11 min read May 08, 2024

Congress Realty Reviews: Pros, Cons and Alternatives

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Edited By

Jason Joshi

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Editor
Edited By

Jason Joshi

Editor, Houzeo
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Jason is a passionate content editor working at Houzeo. He has an eye for detail and keeps himself updated with the recent trends in the real estate market. He also likes to travel and explore places.

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Congress Realty is one of the biggest Flat Fee MLS companies in the US. J. Andrew English, Congress' broker, has extensive experience helping home owners save thousands in commissions across 12 states.

Editor’s Rating

4.8

User Rating

4.6

(30 Reviews)

Write a review

Pros

  • List & sell for as little as $299
  • Excellent broker and support team
  • Fast listing and efficient changes
  • Seller disclosures are included

Cons

  • Sub-par technology
  • Limited coverage - only in 12 states

Congress Realty is one of America’s oldest and biggest Flat Fee MLS companies. They cover 12 states, primarily on the West Coast and the South. Congress’ pricing is affordable, and they offer add-ons based on your needs.

Jared Andrew English, Realtor is Congress Realty’s broker-in-charge. He goes by “Andrew”. Andrew negotiates more sales in a month than 99% of realtors do in their entire careers. And he has stellar customer reviews.

The only downside to listing with Congress is that their technology is relatively weak. Showings will need to be scheduled on third-party platforms and offer contracts will need to be reviewed manually. Congress does not offer a mobile app.

    ✍️ Editor’s Take: For most home sellers, we recommend Houzeo over Congress. With Houzeo, you get one flat fee and don’t have to worry about purchasing add-ons every time you need something. For home buyers, we highly recommend working with Congress. Compare Congress vs. Houzeo.

Is Congress Realty Legit?

Yes. Congress Realty Inc. is a legitimate real estate company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company was founded by Jared Andrew English in 2002. With his expertise in pricing, staging, and negotiations, Andrew has successfully closed thousands of deals in his career.

Congress Realty aims to offer an excellent combination of savings and satisfaction. To maintain service quality, they do not refer their clients to brokers in other states. However, this limits their coverage to just 12 states.

How Does Congress Realty Work?

The process of signing up with Congress Realty is quite simple. You just need to fill out the form and make a payment to start listing with them.

  • Sign Up: Create an account by clicking the ‘Get Started’ button CongressRealty.com.
  • Select Plan: Pick a package based on your requirements and budget.
  • Enter Address: Specify the property and shipping address.
  • Select Add-ons: Choose optional services like a yard sign, a virtual tour, a second MLS category, etc.
  • Make Payment: Proceed with the payment to finish the sign-up process.

Once you make the payment, you can access Congress Realty’s client portal and start the listing process. You can also download the necessary forms and documents from there.

However, as Congress Realty’s listing process is not automated, you must manually complete all the paperwork. Once you have provided the information and photos, they will make the listing live within 24 hours.

Congress Realty Coverage

Congress Realty offers services in twelve states only.

Services/Packages

» Jump to: Seller Packages | Additional Services | Buyer Packages

For Home Sellers

Congress Realty offers 3 flat fee packages and 1 full-service package to home sellers.

1. Basic Package – $299

👍 What We Like👎 What We Don't Like
✅ MLS listing for 6 months❌ Only 4 photos on the MLS
✅ Listing documents are online❌ Only 5 free listing changes
✅ Showing time appointment tool
✅ State forms & disclosures

👉 Our Take: We recommend this plan if you are selling land or a lot. If you are selling a house, you will need more than 4 photos. You will also need unlimited changes. So this plan will be significantly more expensive than just $299.

2. Plus Package – $399

👍 What We Like👎 What We Don't Like
✅ Maximum photos on MLS❌ No open houses
✅ Automated phone lead forwarding❌ No yard sign or lockbox
❌ No tool for listing management

👉 Our Take: We do not recommend this package because it does not include open houses. For $399, Houzeo’s plan includes open houses. You also get a much better digital experience.

3. Premium Package – $499

👍 What We Like👎 What We Don't Like
✅ Unlimited open houses❌ Expensive
✅ Listing featured on social media❌ No comparative market analysis
✅ Listing on congressrealty.com website❌ No upgrade in technology
❌ No guidance in paperwork and negotiations

👉 Our Take: We recommend Houzeo over Congress Realty for most home sellers. But if you really want to list with Congress, we highly recommend the “Premium” plan. It gives you all the tools necessary for a successful sale.

 4. Full Service Package – $399 + 0.5% at Closing

👍 What We Like👎 What We Don't Like
✅ Dedicated agent❌ Listing only for 6 months
✅ Contract review❌ No platform to track listing or compare offers
✅ Negotiations and closing assistance

👉 Our Take: This is the best option for first-time home sellers who need an agent’s support. However, the process will be offline and you may have to complete a few tasks manually.

