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For Sale By Owner has been in business since 1999 and is a Tribune owned company. For Sale By Owner empowers buyers and sellers with the resources that they need to make properties change hands directly without having to go through a real estate agent. The site provides how-to guides to empower the new buyer or seller and live customer support. They are widely acknowledged as the top "direct selling" home website in the industry. According to their website, in 2013, customers with For Sale By Owner saved more than $70 million on commissions. For Sale By Owner sold more than $2.3 billion in real estate properties using the tools available through the website. For Sale By Owner also makes it very easy to sell and market your home to potential buyers as well. The website contains easy marketing tools that advertise listings on multiple real estate websites and the Multiple Listing Service. There are listing services, advertising services, and tools that allow a seller to bypass a realtor. The lowest plan for selling a home with For Sale By Owner starts at $99 per month. Sellers may also choose to pay a one time, flat fee listing.

For Sale By Owner has a unique trait that sets it apart from other real estate websites: For Sale By Owner is a Tribune Publishing Company. With this backing, For Sale By Owner is able to provide its clients the best listings possible that are a result of Tribune Publishing's extensive holding of advertising and marketing resources of both online and printed media.

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The Good

  • Pricing Options
  • Home Selling Guarantee
  • Self-Help Section
  • Photos

Pricing Options

For Sale By Owner has three plans to help individuals list and sell their house. As previously mentioned, the cheapest plan, the DIY Starter starts at $99. This gets your home listed on ForSaleByOwner.com and Redfin with live customer support. The DIY Plus plan is a one time charge of $349. This plan also places your house on the market through Realtor.com, provides a syndication to major home search sites, and gives sellers a highly visible "For Sale" yard sign. The Deluxe MLS plan provides all of the above plus a flat fee MLS listing, listings on Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, and customized brochures for prospective buyers. The Deluxe plan in a one time charge of $499.

Home Selling Guarantee

Hands down, we felt like For Sale By Owner had a lot of good resources to offer its customers, both in the buyer and seller domains. For the seller, there is a home selling guarantee that fully protects the seller (something we didn't necessarily find with other online realty sites). If you don't sell your home and get the satisfaction over your sale, For Sale By Owner will fully refund your purchase fee for listing your home and refer you to a realtor of your choice. In fact, for direct listings, we found that For Sale By Owner had the best protection for selling your home without a realtor.

Self-Help Section

Another thing that we liked about For Sale By Owner was the extensive "self-help" section under the user account that we created. For different costs, we found it possible to create the legal forms and contracts that are often provided through a realtor. Rather than pay for a realtor, it is possible to purchase the contract forms, handouts, and other self-help resources to create your own forms when selling your own home. There is also a seller's store, which sells things like lockboxes for when you want to show your home or have another individual do it. We also liked the forms for landlords and tenants. With For Sale By Owner, we found materials for producing a lease agreement, as well as other documents, that go along with the rental process. On other websites, we did not find document generation tools for landlords. Another positive attribute of the website was the blogs and articles that were provided. The most extensive resource that we found was the buyer's guide. The buyer's guide contained information for how to clean up your credit score, taxing practices for purchasing a new home and other "self-help" resources. The credit article was particularly helpful and something not found on other real estate websites within the industry. We also really liked the photos that were associated with each listing. We looked at one property and found twenty-three relevant pictures that truly showcased the home, a virtual tour after reading the description of the home.

Photos

There is also an extensive map view, which offers a tilted "angle" view, helping the buyer get a better picture of the home situated in its neighborhood. One nice feature of the website was the ability to check your credit from a home listing. With the link that is provided to GoFreeCredit.com, you can check all three of your current credit scores by doing a "soft credit" inquiry. You can also check mortgage rates if you are thinking about purchasing a property and estimating your moving costs with the links that are provided with each listing.

