The internet has democratized industries from taxicabs to hotels, and real estate is no exception. As the internet has made the tools necessary for selling your home accessible to the average person, selling your home without an agent, as a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) listing, has become increasingly popular; according to data from the National Association of Realtors, just over one in ten properties sold in 2018 was an FSBO listing.
But not all for sale by owner websites are equally effective, or equally appropriate for every sale.
Some for sale by owner websites specialize in commercial properties, while others excel in multimedia marketing. Whether you have a successful FSBO experience is going to depend largely on whether you pick the right FSBO website to use.
We’ll cover the top FSBO sites below, doing into detail on each site’s offerings, their pricing structure, and their respective pros and cons. We’ll also go over some real reviews of each site that speak to their unique strengths and weaknesses, and then end with a rundown of the best and totally free FSBO sites.
Table of Contents
- The Best FSBO Sites
- The Best Free FSBO Sites
Houzeo offers FSBO sellers a tech-centric and highly customizable selling experience. Listings appear not only on Houzeo’s site, but are also populated onto Realtor.com, Redfin, Zillow, and other popular real estate sites – including, crucially, the MLS. That means a home listed on Houzeo has the same extensive visibility as a home listed by an agent.
Houzeo also offers a sleek online interface for you to manage your listing, with video guides to assist you on each step in the process, and automated reminders. This makes it a great choice for people who like to conduct their business online, rather than in-person or over the phone.
Buyers who work with Houzeo also have the option of setting their buyer’s agent commission. This is especially important, as many conventional FSBO sellers who went solo to avoid real estate commission are surprised to learn that they only opted out of the listing agent’s 3% commission, and are still responsible for paying 3% to the buyer’s agent. Working with Houzeo means you decide what the buyer’s agent gets, so you control your savings.
Houzeo’s rates vary from state to state, but on average start at $199.
- Sleek online interface
- Control over buyer’s agent commission
- Listing populated to MLS and all major real estate websites
- Houzeo users who reduce their buyer’s agent commission to zero may unwittingly drive buyers away
- Less one-on-one support than other FSBO sites
This positive review reinforces some of the points covered above; the fact that Houzeo listings populate the MLS leads to vital exposure, and Houzeo’s business model does offer legit savings potential.
This negative review describes a regrettable seller experience that might have been an isolated incident— or might be related to the low level of one-on-one support offered by Houzeo.
This pillar of the FSBO industry offers two distinct tiers of services, both of which offer pretty good value. Sellers who opt for the top tier of services will be connected with a listing agent from an outside brokerage who’ll provide them with “minimum services” — which could, but doesn’t necessarily, include face-to-face interaction. Note: The $99.95 and $399.95 packages do NOT include real estate agents.
Still, even remote support from an agent can be more efficient than using an online platform, especially when it comes to things like making changes to a listing. Sellers interested in this package should clarify ahead of time what, exactly, they can expect from their agent.
FSBO.com offers a $99.95 package, which includes a yearlong, custom listing on FSBO.com, unlimited video and photo uploads, and automatic population onto Redfin.
For $399.95, an upgraded package includes all of that, plus population onto Zillow, Realtor.com, and the local MLS, meaning your FSBO listing’s visibility will be on par with agent-assisted listings. Since visibility is one of the biggest challenges with an FSBO listing, this is a crucial feature.
Users of the $399.95 package should note, however, that it offers, by default, a 3% buyer’s agent commission.
- Sellers who use the upper tier package will be connected with a listing agent from another brokerage, who’ll act as a primary contact, and offer face-to-face assistance
- Great option for sellers who want to feature videos of their home
- Will get your home onto the MLS for maximum visibility
- Essentially a flat fee MLS service disguised as an FSBO platform
- Default 3% buyer’s agent commission may reduce seller’s savings
- Lack of extensive online platform means changes are slower to go live
This negative review from Facebook suggests that FSBO.com’s interface isn’t entirely clear on the location of properties, or on lot size.
This positive review lays out what a successful transaction probably feels like for an FSBO.com user; easy and uncomplicated, with good customer service.
