you sell your home to a third-party buyer and the close dates don’t quite match up, you could potentially end up carrying two mortgages or having to find temporary accommodations while you wait for your new home to close.

Using a traditional trade-in service, you’ll simply pay back the mortgage it carried on your old home out of the proceeds once it sells.

A discount agent could help you save even more

A potential downside of working with RealSure vs. a competitor is that you have to sign on with an agent from one of Realogy’s participating brands to take advantage of the program.

While Realogy has some well-known brokerages in its portfolio — including Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and Sotheby’s — you might prefer to use a realtor you already know or a discount agent committed to providing great service while undercutting the industry-standard 3% listing agent commission.

With the freedom to choose your own agent, you could save considerably on commissions and earn cash back on your next home purchase.

Clever Real Estate's full-service partner agents list for just 1% or a flat fee of $3,000. For the average home, that adds up to total savings of $5,000 or more!

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Who should use RealSure?

RealSure might work for you if you want to list your home and you're worried about how long it will take to sell — but we don't recommend it.

The fact that you have to sign a listing agreement with a Realogy-affiliated agent to take advantage of the program ropes you into having to pay an agent commission no matter what, while leaving lower-fee iBuyer options off the table.

While RealSure positions itself as an iBuyer, the program’s actual purpose is to serve as a lead generator for Realogy’s brokerage brands.

RealSure profits most from homeowners using its preferred agents, lenders, and title services to sell and buy a new home on the open market. Traditional iBuyers make their profits from doing a higher volume of home purchases — generating revenue through a combination of service fees and any difference in the resale price.

Because RealSure’s main business objective isn’t actually to buy and sell homes, you’re going to pay more to offset its purchase, holding, and resale costs.

A better alternative: Shop iBuyers before you sign with an agent

If you don’t mind the higher fees, RealSure offers a guaranteed backup cash offer without having to shop around at the last minute. Still, if you’re curious what different iBuyers would offer you, we recommend requesting as many offers as you like BEFORE you sign a listing agreement with an agent.

It's completely free to request offers from other iBuyers, and you won't be on the hook for an agent's commission if you decide to accept one. If, on the other hand, you're not satisfied with an iBuyer’s offer, you can proceed to listing your home with an agent from there.

Even if you run up against a time crunch once you list, your agent might still agree to help you sell to an iBuyer — it just might cost a little more (though some iBuyers offer agents a finder’s fee, which your agent might be willing to accept in exchange for a smaller commission).

A good agent will explore all available options to get you what you need from your home sale, whether it’s more money or a faster close.

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How does RealSure work?

RealSure offers two programs aimed at home buyers and sellers: RealSure Sell and RealSure Buy.

RealSure Sell provides homeowners with a guaranteed cash offer, good for 45 days, during which they can work with a partner agent to pursue a better offer on the open market. Sellers can also opt to accept the cash offer outright, giving them a window of 20–45 days to close.

RealSure Buy gives qualified borrowers the opportunity to make a cash-backed offer on a home while waiving financing and appraisal contingencies.

Homeowners enrolled in both RealSure Sell and RealSure Buy have the added advantage of using RealSure’s cash offer as collateral when purchasing their next home.

RealSure Sell

To take advantage of RealSure Sell, you need to work with a RealSure certified agent through one of Realogy’s participating brokerages: Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Corcoran, Sotheby’s, ERA, or Better Homes and Gardens Realty.

You can contact a participating agent directly or apply through realsure.com to be matched with a partner agent in your area. You’ll sign a separate listing agreement with your agent outlining their terms of service, including the commission you’ll pay upon the sale of your home (whether to RealSure or another buyer).

While there are no upfront costs associated with RealSure, and no penalty if you decide not to accept its cash offer, you'll pay a variable 2.5–6% service fee for RealSure to buy your home, and a separate 2.5–3% agent commission regardless.

