Pros and cons | How to list FSBO on Zillow | Zillow for sale by owner fees | Alternatives | Zillow FSBO reviews | FAQ
Listing your home for sale by owner (FSBO) on Zillow is free.
But selling without a realtor on Zillow has drawbacks. Your home will have limited exposure, since Zillow separates FSBO sales from agent-listed homes. FSBO homes are listed under an “other listings” tab that’s harder for buyers to find. And selling FSBO — whether or not you use Zillow — is risky.
If you’re listing FSBO to save on realtor commissions, it’s worth knowing that agents often sell homes for higher prices than FSBO sellers. So when you sell FSBO, you might lose out on money because your home sells for a lower price, limiting your overall savings.
Usually, a better alternative to selling FSBO is selling with a low-cost realtor.
Clever Real Estate can connect you with low-cost realtors who charge a fraction of the traditional real estate commission. You could save thousands, plus you’ll have a realtor on your side working to sell your house for top dollar. Talk to Clever today to save on your next home sale.
- It’s free and easy to list on Zillow for sale by owner.
- Zillow is the largest real estate directory online, with over 200 million monthly users.
- Your FSBO listing will be harder for buyers to find on Zillow compared to agent-represented listings.
- You’ll likely have to pay a buyer’s agent commission, usually around 2.5–3%.
- Selling FSBO is difficult, risky, and not for everyone. We recommend getting a low commission realtor through Clever if you’re looking to save money.
Should I sell my home with Zillow?
Listing FSBO on Zillow isn’t the best way to sell a house. While it’s free and Zillow’s popularity means you could find potential buyers, your listing will be at a serious disadvantage compared to houses that have an agent.
That said, it might make sense to sell FSBO on Zillow if:
- You’re selling in a red-hot sellers market
- You have experience selling homes and know the process well
- You’re a skilled negotiator
In this case, you could have a successful home sale and save on real estate commission by listing your house for sale by owner on Zillow.
However, even for experienced sellers, selling FSBO has big risks — and may have limited benefits in the long run. The average FSBO house sells for anywhere from 5.5–26% less than comparable homes represented by an agent. If you “save” 3% on realtor fees but sell your home for 10% below its true value, you’re coming out WAY behind, especially considering how much time and effort it takes to sell a house yourself.
» MORE: Top alternatives to selling FSBO on Zillow
Luckily, you don’t have to choose between commission savings and the support of a full-service real estate agent. Many discount real estate companies provide a similar experience to selling with a traditional realtor, but they charge a fraction of the price.
Clever Real Estate pre-negotiates low 1.5% listing fees with top realtors in your local market, including agents from top brokerages like Berkshire Hathaway. If you decide FSBO is still your best option, you can walk away at any time. Clever’s service is 100% free — and there’s zero obligation to work with any of its partner agents.
What are Zillow for sale by owner fees?
You can list a FSBO home on Zillow for free. Zillow doesn’t charge any fees to list property on its site.
Will listing FSBO on Zillow actually save me money?
If you’re listing on Zillow for sale by owner, it’s likely because you don’t want real estate commission fees to eat into your profits. By listing FSBO, you can avoid paying a listing agent commission — which costs an average of 2.72% of the sale price.
However, you’ll still likely have to pay a buyer’s agent commission. Because Zillow encourages buyers to contact realtors instead of directly contacting you, buyers who find your listing through Zillow will most likely have an agent. The average buyer’s agent commission is currently 2.65%.
Technically you can choose not to offer a buyer’s agent commission. But if you don’t offer one, buyer’s agents may steer their clients toward other properties.
The bottom line: When you sell FSBO, you’ll save money by not having a listing agent, but you’ll likely still pay a buyer’s agent around 2.5–3% of the sale price (especially when you sell FSBO on Zillow). The commission savings could be worth it to you, but selling a house without a listing agent is time-consuming and often leads to a lower sales price.
