Clever Real Estate vs. Redfin: Which Is Better?

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By Michael Warford Updated November 10, 2023


Clever vs. Redfin | Service models | Fees and savings | Agent selection | Customer reviews | Availability

Clever Real Estate and Redfin both offer discounted listing fees of just 1.5% compared to the traditional 3%. On a $500,000 home sale, that lower rate could save you $7,500 in commission!

However, Clever and Redfin have important differences. Clever lets you compare multiple top agents, many from trusted brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. Redfin automatically pairs you with the lead agent in your area instead of letting you choose your own.

Clever and Redfin also differ in their customer service, how they create savings, and the level of hands-on service their realtors provide.

Redfin may be better if you’re comfortable getting less personalized service and plan to buy and sell with the same brokerage. Clever is your best choice if you want a top local agent who offers hands-on support, while also saving you thousands in commission.

» SAVE: Compare top local agents, save thousands on commission

Clever Real Estate vs. Redfin

  Clever Redfin
Service model ✅ You work with a full-service agent, often from a name-brand brokerage. The service is similar to a traditional realtor's. ✅ You work with a Redfin Agent, but certain tasks may get handed off to the support team. The service has a bigger emphasis on tech.
Fees and savings ✅ Sellers get a 1.5% listing fee and save thousands. Buyers get cash back of up to $500. ✅ Sellers get a 1.5% listing fee and excellent savings. People who buy and sell with Redfin get 0.5% back.
Agent quality ✅ Agents are vetted and provide hands-on, traditional service. ❌ Agents handle a lot of clients, which makes personalized service difficult.
Customer reviews ✅ Clever has many excellent customer reviews. ❌ Recent Redfin reviews tend to be negative.
Availability ✅ Clever is available in all 50 states and Washington, DC. ❌ Redfin is available in most states, but only in major cities.
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Service models

Clever and Redfin offer full service at discounted commission rates, but each company delivers those services differently.

Redfin employs salaried realtors who are part of an in-house team, and the quality of its agents varies. When you work with Redfin, you interact with various members of the Redfin team, not just your assigned agent. The company also relies more on technology, which can lead to a higher risk of miscommunication and errors.

Clever follows a model more similar to the traditional approach. Clever’s agents are independent realtors, often from trusted brands like Berkshire Hathaway and RE/MAX, who partner with Clever. You receive the same level of service as you would with one of these traditional brokerages, but at a lower cost.

Unlike Redfin, Clever vets all its agents with strict performance criteria and lets you choose your agent. And its Concierge team supports you throughout the transaction.

Clever services Redfin services
  • Sell with Clever
  • Buy with Clever
  • Clever Offers
  • Sell with Redfin
  • Buy with Redfin
  • Premier Agents
  • Concierge Service
  • Mortgages
  • Rentals
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How Clever works

Clever matches customers with realtors and other real estate services depending on their needs. Its main products include an agent matching service for sellers and buyers and Clever Offers, which helps sellers get cash offers.

Sell with Clever

Clever matches sellers with multiple full-service real estate agents who charge a discounted rate. The service is free and comes with no obligations. If you want to move forward with a Clever agent, you’ll pay just a 1.5% listing fee compared to the average real estate commission rate of 2.5–3%.

Here's the process for selling with Clever:

  1. You fill out a short questionnaire on Clever's website with some basic info about your sale.
  2. A fully licensed Clever Concierge calls you to learn more about what you want in a realtor. You can choose to skip the phone call, but it helps you get agent matches that are better tailored to you.
  3. Clever sends recommendations of the best local agents via text, email, or both. These agents are handpicked based on your discussion with your Concierge and data-driven insights.
  4. You can choose to interview any of the recommended agents. You can also request more agent matches or simply walk away.
  5. Once you choose an agent, you sign a listing agreement. From here, the process is the same as the traditional realtor experience. But you get a lower rate, and your Clever Concierge is available to handle any issues that may arise.

👋 Find top local agents, list for 1.5%!

Clever has helped thousands of customers save big on commission fees — we can help you keep more money in your pocket too!

With Clever:  

 ✅ Sellers pay only 1.5% in listing fees

 ✅ Buyers earn cash back on eligible purchases

 ✅ You'll work with a local realtor from top brokers, like RE/MAX and Keller Williams

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. You can interview as many agents as you like, or you can walk away anytime. Enter your zip code to find a top local agent today!

