Residential Real Estate Directory (RRED)

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

A California-based Internet referral-fee middle-man broker designed to collude on commission rates and to collect referral fees.

Top Seven Facts about HomeLight.com


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … UpNest refers real estate agents to Users, but UpNest does not engage in actual real estate broker services. Real Estate brokerage activities are performed by local real estate agents that have been referred to you by UpNest. As a seller, you are not bound to accept any of the proposals submitted. Proposals are not binding offers and are not intended to create a contractual or agency relationship between you and the real estate agent.


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service and Referral Agreement. Retrieved in March 2018: … For its services UpNest may receive payment including, but not limited to a referral fee that may be a percentage of the commission received by the real estate agents involved in the real estate transaction. UpNest's payment is due based on the terms and conditions of the UpNest Referral Agreement. Your registration with UpNest and use of UpNest services constitutes your acknowledgment of, and agreement to, this fee arrangement … Referred Broker will pay to UpNest, within ten (10) business days after any applicable closing or lease execution, an amount equal to thirty percent (30%) of the commission that Referred Broker and Agent were entitled to receive from the transaction involving the Potential Client (the “Referral Fee”). If the Referred Broker and Agent represents both a buyer and seller on the same transaction and only one side is referred by UpNest, the Referral fee will be 30% of ½ of the total gross commission of the transaction. The Referral Fee is calculated based on the commission received prior to the Agent's split with the Referred Broker.


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: …UpNest will use (User) information within UpNest and will provide certain details on an anonymous or non-anonymous basis depending on the UpNest service to third parties who are, in most cases, appropriate members of its real estate agent network. Users may also agree to have the information he/she has supplied to UpNest forwarded to real estate or other third-party professionals referred by UpNest. UpNest users will also be required to consent to receive emails from third party(ies) if the UpNest service requested requires services from a third party(ies)(for example, a local real estate agent)… UpNest may request (and you agree to provide promptly), receive, copy and review your real property transaction and/or settlement documents and you agree to respond to requests for updates involving any contact with a real estate agent introduced by UpNest; … You agree to be contacted via Email or other means by UpNest, and by third parties for services you have requested;


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … UpNest offers services targeted to real estate agents. To receive these services, real estate agents must accurately complete a registration for a desired service and agree to payment obligations for such service… You (Agent) have secured and will maintain any required supervising broker's authorization and payment of a fee that will be incurred by virtue of your use of this UpNest service… Real estate agent realizes that referrals received through UpNest may be consumers who have previously used and/or are currently using other Internet real estate sites and services, including but not limited to UpNest, to help them in the home selling and/or buying process.


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service and Referral Agreement. Retrieved in March 2018: …Real estate agent realizes that referrals received through UpNest may be consumers who have previously used and/or are currently using other Internet real estate sites and services, including but not limited to UpNest, to help them in the home selling and/or buying process. … Referred Broker's and Agent's obligation to pay the Referral Fee will continue for a period of eighteen (18) months from the date on which the Agent or Referred Broker submits a proposal or commission quote to the Potential Client. By submitting a proposal, Agent and Referred Broker acknowledge that UpNest is the procuring cause and Agent and Referred Broker do not have prior contact with the Potential Client. The Referral Fee will apply to the initial transaction as well as any other real estate transactions involving the Potential Client that become binding or close during the Referral Period.


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … UpNest is a licensed real estate broker in the State of California, but does not broker real estate transactions. UpNest does not act as real estate agent for any user… You understand and agree that the real estate agents and others who appear on the UpNest website or who may be referred by UpNest are not employed by UpNest. UpNest is not responsible or liable for any acts or omissions created or performed by these third parties.


  Fact Check

UpNest.com Terms of Service. Retrieved in March 2018: … A real estate agent who signs up and submits proposals on UpNest agrees to pay a referral fee as stated by the terms and conditions of the UpNest Referral Agreement. In the event that the agent's broker refuses to pay the referral fee, the registered real estate agents will be liable for the entire referral fee and any collection fees.