For many sellers, listing with a low commission real estate agent is a better option. The top discount brands, like Clever, offer listing fees as low as 1.5%, compared to the typical 3% rate. You’ll still save on commissions while also getting the security and reassurance of having a top realtor on your side.
How does Zillow make its money?
Zillow’s biggest source of revenue is advertising. Zillow charges fees for property management companies, individual realtors, and real estate brokerages to have their names advertised on property listings.
Zillow also encourages buyers to connect with sellers through Zillow-affiliated agents, because when they do, Zillow earns a networking fee off the real estate transaction. This is why it’s difficult for FSBO sellers to connect directly with buyers.
Many real estate agents pay a premium to join Zillow’s Premier Network. Being in this network gives agents more visibility and often leads to more clients. Zillow supplies agents in its Premier Network with user data that agents can use to connect to buyers and sellers. In order to sell FSBO on Zillow, you have to opt in to share your data. Zillow agents may then call you persistently to convert your FSBO sale into an agent-listed property.
When you sell FSBO, you don’t pay Zillow directly, but you do contribute to Zillow’s revenue indirectly.
Pros and cons of selling FSBO on Zillow
|✅ Zillow pros||❌ Zillow cons|
|Zillow is the most popular home buying website, with over 200 million monthly visitors.||FSBO homes are harder for buyers to find on Zillow.|
|It’s free to list for sale by owner on Zillow.||Zillow actively encourages buyers to use agents, so you’ll almost certainly pay a buyer's agent commission.|
|Zillow offers a free app for creating virtual home tours.||Your potential savings may not be worth the time and hassle.|
❌ FSBO listings are hard for buyers to find
Unfortunately, Zillow puts FSBO sellers at a big disadvantage. When a buyer searches for homes on Zillow, the map’s default view only shows properties that have an agent. To see FSBO properties, a buyer must select the “Other listings” button. It’s an easy-to-miss button, and many buyers don’t know it exists.
The harder your FSBO Zillow listing is to find, the less interest you’re likely to get from potential buyers. That means more time on the market, which could make it more difficult to get top dollar for your home.
❌ Zillow nudges buyers into using agents
When you list for sale by owner on Zillow, you’ll likely still have to pay a buyer’s agent commission.
Zillow places a huge “Contact Agent” button near the top of the page, so buyers are far less likely to contact you directly and more likely to do so through an agent.
To find your contact information, buyers must scroll to the bottom of the Overview section and click “Property Owner.” This link opens a form where the buyer can email you directly, but the link is intentionally hard to find.
There’s a reason Zillow makes it so difficult for buyers to contact FSBO sellers directly. It’s the same reason Zillow lets you list for sale by owner for free. It may not be charging you fees, but it is making money from your listing.
Every time Zillow connects a realtor with a customer on the website, the agent pays a fee. Simply put, if a potential buyer clicks “Contact Agent” on your listing, Zillow makes money. But if the buyer contacts you directly, Zillow makes nothing.
How to list FSBO on Zillow
Price your listing | Edit your listing | Extend your listing | Cancel your listing
To learn how to list FSBO on Zillow, click “Get Started” for a visual guide or follow the written steps below:
- Search for your home on Zillow.
- In the Home value section, click “Unlock owner dashboard.” This opens the “Your home” page. Note: If you recently bought your home, you may not see the “Unlock owner dashboard” option. Instead, click on the “More” button in the top right. From the drop-down menu, click “Claim ownership.”
- Near the top of the page, click on the “LIST HOME” drop-down menu, and click “List for sale by owner.”
- Create your FSBO listing by setting a price, entering contact information and details about your property, writing a listing description, adding photos and a 3D virtual tour, and scheduling one or more open houses.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “Post for sale by owner” to submit your Zillow FSBO listing for review.
- Zillow takes up to 72 hours to verify your listing. After verification, your listing will appear under the “Other listings” tab in the search results.
