ListingSpark is a listing platform that offers FSBO services to nine major markets in Texas. Founded in 2013, ListingSpark made a big name for itself as a "$7 per day" listing service. Recently, the company restructured its payment tiers and now offers a slew of listing services for a whopping $1,500–$3,000.
Bottom line: Do we recommend ListingSpark?
ListingSpark’s basic package, Spark Plan, seems like a good deal for experienced FSBO sellers, though the price is higher than most listing services. For about $1,500, the package comes with almost everything you need to sell your home: such as listing on the MLS and 1,000 other listing sites (such as Zillow), closing assistance, and a 150-point marketing plan that matches your listing with buyers. The only essential service missing is pricing assistance.
The Premium Plan, however, is not worth the extra $1,500 — even with pricing assistance. You’re better off selling your home with a professional real estate agent who charges a discounted commission rate.
Is listing spark legit?
ListingSpark is a legitimate company based in Austin, Texas.
Founded by Aaron Jistel in 2013, ListingSpark began as a pay-by-the-day listing service, advertising a low rate of $7 per day. This was misleading, however, as sellers actually paid by the billing cycle (28 days) for a total of $196 per cycle.
The company has since then restructured its payment tier and no longer offers pay-by-the-day services.
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ListingSpark vs. top FFMLS alternatives
|FFMLS company||Locations||Avg. customer review||Listing fee|
|Homecoin||CA, FL, GA, MI, MO, NY, NC, SC, TN, VA, WI||4.9||$95+|
|Beycome||AL, CA, CT, FL, GA, MN, NC, SC||4.3||$99-499 + 1%|
Quality of service
|📊 Our rating: 4/5
ListingSpark offers sellers in Texas a slew of good services, even with its basic plan. The Spark Plan can be ideal for experienced FSBO sellers who just want some assistance with closing. But you won't get pricing assistance or a comparative marketing analysis (CMA).
We don’t recommend the Premium Plan. For double the cost of the basic plan, you'll get pricing assistance, and a real estate professional will review your listing, answer your questions, and offer guidance. But for that price, you might get as much support from a full-service discount broker.
The other premium services (such as photography and open house signage) are nonessential and not worth the extra cost.
|Services||Spark Plan ($1,499)||Premium Plan ($2,999)|
|Listing on real estate websites||✅||✅|
|Listing and photography review||❌||✅|
|Open house signs||❌||✅|
|Title and escrow services||✅||✅|
ListingSpark also offers sellers assistance with closing, which includes title and escrow services. This can actually be a really good deal: title services alone can account for 0.62% of the home’s final sale price, or an average of $1,963. The only downside is that you have to use ListingSpark’s own service, Spark Title, which may or may not be the best value for your dollar.
|📊 Our rating: 4/5
Both ListingSpark plans will list your home on the MLS and over 1,000 real estate websites, such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Redfin. That'll get you the maximum exposure.
ListingSpark also boasts a software that runs your listing through a 150-point marketing plan to match it with the perfect buyer. But it's unclear how the software works, or how well, so we didn't give the company extra points. ListingSpark’s own property search webpage gets very few visitors ( around 1,000 per month).
One downside is that ListingSpark is only active in specific cities, so your listing won't get exposure across Texas.
Where is ListingSpark available?
ListingSpark is available only to homeowners in select markets in central, eastern, and southern Texas markets: Austin, Bryan–College Station, Corpus Christi, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, Killeen–Temple, San Antonio, and Waco.
|📊 Our rating: 4/5
ListingSpark’s has positive customer reviews and an A+ on the Better Business Bureau. The 146 reviews on Google averaged to a rating of 4.5 out of 5 — that’s really good, especially considering that most users use third-party review sites to voice complaints.
We also ran those reviews through a program that identifies emotional language. Here are some of the recurring themes our program picked up on:
|🟢 Top positive themes||🔴 Top negative themes|
|📊 Our rating: 2.5/5
ListingSpark offers two packages to FSBO sellers in Texas: Spark Plan ($1,499) and Premium Spark ($2,999).
Spark Plan can be a good deal for experienced FSBO sellers who want some assistance with closing. For a $350,000 home, paying $1,499 for a listing service is around 0.43% of the sale price. That’s less expensive than a 1.5% listing agent, but you won’t get pricing assistance, which is one of the most challenging parts about FSBO.
Premium Plan offers marginally more services that aren't worth the price. If you're budgeting around $3,000 for home selling, you're better off investing that money in a quality real estate agent — and possibly get a higher sale price as a result.
ListingSpark cancellation policy
When you list with ListingSpark, you’ll pay a small amount of the plan’s total price up front and the rest at closing. That fee is $250 for the Spark Plan and $500 for Premium. If you cancel your listing before your home sells, you'll still pay the remainder of your plan.
ListingSpark may help you avoid paying a listing agent. But you’ll still be responsible for paying commission for the buyer's agent (usually 2 to 3%). If your buyer finds your listing without a licensed real estate agent, ListingSpark will charge you a "transaction facilitation fee" of $350.
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|📊 Our rating: 5/5
After creating a free account and testing out the software, we were very impressed with how fast and easy to use ListingSpark’s platform is. A large Knowledge Center also provides free resources and guides on FSBO, as well as some troubleshooting tips with the software itself.
You’ll see your remaining tasks and the estimated time to complete them. These times are somewhat inaccurate, however, as ListingSpark expects you to have completed certain tasks beforehand (such as crafting your own listing description and having photos ready).
If you’re planning to sell your home FSBO in Texas, then we think ListingSpark’s "Spark Plan" could be worth trying. But if you decide partway through that you don’t want to sell your home through ListingSpark, you won’t get a refund for your plan.
If you're on the fence about FSBO, you might want to look at some low-commission real estate brands first. You’ll pay more to hire a licensed listing agent to represent you, but you might get a higher sale price for your home as a result.
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We evaluated the each flat fee MLS (FFMLS) and for sale by owner (FSBO) listing service based on five core criteria and created a weighted score:
- Quality and range of services (25% of final score)
- Brand recognition and marketing methods (25%)
- Customer reviews and experience (15%)
- Cost value (25%)
- User friendliness (10%)
Quality of service: 25% of final score
FFMLS companies should provide basic services, including:
- Listing to your local MLS
- Pushing listings to sites like Zillow and Trulia
- Maximum allowable photos
- Unlimited free listing changes
- Keeping an listing active until you cancel or close on your home
We noted add-on services that actually help you sell and manage your sale, like professional photography or an online dashboard. We didn’t give credit for fluffy offerings, such as video tours that are just photo montages or listings on Craigslist.
We assessed how each company's services actually makes your listing visible to buyers, compared with the MLS, which is the baseline. Additional marketing services (via social media, digital ads, etc.) count to higher visibility, as does the company's website traffic.
Customer experience: 15%
- Aggregated customer reviews from across the web and created a weighted average rating
- Ran reviews through a sentiment analysis program to identify key themes
- Checked for complaints with the Better Business Bureau
We checked the actual costs of the company's services and compared them with other brands and national averages.
User friendliness: 10%
We checked how easy the company app or portal was to use, and how easy it was to upload and manage the listing.