Should I use Facebook to sell my house? | Pros and cons | Marketplace listing | Facebook ads | Boosting vs. Facebook ads | Steps to sell a house on Facebook | Creating a great listing | Safety | Alternatives | FAQs
In 2017, Facebook added real estate listings to its Marketplace, making the social media platform another option for people who are selling their house for sale by owner — aka FSBO.
Listing a house on Facebook is free, easy, and connects sellers with potential buyers without the help of a real estate agent. But it’s not necessarily the best option when selling FSBO.
✍ Key takeaways
- Posting on Facebook Marketplace is free and easy.
- However, boosting your listing to reach more buyers costs money — a flat fee MLS package could get you more bang for your buck.
- The buyer pool is limited to Facebook users only.
- There are better free FSBO websites.
Should I use Facebook to sell a house?
✅ Selling FSBO on Facebook may be good for homeowners who:
- Want to save money on real estate agent commissions or other listing fees
- Have a large social network on Facebook to share their Marketplace listing with
- Have a distressed or unwanted property they could to sell to an investor
- Don’t mind vetting buyers, fielding offers, answering Facebook messages, and doing all the paperwork and legwork that FSBO requires
❌ Selling FSBO on Facebook might not be good for homeowners who:
- Don’t really use Facebook (you’ll want to respond to Facebook messages quickly)
- Don’t want to deal with spam messages and vet buyers
- Are already struggling to sell their FSBO property
- Aren’t familiar with or have the time and energy to sell FSBO
Going FSBO is a tough process that doesn’t always pay off. On average, FSBO homes sell for 18.2% less than agent-assisted homes, which wipes out what you would have saved by not paying an agent’s commission.
If you’re thinking about selling your house on Facebook because you want to avoid paying realtor fees, there are better ways to save money — ways that don’t ask you to sacrifice the peace of mind that comes with having an expert realtor on your side.
Before posting your house on Facebook, we recommend trying out Clever Real Estate. Clever negotiates reduced 1% listing fees with top-rated realtors from local brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. You’ll get full service from your agent (guaranteed), but pay a fraction of the standard rate most agents charge. Find a top local realtor and get a 1% listing fee now!
Pros and cons of using Facebook to sell your house
|✅ Pros||⛔️ Cons|
|Easy and free to create listing||Privacy concerns|
|Your network can share your listing with others||Scammers and spam messages|
|Add up to 50 photos (more than many MLSes)||Limited buyer pool|
|Can connect to buyers immediately through Messenger||Paying to advertise or boost your listing could be a waste|
|No seller's agent commission||May still have to pay buyer's agent commission|
|No obligation — remove or edit your listing whenever||Can attract window-shoppers and tire-kickers|
What is a Facebook Marketplace listing?
Facebook Marketplace is like one giant flea market where you can buy and sell almost anything — including real estate. You sell items by making a Facebook Marketplace listing.
Facebook Marketplace serves as a platform to connect local buyers and sellers. Listings are free unless the item needs to be shipped, which of course isn’t relevant when selling a home.
You can also pay to promote your listing to hopefully reach more potential buyers.
|🔍 Facebook Marketplace takeaways|
|📬 Free listings for real estate|
|👌 Good for connecting local buyers and sellers|
|👪 Can share your listing to friends and groups|
|💲 Can pay to promote or "boost" your listing|
Paying to “boost” your listing
Posting a house on Facebook is free — just go to Facebook and follow these steps.
But, you can also pay to “boost” your Marketplace listing.
By boosting your home, it will show up in other users’ Facebook News Feeds and be marked as an advertisement.
You set a budget and a time frame — the minimum is $1 per day — and Facebook will estimate how many people might see it. Boosted posts will only show to adults within a 40-mile radius of your home’s location.
There’s no guarantee that anyone will click your post, or that Facebook will show it specifically to home shoppers. Also know that legally, Facebook boosts and ads can’t be targeted because of housing discrimination laws.
What is a Facebook ad?
