Clever Real Estate vs. Redfin: Which Is Better?
Jump to section: Quick compare | Pricing and savings | Service and support | Agent quality | Agent selection | Customer reviews | Summary | FAQ
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.
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. Clever has comparable rates for sellers (~1.5%) and also offers savings for buyers.
However, Clever has a much higher average customer rating than Redfin (4.9 vs. Redfin's 3.9). A lot of that boils down to fundamental 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.
Try Clever's free agent matching service!
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Clever vs. Redfin: At a glance
4.9 (1,995 reviews)
3.7 (301 reviews)
4.9 (5,842 reviews)
4.6 (5,093 reviews)
*Average savings vs. 3% listing fee at four price points: $100k, $250k, $500k, $750k
» COMPARE: Best low commission real estate companies in 2022
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.
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.
Here’s some quick, additional context on how Ideal Agent and UpNest compare to Clever and Redfin to help inform your decision making.
Ideal Agent: Ideal Agent is an agent matching service, like Clever, that pre-negotiates 2% commission fees with the agents in its network. That’s more than Clever’s and Redfin's listing fee s(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 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.
⚡️ Quick tip: Shop around for the best value!
Clever, Redfin, Ideal Agent, and UpNest are all no-obligation services, so there’s zero risk in signing up for a few (or all) and seeing who they match you up with. At the end of the day, the most important thing is finding the best agent for the job. We recommend starting with Clever because it offers the best overall rates and service. But it’s always a good idea to compare multiple agents and services before making your final decision.
» GET STARTED: Learn more about Clever, try it free with no obligation today!
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 1.5%, buyers can get 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
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%).
Both Clever and Redfin charges 1.5% listing fees, but Redfin also has minimum fees that vary by market (and reach as high as $7,000).
⚠️ Expect to cover the buyer's agent fee too!
Savings-centric real estate brands like Clever and Redfin offer listing fee savings—but that’s just one half of the overall commission equation. You’ll likely still have to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission—on top of the discounted listing fee—to incentivize local agents to show your home to their buyer clients (the seller typically covers both agent’s fees).
Buyer’s agent commission rates vary by market, but 2.5–3% is typical nationwide. That would bring your total rate to 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.
Savings for home buyers
Home value: $500,000
Clever offers between $250–500 cash back for home buyers in the 42 states that allow buyer rebates and cash back rewards.
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.
⚡️ Quick tip: Commission refunds are legit!
When you buy with a Clever or Redfin agent (any agent, for that matter), you won't have to pay any fees yourself. The seller usually covers the buyer's agent fee out of their sale proceeds. We highly recommend taking advantage of brands offering rebate and cash back programs because the savings are legit with few or no tradeoffs.
» MORE: Learn about Clever Cash Back here
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.
Avg. customer rating
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.
⚡️ Quick tip: Hire the agent, not the brand
Don't hire an agent based solely on online reviews or the brand they work with. Reviews are subjective and every seller or buyer has different circumstances and preferences. The most important thing is actually interviewing the agents to get a feel for their personality, approach, and skills to make sure they're a good fit for you.
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
- Comparable seller savings: Both Clever and Redfin offer 1.5% listing fees and cash back for buyers
- More agent selection: Clever has 18,000 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.
💰Better agents, better rates, zero hassle.
Try Clever's free agent matching service today with no obligation. Learn how much you can save!
FAQ about Clever vs. Redfin
Both Clever 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 one of their in-house, salaried Redfin Agents — 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 is a free, nationwide agent matching service. It connects you with local full service realtors from name-brand 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 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.