The Bad

  • Seller Fees
  • Neighborhood Information

From the seller perspective, we felt like using For Sale By Owner was a pretty good deal. However, listing your home starts at $99 per month. The seller guarantee backs up the fee that you pay, but after paying for the various forms online, you might be better of using a realtor, who has the expertise in getting the contract rolling on a home transaction. We'd recommend using For Sale By Owner after you've done your research on the legal aspects that go with selling a home. Another thing we would like to see on the For Sale By Owner site is more information about the locale where a home is located. With other free websites such as Zillow and Trulia, we found detailed information about amenities near the listed property, the transit located near the home, and crime reports for the neighborhood. You'll have to do your research to learn about the locale of the home provided in the listing.

The Bottom Line

We felt like For Sale By Owner was a unique website that gave both prospective buyers and sellers the maximum benefit. We would recommend them, for both buyers and sellers who want to bypass a real estate agent. To summarize, here is what we liked about For Sale By Owner:

  • The high-quality FAQ and support based (blog) for first-time homebuyers.
  • The seller's guarantee, which returns For Sale By Owner's listing fees to a seller if they are not satisfied with the service.
  • Detailed listings and great photos of each home.
  • Links to help you figure out your credit situation, the cost of moving, and mortgage rates.

We would like to see the following improvements in the website:

  • More information about the demographics (such as school information and crime reports) for the listing.
  • More information about how to use the forms (contracts and agreements) that are provided for an additional fee if you are buying or selling a home.

Disclaimer

As part of our service, we attempt to partner with all the companies that we review, and may get compensated when you click or call them from our site; however, regardless of any current, past, or future financial arrangements, companies listed on Best Company cannot buy their position, nor do we manipulate or inflate a company's ranking for financial gain. A company’s ranking is based on and calculated by an objective set of ranking criteria, as well as user reviews. See our How We Rank page for more information regarding our ranking algorithm.

All user reviews posted on Best Company are subject to screening and approval. We reserve the right to approve or deny any review posted to this site in accordance with our Review Guidelines. Best Company never suppresses user reviews—unless they are being investigated for authenticity, or if they violate our review guidelines. We encourage anyone who suspects a user review to be fraudulent or intentionally inaccurate to please notify our review moderation team.


User Reviews

Star Rating

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18 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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KL
August 1st, 2019 Red Oak, TX DETAILS
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We paid over 400.00 dollars to have pictures taken of our house and list our house on FSBO.com. Our house did not get put on MLS, we were contacted by someone else who wanted more money to list it on MLS. We did not get one person inquiring about our home, except sharks, from this website. Every legitimate person who contacted us regarding our home came from Zillow. When we told people our home was on this website, they were not even aware of the website and/or could not find our home on this website. That is because you must use the zip code to find our home. Well most people don't know the zip code or how to navigate on this website. This was a waste of money and time. It would have at least been nice if we had access to the photos to put on our Zillow listing! FSBO... you will NEVER get another dime of my money! Where is your advertising... people should not look at us like they are not aware of your website!

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Shawn
June 28th, 2019 Pahoa, HI

Glad I only did the free trial. Every response I received was a scam. Don’t waste ur money here folks.

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AWCUSN
March 22nd, 2019 Charleston, SC DETAILS
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What ForSaleByOwner.com offers under their Professional Package is attractive on the surface. They affiliate with Rocket Homes, your house is listed on the MLS and Realtor.com, and an agent from Rocket acts as Seller agent. However, Rocket wants seller to sign an Exclusive listing contract which totally removes the for sale by owner option from the seller. Also, in addition to the disclosed fee of $499 + 3% commission to Rocket at closing, there is an additional 3% commission for Buyer's agent paid by seller. I requested a refund for the initial fee of $399 from FSBO and they came through with that. Do yourself a favor and READ THE CONTRACT that Rocket presents you.

