Houzeo vs UpNest: Reviews, How It Works, and Who Offers Real Savings?

Upnest vs Houzeo reviews Who offer real savings?

Commissions are Declining

Across the nation, there’s an obvious trend: real estate commissions are declining. Real Trends, a Colorado research firm announced that the average real estate commission on a property just slid from 5.03% in 2018 to 4.96% in 2019. This is the first time commissions have dipped below 5%. Realogy Corp, the parent company of Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA, and Sotheby’s, announced that the average commission amongst its brands fell to new lows – averaging 4.82% in 2019.

Both Houzeo.com and Upnest.com are at the forefront of this change. In this article, we’ll compare the two, and determine who should you go with the next time you’re selling your home.

Upnest.com vs Houzeo.com: How to Compare?

Upnest vs Houzeo Reviews

These two real estate firms can be compared on several fronts, but the framework we’ll use is essentially across 8 different parameters most important to home sellers:

  1. Ease of Listing: Listing Agreement
  2. Days to List
  3. Commission Paid, if the Buyer is NOT Represented by an Agent
  4. Control on Listing Changes: Are Change Contracts Generated Manually or Digitally?
  5. Does the Platform Send Offers to Home Sellers Immediately Online?
  6. Does the Platform Offer a Home Selling Guarantee (hint: no one can offer this)
  7. Is There a Free Listing Option?
  8. Customer Ratings

Let’s get started!

Houzeo Affiliate Brokerage Listing Agreements are Less Than 10 Pages. Upnest Agent Agreements (vary on agent’s structure or terms) but are Typically 20+ Pages

Houzeo has worked hard with its partner brokers to fully digitize and optimize the listing agreement. Most listing agreements with Houzeo partners are 2 to 4 pages, but there are never more than 10 pages. The time commitment to understand and sign a Houzeo listing agreement is usually less than 15 minutes.

Upnest doesn’t have optimized or digitized most of their listing agreement, which could take you time to complete the process. The usual agreements are based on their independent realtors and mostly depend, but can be typically 20+ pages. The time you have to commit to review and understand such an agreement then sign it as a legally binding contract can take hours for you to finish!

Time to List on MLS via Houzeo is 1-2 Days. Upnest varies with the listing agent.

According to Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report, the biggest concern for home sellers is whether they’ll be able to sell their home in line with their desired timeframe. 56% of home sellers reported being stressed out about their selling timeline. Houzeo’s fast listing aims to alleviate this concern. In core markets like Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and several other states, Houzeo will get you listed same day or within 1 business day. In most other states, Houzeo listings go live usually within 2 business days, but likely much faster than that.

Upnest, on the other hand, depends on the agent you picked on their referral service. Most of these agents compete for your business that’s why they keep their offered savings and incentives confidential. With a typical realtor and agent, it can take 18 days to list your home and another 20 days to your first showing. You enter some details and ask for qualified agents who you need to interview. The overall process of finding a reliable agent can take much time. After this, the agent will then sign you up into an exclusive listing agreement, and only then will they work on your listing. Time is totally wasted and every day your home sits on the market, it costs you money!

Houzeo Charges No Commission to Direct Unrepresented Buyers to You. Upnest Charges 5%

With Houzeo, buyers can approach you directly. Houzeo listing pages have seller contact information displayed so any potential buyers or their agents can reach out to home sellers without Houzeo serving as a middleman. Offers made on Houzeo.com come directly to you, with contact details of the buyer agents, or buyers if unrepresented, in them, so you can reach out. Upnest doesn’t offer negotiation to set commission and rebate rates with their agents which means there’s no guarantee to cost-savings. The Upnest listing fee charges to 2.5% or even 2%, and you still have to spend money on the buyer’s agent commission, which is 3%. Upnest services charge a total commission fee of 5%, and it doesn’t change if you are representing unrepresented buyers.

Listing Change Contracts are Digitized on Houzeo. Upnest is Manual (varies with your agent) with a High Turnaround Time.

Control over their sale is the #2 priority of home sellers. Saving money on commissions is the #1 priority. Houzeo has digitized change requests, so you can request changes online yourself. Contracts are automatically generated based on the change you request, and you sign them instantly. No waiting on your agent to create a contract for you. With Upnest, you’ll have to rely on their agent who’ll then generate a contract when they get to it. They’ll also ask you to sign it. Once you sign, they can make the listing edits, again—when they get to it. It’s as efficient as it gets.

Houzeo Provides an Online Offers Platform. Upnest Does Not

Houzeo allows home buyers to buy your property themselves, without having to engage an agent. Any buyer can send you an offer online themselves. Key portions of the offer are summarized for you. This is important because offer contracts can be really long and nuanced. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might miss very important financial or non-financial considerations of the offer. An example of this is a Houzeo home seller who almost signed an offer without realizing there was a $6,000 seller paid closing costs required in the offer. This should’ve been explicitly disclosed upfront, but wasn’t. Upnest provides no such feature.