Your FSBO listing will remain active on Zillow for 90 days, unless you cancel it before then. If your home doesn’t sell within 90 days, you can extend the listing from your owner dashboard.
MORE: Why can’t I find my Zillow listing?
How to price your property
Choosing the right list price is one of the most important steps of selling FSBO. Research your local market to find homes like yours that have sold recently, then consider whether yours has any upgrades — or defects — that affect its value.
Pricing a home can be tricky, especially if your property is unique. If you value your house too low, you risk leaving money on the table. If you price it too high, you may scare off buyers who would otherwise be interested.
If you’re considering selling FSBO, it’s worth talking to a few real estate agents for advice on pricing. An experienced realtor knows the ins and outs of your local market and can give you an objective assessment of what buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours.
Agents will typically give sellers a comparative market analysis (CMA) for free, and you can use that information to set your price, even if you decide not to list with them.
Don’t rely on Zillow’s Zestimate to price your home
You should never price your home based only on the Zestimate (Zillow’s estimate of what your home is worth). Based on Zillow’s data, Zestimates for off-market homes have a median error rate of 6.9% — on a $400,000 home, that’s a difference of more than $27,000!
That said, you still want your Zestimate to be as accurate as possible. Buyers can see your property’s listing price and Zestimate side by side. They may feel your home is overpriced if the listing price is a lot higher than the Zestimate.
Zillow doesn’t let you set your own Zestimate, but it does let you update the data that determines your home’s Zestimate. To update the data, click on your profile icon in the top-right corner of the Zillow home page. From the drop-down menu, click “Your home.”
Scroll down to the Your Zestimate Tools section, and click “Review Facts.”
From here you can update any inaccurate or incomplete information, like square footage and number of bathrooms. You can also add information about your home’s architectural style, amenities, heating, and roof type.
How to edit your Zillow FSBO listing
To edit your Zillow FSBO listing, navigate to your owner dashboard. You can do this by clicking on your profile icon in the top-right corner and selecting “Your home.”
Click “Edit Listing” to update your listing. You can edit the listing price, photos, videos, number of bedrooms, size, and more. If you want to add a 3D home tour, click on “Add 3D home.”
How to extend your Zillow FSBO listing
Zillow FSBO listings automatically remain active for 90 days. If you want to extend your listing, you can do so for another 90 days for free. Here’s how:
- Click your profile icon in the top-right corner of Zillow’s homepage.
- From the drop-down menu, click “Your home.”
- Select the “More” button. From the drop-down menu, select “Extend listing.”
- A prompt appears to confirm that you want to extend your listing for 90 days. Click “Extend listing.”
- You’ll receive a confirmation that your listing has been extended along with its new expiration date. You can re-extend your listing as many times as you want.
How to cancel your Zillow FSBO listing
You can cancel your FSBO listing on Zillow at any time. Here’s how:
- Click your profile icon in the top-right corner of Zillow’s homepage.
- From the drop-down menu, click “Your home.”
- Select the “More” button. From the drop-down menu, select “Cancel listing.”
- A prompt asks if you’re canceling the listing because you’re house has sold or because you no longer wish to sell it. Choose the appropriate response.
- Select “Update Status” to confirm your listing’s cancellation.
Alternatives to selling FSBO on Zillow
Zillow is the most popular real estate website, but it’s far from the only option for listing a home without a realtor. Other free sites get a substantial amount of traffic, so you should list on them as well for maximum exposure.
And if you’re willing to spend a bit of money — especially through a discount realtor or a flat fee MLS company — you can attract a lot more potential buyers, both from Zillow and elsewhere.
List on the MLS
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|The MLS gives your listing a lot more exposure to potential buyers.||You can't list on the MLS yourself. You have to pay an agent or a flat fee MLS company.|
|You’re less likely to undersell your property or run into legal problems when you list on the MLS with an agent.||Most flat fee MLS companies offer limited support.|
|You can list on the MLS without paying for a full-priced agent.|
The best way to attract potential buyers is to get your property listed on your local MLS. The MLS is the main database of homes for sale. It’s used by real estate agents to find homes for their clients, and it’s where the vast majority of listings on Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, and other major websites come from.
