If you’re looking to sell your house for sale by owner (FSBO), then you’ll want to list on Zillow. With the U.S.’s largest real estate database, Zillow is an essential platform for any FSBO seller. Plus, listing on Zillow is free.
However, Zillow comes with drawbacks if you don’t have a realtor. Your home will be harder to find compared to homes with agents. And selling FSBO — regardless of whether you use Zillow or not — is fraught with risks and unwanted surprises.
You may end up selling for less than you hoped for. And you’ll likely still have to offer some real estate commission — a fact that our own Data Center survey shows many sellers are unaware of.
If savings are your top priority, you may keep more cash in your pocket by working with a low commission real estate agent. That way, you’ll get a Zillow listing that reaches even more buyers than a FSBO listing does and you’ll have an agent on your side working to get you a fair price for your home.
- 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
- However, your listing will be harder for buyers to find compared to agent-represented listings
- You’ll still likely have to pay a buyer’s agent commission, usually around 2.5–3%
- Selling FSBO is difficult, fraught with risks, and not for everyone
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 have to pay some 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 even notice it exists.
Unfortunately, this can have a big impact on your bottom line.
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.
🚨 Why are FSBO listings “hidden” on Zillow?
FSBO listings are separated from the rest of Zillow’s listings because of a deal made between Zillow and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In exchange for being able to syndicate MLS listings (which are mostly listings with agents), Zillow agreed to keep those listings separate from all other listings, including FSBO homes.
The move was controversial and is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit by discount brokerage REX Real Estate, which alleges that the agreement is anti-competitive. We’ll keep an eye on that case and update this article if Zillow’s policy toward FSBO listings changes.
🚩 Zillow nudges buyers into using agents
Beware that even though you’re listing your house as for sale by owner, there’s a good chance that buyers will contact you through Zillow via an agent, which means you’ll likely 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 all the way to the bottom of the “Overview” section. Clicking “Property Owner” will open a form where the buyer can email you directly, but the button is intentionally MUCH harder to find.
If a buyer isn’t already working with an agent, they’re far more likely to click “Contact Agent” than get in touch with you directly.
Since the seller is usually the one who pays the buyer’s agent commission, the more buyers that come to you with an agent, the more likely it is you’ll have to pay some commission.
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.
Should I sell my home with Zillow?
If you’re a skilled negotiator and experienced home seller in a seller’s market, you can save on real estate commission by listing your house on Zillow for sale by owner.
However, beware that FSBO listings are treated worse than listings that have an agent. If you’re listing FSBO on Zillow, your listing will be a lot harder for buyers to find. So you’ll be at a big disadvantage without a realtor, and you may get fewer interested buyers than you were expecting.
Plus, for most homeowners, selling FSBO carries 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. 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.
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 charge a fraction of the price.
Our friends at Clever Real Estate offer the lowest commission rates of any nationwide, full-service real estate company. Clever pre-negotiates $3,000 listing fees (or 1% on homes above $350,000) with top realtors in your local market, including agents from top brokerages like Berkshire Hathaway.
Clever’s service is 100% free — and there’s ZERO obligation to work with any of its partner agents. Clever will connect you with as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit. Or, if you decide FSBO is still your best option, you can walk away at any time.
How to list a FSBO home on Zillow
Click “Get Started” to see how to post a home on Zillow
If you do decide to list your house on Zillow for sale by owner, follow these steps:
- Search for your home on Zillow
- Click “Unlock owner dashboard” next to the text that says “Do you own this home?”
Note: If your house recently sold, you may not see the “Unlock owner dashboard” option. Instead, click on the “More” button in the top right and from the dropdown menu click “Claim ownership.”
- You’ll then be brought to the “Your home” page where you can see some data that Zillow has about your home. Near the top, click on the dropdown menu labeled “List Home” 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.
- When you’re done, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Post For Sale By Owner” to submit your Zillow FSBO listing for review.
- It will take Zillow up to 72 hours to verify your listing, after which it will appear under the “Other listings” tab in 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.
How to price your Zillow for sale by owner 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. Value your house too low, and you risk leaving money on the table. Price it too high, and you may scare off buyers who would otherwise be interested.
If you’re considering selling FSBO, but not 100% sure, 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 its Zestimate (Zillow’s estimate of what your home is worth). Based on Zillow’s own 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 will be able to see your property’s listing price and Zestimate side by side. Whether fair or not, they may feel your home is overpriced if the listing price is a lot higher than the Zestimate.
Zillow won’t let you set your own Zestimate, but it does let you update the data that determines your home’s Zestimate. To update that data, click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the Zillow home page and, from the dropdown menu, click on “Your home.”
