Selling your home yourself has always been an appealing opportunity to keep a lot of your equity and make more profit from the sale of your home, but many home sellers default to using an agent because of the work involved and due to the mysterious nature of the task.
In the old “unconnected” world this difficulty was actually true, but in the last couple of years it has become incredibly easy and even fun to sell your own home because new online technology has empowered homeowners to do so!
It is definitely the right time to consider selling your home yourself before you list with an agent.
Realtors have cornered the home selling market for the last 100 years. Most homeowners looking to sell immediately look for a real estate agent and that is not a bad way to go if you’re willing to pay the price. After all, real estate agents are highly motivated to help you sell your house, and they do typically have some knowledge to make it easy on you.
However, this also means a seller must pay agent commissions to the buying and selling real estate agents, which usually adds up to as much as 6% of the sale price of the home. In other words, for a single-family home worth $500,000, $30,000 is going to real estate agents!
It seems a bit unethical when most home buyers are actually the ones who find the homes they buy online or on the MLS without the help of an agent. In the information age, everything is at your fingertips on your computer or smartphone.
Over the last 20 years selling your home yourself, also known as For Sale by Owner (FSBO), has become increasingly popular due to the widespread use of the internet and smartphones. As the name implies, FSBO homeowners sell their property without the help of a real estate agent and therefore, they either save the entire commission by selling direct to a buyer, or more commonly, they at least avoid the listing agent fee of 3% because oftentimes buyers are already connected with an agent, and it makes sense to pay the fee sometimes for the right buyer. Listing a home online is a crucial step for FSBOs to sell their homes, but which websites are the best for this?
What to Look for in Sell Your Home Yourself Websites
Most FSBO websites have certain listing features in common. However, some manage certain features better than others. Here is what to look for:
MLS – A way to get your home listing in the (Multiple Listings Service)
Buyer/Seller Marketplace – Where buyers can see photos, videos, 3D tours, and all property details
Purchase Contract – Negotiation help and access to a Purchase Contract (one company has an online negotiation wizard!)
Messaging System– Direct buyer-seller communication
Transaction Support – through the entire process including legal seller disclosures
Service Pros – A network of service providers you’ll need from pre-listing to the time you close
TIP: Watch out for Information Sales – Find out if they sell your information to real estate agents. To many of them, you are nothing more than a lead. When you list as a FSBO on many sites, agents will be relentless calling you to try to get you to list.
FSBO.com has been around since 1997 as an online magazine and it has changed a lot since then. FSBO.com has 2 packages to sell. The first is the FSBO package ($99.95) which includes a six-month listing, unlimited photos and in one video upload, 24/7 access to edit or cancel listing at any time, a free Redfin listing (yard signs and supplies are sold separately).
The second package ($399.95) is called the MLS package which includes MLS and an a fsbo.com listing for six months, listing syndication to Zillow realtor.com Trulia and more, buyers broker Commission required and will need to be stated up-front upon entering MLS (2-3% is customary), other options based on state.
The names are starting to get confusing, aren’t they? For Sale By Owner has been around since 1999 and claims to be the best. They offer tools, live support and how-to guides to assist their sellers. They also work with Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Homes to assist sellers.
The site is laid out well and easy to use. It offers two different packages: the Independent and the Professional. The Independent offers a customizable listing on forsalebyowner.com, unlimited listing photos, tools to help price your home, and access to purchase all necessary legal forms.
The professional offers a dedicated rocket homes agent coordinator who ensures your sale goes smoothly, a listing on the MLS, listing photos, showings with potential buyers, all necessary paperwork in legal forms. The professional package is basically a normal real estate agent deal, so not FSBO, which is going to include the 5% five to 6% typical agent Commission.
Orlandorealtors has helped home sellers. It currently features homes for sale in all 50 states and boasts millions of listings which include foreclosures and rent to own homes. It is easy to use and costs $39 per month to list your home. This provides unlimited photos, priority sorting (placement), and buyer and renter leads.