If, on the other hand, you accept an offer from another buyer, you’ll pay the traditional 2.5–3% buyer’s agent commission in lieu of RealSure’s service fee.

Selling process

1. Apply online (or have your agent submit your home details for you) to receive a RealSure Cash Offer outlining the preliminary purchase price and service fee.
2. Enroll in the program. You have 7 days to sign a listing agreement with a participating agent and enroll in RealSure Sell to start your 45-Day cash offer acceptance period.
3. List your home. Once enrolled in the program, your RealSure agent will market your home and work to beat the cash offer.
4. Choose your offer. If you get a higher offer from a buyer, you can accept it without penalty. For added reassurance, you can also extend RealSure’s Cash Offer through the close date in case the purchase falls through. If you don’t get a better offer, you can choose to accept RealSure’s Cash Offer or decline it and continue marketing your home with your agent.
5. Get an Inspection. If you do accept RealSure’s Cash Offer, it'll order an inspection and, within 10 days, return an amended purchase offer accounting for any repair-related deductions. You have 5 days to either accept the revised offer or walk away from the contract.
6. Select your closing date. After accepting the offer, RealSure lets you select a closing date any time between 20 and 45 days. If you need to extend your stay while closing on a new home, RealSure’s Flex Stay allows you to rent back your property for up to 30 days past closing.

If you're also interested in RealSure Buy, RealSure will order an inspection as soon as you enroll in the program, providing you and your RealSure lender with a Home Value Statement to use during your loan qualification. However, you are still free to continue marketing your home for a better offer during the 45-day Acceptance Period.

Once the initial cash offer expires, you can choose to keep marketing your home the traditional way or re-enroll in RealSure to get a renewed offer (though you’re not guaranteed to get the same purchase price).

Assured Close

If you receive an attractive offer from a buyer during your 45-day acceptance period, you can enroll in Assured Close to keep RealSure’s Cash Offer on the table through your closing date, up to an additional 45 days.

To participate in Assured Close, you’ll need to submit a copy of the executed purchase agreement to RealSure along with a $300 enrollment fee.

You’re still under no obligation to accept the RealSure Cash Offer — it simply gives you a backup in case the third-party offer falls through.

However, it’s worth noting that most other iBuyers charge nothing until you actually accept their offer and follow through on the contract.

Flex Stay

If you accept RealSure’s cash offer, you can enroll in Flex Stay to extend your move out date up to 30 days past closing.

When purchasing a new home at the same time as selling your old one, the close dates don't always match up. FlexStay gives you extra padding to avoid having to find temporary accommodations or put your things in storage.

The costs for FlexStay include a security deposit and daily occupancy fee determined by the sale price of your home. The fees are deducted from your proceeds at closing.

What to watch out for

If you own a condominium, for instance, you’re not a candidate for selling to RealSure. (Other iBuyers like Offerpad and Opendoor do accept condos, though it sometimes varies by market).

Properties that are ineligible for RealSure Sell include the following:

  • Condominiums, new construction, commercial properties, manufactured housing, modular homes, and log cabins
  • Homes on more than 2 acres
  • Homes with sinkholes anywhere on or near the property
  • Properties located within a 100-year flood zone, where the bottom of the home‘s first floor is 1.5 feet or more below the base flood elevation
  • Homes with solar panels that are financed or leased
  • Homes without central air conditioning
  • Homes primarily heated with oil or propane
  • Homes with converted garages
  • Homes with any environmental hazards (e.g. mold, lead paint, vermiculite insulation, asbestos, etc.)
  • Homes with foundation or structural issues
  • Homes with seepage or subject to flooding
  • Homes with legally noncompliant improvements

Additionally, a home must have been listed for less than 7 days or be off the market for 30 days to qualify for a RealSure Cash Offer.

While RealSure advertises service fees as low as 2.5%, with the separate commission paid to your agent (typically 3%), the minimum you’ll pay for the service is actually closer to 5.5% — though it could be as high as 9%.