Buy with Clever

If you're buying, Clever can help you find a top local buyer's agent who fits your needs. To request an agent, call Clever directly or fill out a form online. A Clever Concierge will talk to you about what you want in an agent and send you recommendations.

Since the buyer’s agent commission is set by the seller, Clever doesn't offer a commission discount for buyers. However, you may be eligible for Clever Cash Back, which is cash Clever puts back in your pocket after you close.

You can get $500 if you buy and sell with Clever or $250 if you only buy. Due to state regulations, Clever Cash Back isn’t available in Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Clever Offers

Clever Offers is for homeowners who want to sell quickly to a cash buyer or iBuyer instead of listing on the open market.

Clever fields offers from vetted buyers in your area, so you can compare each offer and choose the best deal. The service is free, and you have no obligation to accept an offer.

You also talk to a real estate agent who can provide a home valuation estimate. This estimate allows you to compare the cash offers with what you could get on the open market. Since cash offers are typically below fair market value, knowing your home's worth gives you more leverage when negotiating with cash buyers.

How Redfin works

Redfin is a real estate brokerage that pairs buyers and sellers with agents. It also offers mortgages and services for renters and landlords.

Sell with Redfin

Redfin offers two levels of service for sellers: Redfin Full Service and Redfin Premier.

Full Service is Redfin’s standard discount service, where you get a listing agent for a 1.5% commission. Premier Agents also work for 1.5%, but they're top-performing agents who focus on luxury properties.

If you choose Premier, you can also use Redfin Concierge Service. This is a renovation and staging service to get your home ready for listing. The cost depends on how much work your home needs. You pay for your agent and the Concierge Service from the sale proceeds at closing.

Here’s how Full Service and Premier work:

  1. Fill out Redfin’s online questionnaire with some basic information about your home sale. 
  2. Redfin matches you with one of its agents. It may also connect you with a Partner Agent, but these agents aren’t Redfin employees and don’t provide discounts. You can also choose to work with a Premier Agent, if available.
  3. Interview your agent. If you decide to work with them, you sign a listing agreement. If not, you can walk away. If you work with a Premier Agent, you can also choose to renovate your house with Redfin Concierge (where available).
  4. List your house. Your agent and the Redfin staff handle your sale.
  5. Close and pay fees. You pay a 1.5% listing fee to your agent and another 2–3% to the buyer’s agent. If you use Redfin Concierge, you pay for the service from your sale proceeds.

Buy with Redfin

Buying with Redfin is similar to buying a house with a traditional real estate agent. It's most beneficial if you're also selling with Redfin. If you buy and sell within a year, you get a check worth 0.5% of your home’s sale price after you close on your purchase, effectively lowering your listing fee to 1%.

Redfin’s buyer’s agents are either Full Service or Premier Agents.

Full Service is Redfin’s standard service. You work with your agent alongside other members of the Redfin team.

Premier Agents are best if you’re buying a high-value home. According to Redfin, Premier Agents have better reviews and more experience purchasing luxury properties, so they can help you make a more competitive offer.

Mortgages and rentals

Redfin provides home loans through Bay Equity, a mortgage provider it acquired in 2022. If you buy a house with Redfin, you may qualify for 0.25% off your standard interest rate by using Bay Equity.

However, you have no obligation to work with a Redfin agent if you want a loan through Bay Equity, and you're not required to get a Bay Equity mortgage when you buy a house with Redfin. You should always shop around for the best mortgage rates.

Redfin has also partnered with to offer rental services. If you’re a landlord and you list with, your listing will also appear on Redfin’s online directory of rental properties. Likewise, as a tenant, you can search for places to rent via Redfin.

There are no discounts for listing or finding a rental property through Redfin.

Fees and savings

Clever and Redfin have similar savings. Each discount real estate brokerage charges a 1.5% listing fee for sellers. However, Redfin's minimum fee varies by location, so sellers won’t always pay the same price with Redfin as they would with Clever.

Both companies also offer savings for buyers. Clever’s buyer savings are for all eligible buyers, but Redfin’s are only for those who also sell with Redfin.

Clever fees and savings

Clever’s listing fee is 1.5% for sellers, which is competitive which low real estate commission rates in the industry.

On a $500,000 home sale, you’d pay a $7,500 listing fee with Clever compared to the $15,000 you’d pay with a traditional 3% realtor. That means you'd save $7,500!

The listing fee has a minimum of $3,000, which only kicks in if your house sells for less than $200,000. You also need to offer a buyer’s agent commission, which is typically 2–3%.