If you get on the MLS, your listing is included in Zillow’s main search results along with agent-represented listings — rather than in the “hidden” section with other FSBO homes.
Your listing will be easier for both buyers and their agents to find. The easier your listing is to find, the more likely it is to attract potential buyers.
The catch is that you can’t list on the MLS for free. Only people or companies with real estate licenses can post to the MLS. But that doesn’t mean you have to hire a full-priced real estate agent. Instead, you have two cheaper options:
- Use a flat fee MLS brand: These companies list your house on the MLS for a flat fee — usually around $200–400. But you’ll otherwise act as your own real estate agent, which could be risky financially and legally.
- Use a discount real estate agent: These agents charges less than the average rate of 2.72% to sell your home. They provide the same services as a traditional real estate agent — including getting your home on the MLS — but at a discounted price. Selling with an experienced agent is much less risky than using a flat fee MLS company.
You can find discount agents through national companies like Clever Real Estate. Clever negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top-rated local agents from major brands like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Berkshire Hathaway. When you go through Clever, you get the same full-service experience for a fraction of the typical cost.
List on an FSBO site
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Most FSBO sites let you list your home for free.||Your listing will be hard for most buyers to find, leading to fewer potential offers.|
|You get very limited support unless you pay for a premium package.|
FSBO websites offer a way to market your home either for free or for a small cost. Some paid options even offer MLS access, which will get your listing in front of a lot more potential buyers.
Free FSBO websites typically offer only a listing on their website. You don’t get on the MLS, and buyers have to visit the website to find your listing. Free FSBO sites don’t have nearly the traffic that Zillow has, so don’t expect to get a large number of interested buyers.
But if you have the time, there’s little risk in posting your listing to a free FSBO site on the off-chance that you find a buyer.
» MORE: Top 12 For Sale By Owner Websites
List on Facebook Marketplace
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Posting a listing on Facebook is free.||Many buyers are bargain hunters and may try to aggressively negotiate the price down.|
|You get a fairly large audience of local buyers.||There's no dedicated support for home sellers.|
Listing your house on Facebook is free, and many listing are viewed by a large number of potential buyers.
In fact, our Data Center survey found that 23% of buyers look for properties on Facebook.
However, we also found that many of those buyers are bargain hunting and looking for as-is properties. If you’re looking to sell your house for top dollar, you may struggle to find a serious buyer through Facebook.
» MORE: How to Sell a House on Facebook
List on Craigslist
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Posting a listing on Craigslist is free.||Many buyers are bargain hunters and may try to aggressively negotiate the price down.|
|You get a fairly large audience of local buyers.||The platform is notorious for scammers and fraudsters.|
|The out-of-date interface makes it hard to show off your property’s best attributes.|
|There's no dedicated support for sellers.|
Listing FSBO on Craigslist is free, and our research shows that about one in five buyers still uses it to look for houses. But it’s rarely the best option for selling a house.
Like on Facebook, many of those buyers are looking for bargains and may try to negotiate you down to a low price. Plus, Craigslist’s interface is clunky and outdated, and it’s notorious for scammers.
If you do post on Craigslist, you’ll need to be vigilant against offers that sound too good to be true while also holding your ground against buyers looking for a bargain.
» MORE: How to Sell a House on Craigslist
What real customers say about selling FSBO on Zillow
Generally, FSBO sellers are pleased with Zillow’s services. It’s by far the most popular real estate directory online, making it an obvious place for anybody working without a realtor to list a home.
But some customers have complaints, especially about how Zillow makes it harder for potential buyers to find FSBO listings. Customer service is also an issue for some FSBO sellers on Zillow.
