Top Ways to Sell a House by Owner & Alternatives

If you own a home and want to sell it, it is only natural to wish for the highest return on your investment. For this reason, many homeowners consider selling their property without involving an agent.

Selling a house without an agent, known as an FSBO or “for sale by owner” listing demands time, energy, and persistence. Such a listing can result in huge savings at the closing table, as you rule out the listing agent’s commission and, in some cases, even the buyer agent’s commission.

People wondering how to sell a house by owner should understand it involves a learning curve. Preparing for what you might face will only help you pocket the maximum amount while keeping your stress at the lowest.

Here is a list of ways how to sell a house by owner. Let’s get started.

1. FSBO websites

FSBO websites give you access to the MLS or the Multiple Listing Service. MLS is a local database used by realtors to list a property for sale. Only licensed realtors can access MLS.

It is important to list your house on the local MLS because only then will buyer agents be able to locate your listing. When you opt for such a listing, the company’s agent lists your house on the MLS and you are in control of everything else.

All FSBO MLS listings are syndicated to hundreds of popular real estate websites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and others.

There are both paid and free FSBO websites. A paid FSBO platform allows MLS access for an upfront fee, which typically is a few hundred dollars. Technologically advanced FSBO websites such as help you list on the MLS for $349.

Some other popular FSBO websites are Beycome,,, and Homecoin.

A free FSBO listing website on the other hand will just expand your online exposure. You won’t have to spend anything from listing your house to getting updates on the listing. But there’s a catch. This website’s monetization model is advertising, so you are essentially a lead for that website’s marketing team. With such companies, there is no guarantee that your FSBO transaction will go through.

Some of the popular free FSBO sites you can try are Zillow,, and Craigslist.

Now let’s look at the alternatives for selling FSBO.

2. Flat fee MLS companies

If you are wondering how to sell a house by owner then a flat fee MLS listing service can help you promote your property by listing it on the local MLS.

These companies charge an upfront fee to list your home on the MLS. The most basic listing services will end their service here. The homeowner will have to take up the rest of the home-selling process by himself.

But many flat fee MLS companies also offer further assistance for an extra charge. There is an a la carte menu to choose from if you want more guidance with the selling process. For example, some flat fee MLS listing companies provide marketing assistance or a professional photographer.

You can also get help with the paperwork, negotiations, contracts, and closing by paying extra.

3. iBuyers

iBuyers or instant buyers buy properties for cash. Usually, they do not even see these homes and take care of the small upgrades themselves, before relisting the house.

As these companies are basically flipping your house, you do not have to worry about doing any repairs, upgrades, staging, showing, and marketing. They buy your house as is, for cash.

This implies that homeowners can still go with the FSBO approach, only rather than listing and marketing their property in the traditional manner, they sell it to an iBuyer.

You can even get an instant home valuation estimate for free to check what iBuyers would potentially pay for your house.

But do keep in mind that since iBuyers are re-selling your house and taking care of all the upgrades, they might make an offer that is less than what you would have listed your house for. Also, they have very strict eligibility criteria for the homes they buy.

But since these companies make an offer within a few days and close at your convenience, you can save a lot of time, money, and stress.

4. Discount Realtors

Discount realtors are agents that offer specific real estate services at a discounted price. They basically provide a discount on the listing agent commission. So, rather than charging the homeowner the standard 3% rate, they charge much less say 1-2%, or a pre-defined flat fee.

Such reduced fee helps save sellers thousands. Discount brokerages offer basic services such as listing on the local MLS, marketing assistance, help with paperwork, contracts, and legal services. They also offer additional services for an extra charge.

If you are wondering where can I find discount real estate brokers near me, then here are a few popular ones: Redfin, Ideal Agent, SimpleShowing, Prevu, and HomeLight.

Bottom Line

Selling a house without a professional agent can be an overwhelming task for many homeowners. But if you hire an agent, you also have to pay them a lot of money. Plus, there is the exclusivity contract, which benefits everyone but the owner. A good FSBO site can help you avoid all this hassle. You will work with the buyer directly and have more control over the sale and your profit.

If you still feel that FSBO sites are not working for you then you should look up the different alternatives too.


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