A For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is a property sold by the owner without the assistance of a realtor. Sellers tend to go this route because they want to save money and avoid paying real estate commissions. Generally, a seller has to pay both the buyer and seller agent commissions, which adds up to as much as 6% of the sale price of the home. To put this in perspective, a seller has to pay roughly $12,000 in commission for a house that sold for $200,000.
In a successful FSBO deal, the seller gets away with only paying for the buyer’s agent. Sellers who go this route have to list their homes themselves online, but knowing which sites are the best isn’t easy. Before committing to doing FSBO, you’ll want to find adequate FSBO websites and do extensive research on them.
What to Look for in a FSBO Site
Some key factors to look at are how much it costs to list your property on the site, what properties can be listed, as well as features that the site has. For example, how easy the search functionality is and how buyers can categorize search results to better suit their interests. You might also want to look at general traffic on each site to make sure it’s one that buyers actually use.
Zillow has been around since 2004 and is among the nation’s leading real estate sites. Even though it’s not a FSBO-specific site, they have features that allow sellers to list FSBO properties. It’s also free to use and allows you to easily manage your property from any device.
All you have to do is create an account, then begin uploading photos and putting in the description details, such as the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and amenities. Compared to most FSBO sites, the final listings on Zillow is visually appealing. Zillow also gives you a Zestimate for your property, which is an estimated market value using their proprietary formula.
Trulia is another real estate site that is very popular among buyers and sellers. What sets Trulia apart from other sites is how they categorize listings. A buyer can search for homes in their preferred region or anywhere in the country, and categorize their search results by features like homes with hardwood floors or Victorian style exteriors. Homes are also sorted by neighborhood crime rates, popularity, and location.
As a seller, all of these features come in handy because you can highlight qualities about your house that set you apart from other sellers. When it comes time to list your home for sale, Trulia directs you to their partner site, Zillow, and then the rest gets handled by Trulia. Now you have your listing automatically applied to do different high-traffic real estate sites.
FSBO.com is a global site that has been in business for more than 20 years. Its main goal is to connect buyers and sellers of FSBOs in a cost-effective manner. FSBO.com is great for sellers who want to sell their home on a well-known, dedicated FSBO site. It’s a good idea to use this site in conjunction with other FSBO sites.
There are two packages that sellers can choose from. The first package is $99.95 for 12 months and includes unlimited photos and one video. The second package is an MLS package, which lists the house on the MLS, Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com for six months for $399.95.
While this is a FSBO site, the six-month package does come with a realtor’s commission, which is set upfront and is usually an additional 2% of the sales price. Yard signs are included as well.
HomeFinder is a marketplace connecting buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. It has been in business for 15 years. Some users have noted a lack of inventory in certain areas, but HomeFinder is fairly simple to use and it cost only $39 per month to list your home. Compared to sites like Redfin where you pay some commission, this can save you a great deal of money.
HomeFinder also has an auction section and links to preferred mortgage lenders. Their monthly fee includes one listing with a description and property photos. The listings are aesthetically pleasing and look like what you’d in a real estate magazine.
Overall, Homefinder is great for property owners who want an affordable and easy-to-use site to list their property on. However, their monthly traffic is only in the 900,000 range, so it might benefit you to list on another site as well as HomeFinder.
For Sale By Owner
For Sale By Owner claims that it is the leading FSBO site in the United States. It has been around since 1999 and is backed by the Tribune Publishing Company. Here you can list residential properties like single-family homes, condos, and townhouses. For Sale by Owner is right for you if you want to list or buy a property on a site exclusively for FSBOs.
The site is easy to use and offers a free 14-day trial. After the trial ends, or if you chose to forego the trial, you can choose from one of their listing packages. Their packages are $99 per month or one-time fees of $349 or $499. Packages include unlimited photos, yard signs, and customized brochures. The $499 package also includes listing your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Doing a FSBO doesn’t have to be hard. Finding the right listing site and doing proper research can help things run smoothly. One thing to think about is the fact that buyers tend to ask sellers for a lower listing price if they know they’re doing FSBO.
In this case, you can actually earn more money by choosing to work with a real estate agent. In fact, research has shown that sellers who work with a real estate agent can make as much as 33% more for their homes than those who opt for FSBO.
If you are ready to sell your home but don’t know which route to take, consult with a real estate agent. To help you find a quality agent that works for a low commission, work with Clever. You’ll get matched with an experienced Partner Agent in your area who can help you sell your home, while only asking for a flat-fee commission of $3,000 or 1% on homes over $350,000.