Facebook ads are primarily designed for businesses that are selling or promoting a product, whether it be windshield wipers or news articles. Facebook ads are a bit complicated and can be highly focused — except in the case of housing, where discrimination laws prevent any kind of audience targeting.
While Facebook ads can appear on many Facebook properties including News Feeds, Video Feeds, the Marketplace, and on Instagram — which is owned by Facebook’s parent company, Meta — because of legal restrictions, Facebook ads are not a good option for home sellers.
|🔍 Facebook ad takeaways|
|🔄 Advertise products on Facebook and other Meta-owned properties|
|📊 Can be complicated|
|🚫 Facebook's targeting options could violate laws about advertising housing|
|💸 Costs money|
How to sell a house on Facebook: Step-by-step guide
Click “Get Started” to see how to post a home on Facebook.
🔍 Don’t have a Facebook account?
Note that you may be required to input your phone number when trying to post on Facebook Marketplace from a fresh account.
- Navigate to Facebook.com and log in to your Facebook account.
- Click “Marketplace.”
- Click “Create new listing.”
- Select “Home for Sale or Rent.”
- Fill out your listing. Want some writing advice? We got you.
- Upload your photos — you can upload up to 50 on desktop.
- You can input the exact address or a general location. I.e., “Market Street, Hartford, CT.”
- Click “Next.”
- Facebook will recommend some local groups to join and possibly share your listing. They may or may not be relevant.
- Click “Publish”! You’re done.
📱 Using the Facebook mobile app
You can also post from the Facebook app on your smartphone.
Locate the Marketplace icon on the left-hand side of the menu. Then select “Sell” from the top menu and fill out the listing. The steps for using the app are pretty much identical to the desktop experience.
The app has additional features, like the ability to edit the title and add amenities.
How to boost a post: Step-by-step guide
Click “Get Started” to see how to boost a home listing on Facebook.
- Locate your seller dashboard by going to Marketplace and then select “Selling” on the left hand side. Or, just go to this link.
- Click “Boost Listing.”
- Agree to Facebook’s non-discrimination policy.
- Set your daily budget.
- Choose “Select custom budget & duration” for more control.
- Determine out how much you want to spend and over what period of time.
- Remember: You can’t target an audience due to housing laws.
- Add your payment method.
- Click “Promote now.”
Boosting a listing vs. Facebook ads: Are either worth it?
|🚀 Boosting||🗐 Facebook ads|
|✅Simple — can be done in a few clicks||✅Customizable, like adding a "Call now" button with your phone number.|
|✅Designed for one-off sales||✅Radius size can be tailored from 1 to 50 miles.|
|✅Minimum cost of $1 per day||✅Minimum cost of $1 per day|
|⛔️Limited customization||⛔️More complicated|
|⛔️Will only show your home to users within a 40-mile radius||⛔️Designed for businesses that need entire ad campaigns|
We haven’t found any evidence that either boosting a post or purchasing Facebook ads is a great option for single-home FSBO sellers. But if we had to recommend one paid advertisement option, we would choose to boost a Marketplace listing. Facebook ads just aren’t designed for real estate sales.
We created a fake listing for a house, and Facebook told us that an estimated 188–542 people would see our FSBO ad during a 3-day, $6 campaign. But how many of those people would actively be looking for a house?
Facebook has never been a home-shopping destination for most home buyers (although investors may use Marketplace more). Instead, buyers rely on MLS listings shared by their agents or bigger websites that pull listings from MLSes. So for most home sellers, there are better alternatives than paying for any of Facebook’s advertising options.
And no matter which service you decide to use, you’ll still have to spend a lot of time and energy as a FSBO home seller.
If that seems too stressful, you may want to consider a discount broker like Clever instead. You’ll pay a listing fee of just $3,000 — or 1% for homes over $350,000 — while getting expert local market guidance from an agent who will help sell your house for its maximum price.
