Content of the material
Pros and cons of selling FSBO on Zillow
|✅ Zillow pros||❌ Zillow cons|
|Zillow is the most popular home buying website, with over 200 million monthly visitors.||FSBO homes are harder for buyers to find on Zillow.|
|It’s free to list for sale by owner on Zillow.||Zillow actively encourages buyers to use agents, so you’ll almost certainly have to pay some agent commission.|
|Zillow offers a free app for creating virtual home tours.||Your potential savings may not be worth the time and hassle.|
🚩 FSBO listings are hard for buyers to find
Unfortunately, Zillow puts FSBO sellers at a big disadvantage. When a buyer searches for homes on Zillow, the map’s default view only shows properties that have an agent. To see FSBO properties, a buyer must select the “Other listings” button. It’s an easy-to-miss button, and many buyers don’t even notice it exists.
Unfortunately, this can have a big impact on your bottom line.
The harder your FSBO Zillow listing is to find, the less interest you’re likely to get from potential buyers. That means more time on the market, which could make it more difficult to get top dollar for your home.
🚨 Why are FSBO listings “hidden” on Zillow?
FSBO listings are separated from the rest of Zillow’s listings because of a deal made between Zillow and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In exchange for being able to syndicate MLS listings (which are mostly listings with agents), Zillow agreed to keep those listings separate from all other listings, including FSBO homes.
The move was controversial and is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit by discount brokerage REX Real Estate, which alleges that the agreement is anti-competitive. We’ll keep an eye on that case and update this article if Zillow’s policy toward FSBO listings changes.
🚩 Zillow nudges buyers into using agents
Beware that even though you’re listing your house as for sale by owner, there’s a good chance that buyers will contact you through Zillow via an agent, which means you’ll likely have to pay a buyer’s agent commission.
Zillow places a huge “Contact Agent” button near the top of the page so buyers are far less likely to contact you directly and more likely to do so through an agent.
To find your contact information, buyers must scroll all the way to the bottom of the “Overview” section. Clicking “Property Owner” will open a form where the buyer can email you directly, but the button is intentionally MUCH harder to find.
If a buyer isn’t already working with an agent, they’re far more likely to click “Contact Agent” than get in touch with you directly.
Since the seller is usually the one who pays the buyer’s agent commission, the more buyers that come to you with an agent, the more likely it is you’ll have to pay some commission.
There’s a reason Zillow makes it so difficult for buyers to contact FSBO sellers directly. It’s the same reason Zillow lets you list for sale by owner for free. It may not be charging you fees, but it is making money from your listing.
Every time Zillow connects a realtor with a customer on the website, the agent pays a fee. Simply put, if a potential buyer clicks “Contact Agent” on your listing, Zillow makes money. But if the buyer contacts you directly, Zillow makes nothing.
Reasons for a 90-Day Listing Length of Time
In normal markets, 90-day listings are more common. During the first 30 days, you should get a lot of showings if your house is priced right.
Ask your agent for buyer feedback, and follow up on suggestions to improve the condition of your home and/or price.
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