Clever Real Estate and Redfin can both help you sell or buy a home and save on real estate commissions. But Clever and Redfin—and the way they create the savings—differ in important ways, which can affect your overall experience, value, and outcome as a seller or buyer.
Clever is a free nationwide service that matches you with local agents from top brokerages like Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker, and pre-negotiates lower rates on your behalf. Redfin is a discount brokerage with in-house, salaried agents who use technology and team-based service to achieve lower rates.
We did a deep dive to see how Clever and Redfin stack up in all the important areas to help you better understand and compare the two services so you can 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. Clever delivers lower listing fees for sellers (1% vs. Redfin’s 1.5%), better savings for buyers, more services and support, better agent selection, and higher customer satisfaction scores.
If you want to move fast, start with Clever: they’ll match you with several top local agents to compare and you’ll get better savings than Redfin no matter who you choose. That said, both Clever and Redfin are no-obligation services, so if you’ve got the time, try signing up for both to see how the agents stack up and give yourself more options.
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Clever vs. Redfin: At a glance
4.9 (1,512 reviews)
3.7 (182 reviews)
4.9 (2,717 reviews)
4.6 (3,794 reviews)
*Average savings vs. 3% listing fee at four price points: $100k, $250k, $500k, $750k
Clever vs. Redfin vs. top alternatives
When comparing Clever and Redfin to top alternatives, like Ideal Agent and UpNest, Clever still delivers the best overall value. Clever is the only full-service, nationwide brand offering true 1% listing fees. Redfin is a close second when it comes to price, at 1.5%, but in terms of agent selection and customer experience, Clever, Ideal Agent, and UpNest generally have it beat. Here’s some quick, additional context on how Ideal Agent and UpNest compare to Clever and Redfin to help inform your decision making.
Clever vs. Redfin: In-depth breakdown
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%, buyers can get up to 0.5% cash back after closing.
Redfin is a discount 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”) than working with a conventional realtor.
Below, we compare how Clever 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.
Clever vs. Redfin: Pricing and savings
Clever vs. Redfin listing fees
Buyer’s agent fee
While Clever and Redfin both offer significant savings compared to what you’d pay a conventional realtor you found on your own (usually 2.5–3%), Clever beats Redfin on pricing.
When you go through Clever, you pay a 1% listing fee—or a flat $3,000 if your home sells for less than $350,000. Redfin charges 1.5% listing fees, but it also has minimum fees that vary by market (and reach as high as $7,000).
Clever vs. Redfin savings
Home value: $500,000
*Assumes 2.5% buyer's agent fee **Compared to a full 6% commission rate.
Savings for home buyers
Home value: $500,000
Clever offers up to 0.5% cash back for home buyers in the 42 states that allow buyer rebates and cash back rewards — that’s $2,500 on a $500,000 home purchase. You get a digital check from Clever within 30 days of closing that you can deposit and spend any way you’d like.
Redfin also offers buyer savings, but the program isn’t as clear cut as Clever’s. It doesn’t have concrete qualification criteria or rebate amounts, but the average seems to be about 0.22% of the purchase price. The rebates are issued as closing credits, which means it's subject to lender approval and can be spent only on certain costs tied to the transaction.
Service and support
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 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
Clever 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 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 agents with both Clever and Redfin. Shop around and meet with agents from both companies. That way you can determine who has the right experience for you.
Agent selection and availability
Clever partners with 14,000 agents nationwide, giving it the clear advantage over Redfin when it comes to agent selection. Clever connects you with 2–3 agents 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. It’s 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 1–2 Redfin Agents to choose from.
While you may get lucky and find the perfect fit with Redfin, Clever is probably the better place to start, since there’s a better chance of finding an agent who’s a good fit quickly.
Head-to-head, Clever outshines Redfin in online ratings and 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 conventional realtors
- No obligation to sign up and interview agents
Why we pick Clever over Redfin
- Better seller savings: Clever offers 1% listing fees vs. Redfin’s 1.5% rate.
- Better buyer savings: Qualifying Clever buyers can get up to 0.5% cash back—eligible Redfin buyers average 0.22–0.25% rebates.
- More agent selection: Clever has 14,000 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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