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!


Read 613 HomeLight Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 551 4 star: 23 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  36
Bottom Line: 94% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 613
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  • This company is actively collecting reviews from its customers. All reviews submitted are subject to moderation and approval to ensure they meet our Review Guidelines.
  • 43 out 47 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

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      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 mary@Homelight.com.

      Best,

      HomeLight Support


  • 24 out 34 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

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      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 mary@homelight.com.

      Best,

      HomeLight Support


  • 20 out 24 people found this review helpful

    Jeff Galindo is awful!

    I am a first-time buyer. This site recommended Jeff Galindo to me. However, after having to chase him down repeatedly to get him to answer my questions, he finally became impatient with me, said I was being too negative and said he couldn't work like this and dropped me, including dropping the house I was scheduled to see the next day. I now have a REAL agent, elsewhere.

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

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  • 20 out 23 people found this review helpful

    Illegal

    • California,
    • Sep 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    HomeLight uses my name and information. My client put their information into HomeLight. HomeLight sent an email stating that would forward his information to me. He put my phone number in and then they called from an 818 area code and recommended other agents. Illegal to use my name and scam people, while pretending to work with me. They do not have my permission to use my name and company information. Using my name to prosper is highly illegal.

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

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    • Sep 26, 2017

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      Hi Pamela,

      HomeLight's data includes over 20 million real estate transactions in the US going back to 2009. This data comes from over 100 different public sources. As a licensed agent, your history of closed transactions and professional details are available to the public. If you do have a pre-generated profile on HomeLight it means you were identified as a top performing agent in your local market.

      Regarding your experience, HomeLight employees a team of expert account executives that will place a call to each client to have a qualifying conversation and ensure their motivation to transact before introducing them to an agent. If we identify a phone number to be that of a real estate agent we will not introduce the client to an agent until we are able to verify the validity of the inquiry.

      We have removed your HomeLight profile from public search results effective immediately. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together or have any further questions, please reach out to nick@homelight.com.


  • 17 out 22 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

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      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 Mary@HomeLight.com. She will be more than happy to make sure your client satisfaction with HomeLight is fulfilled!

      Best,

      HomeLight Support


  • 17 out 20 people found this review helpful

    HomeLight is no good

    I had to sell my home of many years. I saw the HomeLight commercials and decided to give them a try.

    They contacted me with an agent that was supposed to be a super sell with an agency of lots of realtors in the group. A month later my house still hasn't been sold, and I am now taking a drastic price cut. Very disappointed with my realtor. Not one person in his agency has even bothered to show the house.

    If you are serious about selling your home, don't waste your time with HomeLight. You will be sadly disappointed.

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

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    • Sep 26, 2017

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      Hi Jacquline,

      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 try to match our clients with 2-4 top agents in their area in order to help them execute the best strategy when it comes to buying or selling their homes.

      Since you did not have a great experience with the agent provided to you, I am more than happy to look into connecting you with other top agents in the area.

      Please feel free to reach out to me anytime via email at nicholas@homelight.com.

      Best regards,

      Nicholas


  • 17 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Poor and rude customer service

    • Bethesda, MD,
    • Sep 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used HomeLight to find a local agent for my house. They matched me with two agents who I then subsequently "interviewed." When I determined that neither of the recommended agents were suitable, I called HomeLight and asked them to refer me to additional agents. However, they refused and told me that I had to use one of the two original referrals. The customer service rep then told me that if I don't find these agents suitable, then maybe HomeLight is not for me and then quickly hung up without explanation.

    Overall, I find the experience to be inadequate and list of recommended agents way too thin compared to the vast number of very qualified and outside agents I know that are in my area, which is one of the hottest real estate market in the country.

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

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    • Sep 26, 2017

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      Hi Richard,

      I'm sorry to hear you have had anything less than a terrific experience so far. I can assure you that delivering outstanding customer service is one of our highest priorities here at HomeLight.

      We try to match our clients with multiple agents in their area in order to help them execute the best strategy when it comes to buying or selling their home. If you're not happy or just aren't confident in your decision after speaking with the first couple of agents, then we are more than happy to get you connected with other top agents in your area.

      I will try to reach out to you via phone over the next few days but if we do not connect, please feel free to reach out to me anytime via email at nicholas@homelight.com and I will assist in any way I can.

      Best,

      HomeLight Support


  • 17 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Cold calls!

    My experience has been awful and exactly what I did not want. Once they have your name and number the phone won't stop ringing. The majority of agents calling aren't even in my state or region. I do not accept restricted or unfamiliar calls anymore. I wish that I had never signed on to the website. I guard my personal information, especially my cell phone number, and now it's out there making the rounds.

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

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  • 13 out 15 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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  • 13 out 16 people found this review helpful

    HomeLight is a lead generation service for agents

    • Richmond, VA,
    • Jan 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I began my home search, I came across HomeLight. After interviewing a few different agents, it became clear that the agents I found on HomeLight were not "experts" and or did not even have any prior sales or experience in my desired area. After meeting with a couple of agents NOT on HomeLight, I realized that any good agent in my metro area has just as much access to the market and was just as experienced and qualified as those who were found on HomeLight.

    Basically, HomeLight is another of many lead generation services designed to generate business for real estate agents who pay to be on their site, much like Zillow or Trulia or Realtor.com. The agents on this site are not necessarily the top-rated agents in their area, but instead, have just paid to be listed on HomeLight and bought a zip code. This seems pretty disingenuous, and their marketing is misleading. I'm not saying that there are not any agents that are experienced/knowledgeable in a certain area, because I am sure that plenty of good agents have paid for their leads on the site, but what I have found is that just because an agent is on the site doesn't mean they actually ARE an expert in any area of the market.

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

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    • Jan 8, 2018

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      Hi Brian, We're sorry you had a bad experience with our agent matching service. We only recommend agents at the top of the field, and this is based on their actual transaction history. Agents cannot pay to be featured on our site, which keeps our recommendations for top local agents completely objective.


  • 12 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Rude service from HomeLight employee

    After submitting my information and receiving a phone call from a HomeLight employee, I am not impressed at all. I simply asked her how HomeLight makes their commission and if realtors were chosen or paid for this selective service. She answered me but told me that I was hostile for asking questions. Then she proceeded to ask me personal questions, which I deemed unanswerable. She then angrily told me that I was not a match to be a client because I was combative. I have a $650,000.00 house that I wish to put up for sale. Please retrain your front line telephone employees who screen prospective clients.

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

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    • Jan 3, 2018

      Company Response from HomeLight, Inc.

      We're so sorry you had a bad experience and we would love a chance to do better. We'd be happy to re-connect you with the top agents who would be more than happy to help you sell your home. We'd also like you to know that we're looking into what happened here and we're taking the necessary actions to follow up. Thank you for your feedback!


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