Scroll down to the section “Your Zestimate tools” 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 by clicking on your profile icon at the top-right corner and selecting “Your Home.”
Click “Edit Listing” to update your listing, such as the listing price, photos, videos, number of bedrooms, and size. If you want to add a 3D home tour, click on “Add 3D Home” next to the “Edit Listing.”
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 on your profile icon in the top right corner.
- Click on “Your Home” from the dropdown menu.
- Look for the “More” button and, from the dropdown menu, select “Extend listing.”
- You’ll be prompted 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’re free to re-extend your listing as many times as you want.
How to cancel your Zillow FSBO listing
Whether because you’ve sold your property or you no longer want to sell it, you can cancel your FSBO listing on Zillow at any time. To do so, follow these steps:
- Click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the Zillow homepage.
- Click on “Your Home” from the dropdown menu.
- Look for the “More” button and select “Cancel Listing” from the dropdown menu.
- You’ll be asked if you’re canceling the listing because it has sold or because you no longer wish to sell it. Choose the appropriate response.
- Select “Update Status” to confirm your listing’s cancellation.
What are Zillow’s for sale by owner fees?
You pay nothing to create a Zillow FSBO listing, at least upfront. But keep in mind that without a realtor, your FSBO listing on Zillow will be much harder to find, and it’s likely to get far fewer offers than if you had an agent.
On top of that, Zillow sets up FSBO listings so that buyers looking for FSBO homes are more likely to contact a realtor instead of you. This means that you’re extremely unlikely to find a buyer who doesn’t have a realtor.
Remember, it’s the seller — not the buyer — who pays the buyer’s agent commission. So, the more likely it is that a buyer has an agent, the more likely you’ll have to pay the buyer’s agent commission, which currently averages 2.71%.
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 — which costs 2.79% of the sale price on average — but you’ll still likely have to cover buyer’s agent fees, which average 2.71%.
About 90% of buyers use an agent, and Zillow actively encourages buyers to use one as well, so it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid paying the buyer’s agent commission.
When an agent calls you to arrange a showing, they’ll ask for details about commission. If you aren’t offering a buyer’s agent commission, they may steer your would-be buyer toward other properties.
The bottom line: Even if you sell FSBO, realtor fees will likely cost you around 2.5–3% of the sale price. And it’s more likely that you’ll pay those fees by listing FSBO on Zillow. Of course, that’s way cheaper than listing with an agent who charges standard rates, but selling a house 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%. Your total commission will only cost 4% compared to the national average of 5.50%. That’s not much more than selling on Zillow FSBO — but you’ll also get the security and reassurance that comes with having a realtor looking out for your interests.
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 sites that are also free get a substantial amount of traffic, so you should be listing 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 on Zillow itself and elsewhere.
Get your listing on the MLS
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|You’ll get listed on the MLS, which means a lot more exposure to potential buyers.||You'll have to pay money, the exact amount of which depends on the level of service you need.|
|You’re less likely to undersell your property or run into legal problems if working with an agent.||Most flat fee MLS companies offer limited support.|
|You’ll still pay less than you would for a traditional 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.
That means if you can get on the MLS, your listing will be included in Zillow’s main search results along with other agent-represented listings — rather than relegated to the “hidden” section where most FSBO listings live. So 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: This is a company that will get your house listed on the MLS for a flat fee — usually around $200–400. But beware that you’ll otherwise be acting as your own real estate agent, so there are financial and legal risks involved.
Use a discount real estate agent: A discount agent is any seller’s agent that charges less than the average rate of 2.79%. They’ll provide all of the same services as a traditional real estate agent — including getting your home on the MLS — but at a discounted price. Because you’ll have an agent, there are far fewer risks going this route compared to using a flat fee MLS company.
You can find discount agents through national brands, like Clever and Redfin. Our friends at Clever, for example, charge a listing fee of just 1% (or $3,000 on homes under $350,000), and you still get a full-service real estate agent from major brands like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Berkshire Hathaway.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Most FSBO sites let you list your home sale for free.||Your listing will be hard for most buyers to find, leading to fewer potential offers.|
|Very limited support unless you pay for a “premium” package.|
Other FSBO websites also offer a way for you to market your home either for free or for little cost. Some paid options even offer MLS access, which is valuable and will get your listing in front of a lot more potential buyers.
Free FSBO websites typically only offer you a listing that will be displayed on their website — so, you won’t get on the MLS, and buyers will have to actively go to those websites to find your listing. No free FSBO site has nearly the traffic that Zillow has, so don’t expect to get a large number of interested buyers.
