ByOwner.com is a For Sale By Owner website with a nationwide coverage. However, they are only licensed in 14 states and extend services through their network of brokers in the remaining states.
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- Better control over your listing
- Necessary forms are included
- Unreliable service quality
- Unavailability of professional services
- Sub-par technology
ByOwner.com is one of the oldest FSBO companies that allows home sellers to list on the MLS. They have secured a 4.6-star rating out of 5 stars based on 26 reviews on Google.
However, ByOwner.com's outdated technology may not fulfill the needs of modern home sellers. Their platform lacks key features like the ability to manage showings, review and compare offers, or auto-fill listing data. You will have to do these tasks manually.
On Houzeo's platform, you get all these features and more. Houzeo makes the process easier and faster with a user-friendly interface and automated paperwork. Moreover, you can do everything on the go with Houzeo's mobile app.
So, let's delve into ByOwner.com reviews, their pros, and cons, and determine if they are the best choice for you.
- Pros: ByOwner.com lets you list on their website for just $39. However, your property does not get listed on the MLS or other real estate websites. Hence, you may lose a wide pool of buyers.
- Cons: While one of their two MLS packages does not include professional services, the other has limited coverage. Moreover, they lack the technology to make the home-selling process easy and efficient.
- Our Take: We recommend Houzeo over ByOwner.com. Houzeo offers better packages, cutting-edge technology, and stellar customer service. Compare Houzeo vs. ByOwner.com.
What is ByOwner.com?
ByOwner.com is an FSBO company that allows home sellers to list on MLS for sale by owner without a realtor. You only need to pay an upfront fee instead of a traditional 6% commission.
The primary goal of the company is to provide maximum exposure to your property. They do so by syndicating your listing with major real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.
ByOwner.com also has their own catalog where you can list the property for as low as $39. However, you may lose a wide pool of potential buyers if you list only with ByOwner.com.
Furthermore, they lack the technology to cater to the needs of modern home sellers. For instance, they do not provide a platform to track and schedule showings.
While the freedom and savings of FSBO may compel you, ByOwner's lack of necessary features can make your experience unpleasant.
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Is ByOwner.com Legit?
Yes, ByOwner.com is a legitimate company founded in 1996 and is owned by Greg Sullivan. The company is based in Florida and licensed in 14 states through Wild Wild West Group LLC.
However, they provide MLS listing services through their licensed brokers nationwide. They also provide professional services in some parts of the US.
- 🚩 Stay Alert: Since ByOwner provides their services through associated brokers, your experience largely depends on the professionalism of the broker. The company's credibility cannot guarantee the quality of service you receive.
How Does ByOwner.com Work?
You can start listing with ByOwner.com by selecting the package. Once you choose a plan, follow the steps below:
- Create Ad: Fill in your property details to create an advertisement for the listing.
- Provide Contact Information: Add the contact details you want to share with the buyers. You can opt out of this step if you are uncomfortable with sharing your details.
- Add Description and Photos: Upload photos and videos and describe your house to attract potential buyers. If you need a yard sign, you can choose it here.
- Select Features: Tell the buyers about the features of your home by selecting from the given options.
- Review: Go through the information and make changes if necessary.
Once you complete these steps, you can finish your process by making the payment. The company claims to make your listing live on the MLS within 24 hours.
What Does ByOwner Offer?
ByOwner.com offers 3 packages for home sellers and 2 packages for renters. You can choose to list the property on their website or on the MLS.
However, if you list only with the ByOwner.com website, you will lose potential buyers. On the other hand, their MLS plans are expensive and don't satisfy the needs of the home seller.
MLS Plans for HomeSellers
ByOwner provides you with 2 packages to list on the MLS. You can select the package as per your requirements. However, both plans do not meet the needs of home sellers.
While one of them does not include essential services, the other is only offered in a few states. Moreover, Their website lacks clarity on the services provided in the plans.