Additional Services

Congress Realty allows you to customize the plans by offering some services separately. You can add or skip these services based on your needs.

Add-onsPrice
Max photos$100
Unlimited open house advertisements$50
Yard sign$150
eLockbox rental (includes $125 refundable deposit)$295
Listing term extension (up to 2 years)$50
Listing renewal (up to 6 months)$175
Professional virtual tour$350
Professional document services$500
    ✍️ Take Note: Congress Realty offers a wide selection of add-on services. But compared to their competitors, they are on the expensive side.

For Home Buyers

Congress Realty provides a dedicated agent to home buyers. Your agent helps you at every crucial stage of the home-buying process, like contract reviews, negotiation, and closing. You can also get up to a 2% cash rebate upon closing.

Congress Realty Reviews

Congress Realty has an impressive 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Google based on 49 reviews. Many Congress Realty customer reviews highlighted Jared Andrew English’s extensive knowledge and professionalism, which helped them secure the best deals for their homes.

We also found some Congress Realty complaints on Google. However, the company addressed these complaints in a reasonable time frame.

Congress Realty Positive Reviews

✅ Daniel had a great experience with Congress Realty. He was delighted with J. Andrew English’s hands-on assistance.

Daniel O’BryantUSASubmitted 2021

I have sold numerous homes through Congress Realty over the past 15 years, and have always had a great experience! I LOVE not paying a big fee just to use the MLS. The buyers’ agents bring standard contracts and the title companies finish the rest, so there is no need to have any special training as a seller. The owner of the company is very helpful and promptly takes care of any requests.

Source: Google

✅ Debra was happy and appreciated Congress Realty’s services. She also highlighted English’s quick responses throughout the process.

Debra KaramUSASubmitted 2022

My brother recommended a flat fee service provider to sell my home. I researched several companies and went with Andrew at Congress Realty. It was well worth the money spent. Andrew responded in a timely manner, and the money we saved on the listing agent fee was spent on home improvements.

Source: Google

Congress Realty Negative Reviews

❌ Andrew Hatch was not happy with his purchase from Congress Realty’s seller. However, in response to this comment, the company clarified that he waived his right to a pre-closing walkthrough. This would have saved him from this experience.

Andrew HatchUSASubmitted 2022

Sold a broken home requiring over 30,000 in repairs. Clients demolished the home post inspection, left a full dumpster full of items and did not clean. Completely non-responsive, my agent could not contact them. DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE!

Source: Google

❌ Marcia, a competitor of Congress Realty, has raised concerns about their poor quality control. However, she has not provided a reason behind her perception.

Marcia KarasekUSASubmitted 2022

Poor quality control

Source: Google

Congress Realty Reviews: Pros and Cons

Congress Realty’s impressive ratings reflect their customer satisfaction. However, let’s evaluate the pros and cons to see if they are the ideal choice for you:

👍 Pros

Flat Fee MLS companies offer certain benefits over the traditional home-selling model. Let’s see how Congress Realty matches up to these expectations.

  • Experienced Principal Broker: Jared Andrew English, Congress Realty’s principal broker, has a wealth of knowledge about the real estate business. Under his leadership, Congress has sold over $1 billion worth of properties. His expertise can help you get the best deal for your home.
  • Commission Savings: Congress Realty’s flat fee packages allow you to ditch the listing agent commission entirely. Their full-service package is also cost-effective, allowing you to leverage the agent’s support while saving thousands.
  • Direct Contact with Buyers: Congress Realty allows buyers to contact you directly. This also enables you to have better control over the sale.
  • Greater Exposure: The company syndicates your MLS listing to national real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia. They also feature it on social media in their expensive packages for additional exposure.
  • Transparent Fees: The company clearly outlines its fees, ensuring home sellers know what to expect upfront.
  • Client Portal: Congress Realty’s client portal allows you to download all the necessary state and seller disclosure forms. You can also counter an offer or make changes to your listing from there.

👎 Cons

During our research, we found certain limitations of Congress Realty.

  • Limited Coverage: Congress Realty only offers services in 12 states. Their limited coverage is a deal-breaker for people living in other parts of the country.
  • Lack of Vital Features: Although the company is tech-centric, there is some scope for improvement. For instance, they do not have a listing management platform that can simplify your FSBO journey.

Congress Realty Competitors

» Jump to: Congress vs. Houzeo | Congress vs. Flat Fee Group | Congress vs. List With Freedom

If Congress Realty’s services didn’t excite you, here are 3 alternate companies you can consider:

1. Congress vs. Houzeo

Congress Realty offers savings on real estate transactions. However, their technology is not on par with current industry standards.

