On paper, Sold.com seems to have a great idea – to provide its users with the best way to sell a home, but in reality, it is a referral network designed to steer consumers toward agents and other services willing to pay a cut of their commission back into the network.
Sold.com states that it is an “unbiased” and consumer-focused service, but the actual model turns out to be much less effective - Sold.com is a California licensed real estate broker that collects a 30% referral fee from all real estate agents that participate.
This fee makes it hardly a free service for anyone since referral fees are inevitably passed down to consumers. More importantly, Sold.com applies this pay-to-play bias towards all matching results, meaning, only real estate agents that have agreed to pay a referral fee are displayed in match results for consumers.
Sold.com audits all transactions because it needs to find out how much money real estate agents receive in commissions, inevitably collecting private details of consumer’s agreement for home purchase or sale.
Sold.com plays fees down to consumers - it states directly that the service is 100% free, but at the same time, it rigidly locks every participating real estate agent into 30% referral fee attached to the back-end of every contract. As a licensed real estate agent that doesn’t perform any real estate services or takes any responsibility for the transaction, it is not entirely clear how this process works under the Business and Professions Code and RESPA.
Clearly, real estate agents only sign-up with Sold.com because the price of the referral fee can be easily incorporated into their client's agreement with excessive commissions. Sold.com receives the second lowest score because this service is clearly biased and it claims to provide the complete opposite of what it actually does.