But it’s hard to argue with free, so, if you have the time, there’s little risk in posting your listing to a free FSBO site in the off-chance that you actually find a buyer.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Free to post a listing on Facebook.||Zero dedicated support for home sellers.|
|Fairly large audience of local buyers.||Many buyers are looking for bargains and may try to negotiate you down.|
You can sell just about anything on Facebook Marketplace, including homes. Listing your house on Facebook is entirely free, and it has the potential to be seen by a large number of potential buyers.
In fact, our own 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. That could mean that if you’re looking to sell your house for top dollar, you could struggle to find a serious buyer through Facebook.
» MORE: How to Sell a House on Facebook
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Free to post a FSBO house on Craigslist.||Buyers tend to be bargain hunters and may try to aggressively negotiate you down.|
|Fairly large audience of local potential buyers.||Notorious for scammers and fraudsters.|
|Out-of-date interface makes it hard to show off your property’s best attributes.|
|Zero dedicated support for sellers.|
Craigslist is also free to post your listing on, and our research shows that about one in five buyers still use it to look for houses for sale. But it’s rarely the best option for selling a house.
Like 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 rate.
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 do have complaints, especially about how Zillow makes it harder for potential buyers to find FSBO listings. We found that customer service is also an issue for some FSBO sellers on Zillow.
Read on to see real customer reviews about selling FSBO on Zillow.
Zillow is the most popular home buying website
Aside from listing on the MLS, posting for sale by owner on Zillow is the fastest way to advertise your home to as many potential buyers as possible. As the below review shows, many people rely on Zillow to keep track of houses that are coming on the market.
For many home buyers, Zillow is their first and only destination when browsing houses online. And not only is Zillow the most popular home buying app, but the company will also post your listing on its other websites (including Trulia), which collectively attract more than 220 million unique monthly visitors.
Customer service may be lacking
Many Zillow complaints from FSBO sellers suggest that reaching customer service is a major challenge. As the following FSBO seller notes, Zillow’s customer service appears more concerned about keeping its partner agents happy rather than homeowners who are trying to sell a hou se without a realtor.
FSBO homes may get less attention on Zillow
Zillow is one of the best places to advertise for sale by owner properties, but the company’s decision to hide FSBO listings by default will make it harder for you to get your listing in front of buyers. As this reviewer notes, the way Zillow treats FSBO properties means your listing will not only be harder to find, but you’ll be more likely to have to pay a buyer’s agent commission.
And, as the following Zillow review notes, this process is confusing for buyers as well.
Most buyers’ agents will only show your home if they’re certain you’re offering a competitive commission fee. So, if your goal is to avoid realtor fees entirely, you may have a difficult time finding a buyer through Zillow.
Bottom line: Do we recommend selling FSBO on 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.
Plus, you’ll need to work extra hard to market your house, file the appropriate paperwork, and negotiate with buyers. Even when that’s all done, you’ll almost certainly still have to pay a buyer’s agent commission anyway, which means your savings may be less than you hoped for.
We recommend going with a discount realtor instead. You’ll still save thousands on commission, but you’ll also have an agent in your corner looking out for your interests. A realtor will be much more effective at finding potential buyers than a FSBO Zillow listing.
For most sellers, the service offered by our friends at Clever presents the best balance of savings and security. With Clever, you get a full-service real estate agent — many of whom work for well-known brands like Keller Williams and Berkshire Hathaway — but you’ll get a discounted listing fee of just 1% (or $3,000 for homes under $350,000) compared to the nationwide average of 2.79%.
FSBO on Zillow FAQs
Can FSBO sellers list on Zillow?
Yes, FSBO sellers can list on Zillow. If you use a flat fee MLS listing service, your house should appear 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 going it alone, we recommend using a low commission real estate company.
Is selling your house on Zillow a good idea?
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?
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. However, other iBuyer companies do still exist. Learn more about the best iBuyer companies.
How long does Zillow take to post a listing?
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 MLS through Zillow?
You can’t list on the MLS through Zillow. If you’re only listing your house FSBO on Zillow, that listing won't be reposted to the MLS — it will only be visible on Zillow. But if you list on the MLS first, then that listing will get reposted to Zillow, Typically, you’ll need a realtor or a flat fee MLS company to post your house on the MLS. You can’t do it on your own.
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 alongside most other listings that do have realtors. Instead, your listing will be relegated to a harder to find section of Zillow’s site. So while you can list a home on Zillow without a realtor, you’ll likely get far fewer potential buyers than if you listed with an agent.
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 (2022 Rankings): Thinking about selling your house without a realtor? Check out our latest rankings of the best websites for FSBO sellers.