They provide this package throughout the country. This package does not include any professional services, hence it is recommended for experienced sellers only. The services you will get in this package are-
- 6-month listing period
- Listing with up to 50 photos
- Exposure on Zillow, Trulia, and other real estate websites
- Seller's guide, real estate forms, contract forms, brochures, and yard signs
👉 Important: The company is licensed in 14 states only. Hence, they depend on their network of licensed brokers to list on the MLS in other parts of the USA.
This package includes professional services but comes at a steep price. It is recommended for inexperienced sellers and includes the following services-
- $499 package services
- ByOwner.com listing and social media marketing
- Agent consultation for pricing and advertising
- Professional photography
- Coordination in showings and contract negotiations
- Comparative market analysis and neighborhood pricing analysis
- Closing co-ordination (title search and attorney)
- 🚩 Stay Alert: ByOwner.com has not disclosed details about this package clearly on their website. For the services mentioned above, they ask you to call for details. They have mentioned that this package is offered in a few states only, but haven't disclosed the states.
This package is to list your property on the ByOwner.com website only. The company charges $39 per month to list the property for rent or sale. However, it is important to note that this package lacks exposure. The services in this package include-
- Listing on the ByOwner.com website
- Listing with up to 50 photos
- 7-days free trial
- 🚩 Stay Alert: This plan is charged on a monthly basis. So, for a 6-month listing, you will need to pay $234.
MLS Plans for Rentals
ByOwner.com provides 2 packages to list on the MLS for rentals. You can list your property for long-term tenants or for tourists. However, these plans also lack the services you may need throughout the listing period.
This package is for those who are looking for long-term tenants. However, this plan is not offered nationwide. You need to check the availability of this plan on their website. It is charged at $399 and includes the following services-
- Listing for 3 months
- Listing with up to 50 photos
- Direct contact with renters
- Rental guarantee
👉 Important: If you don't find a tenant in 3 months, ByOwner's rental guarantee will allow you to extend the listing for next 3 months. However, they don't provide any assisstance in finding tenants.
ByOwner allows you to list your property for vacation rentals. You need to pay $149 per year for this rental package. The services included in this package are-
- Listing for 1 year
- Listing with up to 30 photos
- Direct contact with visitors
- Zero booking or transaction charges
👉 Important: The vacation rental plan lists your property on ByOwner.com website only.
ByOwner Tenant and Buyer Experience
ByOwner.com exposes buyers or renters to a variety of homes on the website. The user interface is also smooth and has multiple filters to make home searching easier.
- 🚩 Stay Alert: ByOwner doesn't help buyers/renters with negotiations, or any tips to pay fair value and ensure that their preferred homes are free of defects.
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Is ByOwner.com a Cheaper Alternative to Traditional Agents?
Yes, because a 6% commission would mean more than $15,000. Whereas services of ByOwner are priced at a fixed fee depending on the package you avail.
However, even with the MLS, you might still have to pay a 3% commission to the buyer's agent. You can opt out of this commission, but finding buyers would become difficult that way.
Moreover, going the FSBO way is not easy. You need to put in a lot of time and effort to make sure your paperwork, showings, listing, and everything else are aligned. With companies like ByOwner.com, that do not provide any professional services, you will end up fending for yourself.
On the other hand, companies like Houzeo make your FSBO journey easy and seamless. You can enjoy the savings on agent commission while having professional guidance and assistance.
With Houzeo's 100% online approach, updated technology, and 5-star customer support, your FSBO experience will become a breeze.
How Does ByOwner Make Money?
ByOwner.com makes money with its listing plans. They provide 5 plans including 2 sale plans, 2 rental plans, and 1 plan to list on the ByOwner.com website. Their plans for the ByOwner.com website are charged on a monthly basis while MLS plans come for a one-time cost.
ByOwner.com's plans seem like the jack of all trades, master of none. They provide something for everyone but do not meet their customers' needs 100%.
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How Much Does ByOwner Cost to Homeseller?