Tips for creating a great Facebook listing
While we don’t recommend creating a Facebook Marketplace listing for most home sellers — especially as the only method of advertising your house — if it does fit into your listing strategies, these tips will improve your odds of finding the right buyer for your property.
Write a good description
Facebook allows for extremely lengthy descriptions, so don’t worry about character limits.
You don’t need to stuff the post with every single thing about the house, but you should include all the notable aspects of the property — neighborhood, proximity to schools, architecture, parking area, lot size, etc.
If you use the Facebook app, you can edit the title and add amenities from a premade list.
Users will primarily be contacting you via Facebook messages. You can also add your number or email to the listing, but then you may have to deal with spam and scammers contacting you.
You will likely get contacted by real estate agents looking to represent your home, as well as people offering cleaning or handyman services.
Use the app for more features
Currently, the app has more features than Facebook on desktop.
- You can only edit your listing’s title through the app. The default title is just the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and “House.” (e.g., “2 Beds 2 Baths House”).
- You can add amenities, like “basement” and “balcony,” from a pre-populated list.
To edit your listing from the app:
- Select Marketplace from the menu.
- Click the profile icon 👤 next to “Sell,” then select “Your listings.”
- Tap the three dots located right near your listing and select “Edit listing.”
From there, you can directly edit the title, while a searchable list of amenities is located at the bottom.
Focus on investors
Facebook Marketplace attracts investors who are looking to fix and flip properties.
If you’re selling a fixer-upper or distressed house, include the things that need to be fixed as well as what’s good about the home.
In the description or the title, use words like “investment,” “fixer upper,” “buy and hold,” “fix and flip,” etc.
But know that investors will only pay a maximum of 70% of the home’s after repair value (ARV) minus repairs. If an investor thinks the home is worth $300,000 after $50,000 in renovations, they would pay no more than $160,000 ($300,000 x 0.70 – $50,000 = $160,000).
Take good photos
|📸 Want to use lots of photos?|
|Use Facebook on the desktop. You can upload up to 50 photos using desktop, but only up to 20 photos with the app.|
- Take photos on a sunny day and open all blinds and curtains.
- Clean and declutter so that your home looks spotless.
- Depersonalize by hiding personal items like family photos from view.
- If using your phone, snap landscape photos (i.e., flip your phone sideways).
- Take lots of photos of the kitchen, bathrooms, living room, and master bedroom (these are the areas sellers most want to see) and select the best ones.
Share your listing
One advantage that Facebook has over other FSBO sites is its social aspect. You can share your listing to:
- A friend’s profile
- Local groups or pages
- The News Feed of your friends and followers
You can do this by going to your listing and clicking the “Share” button on desktop. On the Facebook app, the “Share” feature is located on the three-dot menu near your listing.
Most FSBO sellers sell to someone they already know, so this could be a good way of sending out feelers to your local community.
Selling a house safely on Facebook
Scammers and spammers
ProPublica reported scammers who hacked into actual agents’ Facebook accounts and posted fake listings. In one instance, a man who was selling his house had someone show up to his door, expecting to rent it. That person had sent scammers a check for what was supposed to be a deposit.
When selling a house on Facebook, take these precautions:
- Lock down your privacy settings.
- Never send money to anyone.
- Ignore vague or misspelled messages.
- Meet with buyers during the daytime and have someone with you when showing the property.
- Don’t click on messages containing links (they could be phishing).
- Don’t accept checks or money orders from someone you haven’t met.
FSBO sellers have to deal with spam from listing agents wanting to help sell their house. This could come in the form of emails, texts, phone calls, or even in-person visits.
Update privacy settings
When selling a house — and when using Facebook in general — change your privacy settings so only friends can see your personal information (anyone will still be able to view your listing).
Facebook has information on who can see your posts and personal information and how to change it.
Facebook is notorious for harvesting user data and using it for marketing and other purposes. The Washington Post has even more ways to keep your profile private and restrict Facebook from using your private data.