No Reputable Company Should Offer a Home Selling Guarantee

Even in the best of markets, it’s disingenuous for any company to offer a home selling guarantee unless they are a cash buyer themselves. No company can guarantee showings or offers. Neither Houzeo nor Upnest offer such a guarantee

Houzeo Offers a Free FSBO Listing. Upnest Does Not

Houzeo’s basic listing – the Bronze package – is free in many states or costs $99 only. It gives you exposure to 12,000+ potential home buyers monthly. It also gives you access to all our tools including the online offer, an MLS listing, ShowingTime, etc. Upnest does not provide a free listing. 

Customers Have Rated Houzeo Highly at 4.8 Stars vs. Upnest at 4.4 Stars

Houzeo’s clients have rated their service at an impressive 4.8 stars. Upnest has a 4.4 average rating in most markets. In shopperapproved, it got an overall satisfaction rating of 4.4 based on 2,003 ratings. Given all this, Houzeo easily comes out on top! It’s why you should choose to list your home on Houzeo.com next time around.

Detailed Upnest Review

Finding a fitting agent can be pretty cumbersome. You don’t want to end up with an irresponsible agent who may waste your time. Hiring for the best one can take a long time to search. That’s why UpNest made a marketplace just for this purpose—matching you with a top real estate agent based on your area.

Here are things you need to know about UpNest, reviews, pricing, and more. We also want to share how it compares to Houzeo, America’s #1 For Sale by Owner and Flat Fee MLS platform.

3 min Video: How to List Your Home on the MLS by Owner

UpNest: A Quick Overview

UpNest is a “real estate agent marketplace” for home sellers and buyers who are looking for a reliable and suitable full-service agent. With this kind of platform, real estate agents can compete or bid to gain clients. Also, it pushes for reduced commissions and even buyer rebate for sellers and buyers alike. The idea here is to gather professional agents who can make the best offer and will work with you. However, UpNest doesn’t allow agents to view another agent’s proposal which works similar to a blind auction or blink match. That’s the more reason why these agents typically start with a fairly low price to attract customers.

Although sounds promising, agents can be pretty clever and would only offer limited discounted rates or savings since they know the demand is high in this specific area. What more, you have to pre-negotiate it yourself to get some savings since UpNest doesn’t do it on your behalf.

UpNest pricing and fees

UpNest doesn’t let buyers and sellers pay for their referral service. Instead, they ask for a fee to the agents who wanted to be included in their marketplace. An UpNest referral service is a free tool you can use to look for a real estate agent. It also depends on your choice if you want to sign and proceed with working on UpNest’s offered agents on the list.

How does UpNest work?

UpNest operates as a referral service network that means it collects data from its referred agents. In layman’s’ terms, when you sign up and enter your info to UpNest, these details are then sold to real estate agents who are interested to pay for a 30% share of their commission. So, if an agent doesn’t agree with the terms, they’ll likely not appear on the list of referrals in the said area.

  1. Sign up and enter the essential details on the UpNest website.
  2. Afterward, they’ll browse and analyze thousands of real estate agents in your specified area based on your needs and preferences.
  3. Within 24 hours, you’ll get 3 to 5 top UpNest realtors who will send a proposal, commission quotes, rebate quotes, and other cost-saving offers.
  4. Check and compare the offered commission rates, services, and the previous client’s feedback to determine the quality of the agent’s work.
  5. After picking the right agent, you can interview the agent and sign the necessary paper to start working. Don’t worry, there’s no obligation to hire the agent immediately—it’s all up to you.

UpNest Reviews: Benefits and Pitfalls

Here are some of the benefits and pitfalls when you choose the UpNest referral service.


  • Save some commissions and fees.  

One of the factors that put a discount referral brokerage highly considerable is the cost-saving it can deliver. UpNest created a marketplace to drive competition, and thus ideally, keeping commission rates or fees low. But don’t expect for some fees to go down, these still boils down to the agents or if the market conditions are right.

  • Quick free referral service.

Within 24 hours timeline after signing up, UpNest will then send you multiple agents you can choose from. You also receive commission quotes in your area and can compare the rates, services, and reviews from the said referred agents. It’s also free and no risk when you want to use the service.

  • No obligation, no pressure.

You can check the agent’s proposal and other details, without having obligation to hire any of the referred agents. It’s your decision if you want to continue hiring or find another option.

  • Partner with top agents.

According to their site, they collaborated with top agents from different “leading brokerages and boutique agencies across the U.S.” Before they let agents join the platform, UpNest assess all the agents and evaluate if they meet their minimum requirements. And make sure that you’ll get the best agent in your area.