For home sellers, ByOwner.com has 2 plans to list on the MLS and 1 plan to list on their website. While listing on the ByOwner.com website is affordable, you will lose exposure to potential buyers who only trust MLS listings.
On the other hand, they charge $499 to list on the MLS. This package does not include any additional services. Hence, you end up doing everything on your own.
Furthermore, even with the MLS, you might still have to pay a 3% commission to the buyer's agent. Although, you can opt out of paying the buyer's agent commission. But finding buyers would become more difficult and time-consuming that way.
Is ByOwner's Pricing Competitive?
No. ByOwner's MLS packages are expensive with limited services. Furthermore, their professional services are restricted to a few areas only. So chances are, you won't be able to benefit from their services even if you are willing to pay the cost.
FSBO companies like Houzeo and Beycome offer far better services for much lower prices. Houzeo’s Platinum package, for instance, equips sellers with all sorts of features, like the ability to compare and counter offers, manage showings, and make unlimited changes to their listings.
ByOwner.com vs. Houzeo
ByOwner.com's plans, features, and services are not at par with industry standards. Moreover, they are only licensed in 14 states and work through brokers in other parts of the country. That means your experience depends on the broker and not on the company's credibility.
On the other hand, Houzeo excels in the real estate industry in every aspect. Houzeo's advanced technology makes FSBO paperwork and listing management quick and efficient.
Houzeo offers the best combination of maximum savings, hassle-free processes, and 5-star customer support.
|Listing Fee||$499 - $1,995||$349 + 1% at closing|
|Customer Rating||4.6 stars (26 reviews)||4.9 stars (4,523 reviews)|
|Coverage||14 states + Coverage through brokers||47 states + Washington D.C.|
|Counter an Offer||❌||✅|
|Request Highest and Best Offer||❌||✅|
|Home Inspection Dashboard||❌||✅|
» Houzeo Reviews: Still not convinced? Read what others have to say about Houzeo.
ByOwner.com has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Google based on 26 reviews. While most reviews are positive, some ByOwner.com reviews are conflicting in terms of their complicated process and unworthy plans.
ByOwner.com Positive Customer Reviews
✅ Lawrence is happy to save on real estate commissions with Byowner.com.
I Sold my home in 30 days through ByOwner and saved over $14000 in commission
✅ Marjorie has trusted the company twice and is satisfied with their services.
Absolutely the best way to sell a home. It was our second time using Buy Owner to sell our home. The Elite package is the way to go. Agent Mary W . was wonderful and guided us through the whole process. Once we had an offer, the legal department quickly reviewed it and offered suggestions. Once in place, closing was a breeze. Don't be afraid to do it on your own!
ByOwner.com Negative Customer Reviews
❌ David had an unpleasant experience and felt a lack of guidance in the process.
This is the worse representation anyone can have.. You are selling a home not a car of craigslist. There is a lot of liability and legality involve in a sale f a property to just handle it on a online person on the other side with no idea of the market. Who is going to fight for you in a negotiation process? yourself? as a owner? who is going yo make sure you don’t get sue after the transaction is done? you?
❌ In one of the ByOwner.com reviews, Brent highlighted their intricate and lengthy process.
To complicated and such a long process
Pros and Cons of ByOwner.com
ByOwner.com is eliminating traditional ways of selling homes. The company is helping homeowners save on real estate agent commissions by listing for a flat fee.
However, you need to evaluate the pros and cons before you make the decision.
ByOwner.com offers several advantages to homeowners who are willing to put effort to save agent commission. The key advantages of ByOwner.com are-
- Cost Saving: ByOwner provides an affordable way to list a house for sale by owner with flat fee packages.
- Better Control: FSBO listing provides you with better control over your listing, negotiations, and buyer's agent commission.
- Direct Contact with Buyer: ByOwner shows your contact information to the buyer, so they can directly contact you.
