Residential Real Estate Directory (RRED)

A combined list of trending residential real estate services, portals and start-ups.

A California-based online referral-fee middle-man broker runs a smart-directory; claims to provide users with best local agencies.

Top Seven Facts about HomeLight.com


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … if you choose to accept referrals from HomeLight, and if you subsequently handle a real estate transaction for this referral, then you agree to pay us a Referral Fee of 25% of the gross commission you earn. The terms for this Referral Fee (the fine print) are located here for Brokers and here for Agents. This is how we earn money and allows us to continue to provide our services to you … HomeLight matches buyers and sellers of real estate (“Clients”) with a broker or agent who can best serve their needs. A “Referral” is defined as when HomeLight has recommended the Broker or the Broker's agent to the Client via phone or via the HomeLight website. After a Referral, HomeLight will attempt to introduce the Client to the Broker or Broker's agent via phone, text, or email, but such introduction is not necessary for a Referral to be made. A referral fee is triggered when a transaction closes within two years of the date of the Referral. After the signing of a contract for a transaction resulting from a Referral, the Broker will promptly notify HomeLight via email or via the HomeLight website and indicate the expected closing date. The Broker will pay the resulting referral fee from escrow or within ten (10) days of closing of such a transaction.


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … if you choose to accept referrals from HomeLight, and if you subsequently handle a real estate transaction for this referral, then you agree to pay us a Referral Fee of 25% of the gross commission you earn. The terms for this Referral Fee (the fine print) are located here for Brokers and here for Agents. This is how we earn money and allows us to continue to provide our services to you … HomeLight matches buyers and sellers of real estate (“Clients”) with a broker or agent who can best serve their needs. A “Referral” is defined as when HomeLight has recommended the Broker or the Broker's agent to the Client via phone or via the HomeLight website. After a Referral, HomeLight will attempt to introduce the Client to the Broker or Broker's agent via phone, text, or email, but such introduction is not necessary for a Referral to be made. A referral fee is triggered when a transaction closes within two years of the date of the Referral. After the signing of a contract for a transaction resulting from a Referral, the Broker will promptly notify HomeLight via email or via the HomeLight website and indicate the expected closing date. The Broker will pay the resulting referral fee from escrow or within ten (10) days of closing of such a transaction.


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … When you submit information to HomeLight.com for a real estate request, you authorize us to use and provide this information to make a match. By providing this information to us, you consent to being contacted by us and by our partner real estate professionals via phone, email, mail or other reasonable means … After the signing of a contract for a transaction resulting from a Referral, the Broker will promptly notify HomeLight via email or via the HomeLight website and indicate the expected closing date.


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … We make a professional introduction between you and one of our Real Estate Agent partners ... Maintaining a profile on HomeLight is completely free. However, if you choose to accept referrals from HomeLight, and if you subsequently handle a real estate transaction for this referral, then you agree to pay us a Referral Fee of 25% of the gross commission you earn.


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … if you choose to accept referrals from HomeLight, and if you subsequently handle a real estate transaction for this referral, then you agree to pay us a Referral Fee of 25% of the gross commission you earn …. You understand that for our services we may receive payment (a referral fee) that may be a percentage of the commission received by the real estate professionals involved in the real estate transaction. There is no charge to you. Any payment is due based on a separate agreement between us and the real estate professional involved. Your use of our services constitutes your acknowledgment of, and agreement to, this compensation arrangement.


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … You understand that while HomeLight may refer real estate professionals, we do not perform real estate brokerage services. Any Real Estate brokerage activities are performed by local Real Estate Professionals that have been referred to you. We do not endorse, recommend or otherwise know the terms of any agreement between you and a real estate professional.


  Fact Check

HomeLight.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … You understand that for our services we may receive payment (a referral fee) that may be a percentage of the commission received by the real estate professionals involved in the real estate transaction. There is no charge to you. Any payment is due based on a separate agreement between us and the real estate professional involved. Your use of our services constitutes your acknowledgment of, and agreement to, this compensation arrangement.

