Clever Real Estate and Redfin can both help you sell or buy a home and save on real estate commissions. But Clever Real Estate operates differently from Redfin — including how it creates savings — which can affect your overall experience, value, and outcome as a seller or buyer.
We did a deep dive to see how Clever and Redfin stack up to help you compare and make the best decision for your needs and goals. Here’s what we found.
Bottom line: Clever is the better value
Clever Real Estate offers a better overall value than Redfin. While both brokerages offer the same listing fee (1.5%), Clever has a much higher average customer rating than Redfin (4.9 vs. Redfin's 3.9). A lot of that boils down to differences between how the two brands work that impact service quality.
With Clever, you work with top local realtors from name-brand brokerages, like Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, and RE/MAX, who provide full service and support, from listing through closing. With Redfin, work with its in-house discount agents, who handle 3x more clients than the average agent and, therefore, may be a bit more hands off throughout the process.
💡 Our advice: Start with Clever: they’ll match you with several top local agents to compare and you’ll get all the savings you'd find with Redfin, no matter who you choose.
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Clever vs. Redfin (and other top alternatives)
4.9 (1,810 reviews)
3.8 (425 reviews)
4.9 (4,343 reviews)
4.6 (4,267 reviews)
*Average savings vs. 3% listing fee at four price points: $100k, $250k, $500k, $750k
When comparing Clever Real Estate and Redfin to top alternatives, like Ideal Agent and UpNest, Clever still delivers the best overall value.
Both Clever and Redfin offer comparable listings fees of 1.5%, but Clever blows Redfin out of the water on agent selection, service, and support.
Ideal Agent: Ideal Agent is an agent matching service, like Clever Real Estate, that pre-negotiates 2% commission fees with the agents in its network. That’s more than Clever’s and Redfin's listing fees (1.5%). In terms of agent selection, Ideal Agent is comparable to Redfin, with about 2,000 realtors nationwide. But that’s nowhere close to Clever’s roughly 18,000-strong nationwide network of agents. Unlike Clever and Redfin, Ideal Agent doesn’t offer any potential savings for home buyers.
UpNest: UpNest is another agent matching service that offers similar agent selection and quality to Clever (both have just shy of 20,000 real estate agents nationwide, many realtors work with both brands). But unlike Clever and Redfin, UpNest doesn’t offer guaranteed savings: its 2–2.5% average listing fee makes it the priciest option for sellers overall. And while it does offer the potential for buyer savings, again – no guarantees there.
» COMPARE: Best low commission real estate companies
What is Clever Real Estate?
Clever Real Estate is a free, nationwide service that matches home sellers and buyers with top-rated, local real estate agents from major brands and brokerages like Coldwell Banker and RE/MAX. Clever also offers built-in savings when you find your agent through its platform: sellers list for just 1.5%, buyers can get cash back after closing.
What is Redfin?
Redfin is a discount licensed real estate brokerage that offers potential savings for home sellers and buyers. Redfin’s in-house agents use technologies and team-based customer service to create savings for customers. This means the experience may be slightly different (a little less “hands-on”) with a Redfin partner agent than with a conventional realtor.
Clever vs. Redfin: In-depth breakdown
We compare how Clever Real Estate and Redfin stack up across the most important factors for home sellers and buyers: Overall savings, service and support, agent quality, agent selection, and customer satisfaction.
Benefits of using Clever
Benefits of using Redfin
You pay a 1.5% listing fee (half the usual rate).
You pay a 1.5% listing fee (half the usual rate).
You get the same services and experience with Clever that you would if you were paying full market-rate commission.
You get a 0.5% listing fee refund if you also buy with Redfin within 12 months.
Clever has a wide range of agents to choose from, and it only works with top-producing realtors.
Redfin offers a few legit extras, like a 3D walkthrough and premium placement on Redfin’s home search tool.
Pricing for home sellers: Both brokerages offer the same listing fee, though some sellers will pay more with Redfin
Both brokerages offer a 1.5% listing fee. Sellers who work with either brand will see significant savings compared to the 2.5–3% fee that most traditional agents charge.
But in some markets, you may end up paying more with Redfin due to its minimum fees that reach as high as $7,000. If you're selling a less-expensive home (think $450,000 or less), ask Redfin about its minimum fees before you sign a contract.
No matter which brand you choose, you'll likely still have to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission. Buyer’s agent commission rates vary by market, but 2.5–3% is typical nationwide.
With a 1.5% listing fee, your total rate will be about 4–4.5%. It’s still a chunk of change, but it’s significant savings compared to the typical 5.5–6% total commission rate. Learn more about how real estate commissions work.
