12 min read May 08, 2024

Zillow For Sale By Owner Reviews: 4 Reasons Why it Won’t Work in 2023

Edited By

Jason Joshi

Edited By

Jason Joshi

Editor, Houzeo

Jason is a passionate content editor working at Houzeo. He has an eye for detail and keeps himself updated with the recent trends in the real estate market. He also likes to travel and explore places.

Find Jason Here

FSBO Listings on Zillow are hidden two clicks away and your listing gets almost no traffic. Additionally, your listing information gets sold to Premier agents.

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  • Zillow FSBO offers free listings on their website.


  • Zillow provides no MLS exposure
  • Does not display FSBO listings on its website
  • Listing can take up to 72 hours

Zillow is America’s biggest real estate marketplace. Zillow is a not a good option for FSBOs. Several customer reviews on Zillow suggest the same. This is specifically for 4 reasons:

  1. Zillow Provides No MLS Exposure: FSBO listings on Zillow are not listed on the MLS. This is a drawback because most homes in the U.S. sell via the MLS.
  2. FSBO Listings on Zillow are Hidden Behind Agent Listings: Agent listings are displayed by default. Zillow FSBO listings are hidden two clicks away and get almost no traffic.
  3. Zillow Sells Buyer Leads Your Listing Generates: Zillow has several features to capture buyer leads on your listing. Instead of directing these leads to you, Zillow sells these leads to paying Premier Agents. This ensures you pay a buyer agent commission.
  4. Zillow Sells Your Contact Info as Leads: Agents scrape Zillow FSBO listings and solicit sellers to list on MLS. They will want to become your listing agent and charge you a 2.5% to 3% commission.

Instead of Zillow, we recommend you list on MLS yourself. Houzeo is ranked #1 amongst America’s best FSBO sites. You’ll be on the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com. Therefore, you will still save thousands in listing agent commissions!

Let’s dive deep into Zillow reviews, their pros, and cons, to understand if it benefits home sellers.

Key Takeaways

  • Pros: Zillow FSBO offers free listings on their website.
  • Cons: Zillow does not prominently display for sale by owner listings on its website. Buyers have to modify the filter settings in order to include “by owner” homes when searching for FSBO properties.
  • Our Take: We recommend Houzeo over Zillow FSBO listings. Instead, you can list your home with Houzeo. Houzeo offers better packages, and cutting-edge technology, and has stellar customer service. Compare Zillow FSBO vs. Houzeo

What is Zillow For Sale By Owner?

Zillow for sale by owner helps you to list your house on their website for free. It provides a great way to showcase your home to potential buyers.

However, it’s important to understand the challenges involved. Selling your home as owner on Zillow can help you save on realtor commissions, but it is a difficult and time-consuming process.

Your FSBO listings are hidden significantly from the users on the website. Zillow by default only displays agent listings.

In addition, Zillow sells FSBO contact information as leads to the Premier agents. These agents further call you to solicit your listing. So, you will be overburned by calls not from buyers but from the agents.

Also, the buyer leads that your listing generates are sold to real estate agents and not directed to you.

👉 FSBO Websites: Check out America’s Best For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Websites in 2023

Is Zillow Legit?

Yes, Zillow is a legitimate company. It was founded in the year 2006 and is headquartered in Seattle. In 2022, the company generated a revenue of $1.96 billion, showing an 8% decline compared to the $2.13 billion generated in 2021.

Zillow Coverage

Zillow offers its services in all 50 states. They cover the following states in the USA:

NortheastConnecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
MidwestIllinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota
SouthAlabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas
WestArizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming

Listing on Zillow

When you list your property with Zillow FSBO you’ll be solely responsible for all aspects of marketing, pricing, negotiating, staging, closing, and paperwork. This entire process can be exhausting, as you will need to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.

How Does Zillow FSBO Work?

The process of listing your property on Zillow is quite easy. Below mentioned are the steps you need to follow to post your FSBO property on Zillow.

