REX advertises a 2% total fee, which could mean big savings — but its limited marketing approach could shrink your pool of buyers and make it much harder to sell.
REX Real Estate is a discount real estate broker that offers commission savings to home sellers and buyers in select markets across 17 U.S. states and Washington, DC.
Most people pay realtors between 5-6% in commission fees to sell their homes. REX advertises a “2% total fee” in exchange for many of the same services and support.
Taken at face value, it’s a pretty appetizing offer; however, a closer look reveals some major risks and trade offs that you need to consider before you sign up with REX.
REX’s 2% fee does not include listing your home on the MLS or offering a buyer’s agent commission. Without the MLS, your home will get less exposure and traffic, and you may turn away buyers who can’t afford to pay their own agent’s fee out of pocket.
If your home struggles to sell, REX may advise you to offer a buyer’s agent commission anyway, bringing your total fee from 2% to 4.5-5%, based on typical rates. At that point, you can probably find better savings and value with other discount brokers.
Of course, plenty of people still manage to sell their homes and save money with REX.
In this review, we’ll explain the ins and outs of REX’s service to help you determine whether it may be a viable option for you, too.
- As of 9/17/2020, REX is available in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MA, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, TX, VT, VA, and DC. Selling somewhere else? Find discount brokers near you.
- REX is best-suited for desirable properties in hot markets. Consider other options if your home is older / needs repairs, you’re in a cooler market, or you have a complicated selling situation.
- Most of REX’s savings come from not offering a buyer’s agent commission. Just remember, this significantly reduces your pool of prospective buyers.
- REX has a minimum listing fee of $9,000. If your home is at or below the $450,000 mark, you can get better rates elsewhere. Compare rates and service quality.
- Discount brokers like REX typically offer less hands-on support. If you’re an inexperienced seller or value personalized service, REX might not be the best fit.
- REX only has a handful of agents in each of its markets and experience levels are mixed. Shop around and interview multiple options to find the best fit and value.
JUMP TO SECTION
REX is a multi-state real estate broker and technology platform that offers potential commission savings to home sellers and buyers.
As of 9/17/2020, REX is available to sellers and buyers in select markets across AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MA, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, TX, VT, VA, and DC. See REX’s locations here.
While plenty of discount services offer low rates for sellers, REX’s approach is different. It relies on cutting out buyer’s agent commission to create savings, rather than reducing its listing fees.
Read on to learn how this works and the risks it creates for you as a seller.
Is REX really 2%?
Yes and no.
REX’s advertising is misleading. It entices sellers with promises of huge savings without fully or accurately explaining the many risks inherent to its pricing model and overall approach.
Realtor commissions — typically 5-6% of the home’s final sale price — consist of fees for two agents: the listing agent, who helps the seller market their home, and a buyer’s agent, who brings one of their clients to purchase it.
The seller usually pays the fees for both the listing and buyer’s agents, or more accurately, they’re wrapped into the home’s price and come out of the seller’s proceeds from the sale.
This way, buyers can cover the cost of their agent with their mortgage instead of paying the full price out of pocket.
» LEARN: How do realtor commissions work?
REX’s $9,000 or 2% listing fee doesn’t cover “both sides of the transaction,” as the company explains on its website. It simply cuts one side out of the equation.
Cutting out buyer’s agent commission is not unique to REX.
Though REX’s marketing may suggest otherwise, as the seller, how much you offer the buyer’s agent — or whether to offer anything at all — is always your decision, regardless of who you choose to list with.
Most agents and brokers will strongly advise you to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission to attract more qualified buyers and ensure a smooth and speedy sale; however, remember that everything in real estate is negotiable, including commission fees.
In this way, REX is not actually saving you that 2.5-3% buyer’s agent commission. It’s simply taking an alternate approach that, while cheaper, puts you at a big disadvantage compared to other sellers with similar homes in your area.
Is REX legitimate?