Clever also offers savings for eligible buyers. With Clever Cash Back, you get $500 after closing if you buy and sell with Clever or $250 if you only buy. Unlike the home buyer rebates some real estate companies offer, cash back isn’t subject to lender approval, is guaranteed in full, and can be spent however you like.

Redfin fees and savings

Like Clever, Redfin charges sellers a discounted listing fee of 1.5%.

However, Redfin has a minimum fee that varies a lot depending on where you’re selling. For example, the minimum fee in Nashville is $3,200, but in San Francisco, it’s $7,000. You’d need to sell in San Francisco for about $470,000 or more to avoid the minimum fee.

And unlike Clever, Redfin increases your listing fee by 1% if the buyer doesn’t have an agent. While most buyers have agents, this potential cost is something to be aware of. It would wipe out the discount you’d otherwise get by working with Redfin. If the buyer does have an agent, you need to offer a 2–3% buyer’s agent commission.

You get the most savings with Redfin if you buy and sell with the company within one year. In that case, you get a check worth 0.5% of your home’s sale price after you close on your new home. That lowers your effective listing fee to 1%.

Redfin also offers eligible buyers 0.25% off the standard mortgage rate through its in-house home loan provider, Bay Equity. However, not everyone is eligible, and the discount is subject to borrower approval. Even if you're eligible for the discount, we recommend shopping around to see if other lenders offer better rates.

Agent quality

Clever and Redfin agents operate very differently from one another, including in how they deliver services and how much work they take on. Here are some of the biggest differences and the effect they have on agent quality.

Clever agents are incentivized to sell for more

Redfin agents are employed by Redfin, and they make a salary regardless of whether they finalize your transaction. While Redfin’s agents do get performance bonuses, being salaried may make them less incentivized to get you the best deal or close quickly.

The agents you find through Clever are independent of Clever. They’re traditional agents, often working at trusted brokerages like Keller Williams and Berkshire Hathaway. They only get paid when the deal closes. By working entirely on commission, Clever’s Partner Agents have more incentive to sell faster and for more.

Clever and Redfin have different vetting standards

Redfin does relatively little to vet its agents. And because Redfin’s agents are salaried, the company tends to attract newer agents who want more experience with guaranteed pay.

In contrast, Clever agents must have five or more years of real estate experience, great customer reviews, and a proven track record of success when they join the network. They must also maintain strict performance standards when working with Clever customers. Clever removes agents from its network who don't meet its standards.

You get more hands-on service with Clever

Clever agents tend to offer much more hands-on support than Redfin agents. Clever partner agents often work at name-brand brokerages, so you get the same support as you would with a traditional realtor you found on your own.

Redfin agents take on a lot more clients, which means you get less personalized service. The agents rely more heavily on technology and support staff. You’ll likely communicate with several members of the Redfin team at different stages of your transaction instead of just your agent. This can lead to miscommunication and make the process feel impersonal.

Clever lets you compare agents, while Redfin assigns you one

When you choose a real estate agent, it’s important to find one who has a successful track record and who's a good personal fit. You should compare and interview multiple agents to find the best match.

With Clever, you get to choose between 2–3 vetted agents, and you can request even more if you'd like. You have no obligation to work with any of the agents Clever recommends.

Redfin doesn’t let you choose which agent you work with. You could get a great agent, but you also risk getting an agent who isn’t right for your situation.

Customer reviews

Clever reviews

Clever has excellent online reviews, with a 5/5 rating based on 2,735 reviews. This rating indicates that the vast majority of Clever customers are happy with their experience. Customers are especially pleased with the agent quality and savings.

Agent quality is consistently top-notch

The majority of positive Clever reviews are about how good the agents were. Customers routinely praised Clever’s partner agents for their professionalism and work ethic.

For example, this customer said:

"[My agent was] very experienced professional. Offered advice that produced results. Her knowledge and suggestions enabled me to reap every possible dollar when selling my home. She was very knowledgeable and honest and produced fast results."

A high-quality agent can give you a better chance of selling or buying at a price that works for you. And the entire process is less stressful when you know you have an experienced professional representing you.

Savings don’t come at the expense of quality

Many Clever customers were happy they saved money on real estate commission. Reviewers especially appreciated that the savings didn't come at the expense of quality.

For example, this customer said:

“Excellent service was provided even though the listing was 1/2 price. [Our realtor] listened to our needs and provided outstanding service. She was very responsive to any inquiry we had. Would not have any issue if I had paid a full listing price.”

