There are no such things as free real estate leads. Well, that’s not exactly right, at least regarding upfront costs for leads.


Because there are providers in the market that offer real estate leads that you only have to pay when you close with them.

You then usually have to pay a referral fee that can range between 25% and 50% of the total gross commission.

In this article, I will discuss how this real estate leads paid at closing concept works, give you nine providers that offer this service, and show you the risks and benefits of using them.

You will also find out when it makes sense to use them and when not.

How Do Real Estate Leads Paid at Closing Work?

The concept is pretty simple.

Several providers in the market offer real estate leads at no upfront costs, and you only pay when you close a deal with the particular lead.

You then pay the provider a referral fee between 25% and 50% of your commission.

Some providers offer exclusive leads, while others don’t.

Depending on the exclusivity and the quality of leads, providers can be quite picky and don’t accept any real estate professional as a client for that.

It can also happen that they attach some conditions to the usage of the lead.

For example, they might also want you to pay further referral fees if the lead they referred becomes a repeat customer.

So, you often don’t really “own” the lead you get.

Something interesting to consider is that in the end, real estate leads you pay when you close are practically real estate referrals, a topic I already covered in my article “How to Crush It With Real Estate Referrals for More Profits” and “How to Do Cross Marketing in Real Estate.”

And you can use the below companies or do it independently.

In the latter case, you can use the tips in the two mentioned articles, such as identifying real estate professionals or professionals linked with real estate (e.g., contractors, other (busy) agents, mortgage lenders, insurance agents, etc.) and strike a collaboration deal where your referral partner receives a commission share when you close a lead they referred to you.

Additionally, you can set up your own real estate lead referral program by integrating different solutions into your website, such as for example Referral Factory (more in my article about referrals you can find above).

9 Providers that Offer Real Estate Leads Paid at Closing

In this section, I will give you an overview of 9 providers that offer real estate leads paid at closing.


1) Opcity Real Estate Leads, Now

Opcity is now part of The lead generation services they offer are mainly for real estate brokers.

They offer a product called “ReadyConnect Concierge” that includes pre-screened real estate leads with no upfront costs.

This service product works as follows:

  • pre-screens sellers and buyers live over the phone (leads are contacted within seconds and qualified with regards to price point, buyer intent, location, and more).
  • Suitable agents are identified, notified and matched with the specific client.
  • The real estate agent can then connect with the client directly over the phone.

The next lead generation service product is the so-called “ReadyConnect Lead Accelerator”, but it basically does the same thing as “Ready Connect Concierge” so it’s a bit confusing using two different names for actually the same product.

Nevertheless, this service offers paid at closing real estate leads, but only at brokerage level meaning that a solo agent would have only access to these services through their particular broker they are working with.

Which brings me to the fees. doesn’t disclose on their website what the exact fees are after you close a deal with one of their leads.

The only information I found about the fees was on this page (source).

Here, they repeatedly refer to interested clients to direct the questions with regards to fees to their broker.

The referral agreement is also done at the broker level.

Fees seem to vary depending on different factors, as stated on realtor’s website:

“These fees are determined at the broker level and vary based on a variety of factors, including promotional referrals we may be testing in a given market.”

“Fees for referrals are determined at the broker level and vary based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to our investment in technology and manpower to purchase, pre-screen and match our online leads.”


2) Zillow Flex

Zillow Flex is another real estate leads paid at closing service, which is active in only a few selected markets, such as Pueblo, CO, Fort Collins, CO, Norwich, CT, New Haven CT, Phoenix, AZ, and Atlanta, GA.

You can use this service as a Zillow Premier Agent or as a broker client.

If you are not a Premier Agent, you can put yourself on a sort of waiting list. Zillow calls it an interest list.

As an agent using this service, you will have to update Zillow about your progress toward a closing.

Once you close, you will need to pay a 20 to 35% referral fee (source). The percentage depends on the transaction price in the state you conduct business in. 

Zillow will track your success rate of the leads they give you since they mention on their FAQ page that as an agent or brokerage with a high closing rate, they will give you a larger share of leads from a particular market.

Before Zillow will send you a new lead, they qualify the potential client and check if they are ready to work with an agent. This is done in the same way as using Zillow lead generation just as Zillow Premier Agent.

You can learn more about Zillow Flex here.


3) HomeLight

HomeLight is the next provider.

They give a bit more details about the process to become an agent that can receive referrals.

In order to find the agent that is best for their buyers, they analyze many different transactions (27 million to be exact) and several thousand reviews.

A matching algorithm is used to find the right fit between agents and qualified referrals.

The algorithm takes many different performance metrics and other data points into consideration such as:

  • Your transaction volume by year
  • The average number of days on the market (related to properties)
  • Based on historical transactions, the price point, property type, and geographic expertise
  • The overall success rate with HomeLight referrals
  • The relation between the average sales price and average listing price
  • Reviews from past clients
  • Your response time to HomeLight referrals

So, the better these metrics are, the more referrals you can get with HomeLight.