Recommendation:

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

Downside:

UpNest.com is a California real estate broker, acts as an online middle-man referral-fee broker. UpNest.com platform doesn't produce a tangible real estate service for consumers in any State.

UpNest.com Review:

UpNest.com is a middle-man broker in business to collect referral fees. Referral fees are highly disadvantageous for all real estate consumers and real estate Agents. Real estate consumers and Competitive Agents should always use 0% referral fee platforms instead of UpNest.com

One of the major expenses for real estate consumers when buying or selling a home are real estate service fees and closing costs associated with the purchase or sale. Service fees and closing costs are, for the most part, a necessary expense. Real estate Agents significantly help Home Buyers and Home Owners to navigate a complicated and competitive real estate process and collect a legitimate commission as a reward. Other service fees usually include required items such as property appraisals, inspections, etc. – all of these help to legitimize the sale and to manage risk.

There can be much said with regards to managing closing costs when choosing a motivated Competitive Agent to help. On the other hand, while claiming it saves money to consumers, UpNest.com platform equates its real estate referral fees with service fees. The platform works with a limited pool of Referral Agents willing to pay a very significant part of their commission back to UpNest.com. This referral fee is back-loaded into Referred Agent's agreement, instead of being handed to the consumer directly. The consumer technically does not pay UpNest.com, but, instead, ends up with a higher cost of commissions when working with their Referred Agent. There are a number of online platforms that work without charging real estate referral fees for matching services and this makes a sizable financial difference to the consumer and provides legitimately competitive Real Estate Agents matches.

Let's say a real estate consumer, James, wants to hire a Buyer's Agent in one of the States that allow buyer's rebates to buy a median priced home for $207,600 in 2018. A local Competitive Buyer's Agent, Jill, offers James a 50% buyer's refund while helping him through the process. This is a typical refund Jill is able to organically negotiate with all her customers. The estimated commission refund in this case is $3,114 paid back to James from Jill in a form of buyer's refund, assuming a 6% commission split between Buyer's and Seller's Agents.

On the other hand, James also receives non-binding proposals using UpNest.com platform from Referred Agents with a 30% referral fee attached to the back of every proposal. When James is faced with these types of proposals, results are quite different. Firmly assuming that the profit margins and service offerings remain the same for Competitive Agent Jill and Referral Agents using UpNest, any possible buyer's refund offered by Referral Agents must be reduced to account for the UpNest referral fees. The referral fee in this scenario estimated at $934 due to UpNest.com from a Referral Agent. With the profit margin fixed, the estimated commission refund a Referral Agent may offer to James is a much lower sum of $2,180. One reason the amount of savings may ever be matched by Referred Agents versus Jill's competitive savings is due to broker-to-broker pricing collusion - if Referral Agent is willing to reduce their fee beyond market rates to compensate UpNest.com out of their own pocket, which is highly unlikely and unreasonable to assume. Because referral fees are pre-set between UpNest.com and Referral Agents in advance, the cost of the referral has to be eventually be paid by the real estate consumer.

UpNest.com has the right direction when it comes to needed competition in the real estate, and the company would most likely argue to users that its service needs referral fees to continue to be in business. The reason we give UpNest.com a low score is not because of the fees, but because of the way their fees are structured. UpNest.com plays a very odd game, from one point of view, it states directly that the service is 100% free, but then how is this possible having a 30% referral fee attached to every non-binding proposal it sends to consumers? As a licensed Real Estate Agent that doesn't perform any real estate services or takes any responsibility for the transaction, it's not entirely clear how this process works under the Business and Professions Code, per se – should Real Estate Agents be able to advertise and distribute "bids" of their fellow Agents? If one to say that the 30% 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 UpNest.com was to charge Agents for its service directly, no Agent would ever sign-up. Agents only sign-up with UpNest.com because the price of the referral fee can always be incorporated into their client's agreement. UpNest.com receives absolutely the lowest score from us because we cannot find a single legitimate reason to use this service, since it clearly doesn't provide any tangible value to the real estate consumer as a licensed Real Estate Agent. We strongly believe that a real estate consumer looking to buy or sell real estate should always use 0% referral fee platforms in order to avoid paying a 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.