About HomeLight

Locating a real estate agent is a funny process. On one hand, you need a professional with a proven track record, great negotiating skills, an innate knowledge of the local market, and more. After all, buying or selling a home is a big deal, and there’s a whole lot of money on the line. On the other hand, most of us found our last agent browsing online (or even swiped their number from the back of a park bench). Can you think of any other large, personal transaction in your life where you leave your fate up to a (almost) complete stranger?

Enter HomeLight. Instead of spending hours combing through agent bios, researching their sales history, and learning about their online client reviews on multiple websites, HomeLight’s Matching Engine automatically analyzes 18 million+ home sales and client reviews to bring your only the highest performing (top 5%) agents. In just two minutes, agents are screened based your specific criteria, including whether you’re buying or selling, whether or not they specialize in your target area, their skills and experience, and more.

All together, HomeLight claims their service can help you “find the perfect real estate agent” and save you time and hassle, while remaining 100% free—no catches.

Granted, it’s difficult to beat free. But even though HomeLight won’t cost you more than a few minutes of your time, does this still make them a good option for locating your next agent? Are there other similar services? You’ve got questions and in this review, we’ll uncover some answers.

Let’s start by looking at how the HomeLight process works.

How Does the HomeLight Matching Engine Work?

Here’s how the company describes it:

“HomeLight is the leading resource for finding objective agent performance data online. We've spent years collecting, normalizing and summarizing historical data across millions of transactions. With this unique data set, we apply statistical data analysis and machine learning methods to predict who will bring the most experience, expertise and negotiating power to your home transaction.”

Specifically, after answering a few simple questions, HomeLight’s Matching Engine searches and analyzes over 18 million transactions since 2009, along with 2 million agents and 200,000 brokerages, all aimed at matching you with an agent. It will look at things like recent listings an agent has completed, educational background and bios, customer reviews from individuals who have interacted with the agent, the agent’s transaction volume by year, and more.

Then, the Matching Engine filters the information into five different categories:

  • Location: In other words, someone who specializes in your current area, or the are where you’re looking to buy. Here’s how the company puts it: “Using spatial IP and geo-distance analysis, we can target real estate agents that have hyperlocal expertise within your city, neighborhood, and even those that know your street.”
  • Buy or sell: Here, HomeLight’s Matching Engine will filter results by the agent’s historical expertise, whether buying or selling.
  • Property Type: HomeLight will analyze transaction data “to identify agents’ expertise in your exact type of property,” whether single family, condominium, multi-family, and more.
  • Price: Any agent you choose must be familiar with your price range. After all, there can be huge differences in the needs of a luxury buyer versus a first-time homeowner.
  • Agent type: Finally, HomeLight wants to make sure that an agent’s personality matches your needs. For example, some clients might require an agent who can spend lots of time with them, while other might need a tough negotiator.

Finally, HomeLight’s machine learning algorithm will use “Bayesian statistical models to predict which agent will get the best results for you.” Then, you’ll be provided a personalized list of the best agents across all major brokerages in your area, who you can reach out to at your leisure.

Pro tip: HomeLight only returns results for agents employed by Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s, Keller Williams, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, and Re/Max. While these are certainly many of the largest firms in the industry, it’s certainly worth keeping in mind.

Sounds like a lot of technology, right? How much will it cost you to use HomeLight?

Is HomeLight Really Free?

If you’re a homebuyer or seller, then by all appearances, HomeLight is completely free to use in order to connect with local agents.

If you’re an agent, you can obtain leads from HomeLight with a 25% referral fee, while other real estate professionals (lenders, title companies, general contractors, moving companies, etc.) can advertise through the company.

Need help using HomeLight? The company claims to have a “team of dedicated real estate concierges with 50+ years of experience” standing by at (888) 998-1909.

Given its apparent usefulness and the fact that it’s completely free, are clients over the moon about HomeLight?

What Are HomeLight’s Clients Saying?

Although HomeLight was founded by Drew Uher in 2012 and is backed by huge investors like Google’s venture capital arm, there wasn’t a whole lot of online feedback about the company at the time of our research.

RealtyBizNews.com wrote a fairly in-depth review about their experience using the HomeLight website (they didn’t reach out to an agent). Overall, they liked the interface but were a bit on the fence about the number of questions they were asked. They also found that they received the same recommendations even after changing some of their criteria, although they concluded that HomeLight is the best “buyer-seller-agent conduit” they’ve ever seen.

Outside of this, there were 3 closed HomeLight complaints over at the Better Business Bureau, where the company had an A+ rating (as of 3/18/16). Of these, only two provided details, both of which referenced removing an agent’s information from the company’s database.

Is HomeLight a Shot in the Dark?

Like we mention above, it’s difficult to beat free. In other words, by giving HomeLight a try, your bank account won’t be any lighter, but you also won’t be able get back the time you spent.

Is HomeLight worth trying? Ultimately, that’s something only you can decide. But given the fact that they’ve been in business for more than three years and are backed by several industry giants, they might offer an easier, faster, and more accurate way of connecting you with an agent. Just remember that HomeLight currently only serves 38 U.S. markets, so you might have some difficulty locating agents in smaller markets.