This site has been around for 21 years, making it an elder statesman in the online FSBO world. Forsalebyowner.com has a robust flow of traffic to their site, so they offer a moderately large pool of buyers and sellers to pull from. However, Forsalebyowner users are the only buyers who’ll see your listing; they don’t offer an option to populate your listing onto the MLS, even if you upgrade to the more expensive package.
That means Forsalebyowner.com is essentially a closed system; Forsalebyowner users will see your listing, but no one else will. If your future buyer is among the 200,000 Forsalebyowner users, that’s not a problem; but if they’re among the hundreds of millions of users reached by the MLS, and big sites like Redfin, Zillow, and Realtor.com, they’ll never get a chance to see your listing.
Another Forsalebyowner feature is that their listings don’t offer buyer’s agent commissions. While this maximizes seller savings, since they’re cutting out the 3% listing commission as well as the 3% buyer’s agent commission, it can drive off buyer’s agents who are hesitant to show a property that won’t pay them if their client decides to buy.
A basic listing here is free; for $399, sellers can unlock a package including legal forms, pricing assistance, and other benefits.
- Basic listing is free
- Moderately large exclusive user base
- No buyer’s agent commission option could reduce number of potential agent-assisted buyers
- Listing won’t show up on the MLS, even if you buy the upgraded package
- Low visibility
This positive review lays out what a successful Forsalebyowner.com sale usually looks out; a quick sale for a good price, with a big savings on commission.
The negative review suggests that the premium packages don’t offer great value for the money, and that Forsalebyowner.com might not keep a tight hold on user information.
This is an innovative FSBO platform that offers a number of unconventional selling options.
On the conventional end, 4salebyowner offers a straightforward flat fee MLS service; for a one-time fee of $99, sellers get listed on the MLS, with automatic population onto sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Redfin.
They also get an in-home consultation with an agent, a home valuation, and ongoing support – though after the initial contact, the seller is essentially going to be on their own. Sellers in this position also typically offer a buyer’s agent commission of 3%.
The next tier of services is $19.99 a month for as long as the listing appears on 4salebyowner.com, and its partner site Xome. Sellers who opt for this package get concierge support, a home valuation, and 12 photos with their listing. They have the option of offering buyer’s agent commission— which 4salebyowner strongly recommends.
The top tier package here is $599, but at the time of writing had recently been converted to free. This package pairs sellers with a local agent, lists the property on the MLS and the major real estate websites like Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com, and lists it at the auction site Xome. Since Xome users pay to buy through that platform, they’ll pay the agent – meaning that the seller pays no commission.
- A one stop shop for everything from a flat fee MLS service, to a full service zero-commission agent-assisted sale
- Potential for a zero-commission sale
- Their flat fee MLS package comes with a face-to-face agent consultation – a rare perk for this type of service.
- The monthly fee package has potential for savings, if your home sells quickly
- Sellers who opt for the premium package will be limited to buyers from Xome, which has a much smaller audience than conventional real estate sites
- Xome is an auction site— meaning the sale price will depend on bidder competition
This complaint lodged at the Better Business Bureau suggests that some Xome agents may not always honor the terms of their contract.
On the other hand, this testimonial from the 4salebyowner.com website shows the potential of the auction format.
Fizber is a tech-oriented FSBO platform that leans into cutting-edge features like 3D home tours and online home brochures. Sellers can list their home for free on Fizber, but they can also upgrade to a paid package to unlock benefits like an expanded marketing package, contracts and yard signs. They can also opt for a transaction coordinator to handle closing paperwork— a potentially important benefit, considering that closing paperwork is one of the biggest challenges for most FSBO sellers.
Fizber’s initial paid tier is $95. This unlocks a Fizber premium listing, and an open house manager online schedule tool to keep track of the seller’s showings. The seller also gets their listing populated to Redfin.
The next paid tier, at $295, includes all of the above, plus syndication on Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia, plus an MLS listing with 6 photos.
The top paid tier, priced at $395, includes all of the above, only the MLS listing comes with 25 photos.
Fizber is the best choice for tech-savvy sellers who want a highly customizable sale process.
