We’ve compiled answers to your most asked questions below
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) FAQ
Should I sell my home myself?
Savings: The obvious advantage is you'll save a significant amount in Seller's Agent Commission. For typical Houzeo customers, this can add up to over $20,000 in savings.
Reach: Over 90% of US home buyers today start their home search online. With platforms like Houzeo and Zillow, it's easy to reach these buyers. Houzeo also gives you access to the MLS, which most local agents use. This helps reach agents in addition to home buyers directly.
Options: Once you've signed with an agent you're locking yourself into a contract, often for months. This severely limits your options even if the agent is incompetent. It is generally better to attempt to sell your home yourself before locking yourself into a contract with an agent.
Tools: Houzeo gives you access to most tools agents use, at a fraction of the cost making the process easier then it was before.
For more on this, check out Lori Alden's excellent blog here. Also, check out this Forbes article on the growing numbers of home owners selling their homes themselves
What are the most important factors in selling my home?
There are essentially 3 things that'll determine whether your home sells quickly or not:
Price: Regardless of whether it's a buyer's or a seller's market, pricing your home right is critical to selling your home fast. This is an analytical exercise more than an emotional one. Watch a short video on how Houzeo helps you price your home here.
Buyer's Agent Commission: Reality is that even today most buyers are represented by agents. To incentivize the buyer's agents to show and market your home, we recommend offering them commission at the market rate in your area. For most localities this is between 2% and 3% of the sale price. Remember: with Houzeo, you've saved the seller's agent commission, which would normally be another 2% to 3%.
Listing on the MLS: To get your listing in front of as many buyers as possible, it's important to list it on the MLS. This gets your home on most local and national platforms, and also in front of buyer's agents who'll forward them onto their buyers.
Obviously there are other factors like the responsiveness of the seller, the location of your home, its condition, how you present it (de-cluttering, pictures, staging, curb appeal), time of sale, and numerous others, but these 3 are probably the most important ones that can be easily adjusted for.
How do I get started with Houzeo?
Login using your email, or your Facebook or Google accounts, and click "Sell a Property" on your User Dashboard. Enter your property address, select a listing plan, and Houzeo's IntelliList Listing Management System will make listing your home easy by autofilling as much info about your home as is available to us! Upload photos, select a price, and sign your MLS contracts – and your home will be on your local MLS ASAP! It's all online!
How to list on the MLS via Houzeo
MLS (Multiple Listing Service) FAQ
What is a Mulitple Listing Service (MLS)?
An MLS is a database usually accessible only to real estate agents, where agents list and market properties to other agents.
Does it matter which MLS my property is listed on?
There are over 700 MLS' in the US. Houzeo will connect you with an agent that lists it in your local MLS. That's where other agents and buyers are looking for, and that's where your listing should be.
Should I offer the buyer's agent a commission?
You can choose not to, but we recommend that you do. A majority of buyers are still represented by an agent, so it's recommended that you offer the buyer's agent commission to incentivize agents to bring you buyers and help sell your home faster. Remember: with Houzeo, you've saved the seller's agent commission, which would normally be between 2% to 3%.
How can I view my MLS listing?
Your Listing Agent will email you a copy of your MLS listing.
Do I need to review my MLS listing?
Yes. Within 24 hours of when your Listing Agent emails you a copy of your MLS listing, you are required to review it and inform us if you see anything that might not be accurate. MLS penalizes members for any inaccurate information and you're responsible to pay this fine, if incurred.
How will I know when my listing goes public?
Two to 48 business hours after you've submitted your listing on Houzeo.com and answered any additional questions your Listing Agent might have, your listing will go live on the MLS and various portals like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. You can check it out on Realtor.com.
How long does it take to get my listing on the MLS?
In most cases, your listing will appear the same day or on the next business day. This is after you have submitted your listing on Houzeo.com and answered any follow-up questions the Listing Agent might have. Some MLS systems manually enter listings they receive from all sources, including Houzeo.com, a process that takes an extra two business days for activation.
Will my listing appear on Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, etc.?
Yes. All our plans include syndication to major websites, including Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, Re/Max, and many more
How will buyers and buyer agents contact me?
Your Listing Agent will insert your contact info in the private remarks section of the MLS listing. Buyer's agents see these remarks and will contact you directly via phone or email. If the buyer or their agent contacts your Listing Agent, the agent will forward you their information so you can directly reach out to them.
How do I get photos of my home?
You can upload your own photos, or hire a professional photographer via Houzeo. We recommend photos taken by a pro, regardless of whether you choose the Houzeo plan or hire one yourself. It's a small investment and will show your home in the best light possible.
If I list on Houzeo.com, can I change my mind a month later and instead list with a full-service real estate agent?
Yes. You can cancel your Houzeo.com listing at any time for free.
Houzeo Features FAQ
How does Houzeo's IntelliList Intelligent Listing Management System work?