  • It’s your job to negotiate.

Most of the negotiation ultimately relies on you, since UpNest doesn’t do pre-negotiated rates and commissions. In other words, you may end up paying more or commission and rebate rates won’t go low as you expected. This can be a huge downside considering you’re here for a better deal.  

  • It doesn’t offer more value.

There’s no real, high-quality value when there’s no actual guarantee you’ll get a low-commission deal from the UpNest agents. It may be best if you search and look for right-fit agents on your own in your area.

  • Annoying follow-ups.

Once you sign up and give some of your details to their platform, you’ll be bombarded with calls and emails from agents who compete to offer a deal. Some users report that they get three e-mails from the same agent after they open an account. Honestly, it can be frustrating and makes you lost interest because they’re over-communicating.

  • Limited options.

With only 3 to 5 referred agents at one’s disposal, it doesn’t guarantee a better deal or savings. Or perhaps, there are more qualified agents somewhere but UpNest failed to include them.  

UpNest Buyer and Seller Reviews

The Better Business Bureau gives UpNest an A+ rating while garnering a 4.8 average from their 128 customer reviews. Some laud UpNest fast connection with real estate agents, and even found the realtor the best fit for them. While others are not happy with the commission negotiations and complained about the mediocre services they received. Here are some of the positive feedbacks and also negative ones you should take a look at from different sources.

review from google

reviews from google reviews ratings

reviews from google reviews rating

reviews from google reviews

Upnest reviews from homeopenly

So, there you have it. The above reviews roughly show what people have experienced when they start doing business with UpNest. Well, you can tell that UpNest has its disadvantages and even benefits when you really want to try their service. If you want to save more and sell your house fast, here’s another option you can check out. Here’s how Houzeo can help you get the cost-saving you expect, all the while having your own freedom to partner with a qualified top agent in your area.

UpNest and other Alternatives

UpNest vs Redfin

Unlike UpNest that refers their own agent, Redfin is more of like a support team in which they guide you throughout the process. Redfin is a real estate brokerage platform that offers a local support team and agents who will work with you from finding homes to closing the deal. It also provides discounted fees for its available services. They’ll help refer you to several professionals—home appraisals, real estate attorneys, etc.— to get your property fixed, upgraded, or landscaped properly.

Redfin provides services similar to a traditional full-service realtor yet with a low-cost commission. However, the downside with choosing Redfin is you can’t work with your agent on a personal level since a group of individuals will assist you. Also, Redfin seems only to have agents in some state, and are not currently available in Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

In a nutshell, Redfin works like a traditional realtor but with its own Redfin agents and support team. In which case, other people may find displeasing.  Because they get the feeling, they’re not part of the overall process.

UpNest vs Clever

Clever operates exactly the same with UpNest, but when taking into careful consideration, has its huge differences. They have the same services and offered advantages in terms of (1) Fast referral service and communication; (2) sellers and buyers can choose from different referred agents with no obligation or pressure; (3) Discounted commission fees and rebates. Although they both share the same goals, Clever has an upper hand in most of their services, savings, etc.

Clever makes sure you work with top-rated agents, who have extensive experience based on your area. That means they can guide you with the highest quality of services while minimizing cost. You get to enjoy services for a flat listing fee of 1% or a $3,000 rate.

UpNest vs Houzeo

Houzeo is another great alternative for selling or buying a home. It’s considered as America’s #1 For Sale by Owner and Flat Fee MLS platform that makes the home-selling process seamless and easier. Unlike UpNest that offers limited agents, Houzeo gives you the freedom to choose your own agent while also enjoying your custom-made package services. Most of the documents and paperwork are automated and digitized to remove the burden of filling more and more papers. Although UpNest has speedy referrals and their own agents, Houzeo has real savings with no hidden costs at all. You can list your home for sale by owner starting at only $199, the basic package. If the buyer has no agent, you don’t have to pay any commission.

Key Takeaways:

Overall, UpNest is a great go-to option for sellers or buyers who want to find a fast referral agent. However, it doesn’t mean you’ll get better deals since all these agents compete in the marketplace. Taking your time, finding the one right-fight agent for you will eventually pay off. Although takes tons of time and energy, you’ll be guaranteed real savings because you’ll do the negotiation yourself.

Although there seems to have no upfront cost or free using their referral service, UpNest charges a referral fee for their agents. Moreover, if you’re selling with UpNest, you have to pay the commission fee for your agent and the buyer’s agent. In terms of cost savings, there’s no assurance you’ll save money since most of the pricing and fee depends entirely on the agents.

If you’re looking for guaranteed savings, Houzeo makes it possible for you. Our basic to premium package does more than other real estate platforms. With a user-friendly interface and digitized documents, the process is faster and easier.

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