What is HomeLight? An overview for sellers and buyers

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Today, there are hundreds of websites that make it easier for buyers and sellers alike to navigate the complications of real estate. Some help buyers find their dream homes, some connect potential sellers with agents, and many offer concierge services to make the entire process simpler.

HomeLight is a full-service website that began by presenting and ranking Realtors based on data. Today, that remains their core service but millions in venture capital has helped HomeLight expand its services and offerings to both buyers and sellers. Users have offered many HomeLight reviews, which we use to examine HomeLight as a service.

What is HomeLight?

HomeLight is an online real estate company that offers a core service of matching home buyers and sellers with real estate agents in their local area. It facilitates interviews and agent comparisons so you can find the best real estate agent for your situation.

Like all other agent matching services, HomeLight is free to use until you’ve formally signed up. Of course, you’ll have to pay commission fees for your agent. Unlike other services, however, HomeLight doesn’t offer a discount on commissions, so you’ll still pay the same as you would if you found an agent on your own.

In addition to referral fees from the core agent matching service, HomeLight makes money through offering home loans, trade-ins to simplify buying your next home, and, what it calls “the first instant buyer marketplace,” Simple Sale. This is by far its biggest service beyond agent matching.

Basically, Simple Sale competes with Zillow and Opendoor, referring homebuying companies that are willing to pay cash for properties to sellers that are looking to move quickly. By offering to be a middle-man, HomeLight earns a commission. Motivated sellers, however, might get a better offer by cutting out the middle-man and going directly to a cash-for-homes website.

How does HomeLight work?

HomeLight’s agent matching service is pretty straightforward, helping you find a list of local agents within minutes based on factors like your location, target price range, and desired sale timeline. The process is similar for both buyers and sellers:

  1. Enter information about the property you’re trying to sell or the type of property you’d like to buy; you’ll instantly get a list of up to three qualified agents.
  2. Choose to compare these three agents or request additional agents.
  3. Review your agents with HomeLight’s available information.
  4. Choose your agent.

HomeLight provides information about agents including their experience, brokerage, the number of homes they’ve sold in your area, any achievements they’ve earned, and how many HomeLight clients they’ve worked with.

You can speak with any agent by phone, email, or through HomeLight’s chat platform if you’d like to interview them. Most of the time, though, agents will reach out to you first to pitch themselves. Within a few hours, a HomeLight concierge may contact you to discuss your matches if you haven’t made a choice right away.

Basically, as soon as you use HomeLight’s service, you will be inundated with marketing materials so make sure you’re ready to buy or sell before going through the process. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed after clicking anything on Zillow, expect the same from HomeLight.

How much does HomeLight cost?

Using the basic agent matching service is free except for the time you’ll spend sorting through the spam. HomeLight gets paid after you sell or buy a home.

However, unlike some other services, HomeLight doesn’t offer any discounts on agent fees. You’ll still pay the full commission and the agent will pay a referral fee to HomeLight for connecting you with them.

Some of HomeLight’s other services, however, like HomeLight Trade-In and HomeLight Simple Sale will cost fees depending on the sale.

Pros and cons of HomeLight

Pros

  • The largest library of real estate agents in the nation so there’s a good chance you’ll find a quality agent.
  • When you find an agent quickly, you can manage the real estate process more quickly, too.
  • Simple online tools make it easy to find relevant data that is important to you and compare agents.
  • You can get up to five agent matches, which is more than most other agent matching services offer.

Cons

  • Sometimes, a library can be too big. Since there’s little vetting of the agents who join HomeLight, customers sometimes are less-than-thrilled with their options.
  • Spam is a serious problem with HomeLight, with customers often bombarded by emails, texts, and phone calls after signing up. Emails aren’t as easy to unsubscribe from as you think.
  • Convenience isn’t necessarily worth it when other options offer discounts on real estate agents.

Is HomeLight legitimate?

It’s not perfect but HomeLight is, of course, legitimate. It’s the largest agent matching service in America and a licensed brokerage based out of San Francisco. All agents on the service are required to have an active broker license, even if vetting isn’t exceptional.

Although it is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it does have an A rating and a 3.95/5 customer rating. Those are pretty decent reviews and speak to the service that HomeLight offers both real estate agents and potential homebuyers and sellers.

HomeLight vs. Orchard

HomeLight and Orchard use different means to reach the same goals: Making real estate easier for everyone. 

While HomeLight primarily accomplishes this by putting buyers and sellers in touch with agents, Orchard itself has a team of local, in-house agents in many markets. Orchard’s concierge service helps sellers become buyers without any of the awkward periods between selling a home and moving into a new one.

→ How does Orchard work?

Orchard helps sellers unlock the equity in their home to make a strong offer on the next home they want to buy.. That way, they can close on and move into a new home before selling, and then pass all the hard work of preparing and selling the old home on to Orchard. Orchard’s experts take all the hard work out of your hands.

HomeLight offers services to facilitate selling your home, but it doesn’t offer the same kind of high-touch, personalized service. Whether one or the other meets your needs better in a particular market or situation is up to you. 

Orchard gives a guaranteed cash offer — and so much more

On top of a guaranteed sale, 95% of Orchard customers sell for more on the open market.

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Buy a new home knowing you’ve sold your current one

Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.

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Orchard gives a guaranteed cash offer — and so much more

On top of a guaranteed sale, 95% of Orchard customers sell for more on the open market.

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How much can I make selling my home?

Use our home sale calculator to estimate your net proceeds.

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Don’t navigate the market alone

Our Home Advisors are experienced local agents who know how to sell for top dollar and help win your dream home.

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Let’s match you with a real estate agent

All Orchard Home Advisors are experienced agents who know your local market inside and out. Request a consult today.

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Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

Close faster with a cash offer

Did you know cash offers are 4x more likely to be chosen by a seller? Let us help you make one on your next home.

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Orchard can help you avoid overpaying additional selling and moving costs
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Estimated Net Proceeds
$0
Home Sale Price
$0
Total Cost to Sell
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Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

Find out what your home is really worth

Orchard’s home value estimates are 30% more accurate than our competitors.

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Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

Curious what your monthly mortgage payment would be?

Orchard Home Loans shops the market to find your best rates.

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Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

Stand out to sellers with a cash offer

A cash offer is 4x more likely to be chosen by a seller. Get qualified today.

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Orchard can help you avoid overpaying additional selling and moving costs
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Estimated Net Proceeds
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Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

Don’t miss out on your dream home

Make a cash offer now, and Orchard will sell your old home after you move.

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Orchard can help you avoid overpaying additional selling and moving costs
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Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

Your dream home is waiting for you

Tell us your must-haves to see personalized home recommendations that meet your criteria.

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Other Costs to Consider
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Orchard can help you avoid overpaying additional selling and moving costs
$0
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Estimated Net Proceeds
$0
Home Sale Price
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Total Cost to Sell
$0
Get my free valuation
Orchard is 30% more accurate than the rest.

The stress-free way to buy and sell

With Orchard, secure your dream home before you list. Avoid home showings, rentals, and double moves.

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