Service and support: Clever offers more hands-on service
Clever matches you with conventional realtors from name-brand brokerages like RE/MAX, Keller Williams, and Century 21. You’ll get the same services and professional experience with Clever that you would if you were paying full market-rate commission, including an in-person home valuation, professional photos, MLS listing, help with offers, paperwork, closing coordination, and more.
Redfin offers many of these same services as well, but it may deliver them slightly differently. While you’ll work with a Lead Redfin Agent, many of the individual tasks will be managed via a back-office team and through the Redfin app. As a result, the experience may be slightly more “hands off” and less personalized—which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it really comes down to your personal preferences and needs.
Agent quality and experience: Both brokerages have experienced agents
Clever Real Estate partners with skilled agents from prominent conventional brokerages across the nation. It looks for real estate professionals with at least five years of experience, excellent customer reviews, and solid track records backed by successful sales numbers.
Redfin hires beginners as well as seasoned real estate pros, so you’ll see a broader range of experience with Redfin agents. The brokerage also embraces a team-based approach. So, clients typically work with various agents throughout the buying and selling processes.
You’ll find qualified real estate agents with both Clever and Redfin. Shop around and meet with real estate agents from both companies. That way you can determine who has the right experience for you.
Agent selection and availability: Clever offers more options
Clever Real Estate partners with 19,000 agents nationwide, giving it the clear advantage over Redfin when it comes to agent selection. Clever connects you with multiple agents (usually two to three) in your area to interview so you can compare options and choose the best fit. You can request more choices if you don’t like the initial matches.
In comparison, Redfin has limited coverage. Redfin agents are primarily available in major and medium-sized cities with hot housing markets. If you’re in a smaller city, suburban area, or rural area, Redfin may not be an option. And even in its core markets, there may be only one to two Redfin agents to choose from.
While you may get lucky and find the perfect fit with a Redfin partner agent, Clever is probably the better place to start, since there’s a better chance of finding a real estate agent who’s a good fit quickly.
Customer reviews: Clever has better ratings from its customers
Head-to-head, Clever Real Estate reviews outshine Redfin's reviews. Customers give Clever high marks for its easy-to-use agent matching service, significant savings, and excellent customer service. And because all of the agents Clever matches customers with are independent, local agents, it’s easy to find their reviews in their online profiles on trusted third-party sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and even Google.
Redfin’s service has mixed reviews from customers on third-party review sites like Google and Consumer Affairs. All of the reviews for its agents are housed in the agent finder tool on Redfin.com. This info is pretty easy to hunt down on the company’s site and appears pretty honest and transparent. But generally, we prefer independent review sites for more objectivity.
Summary: Clever vs. Redfin
We recommend Clever Real Estate over Redfin because Clever offers better savings, agent selection, and customer service.
How Clever and Redfin are similar
- Offer solid seller savings vs. conventional commission rates
- Buyers can get potential savings as well
- Same general services and support as traditional agents
- No obligation to sign up and interview agents
Why we pick Clever over Redfin
- Comparable seller savings: Both Clever and Redfin offer 1.5% listing fees and cash back for buyers
- More agent selection: Clever has 19,000 agents nationwide vs. Redfin’s ~2,000 agents.
- Better customer experience: Clever matches customers with conventional realtors who provide traditional 1:1 experience—Redfin’s primarily tech- and team-based approach may be more hands off.
- Better customer service: Clever has a fully licensed concierge team that offers additional support throughout sale or purchase.
- Higher customer satisfaction scores: Clever’s averages a 4.9 rating on third-party review sites vs. Redfin’s 3.9 score.
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FAQ about Clever vs. Redfin
Both Clever Real Estate and Redfin offer 1.5% listing fees. However, Clever offers better agent selection, pairing clients with top-performing agents from traditional brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. When you sell a house with Redfin, you work with an in-house, salaried Redfin agent — who may be more hands-off than the conventional realtors you can find through Clever. You can see the full Redfin and Clever service and savings breakdown here.
Clever Real Estate is a free, nationwide agent matching service. It connects you with local full service realtors from name-brand real estate brokerages like Coldwell Banker and Century 21. And it negotiates low rates on your behalf: you get the same full service experience, but your listing fee is just 1.5% instead of the agent's usual 2.5–3% rate.
Redfin is a discount brokerage with in-house, salaried agents. Redfin agents use technology and a team-based approach to handle more clients per real estate agent (~3x the normal amount) to offset Redfin's reduced 1.5% listing fee. But this can create service-quality risks for home sellers — or at least a fundamentally different selling experience than you'd expect from a conventional full service realtor. Learn more about the differences between Redfin and Clever here.