On the review site Consumer Affairs, Zillow has a cumulative average of 2.7 out of 5 stars (1,400+ reviews). After analyzing the reviews, here’s what we found:
- Helpful features on the site
- Easy listing process
- Incorrect information in the listing
- Inaccurate Zestimates
- Pushy marketing to work with an agent
If you sell FSBO on Zillow, be prepared for numerous calls and emails from agents trying to steer you toward listing with them instead of selling on your own. This happens because Zillow sells data on FSBO sellers to its agents.
Can FSBO sellers list on Zillow?
Yes, FSBO sellers can list on Zillow. If you use a flat fee MLS listing service, your house appears on Zillow automatically. You can also post your FSBO listing on Zillow manually, but your home will likely get less visibility.
What are Zillow’s for sale by owner fees?
Zillow allows FSBO sellers to list their homes for free. However, your FSBO listing will be harder to find on Zillow compared to listings that have an agent, so you’ll likely get fewer potential buyers. If you want savings but not the stress of selling on your alone, we recommend using a low commission real estate company.
Is selling with Zillow worth it?
Whether you're selling FSBO or working with an agent, advertising on Zillow puts your listing in front of potential buyers. But there's a lot more to selling your house than posting it on Zillow. If you decide FSBO isn't your best option, you can still save big on commission by selling with a real estate agent that charges discounted listing fees. Find a low cost realtor in your area!
Will Zillow buy my home?
No. Zillow used to offer an iBuyer service called Zillow Offers where Zillow would buy your house directly. However, in November 2021, Zillow announced that it was shutting down Zillow Offers. Other iBuyer companies still exist. Learn more about the best iBuyer companies.
How long does it take Zillow to post for sale by owner?
Zillow typically posts for sale by owner homes in three days or less. When you create a FSBO listing manually, it takes Zillow up to 72 hours to verify that you're the property owner. If you list your house on the MLS instead, it should appear on Zillow quickly — but it could take a maximum of 24–48 hours. Find other websites that let you list your house for sale by owner.
How do I list on the MLS through Zillow?
You can’t list on the MLS through Zillow. If you’re listing your house FSBO on Zillow, that listing won't be reposted to the MLS — it'll be visible only on Zillow. But if you list on the MLS first, then that listing will get reposted to Zillow. You need a realtor or a flat fee MLS company to post your house on the MLS.
Can I list my home on Zillow without a realtor?
Yes, you can list your home for sale by owner on Zillow. However, if you don’t have a realtor, your listing won't be displayed with the listings that do have realtors. Instead, your listing will be relegated to a section on Zillow that's harder to find. So while you can list a home on Zillow without a realtor, you’ll likely get far fewer potential buyers than if you list with an agent.
Does Zillow charge for listings?
No, listing on Zillow is free, regardless of whether you work with a realtor or sell for sale by owner (FSBO). However, if you don’t have a realtor, your listing will be much harder for buyers to find on Zillow. Learn why FSBO listings on Zillow are kept at a disadvantage.
Does Zillow charge for sale by owner?
No, there are no fees for using Zillow if you’re selling your house for sale by owner. Your Zillow FSBO listing, however, will not get the same amount of visibility as listings that have an agent. FSBO listings on Zillow are relegated to a difficult-to-find section of the site, putting them at a disadvantage. Learn more about how Zillow works for FSBO sellers.
How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House by Owner? Selling a house without a realtor may sound like a great way to save money. Find out what the real costs are and if there’s a better way to keep more money in your pocket.
Redfin vs. Zillow: Which Estimator Is More Accurate? Zillow and Redfin offer two of the most popular home value estimators for sellers. Discover which ones are most accurate and how to use them when selling your home.
Top 12 Best For Sale By Owner Websites: Thinking about selling your house without a realtor? Check out our latest rankings of the best websites for FSBO sellers.
