Is RealtySouth Worth It? An Honest Review

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By Jessica Johansen Updated April 11, 2024

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RealtySouth 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.
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RealtySouth is a real estate brokerage that operates throughout Alabama. It was founded in 1955 in Birmingham. And now it's one of the largest in the Southern U.S., with 22 offices with over 900 licensed agents.

RealtySouth is a good choice for people looking to buy or sell a home in Alabama. But before you decide, let’s look closely at the brokerage and its agents and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Bottom line: Do we recommend RealtySouth?

If you’re buying or selling in the Birmingham metropolitan area, then RealtySouth is a brokerage worth considering.

Agents at RealtySouth have roughly over 14 years of experience on average. That's higher than the industry median (8 years). The company has roughly 900 agents in 23 offices. The majority of agents are concentrated in the Birmingham area.

That said, RealtySouth doesn’t have a strong presence in other major Alabama cities, like Montgomery, Huntsville, and Mobile. So it might not be ideal if you’re looking to buy or sell outside Birmingham.

The company offers all the services we would expect:

There are a large number of positive reviews from previous customers. We only saw a few complaints about the brokerage's other business units.

Make sure to interview RealtySouth's agents before making a decision. It’s always more important to pick an agent that's a good fit no matter the brokerage they come from.

🏡 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.
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RealtySouth: Our in-depth breakdown

Reputation and customer experience

📊 Our rating: 4.0/5

  • Mostly positive reviews
  • Some complaints about photos
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RealtySouth has 67 Google reviews with an average rating of 4.39 out of 5 stars. Its locations each have separate Better Business Bureau profiles that all have A+ ratings and no reviews.

We ran the public reviews through an emotional language detector and found the following themes:

🟢 Top positive themes 🔴 Top negative themes
  • Supportive staff
  • Lots of agent experience
  • Responsiveness
  • Poor communication
  • Low-quality photos
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Many reviewers were happy with their agent’s professionalism, patience, and communication. And the negative reviews were about the company’s other real estate businesses, like mortgage services.

People usually use third-party review sites to complain, so take what you read with a grain of salt. One bad experience might not represent the entire brokerage.

Agent quality

📊 Our rating: 4/5

  • Agent experience of 14+ years
  • 900 agents on staff
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RealtySouth’s real estate agents are high quality compared to agents from regional brokerages of the same size.

We found 16 RealtySouth agents in our database. And the average experience of those agents is about 14.5 years, which is much higher than the industry median of 8. But that’s just a small sample of the 900 agents the brokerage says are in its workforce.

The brokerage has a good reputation in Alabama, but we still recommend interviewing individual agents. Always pick the agent over the brokerage.

Brand reach and visibility

📊 Our rating: 4/5

  • Strong online presence
  • Weak physical presence in markets outside Birmingham
  • Subsidiary of HomeService of America
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RealtySouth has decent brand reach and visibility within its market. So if you are selling or buying a home in Birmingham, this brokerage is a good option.

The company has a strong online presence. Its website gets over 24,000 visits and 8,600 searches per month.

The brokerage has great coverage of Birmingham, with roughly 900 agents in Alabama’s second most populous city. But it doesn’t have an office in the state’s capital, Montgomery, or in Southern Alabama.

RealtySouth can probably help buyers and sellers in other parts of Alabama, but the agents might not have the same in-depth knowledge as a local agent. That said, RealtySouth is a part of HomeService of America, which has 900 offices and employs 44,000 real estate agents in all fifty states and Washington, DC. The brokerage can tap into this massive network if it needs to.

Service value

📊 Our rating: 4.5/5

  • All essential services
  • Unique programs for sellers
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RealtySouth will probably charge full commission, but it still seems like a decent value. And the company provides all the essential services you need to sell your home, including:

  • Pricing assistance and CMA
  • Listing on your local MLS and syndication on major real estate sites
  • like Zillow and Realtor.com
  • Marketing plan designed specifically for your home and locale
  • Professional photography
  • Home staging
  • Assistance with offers, negotiation, and closing

RealtySouth also offers a few programs unique to their brokerage, such as:

  • $10K Incentive Program: This program offers buyers agents a chance to win $10,000 if they show your home.
  • Quickbuy: Instead of a traditional MLS listing, your agent can help you get an immediate offer on your home. You likely won’t get the asking price, but Quickbuy can help you sell fast.

You’ll most likely pay your agent average full commission for these services no matter how competitive the rates are. Here are the averages for Alabama, the state RealtySouth operates in:

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

💰 Top agents, big savings:

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

Sellers list for just 1.5%. Buyers can get thousands in cash back after closing.

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Additional info about RealtySouth

General contact info (corporate office)

📍 Address 3500 Blue Lake Drive, Suite 325, Birmingham, Alabama 35243
☎️ Phone (877) 890-0050
📱 Social media Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
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Other RealtySouth services

This review focuses on RealtySouth core real estate agent service, but the company has other parts of their business that offer different real estate services.

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

You should still shop around for these services. It’s convenient to get all your services from one brokerage, but you might save money by comparing prices from numerous companies and picking one that best aligns with your situation.

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 pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fees (avg. seller savings is $9,600.)
  • Buyers can get 0.5% cash back after closing ($2,000 on a $400,000 house)

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:

Customer experience

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

Overall agent quality

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

Visibility and reach

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

Value and service quality

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

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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