Clever Real Estate is a referral fee network designed to collect fees by matching consumers with local real estate agents willing to pay it. Clever Real Estate operates as a licensed real estate brokerage in Missouri under License #2017042277, but it does not produce any services that are typically offered by real estate agents and does not represent consumers when buying or selling real estate in any State.
When consumers submit information to Clever Real Estate, this information is simply shared in exchange for an undisclosed fee with real estate agents in a process known as a "blind match."
Clever Real Estate revenue comes from undisclosed referral fees. Referral fees set by such networks range anywhere between 25%-40% of the entire agent’s commission.
Clever Real Estate is a referral network that claims it does not endorse, validate, or recommend any legal agreements between homeowners and buyers and real estate professionals, but we find these claims to be false.
Using its website, Clever Real Estate engages in a process known as price fixing because it sets listing rates and rebates for independent real estate professionals using the network.
Clever Real Estate sets a flat listing fee of $3,000 for homes sold under $350,000 and 1% listing fee for homes sold over that amount; for home Buyers Clever Real Estate sets a 1% rebate. For purposes of the present discussion, brokerage fees are always negotiable and no broker should set rates and rebates for other brokers. Each firm should establish its own policy as to its fee structure and charges, amount of commissions, and rebates.
Price fixing is prohibited by federal antitrust legislation. Individual agents must never discuss, or set rates with brokers outside of their own company. By setting rates and rebates for other brokers across the United States, Clever Real Estate operates with a sole purpose to collect referral fees, where such service effectively results in lower quality of service, pay-to-play bias, and a "blind match" with agents willing to participate.
Consumers using this network have zero control over what agents the company shares their information with. Instead of being "sold as leads" consumers looking for a competitive and fair representation can consider negotiating directly with real estate agents, or with help from unbiased consumer-focused online services that do not collect referral fees.
Update: on June 19, 2019, Clever Real Estate has originated a request to the editor asking for this review to be removed.
The following is a link to the notice originated by Clever Real Estate, dated June 19, 2019.
The following is a link to the reply written by the editor of this review, dated June 28, 2019.
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