Sold.com is a referral fee network designed to collect fees by matching consumers with local real estate agents willing to participate. Sold.com operates as a licensed real estate brokerage in California under BRE License #01937601, but it does not produce any services that are typically offered by real estate agents and does not represent consumers when selling real estate in any State.
When consumers submit information to Sold.com, this information is simply sold to real estate agents who are willing to pay for it with a 30% share of their commission.
Sold.com revenue comes from referral fees.
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.
Sold.com is a 'paper' real estate brokerage. Agents agree to pay Sold.com a referral fee, on all closed transactions, through their employing broker. Sold.com does not offer any representation services. Sold.com is a consumer brokering scheme that works to receive a cut of agent's commissions with the use of blanket referral agreements.
Yes and No. Sold.com is a pay-to-play platform. Sold.com only matches consumers with real estate agents who have agreed to pay referral fees back to them after the home sale or purchase transaction is complete. Sold.com does not match consumers with the vast majority of agents who have not signed their blanket referral fee agreement.
Sold.com directly competes with several broker-to-broker blanket referral fee schemes, including OJO Labs, mellohome, UpNest, Xome, HomeLight, LemonBrew, Radius Agent, ReferralExchange, Nobul, NAEBA, agentpronto, effectiveagents, topagentsranked, myagentfinder, Rocket Homes, Clever Real Estate, and others.
Genuine alternatives to Sold.com are unbiased real estate platforms, open marketplaces, and consumer review portals that offer reliable information without any pay-to-play bias.
Pros: there are none with Sold.com. Sold.com is a 'paper' broker that operates a consumer steering scheme with a network of independent brokers. Consumer allocation between brokers holds no tangible value to any consumer, either when buying or selling a home.
Cons: there are several main disadvantages to Sold.com. First, consumers are hiring two brokers for the work of one. Second, Sold.com takes a hidden referral fee, so the referred agent is unable to offer their full value to thier client. Third, Sold.com only recommends paying agents to consumers, leaving out the vast majority of honest agents out of the scheme.
Summary: Sold.com steers consumers toward their network of brokers and away from others. Sold.com cannot legally organize brokers into a network because blanket referral agreements, price fixing, and consumer allocation between licensed real estate brokers in the United States are prohibited.
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