Yes. While REX’s advertising tactics may be misleading, REX is a legitimate licensed real estate brokerage in all of the states it operates in and a fast-growing business.
Since launching in Woodland Hills, CA back in 2015, REX has expanded its operational footprint to more than 17 U.S. states and Washington, DC. See all REX locations.
REX has an average customer rating of 4.8 based on 674 reviews. It has an A+ rating with the BBB and has been accredited since 2018. To date, the startup has raised upwards of $135.5 million in investor funding.
REX also has a social mission. For every 50 homes it sells, it builds one home for a family in dire need. The project — a partnership with World Housing and the Cambodian Children’s Fund — aims to “help homeless families get back on their feet,” according to REX’s website.
How does REX work?
REX’s primary offering is commission savings for both home sellers and buyers. So how does it offer discounted rates and rebates and still turn a profit?
Currently, REX creates savings by:
- Lowering its marketing costs, attracting customers by advertising low fees
- Handling a higher volume of customers per agent than other brokerages
- Upselling existing customers on additional REX offerings, like its mortgage broker, title, and insurance services
REX’s long-term goal is to build enough customer volume and brand recognition to effectively market its homes without having to use the MLS or offer a buyer’s agent commission.
While this is a solid strategy — and a pretty righteous mission — the hard truth is that it’s still a long way off from being a reality.
In other words, REX’s home-selling approach simply doesn’t reflect the current state of the industry. The potential savings are significant, but so is the inherent risk.
How much does REX cost?
|Home sale price||REX’s listing fee|
|Less than $450,000||$9,000|
|$450,000 and above||2% of final sale price|
The fee you pay REX will depend on your home’s final selling price. Homes that sell for less than $450,00 will pay the minimum $9,000 fee. Homes that sell for more will pay the advertised 2% rate.
Of course, with REX, the idea is that $9,000 or 2% commission will be the only fee you pay. REX claims its fee covers “both sides of the transaction,” which makes it the “lowest fee in the industry.” This is misleading.
Offering a commission for the buyer’s agent is never a requirement and is always negotiable. In theory, you could work with any discount brokerage or traditional realtor, not offer a buyer’s agent commission, and save that extra 2.5-3%.
REX’s process is arguably more tailored than most to support this outside-the-box marketing approach, but that by no means guarantees its efficacy. As such, the most accurate way to compare REX’s savings to other options is to look only at the listing fees.
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
Pound for pound, REX’s average savings compared to traditional realtors are pretty marginal, particularly when you factor in the added risk.
The best savings on offer are for higher value homes.
Sellers with homes below the $450,000 mark will pay more than the advertised 2% listing fee. You can find better rates and customer service from other services.
Once you get to the $350,000 mark and below, your rate will be comparable to (or possibly higher than) the listing fee for a traditional realtor.
A few important notes on REX’s terms of service
- Just like a traditional realtor, REX doesn’t charge any fees up front. You only pay if and when your home actually sells.
- As with any listing agreement, the contract you sign with REX will stipulate an exclusive listing period. We’ve seen customers say 90 days, but actual terms may vary by seller (REX wouldn’t give us a firm number).
- If you terminate the agreement early, you may be subject to early cancellation fees. Read your listing agreement carefully!
How good are REX Agents?
All REX Agents are fully licensed real estate agents who provide the same general range of services and support as traditional realtors. That said, there are some key differences you should be aware of that could affect your experience or outcome.
Agent quality is mixed
As with any real estate brokerage, agent quality is going to vary across REX’s Team. Some Agents will be highly experienced and professional, others will be relatively novice and/or less bought in.
Additionally, REX’s selection is limited. Some of its markets only have one agent! Others have zero agents and the whole process is handled remotely with ad hoc support (showings, open houses) from local freelancers.
Team-based customer service approach may not be for everyone
While it’s important to choose the right REX Agent to oversee your sale, remember you’ll actually be working with a number of people throughout its course.