- Privacy Control: If you don't want your contact information to be visible on the listing, you can easily opt out. The buyers can contact ByOwner, and they will forward the lead to you.
- Professional Staff: As ByOwner.com reviews suggest, their staff is professional, and they have good customer service.
We also found certain dealbreakers with ByOwner.com during our research. Some key drawbacks of selling your home with ByOwner.com are-
- Unreliable Service Quality: Since ByOwner is only licensed in 14 states, they work with brokers to get your listings on the MLS. Your experience greatly depends on the professionalism of the broker.
- Expensive MLS Packages: Both of their MLS packages are overpriced compared to the fair market price.
- Unavailability of Professional Services: They provide professional services to a few areas only. So there are high chances that you won't be able to avail yourself of these services.
- Lack of Vital Services: Essential services like contract reviews, showings, and open houses are not offered by ByOwner.com.
- Outdated Processes: ByOwner.com's outdated platform lacks features like listing or showing management, paperwork automation, etc.
Alternatives to ByOwner.com
- Houzeo: Houzeo brings cost efficiency and advanced technology together. It is a 100% online MLS listing website with 5-star customer support. Moreover, Houzeo covers 47 states and DC, offering near-nationwide coverage.
- Beycome: Beycome allows you to complete the entire listing process 100% online. Further, you get access to all legal forms and disclosures without extra costs. Their customer support provides expert help 7 days a week in English and Spanish.
- Homecoin: Homecoin is a tech-centric, Flat-Fee MLS platform that allows you to list on the MLS only for $95. They offer their services in 9 states and provide you with a list of add-ons to make your home selling easier.
Other Options You Should Consider
- Sell to iBuyers: iBuyers make an offer on your property within 24-48 hours and can close within 7 days. Most iBuyers like Opendoor and Offerpad are also known to offer the Fair Market Value (FMV) for your property. iBuyers can be a great option if you’re wondering how to sell your house fast.
- Sell FSBO With Flat Fee MLS Services: Flat Fee MLS websites will help you list and sell a house by owner and save thousands in listing agent commission. Many Flat Fee MLS websites will make your listing live within 24-48 hours. They will provide you with maximum exposure, professional services, and paperwork assistance.
- Sell to "Cash for Houses" Companies: Unlike iBuyers, "cash for houses" companies help you sell your house as-is fast. They can even close within 7 days or any date you choose. Cash for houses companies also make cash offers for homes outside metro areas or in difficult-to-sell locations.
"Cash for Houses" Companies Near You
Is ByOwner.com Worth It?
We do not recommend ByOwner.com to most home sellers. We know that saving a 6% commission for a flat fee may compel you. However, you lack vital services like contract reviews, pricing assistance, and open house announcements.
ByOwner.com's outdated platform and unavailability of professional services may make your home-selling experience daunting.
If you want to save money and get hands-on support in your home-selling process, Houzeo is the ideal option for you. With Houzeo's stellar technology and 5-star customer service, your FSBO journey will become a breeze.
Moreover, you can manage your listings, showing, and offers on the go with Houzeo's mobile application.
Frequently Asked Questions about ByOwner.com Reviews
1. Should I opt for ByOwner or Zillow?
2. How much can you save with ByOwner.com?
A seller typically ends up paying 5% to 6% commission to both seller's and buyer's agent in a typical real estate transaction. The scope of saving there becomes extremely low. If compared with a traditional real estate agent, you will save more with ByOwner. But there are more reasonable options as detailed within this blog.
3. Are there alternatives to working with a full-service real estate agent?
Yes, you can opt for the “For Sale By Owner” method where you gain more control over the sale and save thousands of dollars for a nominal flat fee. Some of the Flat Fee MLS companies you can rely on are Houzeo, FSBO.com, Homecoin, and more.
4. Is ByOwner worth the money in 2023?
No. With several services providing better savings for sellers, it is clear that investing money in ByOwner isn't worth it. If you want to save money and avail a better customer support, check out the best websites for sale by owner.
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