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12 min read Jun 04, 2023

Clever Real Estate Reviews: Consumer Warning & Alternatives

Clever Real Estate is a nationwide agent-matching service that claims to make your home-selling or buying process affordable. They match sellers and buyers with local real estate agents who offer services at a discounted rate.

However, dealing with Clever may seem like a game of Russian roulette. You never know which broker you’re going to be matched with. Some Clever Real Estate reviews also highlight how their partner agents do the bare minimum to help sell homes.

Moreover, Clever claims they are just a catalyst in your real estate transaction, backing off once you’re matched with your agent. But they covertly gain access to your financial information and violate your privacy.

Key Takeaways

  • Pros: List With Clever removes the strain of finding a real estate agent to help you in your real estate transaction. You are matched with someone Clever thinks will meet your requirements.
  • Cons: Clever does not take any responsibility for their partner agents’ service. Moreover, you are responsible for vetting their partner agent. This absolves them of any blame if things go south during the transaction.
  • Our Take: We don’t recommend Clever Real Estate because they violate your privacy and access confidential property documents. With Houzeo, you get the highest level of security and all the tools available to real estate agents for a flat fee. Compare Houzeo vs. List With Clever.

What is Clever Real Estate?

Clever Real Estate is a licensed brokerage in Missouri. However, they don’t provide the services typically expected from a real estate brokerage.

They simply match the seller or buyer with a real estate agent from companies like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. And that’s it.

These agents then offer their services to sellers at a discounted rate. They charge a 1.5% listing fee, or a minimum of $3,000, instead of the usual 3%. Also, buyers don’t have to pay any fee and may be eligible for cash-back rewards.

Clever claims that these discounted rates can save sellers almost $7,000. But that’s not always true because you’re still responsible for the buyer agent’s fees. So, a Clever home sale may not always be more profitable than the traditional process.

List With Clever also offers a rebate if a customer sells and buys a house using their services. But there’s a catch. You’re eligible for this rebate only if the house’s purchase price is more than $150,000.

    ⚠️ Discounted Rates Could Mean Discounted Services: Clever partner agents aren’t discount brokers. They are full-service realtors who offer discounted rates as a deal with Clever. So, it’s worth questioning if you’ll get the same service as those paying the agent the full fee.

Encroaches on Your Privacy

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate Logo
  • Listing Fee: $3,000 or 1.5% of the sale price
  • Available in 80+ U.S. Markets
  • 4.5 Stars  4.8/5 (out of 178 reviews)

Clever Real Estate is an agent-matching service that connects you with a realtor who helps you buy or sell your home. Because of their partnership with Clever, they charge you a discounted listing fee.

  • Listing Fee: 1.5% or $3,000
  • Number of Agents: List With Clever has over 14,000 agents in their referral network.
  • Coverage: Clever offers their services across the country.
  • Service Fee: Brokers have to pay 25% to 40% of their total commission.

👉 Our Take: Clever Real Estate isn’t a good option for home sellers and buyers. Many reviews of Clever state that the company doesn’t help you if the agent delivers sub-par service.

» Clever Real Estate Reviews: Why List With Clever May Not be the Best Option for You!

Here are some advantages of choosing Clever:

  • Low Listing Fee: List With Clever’s real estate agents offer their services for a 1.5% listing fee instead of the usual 3%. They claim that sellers can save up to $7,000.
  • Top-Rated Partner Agents: Clever’s partner agents belong to some of the best brokerages in America, including Keller Williams, Coldwell Banks, RE/MAX, etc.

In our research, we found some red flags of Clever, that could make your experience less satisfactory.

  • Inconsistent Quality of Service: List With Clever real estate agent reviews highlight that brokers don’t always act in the best interest of the sellers because of the low listing fee.
  • Privacy Violations: Clever requires their realtors to share sellers’ confidential real estate transaction documents like the ALTA statement with them. This is a gross privacy violation.
  • Time-consuming Agent Matching Process: Clever requires you to interview all potential agent matches before you select one. This is a long and time-consuming process. Since Clever doesn’t take the responsibility of vetting the agent, the onus falls on you.

Clever Real Estate has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Google based on 178 reviews.

Is Clever Real Estate Legit?

Yes, Clever Real Estate Inc. is a legit company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. It was founded by Benjamin Lee Mizes, Jake Cardenas, Jeremy Decker, and Luke Babich in 2017.

According to, they match over 30,000 individuals with real estate agents every year. The Clever referral network has over 14,000 partner agents across America.

How Does Clever Real Estate Work?