Your dedicated point of contact will actually be an Account Manager, not your Lead Agent. You may talk to / deal with different people for specific tasks, including pricing, marketing, showings and open houses, paperwork, and so on.
This team-based approach isn’t for everyone. If you prefer more centralized customer service, this could add undue stress to an already stressful process. More people involved in the sale also increases the risk of miscommunications, mistakes, and delays that could negatively affect your outcome.
Salaried agents have less direct incentive than those earning commission
Traditional realtors work solely on commission, meaning they’re paid if — and only if — your home actually sells. This is a very strong and direct incentive to help you sell quickly and for the best price possible.
REX Agents are full-time salaried employees, which means they’re going to get paid whether your home sells or not.
While REX and its team are undoubtedly looking to provide a great service and outcome — and it seems like they often do, based on the reviews — there’s simply not as much direct incentive to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Don’t just blindly sign on the dotted line! Remember, you’re hiring the agent, not the brand. Ask REX to present multiple options then interview several other brands and services in your area to compare. It always pays to shop around for the best fit.
How does REX compare to top alternatives?
|REX Real Estate||Clever||Redfin||Redefy|
|Avg customer rating||4.8 (672 reviews)||4.8 (442 reviews)||3.2 (281 reviews)||4.7 (329 reviews)|
|Dedicated point of contact?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Regions covered||Southwest, West, Southeast, Mid-atlantic, Northeast||National||National||CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA|
|Listing fee||2% or $9,000||1% or $3,000||1.5% (min fees vary by market)||$3,500 ($500 due up front)|
|Learn more||Learn more||Learn more||Learn more|
REX’s pound-for-pound average listing fee savings ($1,250) are by far the worst of any discount service. Of course, REX’s goal is for its $9,000 or 2% commission to be the ONLY fee you pay, but there’s no guarantee its unconventional approach will work.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that other companies offer ways to avoid paying buyer’s agent commission with better savings and less risk.
For example, Redfin recently unveiled “Redfin Direct,” which allows unrepresented buyers to communicate with sellers and make offers directly through its popular home search app.
The potential upside (no buyer’s agent fee) is the same as REX’s offering, but the listing commission and minimum fees are lower — plus Redfin’s site attracts over six million visitors per month…
Service and support
REX employs a similar, team-based approach to other discount brands like Redfin and Redefy with one BIG difference: your agent may not be your primary point of contact.
A licensed REX Agent will oversee certain aspects of your sale, but you’ll typically work with an unlicensed Account Manager who will serve as your customer service rep and coordinate with all the other REX team members involved throughout the process.
When you’re a layer or two removed from the people actually handling your sale, this can obviously increase the risk of issues. Miscommunications, delays, and mistakes could negatively affect your experience or outcome.
If personalized service and support is a top priority, Clever can help. Clever’s agent-matching service not only connects you with local agents from major brands like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Century 21, but also negotiates low rates on your behalf.
Try Clever’s free agent-matching service!
Interview top agents, find the perfect fit, save thousands.
Selling with REX
|Biggest advantages of selling with REX...|
|Biggest risks of selling with REX...|
When you sell with REX, you’ll get many of the services you’d expect from a traditional realtor, e.g., pricing recommendations, professional photos, marketing, help with offers, negotiations, paperwork, and more.
The big difference is that REX does not publish your listing on the local MLS, which diminishes your home's visibility and may make it much harder to find a qualified buyer.
You also won’t offer a buyer’s agent commission when you sell with REX. On the one hand, this could help you save thousands. On the other, it could make selling even harder.
Roughly 90% of buyers work with agents. If you attract a represented buyer, they’ll have to cover their own agent’s fee. This may deter some buyers who may not want or have the ability to cover this fee out of pocket on top of their down payment.
As was mentioned in the previous section, your sale will be handled by a team, rather than a single, dedicated agent.