The Best Discount Real Estate Brokers for Every Budget: Find the best discount real estate brokers for every budget in every state. Compare fees and savings to learn which company is right for you!
Realtor Fees: Who Pays the Commission and How Much Is It? Wondering how much realtor fees cost? This guide explains what you’ll pay (and how to get discounts) when working with a realtor.
Great advice as it is a bit overwhelming choosing the right flat fee company. I live in Martin County Florida and am searching for a good flat fee company. Any recommendations? Thank you so much !!
This post was extremely helpful. One problem we’ve encountered is that our Zestimate is almost 10% below what we believe it should be, and we think this may hurt our FSBO prospects. We recently added a bedroom and full bathroom, but none of the real estate websites have updated that information. We’re not sure if the public records are outdated or what. Anyway, I manually changed the number of bedrooms and bathrooms on the Zillow listing, but it didn’t change our Zestimate (which Zillow claims it updates immediately upon such changes). I’m not sure how to combat this, and I’m worried that prospective buyers will think we’re delusional with our asking price.
The Zestimate has certainly been the bane of both agents and sellers existence for years now. It’s either too high or too low in many cases. What market are you selling in? Agents tend to be good at setting client’s expectations, so if you end up working with a buyer that is using a buyer’s agent, you may have more luck (the agent has had a chance to educate the buyer on the real values in the market). Also, look at Redfin’s calculator as well. Go to Realtor.com and get their estimate. Try to find one that is most accurate and use that as your proof for any potential buyers that balk at your price.
When my Zestimate was too low (I was using Make Me Move), I contacted Zillow (with back-up information) and they increased the Zestimate accordingly.
We just put $40,000 in renovations in our house but zestimate is killing us because the zestimate is before renovations. How do we get Zillow to change this?? !!
You can actually claim the property and update the facts to include the renovations so you’re not missing out on that. Here is a link to a forum posting on Bigger Pockets that describes this in more detail: https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/311/topics/484655-any-way-to-get-the-zestimate-changed
Zillow does NOT allow you to use your phone number or email address.
It gets edited out automatically.
The best I could do is explain how to scroll down to the bottom of the ad to where it says contact seller and a CALL button.
Anyone have any better suggestions?
Also, can the order of photos be changed on Zillow? I cannot find a way to do that.
My house’s address doesn’t even come up on Redfin or Realtor, because is is 2495b and all the sites say that address does not exist, how can I fix that?
I didn’t read this before listing my fsbo now what you said would happen has happened & even worse it won’t let me edit my own listing! Help what can I do?
Not that many people will run into this problem, but if you’re flipping houses or land, Zillow will not allow you to list a property if they discover it’s been recently sold (in the last 2 months).
What kind of back up information did you have to supply Zillow to have your estimate increased?
We listed on Zillow FSBO in September 2018. You should know that Zillow will no longer allow the seller’s phone number anywhere in the listing text.
Beach Dreams says
Fyi, Zillow deleted my contact information and website in the copy and sent me an email explaining that it violated Zillow’s policies to do so. :/
I welcome buyer’s agents but people have no way to contact me unless they drive by the sign. I’m going to try to upload a photo with the sign but they may remove that as well.
I would like to know where to leave your phone number at the top of your listing. There is so place to leave it. The only option you have is at the end….at the bottom of this listing. How do you add that information?
Anita Tellis says
When working with an agent with Zillow are you or the agent able to log into the Zillow site and make changes to the home history. Things such as home price changes?
Zillow FSBO + MLS. Some questions and thoughts…
I have the knack for making a really productive and informative Zillow listing. But I also feel you still need to be on MLS (and other feeds).
Is there a way to make it so that the MLS does not push the Zillow FSBO listing out of the way?
Bruce H. Anderson says
I just had Zillow delete some old photos of the house, because they were grouped in with new photos. But they deleted them all except the Google Maps street view. Now they say I have to contact the agent who sold me the house to add new photos. A few weeks ago this wasn’t a problem.