- What Is Ideal Agent?
- Is Ideal Agent legit?
- How does Ideal Agent work?
- Ideal Agent Reviews
- Pros of Using Ideal Agent
- Cons of Using Ideal Agent
- Ideal Agent Alternatives
- Choose the Best Agent Matching Service Online
IdealAgent.com Reviews: A Comprehensive Analysis
The average seller pays between 5-6% of the home sale price in real estate commission. Considering the median sale price in the United States is $431,000 as of fall 2023, many sellers will pay between $21,000 and $25,000 in Realtor commissions. These fees make up a significant part of seller closing costs and can significantly impact their budgets when it comes to buying their next homes.
It’s no wonder that sellers are looking for more affordable representation in the real estate process. Even small discounts can provide thousands of dollars in savings. One company that sellers turn to is Ideal Agent when they are looking to save on Realtor fees. Learn more about this company and how it attracts customers. Then take a deep dive into IdealAgent.com reviews to see what real users think. This can help you understand whether Ideal Agent is the right company for finding your next Realtor or if there are better options out there.
What Is Ideal Agent?
Ideal Agent is a matching service that helps sellers find Realtors. Its main marketing point is that sellers who choose Realtors through Ideal Agent can pay as low as 2% commission to the local real estate agents they hire. Its service is free to sellers while agents pay a referral fee on every lead they close on.
The process is simple. You submit your address to an online form and Ideal Agent will send you a Realtor in your area. After the agent match is complete, your Realtor will sell your home and collect their commission. The buyer’s agent will also collect their commission.
There are several referral engines like Ideal Agent online. The main thing to consider is whether its claims of saving customers thousands of dollars are legitimate.
Is Ideal Agent legit?
Ideal Agent is a legitimate company. However, the 2% commission rate can be misleading if you think that is the total commission rate that you are going to pay.
When you hire a Realtor through Ideal Agent, they agree to take a 2% commission rate instead of the standard 3% commission rate that is common across the industry. However, the agent your buyer uses never agreed to that fee. They likely expect to receive a 3% commission rate on the home sale for representing their buyer.
When you hire a Realtor through Ideal Agent, you aren’t dropping your fees from the standard 6% to 2%. Instead, your fees drop to 5% with 2% going to your Realtor and 3% going to the buyer’s agent.
Ideal Agent likes to use the 2% commission marketing tactic because it makes sellers think their fees will be cut in half – and then some. However, the reality is that most sellers only save 1% on fees. Even on its website, Ideal Agent highlights how sellers can save an exceptional amount of money if the buyer doesn’t use an agent or the buyer’s agent agrees to a tiny fee. However, the odds that sellers find such buyers are extremely low.
According to the NAR, 86% of buyers hire real estate agents, and those who don’t are often purchasing properties from friends or relatives.
On its website, Ideal Agent claims that you can save up to $20,000 on a home sale of $500,000. This means the buyer doesn’t pay any agent fees whatsoever. The reality is that most sellers would save around $5,000 because they receive a 1% discount from Realtors hired through Ideal Agent. You need to read the fine print.
How does Ideal Agent work?
Ideal Agent is a recommendation engine, which means that it is a tool for real estate agents to promote themselves and get noticed online. While there are likely dozens of qualified real estate agents in your area, it can be hard to select the best ones from the average performers. This agent matching service does just that.
A real estate agent will pay a referral fee to each customer that Ideal Agent sends to them. The seller doesn’t pay anything to hire a Realtor and the costs are entirely placed on the local agent. This is how the company makes money.
Using this information, you can break down real estate commission fees to get a clear understanding of where your money goes. Assuming you sell your house for $500,000, you would pay around $25,000 in total commissions. This breaks down to 3% for the buyer’s agent commission and 2% for your agent’s commission because of the Ideal Agent agreement. This already brings your real estate agent’s commission down to $10,000.