Did you use HomeLight to locate an agent? If so, let’s do something about the lack of online feedback for the company. How? By writing your very own review below and adding to the conversation!

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11 Customer Reviews for HomeLight

Average Customer Rating: 3.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 8 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  3
Bottom Line: 73% would recommend it to a friend
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  • Easy process with a knowledgeable agent

    I moved to Connecticut for my work and was staying with a friend while I tried to sort out my own living situation. It was stressful, to say the least! I really wanted to turn things over to someone who knew the area well. I called HomeLight and ended up choosing the second agent who they introduced to me. She was nothing but helpful, and she went above and beyond through the whole process of helping me find my new home.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Good place to find a real estate agent

    HomeLight made it easy to find a good real estate agent.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Great service

    • Abilene, Texas,
    • Apr 17, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a great experience with HomeLight! I was at my wit's end because the real estate agent that my friend recommended had our home on the market for over a YEAR and the house didn't move. In desperation, I googled "home selling" and came across HomeLight. Right after I filled out the form, a rep called me immediately and explained to me that they have a network of top performing agents. She connected me to an agent in Abilene who has done a fantastic job marketing my home, so much so that it sold in less than two months and over listing!

    Thank you so much HomeLight!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    We are homeowners!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Apr 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife and I just bought our first home! Now that we are settled, I truly believe if not for HomeLight, this would have been a disaster.

    HomeLight had three real estate agents give us a call. We recognized the first agent from a for sale sign in the neighborhood (we have been stalking for homes) and felt comfortable meeting with him for a showing.

    During our first meeting, our agent introduced us to a lender who assisted us in some rather creative financing, and finally, we were pre-approved.

    40+ showings later we found the home because thankfully our agent pulled a not yet listed home out of his pocket. There was already an offer on the house, but our agent game up with a game plan and expert strategy. A few painless days of negotiating later and the offer was accepted.

    Our agent went above and beyond every step of the way. Bringing extra water bottles to every showing, talking us through a few emotional moments and being patient while learning our extremely picky tastes. Move in day arrived and our agent was there with Edible Arrangements and a much-needed bottle of wine in hand. He even helped me move a couch.

    After this experience, I understand why your decision in choosing a real estate agent is so important. Without his lender recommendation, knowledge of the neighborhood, speed of communication and patience with my wife and I, this all would have not been possible.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Thank you HomeLight!

    After accepting a new job in Boston, I had to put my first ever home on the market. I was nervous about moving to a new city and selling the home I fell in love with. After two months of meeting with real estate agents, only to leave feeling even more unsure and confused, a Google search brought me to HomeLight.

    I filled out the information about my home and was provided a list of agents that were experienced in my area. I met with a few of the agents already but noticed some good prospects. My phone rang, and it happened to be a rep from HomeLight on the other end. I was a bit taken aback, but they did an amazing job of walking me through each agent's experience and how they could be a great fit for my home. I admit I was a bit suspicious and even a little rude in the beginning (sorry!), but I couldn't argue with the stats. They even worked with me a few weeks later when it was time to find a buyer's agent in Boston!

    I ended up speaking with two agents they recommended, and during my meeting with #2, it took five whole minutes to know she was the one!

    Just a month and a half later my home was sold above list price and in time for my start date at the new job. I am now working with the most amazing agent in Boston and hope to place an offer on the most beautiful space tomorrow!

    Thank you HomeLight for introducing me to the best in the industry. You made this confusing time a life-changing adventure!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Great service, grateful for my agent

    • Austin, TX,
    • Apr 8, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife and I just moved to Austin from Brooklyn. We had no idea who to contact to help us find and buy a house. I saw a HomeLight TV ad and thought I'd give the service a try. It was free, so couldn't hurt, right? We interviewed the agents they suggested and ended up picking the first person we spoke to. We just moved into a house in the Old West Austin neighborhood and couldn't be more grateful to HomeLight for the experience.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 10, 2017

      HomeLight Admin, Customer Support

      Hello Winston,

      This is the HomeLight Support team! Thank you for using our service- we are beyond thrilled to learn that you had a great experience. Congratulations on your move! We hope you're enjoying your new home in the beautiful Austin weather!

      Best,

      HomeLight Support

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  • 5 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Not good

    I am a real estate broker and put in my information as a buyer. Of the top four real estate brokers recommended, only two lived in the area of my interest, the other two were from a city 220 miles from Clovis, NM. I wonder how knowledgeable people who live 220 miles from the market you want to buy in are about the market?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 10, 2017

      HomeLight Admin, Customer Support

      Hello Brett,

      This is the Support Team at HomeLight! We're sorry to hear that you had an unfortunate experience while using HomeLight and would like to thank you for reporting on it! We greatly appreciate feedback like this as our data is incredibly important to us and our clients' success.

      We're excited to announce that we recently rolled out the newest version of our client portal. With this, we are now able to pin-point and recommend agents with hyper-local experience to our clients. This will allow for even more accurate data to avoid situations like the one you described.