How much does RealSure cost?

It could cost you anywhere from 8–17% of the final purchase price to sell your home to RealSure. Imagining you had a home valued at $500,000, that would add up to $40,000–85,000.

By comparison, you can expect to pay 7–10% with a traditional iBuyer like Offerpad or Opendoor.

With a realtor, typical home-selling fees range 8–10%, including a 5–6% commission split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents — though that commission drops considerably if you choose to work with a discount agent.

RealSure selling costs on a $500,000 house


Percentage
Total
Service fee
2.5–6%
$12,500–30,000
Agent commission
2.5–3%
$12,500–15,000
Pre-sale home prep
0–2%*
$0–10,000
Repair costs
1–2%*
$5,000–10,000
Seller closing costs
1–3%
$5,000–15,000
Flex Stay (based on 30-day rent back)
1%*
$5,000
Total Costs
8–17%
$40,000–$85,000
*Estimated based on industry averages

Like other iBuyers, RealSure charges a service fee and deducts the costs of any repairs from your payout at closing. While RealSure declined to state its average price reduction, typical repair fees among iBuyers average 1–2% of the sale price.

When selling to an iBuyer, you will also need to pay the usual seller-related closing costs, ranging from 1–3% of the purchase price.

If you need to stay in your home a little longer while you wait for your new home to close, you’ll be charged a daily occupancy fee, plus a security deposit, which will be taken out of your proceeds at closing.

Undisclosed rental fees
When we asked about the daily rental fee associated with FlexStay, RealSure indicated that it was based on the purchase price of the home but declined to give a specific percentage.

The biggest difference between RealSure’s fees and those of traditional iBuyers is the need to pay a separate agent commission, plus expenses related to prepping and staging your home before it goes on the market.

With most iBuyers, you won’t need to market your home, so pre-sale home prep is off the table.

RealSure Buy

RealSure Buy gives qualified buyers the opportunity to submit a good-as-cash offer on a home backed by the program’s lender. This affords the seller peace of mind that the deal won’t fall apart due to last-minute financing issues and helps your offer stand out against the competition.

Enrollment in RealSure Buy is through a participating Realogy-aligned agent. As of March 2022, RealSure Buy is available in the following seven markets:

  • Austin, TX
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Tampa, FL

The enrollment fee for RealSure Buy is relatively low, at $500, and may be credited back by the lender at closing. However, you’re still on the hook for the usual closing costs, such as loan application, loan processing, attorney, credit check, insurance, and appraisal fees. These can run anywhere between 2–5% of the purchase price.

Buying Process

1. Get loan pre-approval. To enroll in RealSure Buy, you’ll need to apply for loan approval with RealSure’s partner lender in your area.
2. Shop for homes. Once approved, you can begin shopping for homes with a participating agent.
3. Verify property eligibility. When you find one you love, your agent will need to submit the address on RealSure’s platform to verify that it meets their purchase criteria.
4. Submit an offer. You can then submit an offer backed by your RealSure lender’s own cash, with no financing or appraisal contingencies attached.
5. Order inspections and appraisals. If your offer is accepted, you'll order inspections and appraisals and proceed through closing. An added benefit of the program is that even if your home appraises for lower than the asking price, you can still proceed with the purchase.

RealSure Buy eligibility requirements

To qualify for RealSure Buy, a borrower should:

  • Have a FICO credit score of 700+
  • Have the ability to put down 10% or more in cash at closing
  • Provide a minimum of 2% earnest money
  • Be purchasing a home as their primary residence
  • Be applying for a conventional 30-year mortgage

You’ll also be subject to loan limits, in accordance with market guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In addition to borrower eligibility requirements, the property will need to meet certain conditions — though RealSure couldn’t specify the criteria that makes a property eligible or ineligible for the program.

Once you put an offer down on a house, you’ll have a set period of time — designated in your purchase contract — to order a property inspection.