From there, your Realtor will need to pay a brokerage fee and the Ideal Agent referral fee. The broker fee could range from 10% to 40% depending on who they work for. That means around $2,500 is taken from their profits. Ideal Agent also likely charges between 25% to 35% for each lead that a Realtor closes on, which could be another $2,500 lost at a minimum.
Out of the $25,000 in Realtor fees you pay as a seller, the person you hire might receive less than $5,000 after the closing appointment. Their profits are even less once they calculate the marketing expenses and operating costs that come with selling your house.
Ideal Agent Reviews
There are thousands of Ideal Agent reviews online, which is great for sellers who are considering using this service to evaluate local real estate agents. However, you might find that you have a harder time learning about Ideal Agent as a whole because many people reviewed the partner agents they use instead of the service itself. Here are a few places to find Ideal Agent reviews and what customers have to say.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau gives Ideal Agent an A+ rating and it has been accredited since 2021. One of the most impressive things about this company is that it doesn’t have any complaints. There are more than 300 customer reviews that give Ideal Agent 4.98 stars out of 5.
This is rare for the BBB as many people use this website to complain about companies they don’t like. Here are a few Ideal Agent reviews:
- “Ideal Agent really picked us a winning Realtor team to sell our home. Our Realtor and her team were great from start to finish,” – Brice M, five stars
- “I could not ask for better service! Ideal Agent was right on top of everything needed to get my property sold for a great price and in record time,” – Cynthia E, five stars
- “The advertised 2% commission is a mirage that evaporated when she had no clients to show my listing to, which then increased the commission I paid when the house was sold through an outside agent. I should have sold the house with no agent or any other agent,” – Craig S, one star
While many reviewers credit Ideal Agent for pairing them with a good real estate agent, the company itself has no control over how its partner agents perform. The complaints about the company focus on the Realtors the sellers hired, not the company itself.
Trustpilot is usually another good source to learn about software companies. There are more than 6,000 Ideal Agent reviews on this website and the company maintains a 4.9 star rating out of 5. However, most of the comments focus on the real estate agents the customers work with, which means they aren’t Ideal Agent reviews themselves.
- “My Agent was great to work with, she was extremely knowledgeable in the local market,” – Dianne A, five stars
- “They were skilled negotiators who knew how to convince the buyer and buyer’s agent that there were some issues the buyer would have to correct or accept…I gave four stars because I walked away with about $2,000 less than what I was expecting and hoping for,” – Robert J, four stars
- “The communication could have been better. I would have liked to have been updated on a lot of things without being kept in the dark or calling myself to get information. I would have liked more offers, and I didn’t like having to give the buyer $35,000 in credits,” – Mr. Miller, three stars
These reviews highlight how you aren’t guaranteed to get a good local agent just because you use this company. You will still need to carefully interview any real estate agents you are considering to make sure they will meet your communication needs and set reasonable pricing expectations.
Pros of Using Ideal Agent
As you can see from the Ideal Agent Reviews, countless happy customers are pleased with this agent matching service. This should make you feel more confident about using Ideal Agent to help you navigate a real estate transaction. However, there are a few additional benefits to choosing this service.
- Any savings can be valuable. While Ideal Agent claims that sellers will only pay 2% in commission, the reality is that they can only expect a 1% commission savings. However, any saved money is valuable and a few thousand dollars can significantly help with moving costs.
- Narrow your real estate agent search. Choosing a Realtor can quickly get overwhelming if there are dozens of agents in your area. The Ideal Agent website can help you filter through multiple agents until you find one to work with.
- The service is free for sellers. You don’t have much to lose when looking at Ideal Agent. You can use competing agent matching services to compare Realtors and should still interview each agent before hiring them. It’s okay if Ideal Agent doesn’t work out.
- This is a national brand. Ideal Agent could be a good way to find real estate agents in your area, even if you don’t live in a highly-populated region. This site lists Realtors across the country and accommodates sellers of all home sale prices.
Essentially, there’s no reason not to try Ideal Agent. However, make sure its recommended agent gives you the best deal possible while meeting your communication requirements.
