What’s the UpNest Referral Fee? 5 Things to Know

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By Ashley Simon Updated January 30, 2024


UpNest is an online marketplace that matches home buyers and sellers with real estate agents for a referral fee. Agents compete for business by submitting a commission or commission refund quote within 24 hours. The buyer or seller then decides which agent they’d like to work with.

» Just looking for an UpNest review? Read what real customers think about working with this brokerage.

How does UpNest get paid?

UpNest charges a 30% referral fee when a sale is successfully completed.[1] This fee is taken out of the real estate agent's commission. Neither the seller or buyer is responsible for paying the referral fee.

How real estate referral fees work

In real estate, it is common for an agent to receive a referral fee when referring a client to another agent. Typically, this is done when a listing agent’s client is moving to another area and looking to purchase a home in the new area.

But, many online companies also provide referrals to agents for a fee — either a flat rate for a lead, or a percentage of the agent’s proceeds only for leads that pan out. The referral fee is most often a percentage based on the gross commission the agent receives — between 25% to 35%.

How the UpNest referral fee works

UpNest connects real estate agents with vetted customers. Each agent has the opportunity to submit a proposal to the customer, and then the customer can decide which agent to work with based on the quotes. If the process leads to a sale, the agent pays UpNest a 30% referral fee at closing.

According to UpNest, the percentage is calculated prior to the broker split.[1]

How an agent gets an UpNest referral

The UpNest process starts when a client who's looking for a real estate agent completes an online form about their specific needs. This includes things like whether they’re looking to buy or sell, what type of home they’re buying or selling, and some of the most important factors to them in an agent (quick process, best price, etc.).

UpNest does some follow-up to verify the buyer or seller is looking to take action in the next 90 days, then sends this information to agents in its network. Agents have 24 hours to respond with a commission proposal outlining commission and fees you would receive by serving as their agent. The client then chooses which agent to go with and the process continues just as any traditional sale or purchase would, with UpNest getting their cut of the commission at closing.

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If you're looking for a way to grow your real estate business, we recommend trying Clever. Clever provides highly vetted buyer and seller leads with no upfront costs. You only pay when you close.

Keep more of your commission and grow your business faster by joining the Clever Partner Agent Network. To see if you qualify, fill out this online form and a Clever rep will be in touch with you shortly.

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