  1. Register on Platform: Register as an FSBO home seller on their platform for free.
  2. Fill in Property Details: Fill in your property details to proceed with the listing process.
  3. Save Your Changes: Click the blue post For Sale By Owner button to save your changes and list your home for sale.

Once you complete this process your listing will then be submitted for Zillow review.

    ⚠️ You Should Know: It takes up to 72 hours for your listing to get reviewed by Zillow’s verification team. With Houzeo’s Flat Fee MLS listing packages your home will be listed within 48 hours.

How Much Does it Cost to List FSBO on Zillow?

You can list your FSBO property on Zillow for free. There will be no fees involved, even when your home is successfully sold.

However, please note that while there are no fees for the FSBO listing, you still have to pay for the buyer’s agent commission.

Zillow FSBO vs. Houzeo

Selling to Zillow FSBO may seem affordable. However, marketing FSBO listings via Zillow is low ROI.

On the other hand, an MLS listing with Houzeo’s Gold plan equips you with advanced technology to call for the highest and best offers. You can also counter-offers to help you get a deal closer to your expectations.

Zillow FSBOHouzeo
Listing Fee$0$379 Flat Fee
Customer Rating2.7 stars (744 reviews)4.9 stars (4,523 reviews)
Coverage50 states47 states + Washington D.C.
Showings Management
Offer Management
Counter an Offer
Request Highest and Best Offer
Home Inspection Dashboard
Leads Dashboard

Zillow FSBO Reviews

Zillow has a 2.71 out of 5-star rating on Sitejabber based on 744 reviews. The low Zillow reviews rating suggests that a majority of customers are dissatisfied with their experiences on the platform.

Positive Zillow Reviews

✅ Ann thanked Zillow’s staff for assisting her throughout the entire process of selling her home.

AnnUSASubmitted 2023

Just a word of gratitude and thanks to Andrea Mason Richards/Realtor Consultant to me regarding the sale of my home. Andrea went above and beyond in getting my home sold in 4 days. She was my counselor and guidance right up the end in less than a month…

Source: Sitejabber

✅ Gene appreciated Zillow’s customer support for being honest and providing him with an accurate valuation of his home. He also mentioned that the staff kept him well-informed about the progress of the sale.

Gene KUSASubmitted 2023

My wife and I, along with her sisters recently experienced the death of their mother. They inherited the family home. We decided it would be best to sell it. We contacted Jamie Marcantonio at Signature Premier Properties…

Source: Sitejabber

Negative Zillow Reviews

❌ RC expressed his dissatisfaction with Zillow’s services. He mentioned that Zillow does not display FSBO listings to potential buyers unless the buyers manually change their settings to include FSBO listings.

RCUSASubmitted 2023

Zillow is a scam if you are selling by owner. They do not show FSBO listings to buyers, unless the buyer knows to change their settings to show FSBO listings, otherwise they are hidden, and only shown to realtors and investors, who then blow up your phone with calls and text messages, dozens a day, wanting you to list with them or sell for half price…

Source: Sitejabber

❌ Regina expressed strong dissatisfaction with Zillow’s services. She couldn’t change or edit information on their website.

Regina AUSASubmitted 2023

I’d give zillow 0 stars if i could. They are misleading and their new algorithm is clueless and wrong…

Source: Sitejabber

Zillow FSBO: Pros and Cons

Zillow FSBO is a convenient option for sellers as it allows them to list home for free on their platform. However, their pros and cons paint a clearer picture:

✅ Pros of Using Zillow FSBO

Zillow FSBO offers certain benefits to home sellers who prefer to take control of their selling process. Let’s see how the Zillow reviews match up to these expectations.

  • No Fees: You can list your home on Zillow FSBO free of charge. So, you save money on agent commissions which are 2.5% to 3% of the home sales price.
  • Free Cancellation: You can cancel your Zillow FSBO listing without any additional charges or hidden costs.
  • Additional Exposure: Your home will be listed on Zillow and Trulia. Zillow received an average of 60 million monthly visitors in 2022. This works in favor of sellers who need added exposure for their property.
  • Nationwide Coverage: Zillow FSBO is present in all 50 states in America.
  • Direct Buyer Interaction: Engage directly with potential buyers and agents through the email or phone number you provided on your listing.
  • Full Marketing Control. As a For Sale by Owner in the market, you have complete control over pricing, negotiation, and decision-making. You can set your schedule, conduct showings, and manage the sale process at your convenience.