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Ruddy McFarlan
March 1st, 2019 Golden, CO DETAILS
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I called and asked for specific details about their "Partner Package". One of the things that was a deal maker/breaker for me was having a "lock box" put onto my home so that buyers' agents could access the property. I was told that this WAS part of the package, so I bought it. When I later asked when they would be installing the lock box, I was told that this option was NOT part of the package. No excuse for such poor professionalism!

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Laina
February 1st, 2019 Naples, FL DETAILS
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There aren't many people looking on that site. And the fee of $400 I paid for until I canceled the ad CHANGED. Maybe a new company owns, I wasn't notified, and a 365 day countdown started. They have done nothing but lie to me. Also note that takes a PC to work the site now. A tablet or phone won't work most features.

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Elle
August 22nd, 2018 Mesa, AZ DETAILS
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Listed my home, got the 349 package along with 150 for professional photos, this also got me on realtor and mls websites. The best part of this deal were the photos, spend the money, get a pro!! made all the difference. On this site, all I got were calls from realtors demanding I pay them to show my home. Sold and got the most hits on Zillow WHICH IS FREE. So, I regret spending the money for this except for the photos, that made the difference, I got more people to come tour off those photos. Dealing with them was fine, they were very nice. Still regret wasting money got more views from Zillow.

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joe harrington
August 6th, 2018 Chebanse, IL DETAILS
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they are nothing like they used to be. they want to nickel and dime you for everything. now they are asking for $75.00 just to get emails from people who have emailed wanting info. As soon as my contract runs out i am going with a reputable realtor in my area. oh and they blame most of the problems on the company they just merged with.

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S Smith
July 25th, 2018 Theodore, AL DETAILS
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DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!! If I could give zero stars, I would. If you want to sell your house for sale by owner but list it on the MLS, find a flat fee agent in your area on your own, since the only thing this service will do is pass your info to one. It might cost more, but in my case it cost much less. I paid $499 for something that would have cost me $99. And I still had to pay the agency extra to get more that 6 pictures on the MLS. Also, the only interest I had from their website essentially exposed me to fraud. And since they have no tools to filter or a mailbox you can use to respond to these inquiries, you expose your own information when you do respond (since you have to use your own email address). I have sent multiple emails regarding these issues and have received no response.

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Joanna Hester
June 18th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ

Before we listed with an agent, we decided to try to list our house by ourselves. We used ForSaleByOwner.com to post our home. It was a great price and a perfect alternative to paying a ton of commission to realtors.

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Nick Kramer
June 14th, 2018 Houston, TX DETAILS
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Selling my home in Houston, TX and decided to use FSBO.com. I paid for their Deluxe package at $499 after reading all the promises of being given the needed legal advise and forms needed. After I signed up and got into the sight the only legal advise I was given was a 41 page handbook that tells you what forms you need and where to get them. When you go to that page they want to charge you for every single form. WTF did I pay for then! Before I paid the $499 I read the disclosure that some brokers charge 0.5% for the MLS as well so I was prepared for this. The broker I was assigned to stated they do not charge just for listing but did offer contract help for another $595. When setting up all the info on FSBO's site I had multiple problems savings pictures and the home description. It got to the point where I emailed FSBO.com to have them list everything because it would not save on my end. This was not user error, I am not that dumb. I signed all my forms with the broker and the broker stated they only list 6 pictures on the MLS!?! I asked why when the deluxe package states unlimited pictures. The broker stated that's only for the FSBO site, not the MLS site. I paid an extra $35 for the MLS pictures. I never received the yard sign from FSBO and the "custom brochures" is just a boiler plate template they use. You can't change anything in it unless you copy and paste it into a word document. This site provided no help at all since it did not provide any legal forms or list on the MLS for you. Save your money and just go talk directly to a broker.

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billy williams
June 8th, 2018 Memphis, TN DETAILS
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Very deceptive company when you get into their MLS deluxe package. They claim unlimited photos, but when you purchase the MLS you are limited to six. Called them to ask about this and they were real quick with the answer (because they have numerous complaints about this!) Very rude, condescending women handled the call. Try and find another company, this one stinks.