Red flags like foundation issues or flood zones discovered during a home inspection may disqualify a home from RealSure Buy. Minor repairs not affecting the home’s overall value will be up to you to negotiate with the seller.

While there’s no obligation to follow through with a home purchase, if you back out of the transaction past the inspection period, you forfeit both the enrollment fee and any earnest money you put down.

RealSure reviews

Verified customer reviews for RealSure are hard to come by — possibly because program enrollment is through an agent aligned with one of Realogy’s participating brokerages.

RealSure is also relatively new to the iBuyer scene, having launched late in 2019.

If you want to know what kind of service you’ll be getting from your agent, you can check for customer reviews on sites like Zillow, Facebook, and Google.

And, if you’re seriously considering entertaining a cash offer on your home, you’ll also want to compare RealSure’s offer and fees against those of other iBuyers and trade-in services BEFORE you sign a listing agreement with an agent.

While RealSure advertises a service fee as low as 2.5%, the customer-posted examples we found in our research were higher. For example, the official RealSure offer in the image below notes a 5.5% service fee.

Requesting an offer from an iBuyer is free, so it pays to shop around before you commit to a service.

» READ: The top 3 iBuyer Companies Ranked & Reviewed

Where is RealSure available?

RealSure Sell is available in 25 markets spanning 12 states. However, RealSure Buy is currently only available in seven of those markets.

AZ
Phoenix*
CA
Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego
CO
Colorado Springs*, Denver*
FL
Deltona, Ft. Myers, Lakeland, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa*
GA
Atlanta
IL
Chicago
NC
Charlotte*
OH
Columbus
SC
Charleston, Columbia
TX
Austin*, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio
UT
Salt Lake City*
WI
Milwaukee
* Markets where both RealSure Sell and RealSure Buy are available

RealSure locations

While RealSure’s footprint isn’t yet as large as established competitors like Opendoor or Knock, both of which are available in 45+ major metros, the program is set to expand to several new markets in 2022.

RealSure FAQs

A joint-venture between Realogy and Home Partners of America, RealSure is an iBuyer platform that gives home sellers the peace-of-mind of a guaranteed cash offer to fall back on while they attempt to sell their home the traditional way.

RealSure also helps qualified borrowers make competitive, good-as-cash offers when buying a new home.

A joint-venture between Realogy and Home Partners of America, RealSure is an iBuyer platform that gives home sellers the peace-of-mind of a guaranteed cash offer to fall back on while they attempt to sell their home the traditional way.

RealSure also helps qualified borrowers make competitive, good-as-cash offers when buying a new home.

RealSure is available to homeowners of primary, single-unit residences with no major structural issues or known environmental hazards (like mold, lead paint, or asbestos).

Homes that don’t qualify for RealSure include condominiums, new construction, commercial properties, manufactured housing, modular homes, log cabins, and homes on more than 2 acres.

RealSure is available to homeowners of primary, single-unit residences with no major structural issues or known environmental hazards (like mold, lead paint, or asbestos).

Homes that don’t qualify for RealSure include condominiums, new construction, commercial properties, manufactured housing, modular homes, log cabins, and homes on more than 2 acres.

RealSure is available in 25 major metros spanning 12 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

RealSure is available in 25 major metros spanning 12 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Before writing this review, our team spent weeks studying various iBuyer and real estate trade-in services to compare each company across multiple axes. Our research process included:

  • Mystery shopping each company
  • Talking to real estate experts familiar with the programs
  • Scouring review sites, social media, and forums to gather customer perspectives

Before writing this review, our team spent weeks studying various iBuyer and real estate trade-in services to compare each company across multiple axes. Our research process included:

  • Mystery shopping each company
  • Talking to real estate experts familiar with the programs
  • Scouring review sites, social media, and forums to gather customer perspectives

Contact RealSure

Website
Email
Phone
844-520-0390

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