On the other hand, Houzeo’s technology provides you with the ability to manage your listings and showings. You can also compare and counter offers and request the highest and best offer. Moreover, you can do everything on the go with Houzeo’s mobile app.

Congress Realty
Houzeo
Listing Fee
$399
$399
Customer Rating
4.8 stars (49 reviews)
4.9 stars (5,111 reviews)
Coverage
12 states
47 states + Washington D.C.
Showings Management
Offer Management
Unlimited Listing Changes
Unlimited Open Houses
Request Highest and Best Offer
Home Inspection Dashboard

2. Congress vs. Flat Fee Group

Flat Fee Group is a network of licensed brokers working in 48 states and Washington D.C. You can list with them no matter where you live.

However, your experience will depend on the broker that serves your state. So be sure to check their customer reviews before listing with the Flat Fee Group. In most states though, Flat Fee Group is more expensive than Congress Realty.

3. Congress vs. List With Freedom

List With Freedom is a licensed brokerage in 46 states. They serve these states themselves and do not refer your listing to third-party brokers.

Be careful though, Listwithfreedom.com packages may seem cheap, starting as low as $149. However, they charge you an additional fee of 0.25% at closing that they do not disclose upfront.

Moreover, List With Freedom does not include some vital services in their packages. You might have to pay almost $1,500 to avail of essential services like open house announcements and contract reviews.

Best Flat Fee Companies Near You

If you reside outside Congress Realty’s coverage area, here are the top flat fee companies that serve your state.

RegionStates/CitiesStates
NortheastStates Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Vermont
NortheastCities Boston, MA | Long Island, NY | Rochester, NY | Syracuse, NY | Pittsburgh, PA
MidwestStatesIllinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | Nebraska | North Dakota | Ohio | South Dakota | Wisconsin
MidwestCities Chicago, IL | Peoria, IL | Indianapolis, IN | Kansas City, KS | Grand Rapids, MI | Minneapolis, MN | Kansas City, MO | St. Louis, MO | Cleveland, OH | Cincinnati, OH | Appleton, WI | Milwaukee, WI | Madison, WI
SouthStates Alabama | Arkansas | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Mississippi | North Carolina | Oklahoma | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Virginia | Washington D.C. | West Virginia
SouthCities Birmingham, AL | Huntsville, AL | Jacksonville, FL | Miami, FL | Naples, FL | Tampa, FL | Palm Beach, FL | Atlanta, GA | Louisville, KY | Charlotte, NC | Greensboro, NC | Raleigh, NC | Wilmington, NC | Asheville, NC | Oklahoma City, OK | Tulsa, OK | Greenville, SC | Columbia, SC | Charleston, SC | Knoxville, TN | Austin, TX | Dallas, TX | El Paso, TX | Houston, TX | San Antonio, TX | Fort Worth, TX | Richmond, VA | Hampton Roads, VA | Ashland, KY | Lexington, KY
WestStates Alaska | Arizona | California | Colorado | Hawaii | Idaho | Montana | Nevada | New Mexico | Oregon | Utah | Washington | Wyoming
WestCitiesSeattle, WA | Phoenix, AZ | Los Angeles, CA | Bakersfield, CA | Denver, CO | Colorado Springs, CO | Las Vegas, NV | Albuquerque, NM

Other Options You Should Consider

  • Sell to an iBuyer: iBuyers purchase homes needing minimal repairs in as-is condition. They can be a great option if you want to sell your house fast.
  • Sell to Cash Home Buyers: Individual cash home buyers make all-cash offers, usually within 24 to 48 hours. They also let you skip listing on the MLS.
  • Sell For Sale By Owner: For Sale By Owner websites help you list and sell a house yourself, saving thousands in agent commissions. Many FSBO websites will also help you with the paperwork.

Should You List Your Home With Congress Realty?

You can opt for Congress Realty to list your home if you are willing to put some manual effort into your sale. Their principal broker, Jared Andrew English, has extensive experience in the real estate industry. Moreover, they offer you hands-on assistance to help you secure the best deal.

However, you may find their a la carte services expensive. Additionally, their technology lacks some essential features that you may need in your FSBO journey.

Houzeo is a 100% online platform. Houzeo offers the best combination of maximum exposure, thousands in commission savings, and stellar customer support. And compared to Congress’ Premium plan priced at $499, Houzeo’s Silver plan is priced only at $399!

» Houzeo Reviews: Check out why more than 3,500 home sellers have rated Houzeo 4.9 stars out of 5 on Google Reviews and Trustpilot.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best alternatives to Congress Realty?

Houzeo.com is the #1 competitor to Congress Realty. Houzeo's flat fee MLS plans will get you listed on the MLS. Their packages include all the essential services so sellers do not need to purchase add-ons. Check out Houzeo reviews.