Cons of Using Ideal Agent
While Ideal Agent is a low-risk agent matching service, there are still some drawbacks to choosing this website as opposed to exploring other real estate recommendation engines. Here are a few reasons you might not want to work with one of its partner agents.
- The company isn’t upfront about commission rates. The 2% commission rate is a marketing ploy unless the buyer’s agent commission is 0%. Make sure you have a clear picture of your commission costs before you work with one of these Realtors.
- It is a small agent network. There are drawbacks to limiting your search to a small pool of Realtors. Through the agent match system, you might only find one agent you would consider hiring. You might be better off looking at a larger pool where you could find a Realtor better suited to your needs.
- Your agent might not prioritize you. Because referral engines charge fees, Realtors get paid less when they work with leads from these websites. Ideal Agent is not upfront about its Realtor fees. If they are higher than other agent matching services then Realtors might view you as a lower-value client.
Ask for transparency when you talk with an Ideal Agent representative. Make sure you understand the Realtor’s fee scale and their average client base. You deserve to feel like a valued customer no matter where you find your real estate agent.
Ideal Agent Alternatives
Ideal Agent is far from the only real estate matching company on the web. There are several alternatives to this website and other options to save money on Realtor commission fees. Here are a few alternatives to consider as you look for the right agent to sell your home.
FastExpert is a popular alternative to Ideal Agent. One of the main benefits of using this agent match site is that you can scroll through unlimited profiles to choose the best Realtor for your needs. These are unique, detailed pages that help you get to know each agent. If you have niche needs – like a Realtor who speaks Portuguese or an agent who specializes in selling houseboats – you can find the right agent through FastExpert.
FastExpert doesn’t promise gimmick commission savings but you can still talk to our Realtors about their fees. You can reach out to dozens of agents through our website and eventually hire the right one. The best part is that our agents will never call, email, or harass you in any way to win your business. You have complete control over who you contact and who you eventually hire.
Flat-Fee Real Estate Agents
If your main goal is saving money when hiring a Realtor, look for flat-fee agents in your local markets. You will need to strike a balance between maintaining agent quality while saving money on closing costs. Some flat-fee Realtors have basic packages for as low as $300 while others offer full-service packages for up to $5,000.
There are multiple factors to consider before agreeing to a flat-fee option. First, make sure the agent will provide enough services to make sure your home is sold in a timely manner. You want someone who will answer your questions and provide support.
Next, look at your real estate market. If homes in your area sell within a few days with several offers, you might benefit from hiring a flat-fee agent. However, if the market is cooling and houses are taking longer to sell, you might want a full-service Realtor who will promote your home to their best ability.
Finally, know that you still need to pay the buyer’s agent. Set aside at least 3% to cover their commission fees on top of the flat fee you agree to with your Realtor.
Negotiating With Full-Service Agents
If you meet a Realtor at an open house or find an agent online, ask about their fees. While many Realtors want a 3% fee and expect a buyer’s agent to receive 3% as well, they might be open to negotiations. You might naturally find a real estate agent who is willing to accept a 2% fee without having to use Ideal Agent.
Additionally, an experienced full-service Realtor might also convince a buyer’s agent to accept a 2% fee as well if it means their client gets the house. This means that you would only pay 4% in commissions instead of 6%, which is a significant discount.
Everything is a negotiation in real estate. Talk openly with potential real estate agents you want to hire to reach an appropriate rate and develop a strategy for working with buyers.
Choose the Best Agent Matching Service Online
A qualified agent can make the home sale process easy and even enjoyable. They will work with you as a partner and find the right buyers for your home. Whether you use Ideal Agent or other means to find a Realtor, make sure you find the right person to work with you.
If you are interested in Ideal Agent, also consider FastExpert. We have some of the best real estate agents in the country within our agent network. You can look at as many Realtors as you want and reach out to your top picks directly. Compare our process to Ideal Agent’s and see if you can save just as much through our website.
Try FastExpert today and hire a partner agent you can trust.