How we rate companies:
To be TOP RATED a company must most criteria listed below. Some criteria have more weight than others. 3rd party referral sites are automatically rated low as most are not legit real estate companies.
#1 BBB A+ Accredited Business
#2 5+ years in business
#3 3rd party reviews (found on site)
#4 offer a full service option
#5 cannot be a 3rd party referral site (they take your order and sell your listing to a broker)
#6 some companies charge "back end" fees and it is not openly disclosed on their site. Typically it's the companies that are the cheapest. What we see, they cheapest companies have the worst reviews, charge back end fees, therefore recieve the worst ratings.
BBB The Better Business Bureau is the best source for company credibility. Before they accept members, they have a stringent vetting process. Any company that has been accredited by the BBB is a great first step towards credibility. The reviews on the BBB site are not editable by the company owner.
When a company has been in business 5+ years, this can be a sign they are doing something correctly.
Many companies copy and paste reviews on their site. This is not a good sign because they only post the good reviews. When you dig deeper into their reviews on the internet, most of the time, they have bad reviews, and this is why they do not post a link to their "real reviews". The companies that do not post the link to 3rd party reviews are normally hiding something and cannot receive a good rating.
A good flat fee company must offer an affordable "full service" plan in case you need help. Real estate transactions can get very complicated and what we find, many sellers think they know what they are doing, but in reality, they have no clue on how to price, understand contracts and how the REALTOR® system works.
3rd party referral sites are not even real estate companies. They advertise for listings then sell your lising to the lowest bidder in your state. Normally they pay the listing broker $50-$100 and the site that you paid keeps the rest of the money. You are being "middle maned" and do know even know it. You cannot interview your actual broker before you list. these companies automatically receive a bad rating. They are not legit.