As a recommendation engine, List With Clever’s process is straightforward:

  1. Submit Your Property Information: You have to fill out the online form on Clever’s website. It will ask questions about your property type, sale price, what you’re looking for in an agent, and closing timeline.
  2. Speak to the Concierge: Once you submit the form, Clever’s Concierge Service will reach out for additional details. You can also clarify any doubts you may have. This is an optional step.
  3. Set up Interviews: Clever will filter through their partner agents to find the ones best suited to your needs. You can schedule interviews and compare their services. You’ll also need to vet Clever’s pay-to-play agents by checking their reviews.

If you’re dissatisfied with the agents, you can request additional matches or end the process immediately.

    🚨 Beware: Clever doesn’t guarantee the quality of service the agent delivers. Once you are matched, you must deal with the agent independently.

How Does Clever Make Money?

Clever Real Estate ads may claim that they’re free. But that’s not entirely true.

List With doesn’t directly charge sellers and buyers any fee. However, they are indirectly paid for their matchmaking services through Clever realtors.

When Clever forwards a lead to their partner agent, the agent then works to convert the lead into a client. If successful, the broker must pay the company a 25% to 40% service fee within 10 days of the closing date.

The service fee is deducted from the commission home sellers and buyers pay:

If the home is sold for less than $125,0025% of the gross broker commission
If the home is sold for more than $125,000Greater of $1,000 or 25% of the gross broker commission
If the broker represents the buying sideUp to 40% of the broker’s commission
Clever Real Estate Reviews -  Clever Real Estate's Service Agreement for Brokers

Source: Clever Real Estate’s Service Agreement for Brokers

List With Clever vs. Houzeo

Opting for an agent recommended by Clever seems quick and easy. But you could pay for this convenience by working with a broker who isn’t as invested in the process as you.

On the other hand, an MLS listing with Houzeo’s Platinum plan empowers you to sell your home yourself. You get advanced technology that is otherwise available only to real estate agents.

You can call for the highest and best offers for your property. With the counter offers feature, you can ask for a price closer to your expectations, all for just $349.

List With CleverHouzeo
Listing Fee$3,000 $349 + 1% at closing
Customer Rating4.8 stars (178 reviews)4.9 stars (4,523 reviews)
CoverageNationwide47 states + Washington D.C.
Mobile App
Unlimited Listing Changes
Showings Management
Offer Management
Counter an Offer
Request Highest and Best Offer
Home Inspection Dashboard

» Houzeo Reviews: Still not convinced? Read what customers have to say about Houzeo.

Clever Real Estate Reviews

List With has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Google based on 178 reviews.

Their positive reviews praise Clever’s easy process and stellar network of real estate agents.

On the other hand, List With Clever complaints highlight that many agents do the bare minimum to help you sell your home. Many reviews also stated that sellers had to sell their homes below market value.

Positive Clever Reviews

✅ John was thrilled with the exceptional service provided by Clever realtors.

John BeardUSASubmitted 2023

I wish a could give the KW realtor William Rhodes and his team 10 stars. Clever Real Estate was great, but the realtor team with Keller Williams did all the heavy lifting! They were absolutely wonderful! They earned every penny and then some. You can’t go wrong with Clever Real Estate and their partner Keller Williams.

Source: Google

✅ Sally was happy that she saved on commissions when selling her home.

Sally DavisUSASubmitted 2023

We are very glad to see that Clever has stepped up to provide an innovative system for sellers to save unnecessary commissions when selling their homes. In our case, the local realtor we selected provided full professional service, quickly brought in lots of showings and helped us sell our home in just a few days.

Source: Google

Negative Clever Reviews

❌ PD was unhappy with how Clever’s agents simply wanted to sell the property, even though it meant selling below market value.

PD JUSASubmitted 2021

The real estate agent sent me was probably the worst one I could get. Clever’s business model does not support sellers getting top bids. The chief aim is to sell your house way below market value. It’s best to stick with traditional agents who get 6%; they are more eager to sell at a high price point. I regret using Clever, especially when the market was doing so well.

Source: Trustpilot

❌ Nick was furious with the quality of service provided by a Clever partner agent.

Nick SimeoneUSASubmitted 2022

Catastrophic waste of time. Two realtors were sent out, two realtors ignored me after the initial meeting. Wasted a week of time, and my house still isn’t listed on MLS. Negotiate your own contracts if time is important to you. Or pay a flat fee broker in a hot market. This service is a joke.

Source: Google

Pros and Cons of Clever Real Estate

Using Clever Realty’s services has a few advantages and some serious disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at them:

Pros of

Here are some of the benefits of working with Clever:

  • Discounted Listing Fee: Clever partners with full-service brokers who charge a 1.5% listing fee instead of the usual 3%. This saves you thousands of dollars in commissions.
  • Top-rated Partner Agents: Clever’s referral network includes real estate agents from top brokerages like Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, etc. So you can expect excellent service and guidance when buying or selling your home.
  • Nationwide Coverage: List With Clever’s agent network consists of over 14,000 brokers located across the country.