For some — particularly those who like highly personalized customer service — this could be stressful or frustrating to deal with.
It also injects more risk into the process, as having more cooks in the kitchen can often lead to miscommunication, disorganization, and delays. In a high-stakes transaction like a real estate deal, this could present major problems.
That said, the selling experience may vary considerably depending on your location.
In large metro areas where REX has a big presence, you may work with a bigger team than you would in a smaller or more remote market.
If you’re selling in a part of the state that’s not within a reasonable drive of one of REX’s brick-and-mortar offices, the entire process may be handled remotely, with freelancers or part-time Associate Agents handling most of the in-person duties.
If you do a consultation call with REX, ask about its approach and resources in your area, specifically. You want to make sure an agent will actually be coming to your house for the pricing consultation and other aspects of your sale.
Buying with REX
|Biggest advantages of buying with REX...|
|Biggest risks of buying with REX...|
Buying a home directly from REX
There are two ways to buy a REX-listed home, and both come with notable drawbacks.
- If you buy from REX without your own agent, no one is looking out for your best interests. REX coordinates the transactions, but ultimately serves the interests of the seller. You are at a distinct competitive disadvantage. This potential conflict of interest is known as dual agency.
- If you buy from REX with your own agent, you will have to cover your agent’s fee out of pocket. This will likely be an additional 2.5-3% of the purchase price on top of your down payment and other closing costs!
REX’s entire strategy is designed to bypass the MLS and sell homes to unrepresented home buyers (i.e., buyers without agents), allowing its sellers to avoid paying the typical 2.5-3% buyer’s agent commission.
REX is banking that you’ll see one of its ads or listings during some early-stage house hunting, find your way to the listing on its site, request a showing with a REX agent, then pursue purchasing through REX directly — without independent representation.
According to REX, this benefits you because:
The REX seller doesn’t have to pay the extra 2.5-3% fee that would’ve gone to your agent, which means they can sell the house for less and still net more. In other words, you save money!
Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a problem with this logic…
It’s the exact opposite of what REX is telling its sellers! REX’s entire value proposition is that it can help people sell their houses for top dollar AND avoid paying buyer’s agent commissions. If the above were true, that’s REX admitting to underpricing its homes…
Buying a non-REX home with a REX Agent
If you’re not interested in any of REX’s listings, REX will also help you buy homes listed by other brokerages. In this instance, REX will be acting as your buyer’s agent.
Ironically enough, though REX’s mission is to make buyer’s agent commission a thing of the past, if it helps you buy a home off the MLS, it still collects a commission from the seller.
This is potentially good news for you, though, because REX offers a hefty commission rebate — i.e., potential money back at closing — for qualifying buyers in select states.
REX Buyer Rebate
If you work with REX to buy a home listed by another brokerage, REX will give you back a portion of the commission it collects on the sale — up to 1.5% — at closing.
Many discount brokers and traditional agents alike will offer to kick a percentage of their fee back to a buyer as an incentive to work with them. This is commonly referred to as a home buyer rebate or commission rebate.
» MORE: What is a home buyer rebate?
While many services offer similar incentives, REX’s rebate is on the higher end of the spectrum.
But before you start thinking about how you’re gonna spend all that sweet cash, you should know that there are usually a ton of terms and restrictions surrounding these rebates.
If you buy one of REX’s own listings, you will not qualify for this rebate!
There are usually a heap of terms and restrictions surrounding commission rebates, which is why you’ll almost always see the conditional, “We offer up to X%” language.
A few important notes on commission rebates:
- They typically require approval from your mortgage lender
- There may be limitations on how you can receive the rebate (i.e., to buy points on your mortgage or cover closing costs, instead of as a check or cash at closing)
- Some states don’t allow rebates at all — in REX’s case, buyers in Oregon will be ineligible
Additional REX Services
One of the ways REX attempts to offset its discounted rates is by upselling existing customers to use other REX services — in particular, REX Home Loans and REX Insurance.