Answering all the questions required to list your home can take hours. Our new IntelliList Intelligent Listing Management System checks internal & external data sources to autofill your listing. That means, for most US homes, you can list your property in only a few minutes! You can also sign your Listing Agreement online. Once your home is listed, you can also manage your listing through this system easily and all online. The system will notify your agent immediately on the changes you've asked for so they can be reflected ASAP.
How to list on the MLS via Houzeo
How does Houzeo help me price my home?
For Gold & Silver plan users, the Houzeo pricing report is now available instantly! The minute you're done uploading photos, Houzeo will pull your detailed pricing report and make it available for you to confidently price your home. Our pricing report is one of the most accurate in the industry and powered by HouseCanary. Real estate agents use it, and now it's available to you!
In addition to the Houzeo pricing report, you also have access to Zillow's Zestimate® and Recent Home Sales all on Houzeo's pricing dashboard.
How to list on the MLS via Houzeo
What is Houzeo's Closing Dashboard?
The Houzeo Closing Dashboard is the most powerful dashboard in consumer real estate. It gives you your estimated cash proceeds after expenses on day 1. That means more transparency and fewer surprises at the closing table. And it only gets smarter as we close more and more transactions.
How does Houzeo help me file Federal & State disclosures?
Figuring out what disclosures apply to your transaction can be stressful. Manually filling them out, scanning, and then emailing them doesn't help either. Houzeo has put in immense amounts of efforts into digitizing various Federal and State disclosures to help you meet these requirements more efficiently. You only see disclosures that apply to your transaction, and Houzeo makes it much easier for you to fill them out and sign them electronically.
How does Houzeo allow me to select an Escrow Agent or Attorney to help with my Closing?
IMPORTANT NOTE: This feature is not live currently. It is scheduled to go live on September 30, 2018.
Depending upon what state you live in, either an Escrow Agent/Company or an Attorney will be required to help close your sale. For example: California is an Escrow state (i.e. an Escrow Agent or an Escrow Company will help you in closing the sale) while North Carolina is an Attorney state (i.e. an Attorney is required for closing the sale).
Based on your property location, Houzeo knows whether you need an Attorney or an Escrow Agent to close. The Escrow/Attorney tab connects you with top professionals in your area. You can choose these professionals based on their user reviews. With detailed expected pricing schedules, you get more transparency and control over your costs. You can also exchange documents with them on Houzeo.
When you've closed on your transaction, be sure to leave a review so other sellers and buyers after you can rely on your experience.
How do I compare offers on Houzeo?
Just add the offer details on the Offers tab. Houzeo lets you review offers beyond just the offer price. Upload buyer prequalification letters, earnest money deposits, and contingences to see the full picture and review each offer on all its merits. You can see a comprehensive view with all the offers and important metrics that form these offers. This helps compare offers across price, buyer qualification, financing, deposits, and contingencies and decide what the best offer is for your specific situation.
I have heard so much about Houzeo's Closing Dashboard. What is it?
The Houzeo Closing Dashboard is the most powerful dashboard in consumer real estate. It gives you your estimated cash proceeds after expenses on day 1. The dashboard also tells you how we've estimated these costs and allows you to edit them. That means more transparency and fewer surprises at the closing table for you. And our Closing Dashboard only gets smarter as we close more and more transactions!
How do I get help if I need it?
For any MLS listing related questions you can reach out directly to your Listing Agent. Houzeo gives you their contact info when you select one. For anything else, see that blue help button at the bottom left? Use it to chat, email or call our customer service team at any time! You can also schedule complimentary consultation with us to assess if Houzeo is the right solution for you.
Should I host an Open House?
Open houses today are not as important as they were a decade ago. Most potential buyers will see your house online. This makes decluttering and investing in professional photography even more important. These buyers will then reach out to you directly or to their agents to schedule a viewing.
If you have the time, definitely host an open house, but know that cold leads walking in through your door at an open house isn't as common nowadays.
How do I choose between offers?
It's not uncommon to receive two or more offers. We recommend uploading them on the Offers tab. The tab helps you compare offers on all their merits including the offer price, contingencies, and financing terms. With multiple offers, you can choose to respond to all open offers by telling interested parties to submit their highest and best offers. Once you receive them, you can choose the best offer for you.
How do I respond to low-ball offers?
Do not take low-ball offers as an affront. It's best to counter them, with a number at or above the lowest you'll accept, instead of ignoring them.
Should I get my house professionally staged?
Hiring professional stagers can get pricy, but it may be worth it if you have an expensive home that feels immense without furniture, or if you need furniture to help buyers imagine how they would utilize the space. For most homes, if you're living there and have a few good pieces of furniture to work with, de-cluttering, self-staging, and professional photographs will do the trick.
Do you have any other tips for me?
Yes! Just one more. Great real estate agents are responsive, polite, and upfront - valuing other people's time just as much as they value theirs. If you're going to represent yourself, be prompt, courteous, and upfront in your responses. This includes responding to your Listing Agent who's helping you with the MLS listing, responding to inquiries from buyers and their agents, and replying to offers. Offers generally include a response deadline that might give you a few hours or a few days to respond.