FSBO/For Sale By Owner FAQ

What are For Sale by Owner homes?

For Sale By Owner or FSBO is a home that is listed for sale without a real estate agent. Most homeowners who choose to do a FSBO do so to save money because there is no real estate agent commission. While commissions can vary, they usually account for 6% of the home’s sales price. This fee is split between the listing agent and buyer’s agent.

Can For Sale by Owner list on MLS?

The MLS or multiple listing service is the foundation of the real estate market. It’s a massive database of home listings with about 700 regional databases. Every regional MLS has its own listings and real estate agents pay dues to access the MLS and post homes. Many websites you will see that list homes for sale actually aggregate home listings through condensed versions of MLS listings.

As a home seller, you can’t post your home directly to your regional MLS because access is limited to brokers and agents who pay for membership. While FSBO homes could not traditionally be listed on the MLS, there is a way around this. You can pay a flat fee to a broker to get your For Sale By Owner listed on the MLS.

Can For Sale by Owner list on Zillow?

Zillow is one of the largest online real estate databases with millions of for-sale and rental listings across the United States. Zillow also owns Trulia and combined, they account for 64% of the online market share and leads. Zillow does allow homeowners to post a For Sale By Owner on their website. Listings are free to post and can include photos and videos. The main downside to this is Zillow does make money off your listing by selling ad space for agents. When a potential buyer submits the information card or clicks “Call agent,” they won’t be calling you. The inquiry will be sent as a lead to real estate agents. This can be a drawback when you’re attempting to sell your home without an agent.

Can For Sale by Owner List on Realtor.com?

Realtor.com is a major home listing site that has been around for more than twenty years. It was once a closed network for National Association of Realtors members but it’s no longer owned or controlled by NAR. As a national syndicate for local MLS listings, it can be beneficial to have your FSBO listed on Realtor.com. Homeowners can’t list their homes directly on Realtor.com. To get a FSBO listed on the site, you will need to use a flat rate broker with MLS service.

Can For Sale by Owner list on Trulia?

Trulia is owned by Zillow and the two combined account for 64% of all online home leads. The process for listing a FSBO on Trulia is easy. You will need to click “submit listings for sale” to get redirected to their partner site, Zillow. From there, you can choose to list a For Sale By Owner for free. The listing will appear on both Zillow and Trulia.

Do For Sale by Owner homes sell?

Yes, there are tens of thousands of completed FSBO transactions every year. FSBO sales tend to be cyclical ranging from 8% in 2017 to an all-time high of 21% in 1981. Today, it’s easier than ever to list and market a home, especially considering most home buyers start their search online. It’s also cheaper to do a FSBO. Sellers don’t just save on a commission, they can also get their home listed on the MLS with flat-rate broker services today, something that was impossible in the not-too-distant past.

How do For Sale by Owner homes work?

FSBO homes are sold differently than agent-sold homes. The process is different for both sellers and buyers. As a seller, you will need to do the marketing and negotiating on your own. You may also need the help of a real estate attorney to prepare legal documents and ensure all legal requirements are met. Many FSBO sellers choose flat-rate brokers to ensure their home is still listed on the MLS and sites like Realtor.com, otherwise homeowners cannot even list their home on the MLS.

That isn’t to say that FSBO sellers don’t face challenges. Many people who attempt to sell their own home are told that most fail, but that isn’t necessarily true, especially with the tools available today. The greatest challenges to successful FSBO sales are pricing and completing legal paperwork but there are tools to help with bost.

Does a For Sale by Owner pay commission?

The lack of commissions is the primary reason homeowners choose a For Sale By Owner. While the seller does not have to pay any commissions in a FSBO because they are not representing by a listing agent, it’s important to remember that the typical sale comes with a 4-6% commission split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. If the buyer is represented by an agent, and many are, they will expect a commission. Some FSBO sellers do end up paying the buyer’s agent a 2-3% commission in one way or another. The seller may agree to the commission or the buyer may work the commission into their offer rather than paying it out-of-pocket.

Does a For Sale by Owner save money?

A successful FSBO can save you tens of thousands of dollars. If there are no agents involved, you will save the full 5-6% commission. This is around $18,000 on a $300,000 home. If you choose to work with a buyer represented by an agent and you pay their commission, you can still save around $9,000 on a $300,000 home. There are some costs that will need to be added that an agent normally covers, such as listing your home on the MLS and attorney’s fees. Still, these standalone costs will be unlikely to exceed $1,500.

Is For Sale by Owner a good idea?

A For Sale by Owner isn’t right for everyone but there are many good reasons to sell your own home. If you’re committed to selling your home and have the time to dedicate, a FSBO can save you a substantial amount of money. On a $300,000 home, you can save $18,000 if no agents are used and about $9,000 or more if just a buyer’s agent is used. You will also retain complete control of the process by making decisions about how and when your home will be shown and how you want to negotiate. This can even reduce misunderstandings with a buyer because there is no third party involved. You will be able to give buyers direct knowledge of your home because no one knows it better than you do.

Which For Sale by Owner site is the best?

For Sale By Owner sellers have a huge bounty of resources today that make it easier and more affordable to sell a home. REOZom.com is a great resource for Michigan sellers who want flat fee MLS listings. This gives you the same online exposure as homes listed with full-service brokers at a fraction of the cost. Buyers in Michigan can even make offers directly through REOZom. Unlike Zillow and other websites, buyers will contact you directly, not an agent who bought your lead. You will be notified immediately about offers which you can review, accept, and/or counteroffer through the platform.

Written by: reozom