September 26, 2010

RSS Feed  subscribe by email  Follow Us on Twitter  Facebook

Are FSBO Sites Taking Over?

Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen a swathe of new for sale by owner (FSBO) property websites come online, from in Europe to in Australia. The UK market seems to be particularly flooded with FSBO offerings -,,,, and are just a few examples. Even supermarket giant Tesco is organising an FSBO option, according to

So what effect are these websites actually having? Are they drawing traffic away from traditional property portals? Are they attracting business from owners keen to bypass real estate agents?

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking FSBO is the new black. “We sold one day after the sign went up” reads a testimonial on “Join the property evolution” is’s tagline, while claims it sees 3 million buyers on its website every month. UK commission-free agency NetMovers has gone so far as to partner with to offer its users an FSBO option.

But on closer inspection, not all these websites are making such a huge impact., for example, is currently listing just 60 properties in the UK. Australian FSBO site launched in May 2009, but by July had repositioned itself to operate like a traditional agency. isn’t doing badly with 2,150 houses for sale, but that’s a fraction of the listings covered by Australian market leader and runner-up

Meanwhile, portal traffic figures seem strong as ever, with the major players in each market continuing to tout their unique visitor numbers at the end of every month. has just reported a milestone of 5.9 million uniques in January, while in the UK and US and continue to dominate, with the only argument being over who, exactly, is in second place.

Perhaps NetMovers’ partnership with sums up the story. Some owners are keen to take the process of selling or renting their property into their own hands, but there are still plenty of sellers who want the option of working with an agent.

What’s your opinion? Are FSBO websites a concern in your area, or simply a niche offering that can co-exist comfortably alongside more traditional models?


Related posts:

  1. Cuts Out Agents


  1. As an agent, I’m always out and about in my area and from time to time I see a private sale or FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sign go up. After 2 to 6 weeks in most cases you see the sign replaced by an agent sign and in the small amount of cases where the property does sell, it’s at a price that’s below the market value. Any agent or home owner can put a sign out the front and list the property on an array of property web sites. Where the value of an agent comes in to play is areas such as market knowledge and negotiation skills. It’s these skills combined with the behind the scene’s activities and work that makes the difference between selling a property at a basement or average price to getting top dollar. This leads to the argument between a full price agent and one that is forced to discount or reduce his fee’s to generate business. That’s another discussion for another day.

  2. In Australia, it is still fair to consider FSBO companies such as to be a niche player; or is it? Research proves a very different story and a clear upsurge is emerging.

    I remember the old days when “Telex” machines ruled interoffice communication and, soon after, when I was introduced to the fax machine. The humble Fax cost far more than a Telex but was clearly a SMARTER and less expensive tool to use. Today Fax machines still reside in every office and most homes. Email communication has since become the new “predator” of the Fax machine and thus the Information Technology evolution continues.

    Let’s face it, when it comes to technology, most of us are merely plankton being carried from place to place by the current that is the ‘smarts of the human brain’.

    With every new generation a SMARTER generation is being born and thus, I can see a revolution beginning to appear in the Real Estate Industry.

    As CEO of I receive weekly data depicting a trend that will see smart Australians buying and selling their property through FSBO type websites.

    All industries consolidate, evolve and change; it’s just simply ‘Real Estate’s’ time.

    Peter Butterss
    Taking the myth out of selling real estate!

  3. Danny says:

    Peter, Isn’t it against the law to sell your own property? I must admit it sounds attractive but surely agents get a better price than most people could do themselves?

  4. Mark says:

    Hi Peter. You are right and thank god there is someone out there telling the world that real Estate Agents are not necessary when selling a property. I recently sold our place without using an agent and sold it for more than the agent told me I could get. And the best thing, it sold in a week, not 2 months. I paid no advertising fee other than the for sale board which cost me a bomb to get made ($600).

    I have no doubt that this method will take off and I always spread the word to my friends because most saw me save a fortune when I sold my own house.

    Thanks and bring on the change

  5. Hi Danny

    To answer your question, I think the first MYTH that the real estate industry has long held is that you need a licence to sell your home. It IS legal to sell your own home.

    Research conducted by us at has confirmed that our vendors achieve their sale price or greater 86% of the time.

    Congratulations to Mark. We have vendors whom sell within a week on a regular basis. It begs many questions, does your real estate agent work had enough for you and his $15,000+ commission?

    Peter Butterss
    Taking the myth out of selling real estate!

  6. Speaking to many people the general answer to “what does an estate agents actually do?” is:

    Take a few pictures, write up a description, upload to a property website, owner shows people around, house is sold, agents gets his commission. ( of course there is more to it than this but as a simple breakdown )

    What more and more people are realising is that they actually do allot of the work themselves and think “why don’t I just put an advert online or a put up for sale sign outside my property and save myself a large amount of money”

    The simple fact of the matter is that this will only increase unless agents can offer an exceptional service and value for money as many view agents as doing very little to gain very much. You have to look at the USP’s of an agent as with all things “what makes you different?” or “what makes you better?” than doing it myself?


  1. [...] clients can access a vast range of market information and property listings online, and even buy and sell their own properties via the Internet if they choose, how do agents highlight their value? That’s the question we [...]

  2. [...] clients can access a vast range of market information and property listings online, and even buy and sell their own properties via the Internet if they choose, how do agents highlight their value? That’s the question we [...]

Speak Your Mind