The listings provide local information such as population, median family income, and unemployment rate as well as some local schools. The layout is easy to read and has links to quickly check your credit score or get financing if needed.
If you haven’t heard of or used Zillow, you may have until recently been living in a cave. Zillow.com was one of the earliest real estate websites founded all the way back in 2004. Today, it has become one of the nation’s leading real estate websites. It has even been recently parodied on SNL. It is free to use and easy to navigate. Zillow is not a pure sell your home yourself website. Zillow primarily features listings represented by agents, but it does have features that allow FSBO’s to list their properties for free.
Zillow has an easy registration process and afterwards the home seller can quickly begin adding property details and uploading photos. A unique popular feature to Zillow is what they call a zestimate. A Zestimate is Zillow’s estimated market value using their own market data & formula. Zillow has a clean and open visually appealing website when compared to other FSBO websites. You should definitely give them a visit if you have not already.
As of early 2021, Zillow, which used to be a tech company, became a full on licensed real estate brokerage, and in doing so, had to make some changes to their business model. It is still easy to list your FSBO with Zillow, however, now, by default, your FSBO home will not show up on the main page when buyers search Zillow. There is a separate area where buyers can find FSBO’s and it’s not very intuitive to get there, as of this writing. This makes it almost impossible to sell your FSBO on Zillow, but you can be certain you’ll get a lot of listing agent calls.
Sell Your Home Yourself with Orlandorealtors
Yes, we may be a little biased… Afterall, you’re reading a Orlandorealtors blog article… but we have created something truly unique and incredibly helpful to homeowners selling their own homes. Orlandorealtors is not like any other FSBO website. We truly believe in our mission to use technology to save sellers’ hard earned home equity from agent commissions that are sky-high. We have countless happy sellers and we’d love to make you one of them as well.
Orlandorealtors is the easiest and best way to sell your home in California. We offer true FSBO, or a hybrid FSBO with an option to market your home on MLS, for instant exposure on Zillow’s main search page, realtor.com and 100+ other sites.
It’s simple. Here’s how it works:
- List your home for free – You can prep & post your home on Orlandorealtors in less than 5 minutes. We’ll help you promote it and provide you with all the tools you need to successfully sell your home yourself. If you choose the hybrid MLS option (see pricing page for more information), we get your listing posted to the MLS and we prepare you for what to expect with showings, dealing with agents, the negotiation process and more.
- Buyers search properties – Buyers have the ability to chat directly with you, request a showing or write you a bona-fide offer.
- Negotiation Wizard – Orlandorealtors gives you full control of the negotiation process. You negotiate back and forth in our online wizard until all terms are agreed to (we educate on each and every term so you can make informed decisions). Once you reach an agreement a Purchase Agreement is automatically generated and sent for digital signatures. Once signed, this is a binding legal agreement that you use for escrow.
- Transaction Coordination – Orlandorealtors even offers assistance through the escrow process where we guide you through the entire transaction. Our Transaction Coordinator service will open escrow, provide all statutory disclosure forms, ensure that all parties adhere to their contractual deadlines, and help facilitate a smooth completion of your sale.
Orlandorealtors features include:
- Property Listing Page
- Offer Management
- Value Estimator
- Guided Negotiation
- Instant Messenger
- Transaction Roadmap
- Contract Generator
- Live Support
“Given how simple and straightforward it was to market my house, interact with the buyer, and close on the property, I can’t see myself selling another property any other way.”
Derek H. (Simi Valley, CA), a Orlandorealtors user with Estimated Savings of $50,000
No matter who you choose, make sure you do your own homework by diving into each platform thoroughly and reading the fine print. Search for other FSBO listings so you can see how and where your listing will appear.
Thanks to the internet and sell your home yourself websites, the real estate agents no longer hold all the power. There is really no reason to hand over 3-6% of your home’s value to an agent when you can be equipped with the tools to pull it off yourself.