⛔ Cons of Using Zillow FSBO

Zillow FSBO isn’t the best way to do For Sale By Owner. Here are a few Zillow reviews that highlight its drawbacks.

  • Slow Listing: Listing your house with Zillow can take up to 72 hours from the time you submit your property details.
  • Negotiation Challenges: You have to negotiate directly with buyers without an agent acting as a mediator which can be daunting.
  • Time-Consuming Property Management: Managing the listing, showings, negotiations, and paperwork can be time-consuming and demanding.
  • Limited Support: Zillow’s customer support may not match the level of personalized guidance offered by real estate agents.
  • Lead for Real Estate Agent: Your listing information gets sold to Premier agents. You’ll get calls not from buyers but from agents.
  • Expect a lower sales price. Although you save on the agent’s listing commission, you don’t get the fair market value of your home.

Alternatives to Zillow For Sale By Owner

If you think selling your house yourself is too complicated for you, here are some other options you can consider:

  • Discount Broker or Low Commission Agent: If you want to save on agent commission, a low-commission real estate agent offers you the same services for a lower commission rate. Likewise, a flat rate or discount real estate broker offers all the services for a discounted flat rate. An agent will assist you from list to close, including negotiations and paperwork.
  • Cash Home Buyer: Individual cash home buyers and “Companies That Buy Houses For Cash” make all-cash offers, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Cash buyers let you skip the hassle that a real estate transaction involves.
  • iBuyer: iBuyers like Opendoor and Offerpad are known to offer a property’s FMV in the past. However, in 2023’s slow market, many iBuyers are predicted to offer significantly less for your home than retail buyers.

Other Options You Should Consider

  • Sell to an iBuyer: Many iBuyers, like Opendoor and Offerpad, purchase hundreds of homes available in the market. iBuyers can be a great option if you’re wondering how to sell your house fast.
  • Sell to Cash Home Buyers: Individual companies that buy houses for cash make all-cash offers, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Cash buyers let you skip the hassle of listing on the MLS, inspection, appraisal, etc.
  • Sell For Sale By Owner: For Sale By Owner websites will help you list and sell a house by owner and save thousands in listing agent commission. Many FSBO websites will also get you listed on the MLS and help you with FSBO paperwork.

Bottom line: Should You List Your Home FSBO on Zillow?

Zillow FSBO is a good option for those who are not in a hurry to offload their property. It is a great platform to showcase your home to potential buyers.

However, your listing is hidden behind agent listings on the Zillow website. Therefore, your property will not get maximum exposure.

Listing FSBO on Zillow will only reap benefits if you are prepared about the home sale and ready to tackle the Premier agents. These agents will spam you with calls to get your home listed.

If you want to sell your home without any hassle and worries about the paperwork, you should consider listing your home on Houzeo.

Houzeo is the best For Sale By Owner MLS listing service. It is an ideal option for sellers who need guidance throughout their real estate transactions. Houzeo’s Gold Package is comprehensive and affordable, making your home-selling experience a breeze!

📞 Need Help? Schedule a FREE Consultation

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Frequently Asked Questions About Zillow Reviews

Is Zillow free?

Yes, most of Zillow's tools and online listing are free for FSBO home sellers.

Can Zillow reviews be trusted?

Zillow has a rating of 2.7 stars from 744 reviews on Sitejabber, indicating that most customers are generally not satisfied with their service.

What is the best For Sale By Owner MLS listing service?

Houzeo.com is America’s #1 FSBO listing site, as it provides an unbeatable combination of max savings, 5-star customer support, and cutting-edge technology. Houzeo has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on popular review websites like Google and Trustpilot.