When you close with a HomeLight referral, you will have to pay a standard broker-to-broker referral fee, which is 33% of half of the total gross commission, hence 16.5% (source).

This referral fee triggers within three years of the date of the referral and includes multiple transactions.

You can learn more about HomeLight here.


4) AgentHarvest

AgentHarvest has a slightly stronger focus on listing referrals.

More than 60% belong to this category and are single family listings in 95% of the cases.

Furthermore, the majority of these referral leads actually want to work with agents, and not just want to use them to gather information.

As with the other providers above, the referral fee (in this case, 25% of the total gross commission) is due at closing, and nothing else has to be paid upfront.

AgentHarvest works only with three agents per geographic area, and the referrals are all sent to these agents at the same time once generated.

Besides listing referrals, the company can also provide you with residential lease referrals at a reduced referral fee of 15%.

You can find further information about AgentHarvest here.


5) Navy Federal – Realty Plus

To get into Navy Federal Realty Plus is not that easy for solo agents as the service is rather addressed to brokers.

The broker first needs to be affiliated with Navy Federal brands, and also needs to have a 96% satisfaction rating or better to get into the referral program.

As per the official website, Better Homes, Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA Real Estate, and Corcoran are currently affiliated with them.

Once a referral is closed, a referral fee becomes due. The amount of the referral fee is not disclosed on the website.

You can learn more about this provider here.


6) Clever

Clever is one of the providers that has quite an interesting fee structure that differs a bit from that of the others.

As with all the other providers, you pay of course nothing upfront.

When you close a home for less than $350,000 you pay a $3,000 flat listing fee. If you close one for more than that, the fee is 1.5%.

To get into their referral program, you don’t need to be a broker but will also have requirements to fulfill similar to those of other providers, such as:

  • Great reviews from past sellers
  • Having above-average local market knowledge
  • Being a full-time agent that has more than five years of experience
  • Having a high technological affinity
  • Being an above average negotiator

As of now, Clever has more than 7,000 agents in the referral program nationwide.

You can learn more about them here.


7) UpNest

More than 30,000 real estate agents use UpNest to receive pre-screened transaction-ready clients at no upfront costs.

The company itself is a registered brokerage and covers all 50 states of the U.S.

The company generates both seller and buyer clients, and you can communicate with them with the help of UpNest’s app when you are on the move.

Additionally, as an agent, you will have access to an UpNest Advisor that helps you to improve your profile, increase your conversion rate, or help connect with clients.

To be able to work with UpNest as an agent, they also have some requirements you will need to fulfill.

However, they are not as strict as Clever.

The requirements are:

  • An active real estate experience of a minimum of 3 years
  • A real estate license in good standing
  • Great communication skills and a fast response time
  • 6 transactions in the past 12 months
  • Local market knowledge and expertise
  • Knowledge about online marketing techniques and strategies
  • Positive online reviews
  • Being tech savvy (e.g. a good online presence)

For their service, UpNest charges a referral fee of 30% at the close of a successful transaction.

The fee is based on the total commission the agent receives before a broker split is applied.

When you close a transaction, the referral fee is due 18 months after receiving the particular referred client.

You can learn more about UpNest here.


8) Agent Pronto

The next provider is called Agent Pronto.

They work similar to all the other ones above and match referrals with the right agent.

The selection of the agent is based on her or his profile, such as service areas, production levels, specialties, client preferences, customer ratings, communication, and other criteria.

Once they have a new lead or referral for you, you get notified via email and text message.

The information that will be shared is the first name, city, estimated budget, and a link to a page where you can decide if you accept the referral or not.

There will also be a referral fee which ranges between 25-35% of the gross referred-side commission (source).

After acceptance, you will receive full access to the client’s contact information.

Agent Pronto also asks you to update your progress with the respective client on a regular basis.

You can learn more about Agent Pronto here.


9) Agent FixUp

Agent FixUp seems to be less competitive for agents than is the case with other paid at closing lead providers.

They only refer one agent in their network to each client.

As is the case with other providers, leads or referrals are pre-screened and matched to the right agent.

The company seems also to be more city-focused and operates in more than 200 cities across the United States.

When you close one of their referrals, you will need to pay a 25% broker-to-broker referral fee.

No further information is disclosed for how long afterward this referral fee can be triggered.

When it comes to agent onboarding, they only ask about how many transactions you have done in the last 12 months.

The rest is just your contact information.

But this doesn’t mean that they don’t take any further performance-based information into consideration.

Because when you look for realtors from a client’s (e.g., seller’s) perspective, you can filter them based on having a lot of experience, getting you the best price, having great communication, and the ability to close fast.

You can learn more about Agent Fixup here.


10) Rocket Homes Verified Partner Network

The Rocket Homes℠ Verified Partner Agent Network comprises top-rated and experienced real estate agents from over 3,000 counties across all 50 states. 

Their strong broker relationships result in high-quality referrals that outperform industry norms. They offer clients exclusive benefits such as mortgage approval, full contact information confirmation, verified purchase timeframes, no upfront fees, and dedicated support from referral to closing. 

