✍️ Editor’s take: REX’s promise of huge savings is misleading. Its advertising misrepresents the significant risks of its pricing model and marketing approach.
REX Real Estate is a multi-state real estate broker whose primary offering is discounted rates for home sellers.
REX’s approach is different from other discount brokers. It relies on cutting out buyer’s agent commission and the MLS to create savings, rather than reducing its listing fees.
By not listing on the MLS or offering a buyer’s agent commission, 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.
What is REX Real Estate?
REX Real Estate is a discount real estate broker with licensed agents who can help you sell or buy a home in select markets across 17 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
Most people pay realtors between 5-6% in commission fees to sell their homes. REX advertises a “2.5% 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 2.5% 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 2.5% to 5-5.5%, based on typical rates. At that point, you can probably find better savings and value with other discount brokers.
Is REX really 2.5%?
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.
How realtor commission works in a conventional sale
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 discounted commission rate is misleading
REX’s $9,000 or 2.5% 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.
Who should use REX?
REX is worth considering if you…
You may want to avoid REX if you…
» MORE: Compare all discount brokers
Biggest risks of REX's approach?
Your buyer pool will shrink
REX’s 2.5% fee does not include listing your home on the MLS. Around 90% of buyers work with agents, and the MLS is the number-one tool agents use to find homes for their clients. Not listing on the MLS significantly reduces your home’s visibility.
Digital advertising alone isn't usually enough
Instead of listing your home on the MLS, REX markets your home directly to potential buyers by running targeted ad campaigns on websites like Zillow and Facebook. The goal is to eliminate the need for the buyer to hire their own agent to help them find a home.
However, this is a gamble: REX’s ads may get your home in front of prospective buyers, but this isn’t Amazon. They’re not going to make a six-figure-or-more purchase on an impulse. If they’re serious, chances are they’ll find a realtor to look out for their best interests before actively pursuing the home.
Buyers without agents are less qualified
Agents don’t work with non-serious buyers, and most serious buyers work with agents. Exclusively targeting unrepresented buyers means you’re going after people who may be less motivated or financially able to actually purchase your home.
Buyers may not be able to afford their agent’s commission
If REX manages to find you a represented buyer, they’ll have to cover their agent’s fee themselves. This is a HUGE disincentive. If you were deciding between two similar houses and one demanded you pay an extra 3% to cover your agent's fee and the other did not, which one would you choose?
It could also prevent a buyer from being able to afford your home altogether. Lenders won’t lend out more than the home is actually worth. If you’re selling at or above your home’s fair market value, the buyer will have to pay the difference out of pocket, which could be a deal breaker.
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 4.7 based on 765 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 $360,000
$360,000 and above
2.5% of final sale price
The fee you pay REX will depend on your home’s final selling price. Homes that sell for less than $360,000 will pay the minimum $9,000 fee. Homes that sell for more will pay the advertised 2.5% rate.
The truth about REX's pricing model
Of course, with REX, the idea is that $9,000 or 2.5% 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 it's 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.
How much you can save with REX
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 $360,000 mark will pay more than the advertised 2.5% listing fee. You can find better rates and customer service from other services.
Once you get to the $300,000 mark or below, your rate will be comparable to (or possibly higher than) the listing fee for a traditional realtor.
What you should know about 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!
Compare REX's rates to make sure you get the best deal
If you’re considering a discount broker like REX, it’s important to know the average commission rate in your area, so you can compare the savings on offer against a baseline and shop around for the best value.
Also, make sure you’re hiring the agent or service that will get you the best price for your home — not just charge you the lowest commission.
REX may be able to save you $9,000 on realtor fees, but if it sells your home for $20,000 below its fair market value, you’re not getting much of a deal.
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 REX Agents will be highly experienced and professional. Others will be relatively novice and/or less committed.
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 isn’t 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
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. This 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.
REX Real Estate
Avg customer rating
4.7 (765 reviews)
4.9 (590 reviews)
3.2 (287 reviews)
4.6 (345 reviews)
Dedicated point of contact?
Southwest, West, Southeast, Mid-atlantic, Northeast
CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
2.5% or $9,000
1% or $3,000
1.5% (min fees vary by market)
$3,500 ($500 due up front)
REX's savings leave MUCH to be desired
REX’s pound-for-pound average listing fee "savings" (-$313) are by far the worst of any discount service. Of course, REX’s goal is for its $9,000 or 2.5% commission to be the ONLY fee you pay, but again, there’s no guarantee its unconventional approach will work.
It’s also 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 website attracts over six million visitors per month.
✍️ Editor’s note
If you’re in a hot market with a home that will sell easily, there are other options you may want to consider over REX.