Vet buyers financially
You’re bound to get some non-serious or unqualified window-shoppers that you don’t want to waste time or money on. Here’s how to vet them:
- When dealing with cash buyers, ask for proof of funds — a letter from the bank saying they have the cash.
- For traditional buyers, ask for a pre-approval or pre-qualified letter (pre-approval is better).
- Ask for earnest money in the contract. Serious buyers will put skin in the game. Be sure to have an escrow agent or title company hold the money — don’t keep it yourself.
Alternatives to selling your home on Facebook
There are other ways to list your FSBO home, including free websites and low-cost services. There are also discount brokerages that cost more money but can net you a large sales price.
Zillow is the most popular real estate marketplace website in the country.
While the majority of listed homes are agent-assisted, Zillow allows you to post your FSBO home on its database, for free — although FSBO listings are hidden by default.
|Pros/cons of Zillow|
|✅More people use it, meaning more potential buyers|
|✅ Has a free app that creates panoramic, 3D home tours|
|⛔️ FSBO sellers often have to deal with agents calling to earn their business|
|⛔️You need to put in an email address or phone, which increases spam to personal accounts|
|⛔️FSBO homes are hidden by default from buyers|
Craigslist is one of the oldest websites for finding housing. And it looks like it — Craigslist has an outdated interface and is a haunt for scammers.
But if you have an investment property, it can be a good place to list.
|Pros/cons of Craigslist|
|✅Comes with an anonymous email proxy|
|✅Good for selling investment properties|
|⛔️Lots of scammers|
|⛔️Not great for traditional home sellers|
Flat fee MLS
A flat fee MLS company gets your house on an MLS without a traditional realtor or their higher commission rates.
They cost about $299–399 on average, and they can also offer additional à la carte services like lockboxes and professional photography at an additional cost.
|Pros/cons of flat fee MLS|
|✅ Gets your house on the MLS without a realtor|
|✅ Big buyer pool|
|⛔ Additional services can add up|
|⛔ Cheapest options usually come with listing restrictions, like limited photos|
|⛔ It may cost to make changes to your listing|
Should I sell my home on Facebook?
Facebook Marketplace isn’t the best FSBO option for most sellers, and definitely shouldn’t be the only way you list your home for sale.
Plus, you’ll still be doing all the FSBO legwork, which is very time consuming.
For sellers who don’t have the time or energy to sell FSBO but still want to save money on agent commission, a discount broker is a good option. We’ve spent hours researching and comparing the discount brokers for every budget.
For most sellers, the best option will be our friends at Clever Real Estate. Clever will:
✅Do all the home-selling legwork
✅Connect you to a top local agent
✅Save you THOUSANDS on fees
Clever pre-negotiates listing fees and connects you with a full-service agent for only $3,000 or just 1% of the sale price for homes over $350,000.
The average Clever seller saves $9,600 in fees. The service is 100% free — there is ZERO obligation to work with any of its partner agents. If you think FSBO is still the best option for you, great! You can walk away at any time.
FAQs about selling a house on Facebook
How do I post a house for sale on Facebook Marketplace?
On desktop, go to Facebook.com and click "Marketplace." Then go to "Create a new listing" and then "Home for Sale or Rent." Fill out all the available information — like price, square footage, number of bedrooms, etc. — then fill out a description. Then hit "Next" and click publish. Want a more detailed explanation? Check out our step-by-step guide.
Does it cost to post a house for sale on Facebook Marketplace?
It's free to post a house for sale on Facebook Marketplace. You can pay to advertise your listing by using Facebook ads or by "boosting." By doing so, you can get more eyes on your property — but there's no evidence this helps single-home FSBO sellers. There are better ways to spend your money when marketing a house, like using a flat fee MLS or discount broker.
Should I list a house on Facebook?
Listing a house on Facebook is free and easy, and it's one way to market a home. If you're familiar with Facebook, the process should be intuitive. You'll still have to find qualified buyers and do all of the other FSBO work yourself. While it doesn't hurt to list a house on Facebook Marketplace, there are other, better options to explore.