- Several price tiers offering a wide range of services
- Tech-centric options like 3D tours
- Optional transaction coordinator to help with closing paperwork
- Maximum visibility (with paid upgrades)
- Free package not worth the time
- Top tier package doesn’t offer great value for the significant price increase
This positive review from Trustpilot illustrates how fast and efficient Fizber’s online business model can be, when it works correctly. (It also hints at its limitations, when it mentions the lack of phone availability.)
This negative review reinforces that Fizber’s free option doesn’t have a lot of benefits— and might come with some serious drawbacks.
The Best Free FSBO Sites
If you really want to cut your selling costs, these sites offer free FSBO listings. As you might expect, the service offerings for free listings can be spotty, but as the saying goes – you get what you pay for.
That being said, we’ve surveyed the offerings of all the major free FSBO sites, and these are the best sites offering free for sale by owner listings.
As one of the most popular real estate websites online, Zillow is one of the first stops for anyone looking to buy a home. That alone, along with high brand recognition, makes Zillow a solid choice for your FSBO listing.
But aside from working with a big name, Zillow doesn’t offer FSBO sellers much support – not even yard signs. Sellers get a Zillow listing, plus a Zestimate, which is Zillow’s well-known estimate of how much the property is worth.
Trulia is a separate website, but is owned by Zillow. Sellers who list on Trulia get a typical Trulia listing, including the crime data statistics that site is known for. If the property is located in a low crime area, Trulia’s framing could put the property in a very advantageous light.
We should also mention that there are potential concerns about Zillow’s presentation of a listing – that the way they display their ads may encourage interested buyers to contact buyer’s agents who paid to be placed on the site, rather than to contact you directly. If the buyer goes with an agent, you’ll be on the hook for 2.5% – 3% commission
- Both sites offer high visibility
- Great brand recognition
- Zillow’s Zestimate and Trulia’s crime stats are well-known, well-respected metrics
- Neither site offers much support beyond a basic listing
- Your buyer will likely have a Zillow-sponsored agent that will charge you 2.5% to 3% commission
Craigslist is one of the top ten most visited websites in America; by that measure alone, FSBO sellers should post their property in Craigslist’s “For Sale” section. It’s totally free, so why not?
The downside is that Craigslist isn’t a real estate website. Some of the millions of Craigslist users are there to look at homes, but it’s hard to say how many, or how serious their interest is. Posting your FSBO listing on Craigslist is like buying a lottery ticket; it could pay off, but the odds are small.
- Totally free and unregulated
- Extremely high traffic site
- Not a real estate site
- Unstructured listing makes it difficult for sellers to effectively advertise
- Easily get lost among other listings
Loopnet is primarily a platform for commercial property, though they do list FSBO homes on their partner site CoStar. A basic FSBO listing is free, but it costs money to upgrade to a premium listing that includes an online brochure and investment metrics like cap rate. If you’re offering owner financing on your property, that’s a Loopnet specialty.
Loopnet receives 5 million visitors a month, so it’s a well-trafficked site. But their visitors are mostly looking for investment and commercial properties. Costar requires a subscription to even look at their listings, so the audience is going to be smaller than at a site like Zillow or Craigslist, though that audience will likely be more knowledgeable, and more serious about buying.
- Heavily trafficked site
- Audience of serious buyers and investors
- Most investors are looking for commercial properties, not residential ones
An Alternative to FSBO Listings
Selling your home yourself can save you a lot of money, but it’s not easy. The dropoff from a professional real estate agent to an inexperienced seller has a measurable impact on the final sale price of a home; according to NAR, the average agent-assisted listing sold for $280,000, while the average FSBO listing sold for only $200,000. So you’re looking at a situation where the amount of money you save in commission is very likely to be dwarfed by how much you’re losing in reduced sale price.
There’s a way to have the best of both worlds. Our partner, Clever Real Estate, connects sellers with top local agents who’ve agreed to provide a full service, top of the line sale experience for a flat fee of $3,000, or 1% if your home sells for more than $350,000. That means you’ll save thousands of dollars, while receiving the same level of services as a seller using a conventional agent. Intrigued? Contact Clever today to learn more about how they can help you sell your home!