Have you ever heard of Clever Real Estate? I hadn’t, but I guess they wanted me to know about them. A few months back I shared an honest review of HomeLight, and a few weeks later Clever Real Estate published their own review, with my exact same title. Copycats? You can decide.
Well, the folks at Clever should have realized that I love to review techie real estate startups. So, let’s get to it.
What is Clever Real Estate?
Clever Real Estate, or simply Clever, is a startup that hopes to get you a “better real estate agent to work with.” I’ve heard that one before.
The nimble team at Clever has done pretty well for themselves. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised $5M and has four employees. That means they are a pretty small firm in the space.
How Does Clever Work?
Clever promises this: If you list your home with them, they will charge a flat fee of $3,000, or 1% of the total sale price if your home sells over $350,000. They claim that saves you, the consumer up to 66%, or more, when compared to a normal agent.
Well, if it saves you plus or minus 66% when compared to another agent, then their claim must be right because basic math proves that it is impossible them to be wrong!
If you buy with them, I am not sure what they offer, besides a $1,000 rebate on purchases over $500,000, in some states.
Clever Real Estate claims to connect you with experienced and high-quality real estate agents from brokerages such as Coldwell Banker, Compass, etc. I would sure hope they do.
How Does Clever Make Money?
From what I gather, they refer you to an agent. In other words, if you buy or sell a home with the agent they hand off to you, that agent will pay Clever a referral fee.
How much work does that mean Clever has to do? Well, they have to convince you, a buyer or seller, to put your information into their site, instead of simply calling a local real estate agent.
What is My Review of Clever Real Estate?
Avoid Clever Real Estate at all costs. There is probably a joke to be made about Clever’s cleverness, or lack thereof, but I can’t quite get it right.
Let me put it this way: Do you really expect to get the advice of an experienced and hardworking agent for a fraction of what they usually charge? I know I will never sign up to work with Clever and I do not expect big time agents to do so.
I think many of these startups will crumble in the next few years. The DOJ could even prevent them from claiming their services are 100% free. Remember, you, as a consumer, have value.
If I were looking to buy or sell real estate, I would want my agent to be paid as much as possible. Ask yourself this: How hard will an agent work for you if they are only getting paid a fraction of what their firm usually charges?
Please check out my guide that explains how to find a local real estate agent. And if you still aren’t convinced, take a look at this article (Are the “We Buy Houses” Billboards Legitimate?).