There was a time when buying and selling a home was only possible with the help of a real estate agent. They would know the local market and expectations of a buyer better than any other individual or entity. For their expertise, they would charge a commission on the selling price of the home. In growing real estate markets, agents would rake in substantially high earnings every year. Then came real estate companies and brokerages who would hire a force of agents and capture the entire market in their area with their network and workforce. Over time, many brokerages expanded to other cities and many even became nationwide.
Even today, real estate agents individually help people buy and sell homes and there are many traditional brokerages that have strong roots and function well throughout the country, but something radical happened in the industry in the last couple of decades—the real estate industry, like many other industries, went online.
With the industry going online came new realtor rules and a bevy of discount real estate companies with the goal to simplify and make buying and selling of homes affordable. In this piece, we’ll talk about discount companies, one of their types—flat fee MLS, and will compare the services of two such companies—Houzeo and Clever.
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About discount real estate companies
Discount real estate companies are companies that make the home selling process affordable by giving you a discount on the agent commission. You can sell your home by yourself using flat-fee MLS or at a commission that is 1 to 2% lower than a traditional realtor commission.
There are two types of discount brokers:
- Limited-service discount brokers: Limited-service brokers let you sell your house at low charges providing limited services, which you can select as per your needs. You can even choose a flat fee MLS option, wherein the online broker would just list your home at a flat fee while you can add certain services offered by the broker in your package.
- Full-service discount brokers: Full-service brokers offer services similar to standard traditional realtors. So, if you want to save money while getting most of the services, you can choose a full-service discount broker.
What is a flat fee MLS listing service?
A flat fee MLS listing service is one good option instead of taking the help of a traditional real estate agent to sell your house. When you decide to sell your home FSBO or for sale by owner, a flat fee MLS company can help give your home listing a brilliant exposure as it is listed on MLS or Multiple Listing Service. Companies like Houzeo and Clever even integrate your listing with top real estate websites like Zillow for increased exposure.
The MLS is a major online resource real estate agents all over the US use. They list and share properties with other realtors on local MLS, thus helping their clients buy or sell a home. There are over 600 local MLS databases in the US, each of which handles property listings for a particular area. Well-known real estate sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow pull their data on properties from the MLS. Thus, if you want to sell your home, getting it listed on your local MLS is a must to get the required visibility.
What services do MLS listing providers provide
MLS databases are accessible only by realtors and brokers. You and I can’t post or even access listings on them. So, when you are selling your home FSBO without involving a realtor, you can’t list your home over an MLS and lose visibility. This is where flat fee MLS listing services come to your rescue.
For a flat charge, a flat fee MLS listing service would list your home on the MLS for you. The most basic flat fee MLS stops its services here. Where a traditional real estate agent offers full service from listing your home to pricing it to negotiating in your favor to closing the sale, a basic flat fee MLS service just does the listing and leaves other home selling work to you.
But there are many good flat fee MLS providers that provide plenty of additional services; two of them are—yes, you guessed them right—Houzeo and Clever. These flat fee MLS providers extend you further home selling assistance at an additional charge. They offer different packages ranging from a basic one with listing and basic services to a premium one that offers most of the required services to make your job easier.
You can even pick and choose from the ‘a la carte’ menu of such MLS service providers. For instance, Houzeo flat fee MLS listing service offers marketing services like yard signs and high-tech online form filling.
You must definitely choose a flat fee MLS service over a traditional real estate agent if you have time and energy, and a will to save big money that could go as agent commissions. The huge potential savings they can make an appeal to most sellers choosing a flat fee listing service. However, it’s up to you to decide if the time and energy you would put into selling your home would be worth the money you’ll save.
Houzeo vs Clever real estate reviews
While both Houzeo and Clever allow you to list your property on the MLS at a slashed price, the two service providers are different. Find out the service-wise difference between the two companies drawn out using Houzeo reviews and Clever real estate reviews below:
- Houzeo vs Clever—based on primary services offered
The major services Houzeo plans offer are Flat Fee MLS listing service, contract analysis, pricing advice, and professional photography.
Based on Clever real estate reviews, the company offers you a straightforward cost-efficient way to find a top real estate agent.
- Houzeo vs Clever—based on customer dashboard features
Houzeo’s website and app offer highly advanced features on its dashboard using which you can access services like viewing and comparing offers, making counteroffers, scheduling showings, etc.
Clever matches you with a real estate agent from one of their partner firms.
- Houzeo vs Clever—based on pricing
Houzeo offers a low-cost package at $349 for listing a house on MLS. You have to pay more for their advanced plans.
Clever charges flat 1% listing commission on homes sold for over $350,000 and charges $3,000 for houses sold under that amount. Also, the percentage figure does not include the buyer’s agent commission.
- Houzeo vs Clever—based on ratings and reviews
When you compare Houzeo reviews with its competitors, most companies fall short. Based on the Houzeo reviews and ratings on trustworthy websites like Google and Trustpilot, Houzeo stands at an amazing 4.9 rating out of 5.
Clever real estate has a 4.4 rating on Google and 4.9 on Trustpilot.
- Houzeo vs Clever—customization of packages
You can customize your Houzeo package as per your needs and even opt for additional services from Houzeo.
Clever real estate pre-negotiates large savings for you, unlike other service providers. So you are able to save thousands without letting go of any service.
- Houzeo vs Clever—customer service
Most of the Houzeo reviews talk about the real estate company’s smooth user experience and 5-star customer service.
Clever offers good customer service from a licensed real estate expert who is equipped with the latest in tech to help you close fast.
- Houzeo vs Clever—working
As you sign up on Houzeo, you can work on an exclusive seller dashboard where you can update your home’s information, upload home photos, submit documents, chat with customer support, etc.
When you update the information to Clever real estate, it is just shared with the real estate agents for a fee with a blind match. Clever functions to attract customers toward their broker network and away from competitors. A referral fee network on Clever connects you with local real estate brokers.
Overall, as per Houzeo reviews, the company offers a perfect mix of high-tech software and user experience, commendable savings, and fantastic customer support using which you can save close to 50% of the agent commissions.
While as per Clever Real Estate reviews, the flat rate real estate service is better for selling premium homes.
So, Houzeo is a better choice than Clever real estate.