What is SimplyFSBO?
SimplyFSBO is a flat-fee service that helps you list and market your home for sale by owner (FSBO) and then connects you with resources to complete the sale with your buyer. It’s SimplyFSBO reps — known as Gurus — are not licensed real estate agents. They simply assist you in creating an attractive listing, provide a home value estimate, and get you in touch with a real estate attorney to finish the transaction.
SimplyFSBO mostly operates in the Quad Cities (which includes the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in Illinois). But, it also has some business in Des Moines, Iowa, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
What services does SimplyFSBO provide?
SimplyFSBO specializes in kicking your home’s listing up a notch in order to attract more buyers. To start, they partner with licensed real estate professionals to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) that gives you an idea of how much your home is worth, which helps you determine your listing price.
They provide experienced real estate photographers to present your home in its best light. They also create 3D virtual showings so potential buyers can walk through your home without having to set up an appointment time or set foot in it. Next, they work to create a professional listing by combining this with all the pertinent information and highlights about your home, floor plans, and a great description.
SimplyFSBO posts this listing on their own site, as well as Zillow and Trulia. It also uses targeted social media ads on Facebook and Instagram and paid search ads on Google to attract potential buyers.
Throughout this process, you are assigned to a SimplyFSBO Guru that is available to answer any questions you have while your listing is live. Once you’ve finished negotiating terms with a buyer, SimplyFSBO can connect you with a real estate attorney to finalize the agreement and close the deal if you need it.
How much does SimplyFSBO cost?
Unlike traditional real estate agents that charge a commission (usually 3% of the home’s sale price), SimplyFSBO charges a flat rate at the beginning. The $599 Guru Pro package gets you the services listed above (with the exception of the 3D showing and floor plan, which cost extra), as well as For Sale and Open House signs, and printable flyers. You can opt for the pared-down Guru Essential package for $299, which provides you with a 90-day listing, guidance and support, professional photography, and a for-sale sign.
This is the biggest downside of SimplyFSBO: You pay upfront, whether or not your home sells. So if you end up not being able to sell without an agent, you’re still out the $299 or $599 you paid upfront, and you’ll need to pay your agent. Only 7% of sellers actually sold their homes FSBO in 2018, so the odds are against sellers being able to manage all of the marketing, negotiations, and paperwork.
If you use the SimplyFSBO service, don’t forget that you may still have to pay for a buyer’s agent’s commission. Typically, the seller pays for both their own listing agent and the buyer’s agent for a combined commission of 6% of the home’s value — with each agent getting roughly half, or 3%.
When your home is listed for sale by owner, a buyer’s agent may contact you to show it to their client and ask if you’re willing to pay them a commission if their buyer ends up purchasing the home. While this commission is completely negotiable, it is typically in the 3% range — less on more expensive homes and more on cheaper homes.
It’s in your best interest to agree to this in some capacity, as the agent’s client is likely a qualified and pre-approved buyer. Plus, they can help write up the offer and complete subsequent paperwork and you’ll only end up paying that commission once the sale is finalized.
SimplyFSBO received a 4.9 out of 5 based on 47 Facebook reviews.
Generally, clients experience prompt service, a professional process, and a quick sale. Here are a couple samples of pleased clients of SimplyFSBO:
While reviews of the service are overwhelmingly positive, there are downsides to listing your home as a FSBO, one of which is not having a third-party advocate for you when negotiating pricing and repairs.
Simply FSBO might be better viewed as an upgraded marketing activity for your home, rather than a standalone service. You’ll likely need help with paperwork and negotiations, so you’re looking at paying a real estate lawyer between $250 to $500 to help you make sure your paperwork is in order.
Alternatives to SimplyFSBO
Listing your home FSBO can certainly save you money on commission — but you’ll have to put in a lot of effort since you won’t have an agent to rely on and coordinate everything related to the sale. Only one in ten (11%) of properties sold in 2019 were sold as FSBO listings, not to mention that FSBO homes typically sell for thousands less than homes listed with an agent. In that case, you may not end up saving money in the long run.
There are services out there that provide a happy medium by offering the help of a full-service agent at a flat fee. And agents only get paid when the sale is successful.
Clever Real Estate connects home buyers and sellers to experienced, top-rated real estate agents in their market. Clever partners with agents from major brands you may be familiar with — like Century 21 and Keller Williams — to help sellers get a significant discount on commissions. They offer the same full service as other agents, the only difference is that they have agreed to offer Clever sellers a flat fee of $3,000 — or 1% if the home sells for more than $350,000 — instead of the traditional 3% listing commission.
Unlike SimplyFSBO, you pay nothing upfront — if the Partner Agent referred by Clever isn’t a great fit, you can ask for additional matches or simply walk away with no strings attached.
Save Thousands Without Selling Alone
Our friends at Clever Real Estate negotiate with top-performing agents so you don’t have to. Save thousands and get full service.