2. Are Congress Realty's flat fee packages worth it?

Yes. Congress Realty's Premium package is worth it. It includes all the services an FSBO seller may need. The only feature this package lacks is a platform where you can track your listing and compare offers. If you are tech-savvy, check out Houzeo.com.

3. How is Congress Realty overall rated?

Congress Realty has an "excellent" rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Google based on 49 reviews. The majority of Congress Realty reviews praise J. Andrew English for his extensive knowledge of real estate. Check out Congress Realty reviews.

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Reviews

4.6

(30 Reviews)

  • Sharon Ullman

    Verified Reviewer

    If you’re not a licensed Realtor, but you know your local real estate market reasonably well, I would highly recommend using Congress Realty to list your property. You can save a huge amount of money by doing so, even if you decide to hire an attorney to handle the paperwork for you. We’ve found that by offering a full three percent commission to buyer’s agents works best for us, in terms of getting showings and sales. Once you have an interested buyer, their agent will bring you an offer. At that point, the rest of the paperwork is pretty simple – and available on the Congress Realty website once you sign up – even if you make a counteroffer. Alternatively, you can ask to negotiate verbally, before the buyer’s agent puts the agreement in writing. Caution: watch deadlines (including the time of day, if relevant) very carefully and always read the fine print.

  • Menachem Ben-Mordechai

    Verified Reviewer

    good service.

  • Kiwi

    Verified Reviewer

    Andrew at Congress was amazing. He gave every lead and helped with required seller documents. Easy.

  • Brent Bowman

    Verified Reviewer

    We sold our home with Houzeo/Congress Realty and it worked out well for us. Everyone we worked with seemed to know what they were doing and did things in a timely manner so I can’t think of anything negative to say about Congress Reality or Houzeo.

  • Sara Jade Yardley

    Verified Reviewer

    Super Prompt and easy to work with

  • Maria Jeansonne

    Verified Reviewer

    Good so far Nice to be able to talk to a real person Good job

  • Tani Bahti

    Verified Reviewer

    responsive

  • Michael Williams

    Verified Reviewer

    Great to work with!

  • Brent Bowman

    Verified Reviewer

    Jared Andrew English always responded quickly and completed tasks quickly and accurately, good person to work with.

  • Howard Dinsmore

    Verified Reviewer

    Although we never met he was quick to get our listing up and make requested changes.

  • Menachem Ben-Mordechai

    Verified Reviewer

    Thanks for your help

  • Jennifer Patel

    Verified Reviewer

    Was decent at comms

  • Thomasa Craddock

    Verified Reviewer

    Andrew always got back to me right away and was helpful. Thank you.

  • Robert Abercrombie

    Verified Reviewer

    prompt, easy to work with

  • Tim Tate

    Verified Reviewer

    My home did not sell because this realtors staff are lazy and ignorant. They did not communicate at all with me when I was trying to sell my home. Or would they communicate when they were screwing up my listing information. I would never recommend them to anybody.

  • Mark Brown

    Verified Reviewer

    Great service!

  • clifford gordon

    Verified Reviewer

    Great to work with on levels of the process

  • Wendy Loo

    Verified Reviewer

    Always updated MLS changes and open house quickly as needed.

  • Greg Morris

    Verified Reviewer

    Very responsive

  • Lowell Jones

    Verified Reviewer

    Jared is very knowledgable and easy to work with. He kept me on task resulting in a quick sale. We even closed ahead of schedule.

  • Rachel Stiger

    Verified Reviewer

    Needs to follow through and fully complete tasks.

  • David Stieffel

    Verified Reviewer

    prompt actions

  • John Horner

    Verified Reviewer

    Very quick at responding.

  • Jon Simon

    Verified Reviewer

    Andrew’s team moves quickly, and Andrew took the time to call regarding the Buyer’s agent (experience in the local market and professionalism).

  • Melynda Brown

    Verified Reviewer

    Thank you for your assistance in this transaction!

  • Walt Passolt

    Verified Reviewer

    Great Guy!

  • Rachel Stiger

    Verified Reviewer

    We’ve called several times and are always told he can’t come to the phone. All our e-mails go unanswered. Changes we request don’t get completed for 1 day, even those which are urgent. Will update if we ever receive a response from him.

  • Noel Frenzel

    Verified Reviewer

    They listed my home on the MLS immediately upon receiving my signed documents. Home was pending the day after listing with easy to follow instructions being provided. Thank you for a great transaction!!!

  • Don Guthrie

    Verified Reviewer

    Andrew was punctual and informative in assisting with questions that arose with processing the buy/sell agreement and related matters. Would recommend him to others. Thank you Andrew.

  • Corrie Morrison

    Verified Reviewer

    Answered my questions in a timely manner, got my home listed in MLS super fast!

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