Just be aware that among discount brokers who go this route, these types of “add-ons” are sometimes treated as secondary services.
In other words, there’s a risk the company may simply be selling the “convenience factor” and not investing the requisite time and energy to offer a true “best-in-class” service.
That’s not to say ancillary services offered by discount services are always going to be subpar, but it’s definitely something to watch out for.
Long story short, when it comes to other aspects of your home sale or purchase like your loan, title, and insurance, it always pays to shop around for the best quality and rates.
REX Insurance may in fact turn out to be your best bet. Just make sure you do your due diligence and compare it objectively with several other options to get the optimal outcome.
REX customer reviews
Note: The following review information is up-to-date as of 9/17/2020. We will update this section as new information becomes available.
|Rating||# of reviews|
Overall, REX’s reviews across third-party platforms are solid, with an average customer rating of 4.8 across 674 total reviews.
So what do customers have to say about working with REX Real Estate?
The most common themes among positive REX reviews are:
- Great savings
- Painless and easy process
- Team was helpful and professional
Though this NY-state seller was ultimately unsuccessful, they still had positive things to say about REX’s service, advice, and the quality of buyers brought by their REX agent:
This first-time seller sold their home with REX in Denver, CO and appreciated how the REX Team’s expertise, responsiveness, and kindness made the process less stressful:
This seller had great things to say about the REX Team; however, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, REX’s approach was unable to generate enough interest and they ended up selling with a different broker:
The most common themes among negative REX reviews are:
- Inexperienced agents
- Poor communication and organization
- Properties undervalued
Lisa G. of Phoenix, AZ was frustrated by REX’s approach to marketing, customer service, and agent incentivization:
This review comes from an agent who helped buyers purchase a REX listing. He says the sellers ended up having to pay his full commission, in addition to the REX 2% listing fee, which is not what REX advertises on its website:
Something worth noting is that most positive (and many negative) reviews call out experiences with specific REX Agents and Team Members.
With many discount brokers, experience levels, skill sets, and service quality will vary considerably across the team.
For example, REX Agents typically only need two years of experience, and Associate Agents, who often handle much of the day-to-day and in-person work, may only need an active real estate license with no prior experience required.
In other words, even if you’re 100% on board with A) REX’s MLS-less approach to home selling and B) the team-driven service model, your experience and outcome may depend on the specific agent(s) you get paired with.
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Try Clever’s free agent-matching service today.
Conclusion: Is REX a good option for you?
|REX is worth considering if you…|
|You may want to avoid REX if you…|
REX is a totally legitimate company that has helped many people sell and buy homes successfully. Ultimately, whether it’s a good choice for you is going to come down to:
- Your personal preferences for customer service
- How much tolerance you have for risk (REX’s approach is inherently risky)
- The situation surrounding your sale
- The quality of the REX Team in your area
The important thing to remember is that there’s no obligation to move forward or commit when you’re interviewing different real estate agents or services.
You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by shopping around and comparing rates, experience, and personalities to find the perfect fit.
REX business hours, contact information, office locations
|855-342-4739||7:30am-5:30pm, 7 days / week|
|Los Angeles, CA||21550 W Oxnard Suite 100 Woodland Hills, CA 91367|
|San Francisco, CA||255 Shoreline Dr STE 300 Redwood City, CA 94065|
|Denver, CO||5445 DTC Parkway Greenwood Village, CO 80111|
|New Jersey / New York City||37 E Washington Ave Suite 1R Washington, NJ 07882|
|Portland, OR||8215 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Suite 200 Tualatin, OR 97062|
|Austin, TX||300 North IH-35, Suite 149 Austin, TX 78705|
|Las Vegas, NV||9890 South Maryland Pkwy, #200A Las Vegas, NV 8913|
|Arizona||4645 S Lakeshore Drive, Suite 8 Tempe, AZ 85282|