Cons of

Here are some of the risks you take when dealing with Clever Real Estate:

  • Inconsistent Agent Service Quality: Clever simply matches you with an agent. They don’t guarantee the service you’ll receive or the final outcome of the real estate transaction. Moreover, you have to vet the agent yourself.
  • Homes Sold for Below Market Value: Many reviews of Clever Real Estate highlight that the partner agents list homes below market value. So, you lose out on your property’s equity with a Clever listing.
  • False Advertising: Clever Real Estate marketing sometimes claims that they offer their services for free. However, that isn’t entirely true. Clever charges a hefty 25% to 40% service fee from brokers when they close a sale.
  • Federal Antitrust Law Violations: List With Clever allegedly fixes commissions with home sellers and buyers before they enter into any real estate transaction. This violates Federal Antitrust laws because it leaves them with little to no room for negotiation.
  • Time Lost in Interviewing Agents: When you use Clever’s services, you have to interview the agents you’re matched with before you select one. However, you’ll have to spend a lot of time doing so.

☠️ Clever Poses a Risk of Privacy Violations

Technically, once you opt for one of Clever’s agents, List With Clever ceases to be involved in the real estate transaction. You only have to work with the pay-to-play broker you choose. They will have access to your documents, including the ALTA statement.

Clever Real Estate is not meant to know your transactional information, including this statement.

Yet, Clever Real Estate’s Service Agreement For Brokers requires their affiliated brokers to share the ALTA statement. This undermines the privacy protections consumers are entitled to under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) (sections 502(e)(1) and 509(7)(A)).

Clever Real Estate Reviews - Privacy Violations

Source: Clever Service Agreement For Brokers

Clever Customer Service

Here’s how you can reach out to List With Clever’s customer service:

📍 Address: 6358 Delmar Blvd, Suite 300, Saint Louis, MO 63130

📞 Contact Number: 1-833-225-3837

💻 Website:

Alternatives to Clever Real Estate

We recommend three alternatives for Clever Real Estate that offer better services at affordable rates:

  1. Houzeo: Houzeo is one of the best FSBO websites in Missouri that lets you list your home on the MLS in just 24 to 48 hours. Here, you have complete control over your listing and can access the most advanced technology for just $349.
  2. Redfin: Redfin is a discount real estate broker that offers to sell your home for a listing commission of 1.5% of the sale price. They serve 100+ real estate markets across 49 states.
  3. Traditional Brokerage: Traditional brokers charge a listing fee of 5% to 6% to sell your house. They provide support throughout the home-selling journey from list to close.

Other Options You Should Consider

  • Sell to an iBuyer: Many iBuyers, like Opendoor and Offerpad, purchase hundreds of homes available in the market. iBuyers can be a great option if you’re wondering how to sell your house fast.
  • Sell to Cash Home Buyers: Individual companies that buy houses for cash make all-cash offers, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Cash buyers let you skip the hassle of listing on the MLS, inspection, appraisal, etc.
  • Sell For Sale By Owner: For Sale By Owner websites will help you list and sell a house by owner and save thousands in listing agent commission. Many FSBO websites will also get you listed on the MLS and help you with FSBO paperwork.

Should You List With Clever Real Estate?

No, we do not recommend Clever Real Estate to find your realtor. Though they offer a lower listing fee, this discount is also reflected in the service quality of their partner agents.

Clever doesn’t guarantee the kind of service you receive, nor do they take responsibility for your agent’s actions. According to some List With Clever reviews, your partner agent may even compel you to sell your home below market value.

The added threat of privacy violations, commission fixing, and little to no scope for negotiation only add to why you shouldn’t List With Clever.

So, why depend on others when you can sell your house yourself?

With Houzeo, you can sell your home on your own terms. You can list your property on the MLS, manage your showings, call for the highest and best offers, and even counter them. All of this only for $349.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the alternatives to Clever Real Estate?

There are various alternatives to Clever Real Estate. You can opt for Redfin, which offers its services at discounted rates. You can also opt for Flat Fee companies like Houzeo which offers various flat fee packages and is upfront with all its prices.

2. Who owns List With

Clever Real Estate (Clever) was founded by Benjamin Lee Mizes, Jake Cardenas, Jeremy Decker, and Luke Babich in 2017.

3. Is Clever Real Estate free?

Clever claims to be a free service. However, they charge a 25% to 40% service fee from Clever Real Estate partner agents for every transaction they close. This fee is deducted from the commission you pay the agent you're matched with.

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