      We would be more than happy to assist you in setting up your agent account to ensure that you are visible to potential clients. If you'd like to do so, please contact one of our support specialists at [email protected]

      Best,

      HomeLight Support

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  • 5 out 10 people found this review helpful

    They deliver

    First things first; I work for a competitor, so it's actually not in my best interest to help my competitor. But, I have to because HomeLight is a solid system.

    They do exactly what they say they will, which is use a smart algorithm to match homeowners based on property, needs, and situation with an agent who best matches those needs. Most agents will not favor this since only 5% (give or take) are qualified to help niche specific clients.

    Many clients will not get this unless you understand your position, and value what you truly need. Refrain from bashing a company like HomeLight who works for free to help homeowners and agent alike.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 10, 2017

      HomeLight Admin, Customer Support

      Hello Darren,

      Thank you for sharing your great experience with HomeLight! We're so glad we were able to satisfy your home buying and/or selling needs. Have a great day.

      Best,

      HomeLight Support

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  • 19 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Agent perspective

    • High Desert, California,
    • Feb 12, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    As an agent in a non-urban market and not a member of a gigantic nationwide brokerage (and always looking for good leads), I signed up, signed their contract to give them 25% of any commission, and then discovered the back story.

    They sent me an Excel spreadsheet where I was to enter every detail of every transaction I'd ever had, including names, email addresses and phone numbers of every client for every transaction. If you've been an agent for a very long time, and especially if you've changed markets (I've gone from San Diego to the High Desert) or brokerages (I've been through several!), it's hard to remember them all, and often the records are with your previous brokers.

    Then, apparently, they take the list and vet your completed transactions by contacting the clients you listed. Ridiculous. If they vetted through the MLS, it would be more accurate, but they don't. Also, I don't want them calling all my past clients because it's invasive to them.

    Unless the agent completes every cell of every line for every sale they've made in their lives, no leads will be delivered. So, as a client user, you're not actually getting the benefit of being matched with every possible agent in your market, but with only the ones who have employees with enough time on their hands to fill out the ridiculous volume of data they demand. And, if the agent has not done millions and millions in sales, they're not considered "successful" and therefore not up to snuff for this website.

    So, an ethical, educated, and experienced agent who dedicates themselves to the personal needs of each and every client they serve is passed over in this service, and the client-seeking personal service never has the chance to engage with you. I was extremely disappointed, considering the big hype they tout, and am offended by the entire premise of their platform.

    I highly recommend that agents think twice before turning over all the personal information about their entire client base to this system, in expectation of getting those juicy leads they promise and don't deliver.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 10, 2017

      HomeLight Admin, Customer Support

      Hi CJ,

      This is the HomeLight Support Team! We're incredibly sorry to hear that you've had anything less than a stellar experience while using our service. We understand your concerns regarding our transaction upload system and have made strides to streamline this process!

      Recently, we have revamped our transaction uploading system so that it is easier to use, and requires much less information in order to successfully upload a transaction! Along with a handful of other data points, we no longer require an agent to provide their client's information to verify the transaction.

      HomeLight's data includes over 20 million real estate transactions in the US going back to 2009. This data comes from over 100 different sources, including several MLS's. We also perform semi-regular data updates to make sure our partnered agents have updated and relevant information within our agent portal.

      So while we encourage agents to upload their sales history, we do have many other sources so that agents can receive leads without having uploaded their sales history. However, we do recommend that agents upload their transaction history as this can only add to the accuracy of our data and their potential to match with a client.

      I hope this clears up any concerns you may have had while using our service. If you have any further questions, please fill free to reach out to one of our support specialists at [email protected]

      Best,

      HomeLight Support

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  • 7 out 12 people found this review helpful

    The premise sounds good, but no one acts on it?

    • Columbus, Ohio,
    • Feb 3, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    We are looking to retire and relocate to Ohio. The HomeLight invite we received by email seemed just the ticket to start our search. I answered it and filled out the questions it asked. I got a response right back, saying we would be contacted by a top realtor.

    We waited a week and received no email or call. Then they responded back again with the same thing, but I got no answer or call. I tried again the following week to get the same email and got more of the same no response!

    Sorry, but this seems to be just a scam for info.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 10, 2017

      HomeLight Admin, Customer Support

      Hello Jack,

      This is HomeLight's Support Team and we are sorry to hear that we didn't provide you with a 5-star experience. We greatly appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

      We have recently rolled out a new-and-improved version of our client portal to ensure a much more streamlined and enjoyable experience for our clients.

      If you'd like to give us another go, please feel free to contact one of our support specialists directly at [email protected] She will be more than happy to make sure your client satisfaction with HomeLight is fulfilled!

      Best,

      HomeLight Support

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  • 10 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Works as advertised

    Got introduced to 2 agents, both were very high quality. The one we selected conducted 3 open houses and had our home sold in under a month. Very happy with the result and definitely recommend the service.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 10, 2017

      HomeLight Admin, Customer Support

      Hello Michael,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with HomeLight! We're ecstatic that we were able to provide you with great agents that suited your needs while selling your home.

      Best

      HomeLight Support

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