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(16 Reviews)

  • Madelaine LaVoie

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    No. FSBO are not getting proper representation doing it themselves, and Zillow should not promote FSBO in the first place, as they charge agents and not FSBO. Agents and Brokers have the knowledge of things that can effectively cause litigation, and Zillow should direct FSBO to a local real estate professional.

  • Saul

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Absolutely useless, still abusing private sellers

  • Tolson

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Horrible by owner service! Home buyer’s don’t know how to search by owner listings! Why not list agents and by owners together in same search!

  • Patrick Day

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Hell NO! Would never use or suggest anyone use them.

  • Marianne Muha

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    I have used Zillow FSBO several times and find it very good. There is no where else to meet your target audience. Zillow sends people info based on criteria they are looking for – for instance 3 beds, 2 ba home in certain region. Then saavy buyers can see pics and have info to contact the seller themselves and set up an appt. It also alerts targeted buyers when there is an open house. Very good and EASY!!

  • Ann D. Evans

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    I was disappointed that Zillow categorized on the top left the choice of showing houses that were FSBO. I thought in the past it was an option on the right were you chose your filters. It really did not help us at all that you had to chose that option. I was very disappointed.

  • Robyn Morrison

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Zillows estimates are not accurate. They seem to prefer certain brokers and cannot be trusted

  • Derek Barrington

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Horrible, Horrible, customer service! No return phone calls and complaints are simply ignored. It appeared as if the customer service dept simply didn’t exist! My request to deactivate my account was also simply ignored for the past 5 months. I strongly suggest you read all the negative reviews and take them under consideration for they are real! There are plenty other FSBO options available just do the research before you commit and read all the reviews before committing. I personally believe Zillow works hand in hand with agents and they do not favor the actual FSBO situation. I don’t recommend Zillow for FSBO opportunities. I personally believe its a scam!

  • Ernest Reeves

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Zillow FSBO is an excellent place to list your home FSBO. In addition, the customer service is absolutely fabulous and seamless across all of Zillow’s is platforms.

  • Ernest Reeves

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Zillow FSBO is absolutely fabulous and their customer service is second to none!

  • Pat Larson

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Waste of time – Disappointing, for listing is hidden behind a number of buttons. If you don’t know how to get to the Owner button, you can’t even locate it on the map. For Sale By Owner better, esp. w/Open House & Marketing Materials. Zillow is just a Realtor Lead Generator & all but one agent invited in presented the SAME Rate…Hummm, isn’t there a lawsuit going on about that right now? Anyway, should have listed on Fizber’s MLS!

  • Eslie Collins

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    Have sold several houses and rented many times with Zillow. They all went well.

  • Ania

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    It is ridiculous that Buyers have to now use a filter to search fsbo… is that a mls prepaid service? It is unfair to fsbo’s because they don’t know how to do that and they never find the property that way. fsbo had way more clicks, saves, and exposure when mixed in on the main listing website.


    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    I had previously advertised my converted evangelical church on FSBO for some time. They continually pushed real estate agents locally instead of myself the owner. STEERING. They push FSBO to the lowest in the feed. They took my listing down for citing cash only only. Reason that I had to make that very clear in listing as I was inundated with people asking for owner financing and also the fact that I do not have an occupancy permit and they would not be able to get a corporate loan on top of the fact that most corporate mortgage companies don’t want to loan on former religious structures. So it was a way of editing out morons. If they had to get a loan to purchase my structure then they wouldn’t have the money to finish it. 100% of these type of people are a waste of time thus my highlighting. Since then they have refused to put my listing back up even after curbing my bluntness. They NEVER respond two new listing placement or on Facebook or on Twitter. They are terrible.

  • Yolanda Gamble

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    I would like to give a shout out and say that Niel Watson was a pleasure to work with did his best to put a smile on my face Thank you

  • Donna T

    Verified Reviewer

    23rd Oct 2023

    I’ve never received a call back from a message indicating interest in a Zillow FSBO listing which makes me wonder how effective it it- or if it’s effective at getting messages across.

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