For example, you could sell for sale by owner (FSBO) and hire a much cheaper, flat-fee service to provide limited marketing support and guidance.
Then you can offer that 2.5% to the buyer’s agent, still save a boatload of cash, and avoid the potential risks that come with REX’s unconventional approach!
» LEARN: How to sell your house for sale by owner
Your REX Agent won't be your primary point of contact
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, the risk of issues increases. 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.
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.
But there's one big difference:
REX does not publish your listing on the local MLS. This 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.
People you may work with when you sell with REX
If you list with REX, your sale will be handled by a team, rather than a single, dedicated agent.
Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
Typically your first point of contact, the CRM lays out the process, answers questions about REX, and gets you signed up and settled in with the service.
Your Account Manager is your dedicated point of contact throughout the sale. They will help you coordinate and communicate with all of the other stakeholders, internal and external, at each stage of the process. They are licensed (minimum one year of experience) and will help with pricing, getting your listing live, marketing your home, and so on.
Your Listing Agent is the person ultimately responsible for selling your home, but they may be less involved in the sale than your Account Manager. They will help you set a price, coordinate showings / open houses, screen buyers, field offers, negotiate, etc.
Associate Agents are more junior-level realtors who may handle more of the day-to-day, in-person tasks like the in-person home evaluations for pricing or managing photography sessions, showings, and open houses.
The Transaction Coordinator will assist with paperwork, escrow, and closing. They’ll also serve as the primary liaison between agents, title, escrow, mortgage brokers, appraisers, inspectors, and so on.
Why REX's team-based customer service experience is risky
For some people — particularly those who like highly personalized customer service — REX's team-based customer service experience could be stressful or frustrating to deal with.
It also injects more risk into the process. 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.
Make sure REX has an actual office in your area
With REX, your selling experience and outcome may vary considerably based 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!
Why buying directly from REX is risky
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% of the sale price — 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.
While many services offer similar incentives, REX’s rebate is on the higher end of the spectrum.
» MORE: What is a home buyer rebate?
How to qualify for the REX Buyer Rebate
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.
Here's the kicker:
If you buy one of REX’s own listings, you will not qualify for this rebate!
According to REX's terms and conditions, your purchase will qualify for a rebate only if all of the following are true:
- The home is listed on the MLS
- The purchase isn't a foreclosure or short sale
- You get pre-approved for a mortgage through REX Home Loans, REX's in-house mortgage broker.
Alongside REX's eligibility criteria, there are usually a heap of terms and restrictions surrounding commission rebates. This is why you’ll almost always see the conditional, “We offer up to X%” language.
📢 A few important notes on commission rebates:
Additional REX services
One of the ways REX attempts to offset its discounted rates is upselling existing customers on 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.
Always compare multiple services for the best quality and value
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 1/4/2021. We will update this section as new information becomes available.
Overall, REX’s reviews across third-party platforms are solid, with an average customer rating of 4.7 across 765 total reviews.
So what do customers have to say about working with REX Real Estate?
What customers like about REX
The most common themes among positive REX reviews are:
- Great savings
- Painless and easy process
- Team was helpful and professional
REX is a 'great value'
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:
My REX Agent 'exceeded my expectations'
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:
The sales process was 'easy' — but 'we didn't save as much' as we'd hoped
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:
What customers DON'T like about REX
The most common themes among negative REX reviews are:
- Inexperienced agents
- Poor communication and organization
- Properties undervalued
REX's salaried agents showed 'no urgency' to sell our house
Lisa G. of Phoenix, AZ was frustrated by REX’s approach to marketing, customer service, and agent incentivization:
Dealing with REX was a 'horrible experience'
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 2.5% 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.
Compare top local agents, save thousands!
Try Clever’s free agent-matching service today.
Conclusion: Is REX a good option for 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 employees 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.
7 days / week; hours vary by location
REX availability and office locations
Los Angeles, CA
21550 W Oxnard Suite 100 Woodland Hills, CA 91367
San Francisco, CA
255 Shoreline Dr STE 300 Redwood City, CA 94065
5445 DTC Parkway Greenwood Village, CO 80111
New Jersey / New York City
37 E Washington Ave Suite 1R Washington, NJ 07882
8215 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Suite 200 Tualatin, OR 97062
3300 North IH-35, Suite 149 Austin, TX 78705
Las Vegas, NV
9890 South Maryland Pkwy, #200A Las Vegas, NV 8913
4645 S Lakeshore Drive, Suite 8 Tempe, AZ 85282
Other markets REX services
Note: Just because REX services your area, it doesn't mean they have an agent there! If there are no REX Agents in your location, the company will handle the process remotely with support from local freelancers.
District of Columbia