Unlike Redfin, Clever partners with established realtors, many from name-brand brokerages. This process ensures you get a traditional real estate agent who provides full service — just at a much lower rate.

Customer service is quick and helpful

Several customers appreciated that Clever stayed in touch after matching them with an agent. The Clever team often went above and beyond to make sure clients were happy with their agent throughout the transaction.

For example, one customer had a disagreement with his realtor and contacted Clever. The company promptly contacted the agent to rectify the situation.

As this customer said:

“We are extremely grateful and appreciative of the time and energy that Clever and their team took to make this situation right! They advocated on our behalf and got it cleared up.”

Redfin reviews

Redfin reviews online are mixed, with an overall rating of 3.8/5 based on 425 reviews.

The company doesn't have many recent reviews on third-party websites, and the handful we found are overwhelmingly negative. In fact, we had trouble finding more than a few good reviews that weren’t more than two years old.

Most of Redfin’s recent positive reviews are on its website. As this customer said, “I have tried to post the review on Redfin's website since last fall but they won't let me because they know it is very negative.” We suggest relying on third-party reviews when possible.

Agents aren’t always motivated

Redfin agents get paid a salary instead of commission, which means some of them might not work as hard to sell your home. A realtor who depends on commission has a much bigger incentive to help you quickly complete your transaction and sell for the best price.

As this customer said:

“Redfin agents are not incentivized to really work to sell your home or maximize your potential proceeds. ... You have to work much harder to bring a buyer because the Redfin team does near to zero.”

Some customers complain about agent mistakes

Redfin agents handle a lot more clients than traditional agents. They also work with a team, so you may interact with different Redfin members at various stages of your transaction. Both of these factors increase the chances of errors and miscommunication.

For example, this reviewer said:

“[The] Redfin real estate agent ... whom we hired to sell our house sabotaged us by giving us bad advice, by not responding to interested buyers' agents, doing zero marketing, taking absolutely no initiative and being extremely unresponsive to us.”

Other reviews complained about agents forgetting to relay messages from buyers or making mistakes with paperwork.

Some Redfin agents get good reviews

Some Redfin agents are genuinely helpful and work hard to get the best outcomes for their clients.

This customer had a great experience:

"I bought with Redfin and had a great experience working with my broker ... and her team of agents — they were always willing to help and answered all my questions immediately.”

However, we had trouble finding many recent reviews like this one. Redfin doesn't let you choose your agent, and it doesn't do a lot to vet them. It’s mostly a matter of luck whether you’ll get a good agent.


Clever Redfin
All 50 states and Washington, DC 100+ locations across most states, except ME, MT, ND, SD, VT, WV, and WY
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Clever locations

Clever is available in all 50 states and Washington, DC. It operates in both major metropolitan areas and rural markets.

Clever Offers may be limited in areas with few or no local cash buyers. Also, due to state laws, Clever Cash Back is unavailable in Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Redfin locations

Redfin operates in over 100 markets across the US and Canada. It serves most states, except for Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. While Redfin may have Partner Agents in these states, these agents are independent from Redfin and don’t offer discounted rates.

Redfin agents work only in major metropolitan areas. And not all services, like Redfin Concierge and Redfin Premier Agents, are available in every market Redfin operates in.

Bottom line: Should you use Clever Real Estate or Redfin?

Both Clever and Redfin offer a 1.5% listing fee — half of what traditional realtors charge. You could potentially save thousands when selling with either company, and both also offer benefits for buyers.

However, because Redfin agents handle a much larger volume of work, you may get less hands-on attention from them than you would with a Clever agent.

If you’re not sure which discount brokerage to choose, remember that you’re hiring an agent, not a brand. Your realtor’s local experience, knowledge of buyer and seller trends, and level of personalized service are far more important than the brand they work with.

We recommend interviewing several agents to find the best fit.

Clever lets you compare multiple agents, so it's easier to see who has the experience and expertise best suited to your transaction. You can then compare those agents with Redfin’s suggested agent.

No matter who you choose, you’ll save money on your real estate transaction and have the agent you feel most comfortable working with.

👋 Next Steps: Talk to an expert

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

Our fully licensed concierge team can answer your questions and provide objective advice on getting the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

When you enter your info below, we'll ask you a few questions about your situation via a short form. Then our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

This service is free, and there’s never any obligation to move forward with us.

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