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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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