Recommendation:

We don't recommend using HomeLight.com smart-directory due to expensive referral fees and highly biased referral-only Agents results.

Downside:

HomeLight.com match results are always biased because this platform excludes all Real Estate Agents that refuse to pay a mandatory 25% commission to HomeLight.com. This, inevitably, means that HomeLight.com can't provide users with the best local Real Estate Agents results, as it claims, instead, users only see Referral Agents. This systematic omission of a significant share of Real Estate Agents from the algorithm naturally dictates that all HomeLight.com results are biased.

HomeLight.com Review:

Backed by Google Ventures, Homelight.com has re-produced a similar smart-directory model that was originally used by company called OpenHouse (aka Agent Ace), founded in 2010 and later sold in 2016. OpenHouse and Homelight.com both claim that their directory is powered by data (and patented technology, in case of OpenHouse platform), as a smarter way to find a Real Estate Agents. On paper Homelight.com seems to have a great idea – to provide its users with a list of the “most effective” Real Estate Agents that they have scrutinized across the board, meaning, Real Estate Agents that systematically facilitate better offers for sellers and better terms for buyers. Homelight.com states that “our service is 100% free, with no catch. Agents don't pay us to be listed, so you get the best match.” Digging deeper into Terms of Service the actual model turns out to be much less effective - HomeLight.com is a California middle-man real estate broker that collects a 25% referral fee from all Real Estate Agents that would like to participate - this makes it hardly a free service for anyone, since referral fees are inevitably passed down to the consumer. More importantly, Homelight.com applies this referral bias towards all matching results, meaning, only Real Estate Agents that have agreed to pay a referral fee are displayed in search results for all users.

Undeniably, HomeLight.com, continues to expand the original idea developed by the Agent Ace, telling users that its Real Estate Agents recommendations are based on tangible data, but this idea does not follow the HomeLight.com biased business model. HomeLight.com openly claims to provide unbiased 100% free results on its web site, but we find that neither of these claims are true.

HomeLight.com continues to promote the idea developed by OpenHouse to match users with the best and highly motivated Real Estate Agents, and the company also argues to users that referral fees are needed and are part of the usual business process. The reason we give HomeLight.com a low score is not because of the fees, but because of the way these fees are structured. HomeLight.com plays its fees down for the consumer - it states directly that the service is 100% free, but at the same time, it rigidly locks every participating Real Estate Agent into 25% referral fee attached to 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. If one to say that the 25% fee is indeed necessary, why not structure it as an actual service fee that is properly charged for the matching service instead of having to be back-loaded into Referral Agent’s agreement? The answer is simple – if HomeLight.com came to a Real Estate Agents with a proposition to charge for its service directly, no Agent would ever sign-up. Real Estate Agents sign-up with HomeLight.com because the price of the referral fee can always be incorporated into their client’s agreement. HomeLight.com receives the second lowest score from us because the service is clearly biased and it claims to its users the complete opposite. HomeLight.com was presented the following facts prior to the review getting published, but has not responded with any comments. HomeLight.com must be well-aware of this issue, but continues to operate on the same principle in order to continue collecting its referral fees. We strongly believe that a real estate consumer looking to buy or sell real estate should always use a 0% referral fee platform in order to avoid paying higher costs in commissions.

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Residential Real Estate Directory

Residential Real Estate Directory (RRED) is a combined list of trending real estate services, portals and start-ups that is maintained by HomeOpenly staff on continuous basis in order to provide our users with the most comprehensive and unbiased real estate sources in addition to our savings OPEN marketplace.

All entries are independently compiled and scored. HomeOpenly does not receive any consideration from any of the companies or services listed. The guidelines for acceptance for each entry are only to have an actual or potential impact on residential real estate issues and real estate consumers in the United States in the modern Internet economy. While some listed entities are large and powerful, others are small and up-coming, only services that provide the best inherited value to consumers receive the highest RRED score.

HomeOpenly encourages users to add comments, evaluate existing listings and recommend references for new real estate services, portals and marketplaces for the following release in January 2019.