To join and maintain eligibility in the network, you must meet strict requirements, including working for an eligible brokerage, having at least 24 months of full-time experience, completing a minimum of eight closed transactions in the past 12 months, undergoing Verified Partner Agent training, and maintaining a high client satisfaction rating.

Here you can learn more about Rocket Homes.


11) Effective Agents

Effective Agents is a real estate platform connecting home sellers and buyers with top-performing agents in their local area. 

The platform uses a data-driven approach to analyze agents’ performance based on their transaction history, customer reviews, and other relevant factors. 

By doing so, Effective Agents helps clients find experienced and successful real estate agents who can effectively assist them with their home buying or selling needs.

Home sellers and buyers can use the platform to request a personalized list of recommended agents specifically tailored to their unique requirements and local market conditions. 

This enables clients to make informed decisions when choosing an agent, ultimately leading to better outcomes in their real estate transactions.

In summary, Effective Agents is a real estate platform that leverages data-driven analysis to match home sellers and buyers with top-performing local real estate agents, ensuring clients receive expert assistance and guidance throughout their home buying or selling journey.

You, as an agent, receive real estate leads you only pay when you close.

Here you can check out Effective Agents.


12) Referral Cloud

Referral Cloud is a platform that connects real estate agents with high-quality referrals from multiple sources. It aims to help agents grow their business by providing them with a steady stream of potential clients. 

The platform gathers leads from various referral partners, such as real estate websites, lead generation companies, and other industry-related sources.

Using Referral Cloud, you can save time and effort searching for potential clients and focus on closing deals. The platform is designed to streamline the referral process, ensuring that agents receive relevant leads tailored to their expertise and target market. You can manage your referrals, track progress, and communicate with potential clients through the platform’s interface.

You pay a 35% referral fee when you close.

Here you can check out Referral Cloud.


13) Referral Exchange

Referral Exchange is a real estate platform that connects you with referral opportunities, allowing you to expand your network and grow your business. 

The platform is designed to facilitate the exchange of referrals between agents across the United States, enabling them to capitalize on leads they may not have been able to serve otherwise.

By joining Referral Exchange, you can submit your client referrals and receive referral fees when the referred client successfully completes a transaction with another agent within the network. Likewise, you can also receive referrals from other agents, which can help you generate more business and increase your income.

Referral Exchange uses technology and a dedicated support team to match clients with suitable agents based on location, experience, and expertise. 

This ensures that clients receive professional assistance tailored to their specific needs, ultimately leading to better outcomes in their real estate transactions.

When you close a referred client from Referral Exchange, you pay a 35% referral fee (source).

Here you can learn more about Referral Exchange.


14) Fast Expert

Fast Expert is another real estate platform that matches home buyers and sellers with highly-rated, experienced local agents. 

The platform uses data-driven analysis, considering agents’ performance history and customer feedback to pinpoint the most suitable professionals for clients’ real estate requirements.

By offering a tailored list of recommended agents based on clients’ preferences, location, and property needs, Fast Expert streamlines the process of finding a skilled real estate agent. 

This enables clients to make well-informed decisions when choosing an agent, leading to more efficient and successful real estate transactions.

Additionally, Fast Expert supports real estate agents in expanding their business by connecting them with potential clients in their local market. 

Agents can join the platform to access qualified leads, boost their visibility, and grow their professional network.

If you close referred leads, you pay a 25% referral fee (source), and here you can check out Fast Expert.

The Referral Fees of the 9 Providers at A Glance

The 4 Benefits and 3 Risks of Using This Type of Real Estate Leads

Getting to the end of this article, I would like to also provide you with a list of the benefits and risks of the above-discussed providers.


The Four Benefits

  • Because you don’t have upfront costs, there is no monetary risk when it comes to generating leads.
  • Higher chances of getting better quality leads, because if the provider doesn’t give you quality, they don’t get paid.
  • You save time by not having to work on your real estate marketing and lead generation methods and strategies.
  • Higher chances of receiving exclusive leads.

The Three Risks

  • Unfortunately, real estate starters and intermediates that usually have a much higher need for leads will often not get in these programs. As you could see above, they mostly want top agents.
  • Referral fees can be pretty high, and depending on your sales and follow-up skills, it might be a better bet to pay for leads upfront with other providers.
  • Depending on the referral agreement with such providers, you may have to pay further referral fees from future transactions. You also might not be allowed to market to them long term (e.g. past client marketing).

Conclusion and Final Tips

As an advanced and experienced real estate agent, it can make sense to use providers that offer you leads paid at closing provided you know your key performance indicators.


Because if you know how good you are when it comes to your sales and follow-up skills you might also want to choose a provider that doesn’t have too many strings attached and wouldn’t charge a referral fee too far into the future from the date of the first referral sent to you.

Of course, I wouldn’t use one of these services if you have already a well-oiled and tested real estate marketing machine in place that generates good leads on a consistent basis.

Overall, I would make this decision dependent on the marketing ROI you have in your business.

real estate leads paid at closing

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher

Tobias Schnellbacher

Author & Founder

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