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Ed Connolly
April 30th, 2018 Woodbridge, VA DETAILS
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Read the fine print under "Legal" section. Besides what you pay for the package ($399, $499, etc), you have to pay the agent who lists your house on an MLS up to .5% of the sales price. Ie. if you sell your house for $400,000 that's another $2,000 you pay to the listing broker. FSBO wasn't like that in the past, I was satisfied with them when I used them before, but there was no additional fee at the time.

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Craig P Mills
April 3rd, 2018 New Iberia, LA DETAILS
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FSBO.com takes your money and gives part or half to an outsourced realtor in your area when you sign up for MLS coverage. You get to fill in all the answers and add all your pictures of your home for their web page, then you are turned over to a flat rate realtor and you do it all over again for the MLS Listing. So FSBO wastes your time and takes 1/2 or more of your money for no services at all. I advice Not to use FSBO.com to sell your home. Also there is no distriCraig

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Caroline Caine
February 21st, 2018 Huntington, WV DETAILS
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I sold my home three years ago using FSBO. I had a buyer in two months. Got all my paperwork needed from the bank. And to think how little time it took between the buyer and myself to do everything. I saved over $22,000 in commission. When I purchased my home in WV the home owner was also a FSBO and it was a great experience. In a few months I will be again selling my home and will for sure be using FSBO!!

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Mike McCormack
February 14th, 2018 Plano, TX DETAILS
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These people are crooks!!! Do not pay them. Do not do business with them. They charge you over $200 then refer you to another company that charges you $295!!! They parse words, play games and cheat you out of your money. Run away from these crooks as fast as you can!!!!

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Number One Designs
April 24th, 2017

We used NoMoreAgent.com and had a great experience. The owner (I believe) actually jumped on a call with us when we needed some specialized help and explained the process of selling my house online. Then he directed me to a few blogs about making the house "Show Ready". it sold in less than 180 days. We are very content.

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Rachel Simmons
April 24th, 2017 Tampa, FL

I signed up online with forsaleby owner.com February 26, 2017 and paid $399 for the 'MLS Enhanced Listing'. I was sent an email from the agent they outsourced me to for the MLS listing. I didn't respond to the email, nor contact that agent instead I looked on their website and read their terms and conditions. That is when I saw mandatory fees that if I proceeded I would have to agree to pay to this agent. These fees were minimum of $1600 (not including the $399 I've already paid). I did not wish to proceed and I contacted Forsalebyowner.com on March 2 to cancel my order or find another option. When I used Forsalebyowner.com the year prior I had no fees like this and when I told the service Rep on the phone this he told me that the laws have changed in the state my home was for sale in (TN). I later found out that is NOT true. I told him then that I wished to cancel and expected a full refund as nothing has been done with my order as of yet. He told me that they could only partially refund me because they already emailed an agent about my listing. I requested to speak with a manager and was rudely told I was on a waiting list and would be called back shortly. Over 24 hours later I called back and spoke with a woman service Rep who again said only a partial refund would be given and again requested to speak with a manager and again told I was on the list. I asked how long until I hear back she said within 24 hours. That week I received a forsalebyowner for sale sign to my home in FL which did no good as the home for sale was in TN and my account had been cancelled. I called a third time 18 days from my initial call and was told I would be called back by a manager and that "yes, an email being sent is the reason my $175 would not be refunded even though nothing was ever completed with my order" Called 4th time as NO manager EVER returned my call, Megan assured me Peter the manager would call... that was 26 days after the 1st call and now 41 days later NO CALL! DO NOT USE THEM!! Use usrealty.com they are the real deal for for sale by owner homes! They took $175 from me and did NOTHING.

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Joseph
September 13th, 2016 Hampton Bays, NY

I'm listing my home for the first time and don't know where to put it. I looked at for sale by owner.com and it says they can put it up on the MLS but the fee is $599