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Should You List Your House on Zillow?

Home Buyers Birmingham » HBB » Should You List Your House on Zillow?

If you’re considering selling your home in Birmingham, you’re probably weighing the benefits of listing with an agent or selling it For Sale by Owner. Recently, with the option to list on Zillow, more and more homeowners are opting for listing FSBO on Zillow. The most popular online real estate search tool, Zillow offers a lot of exposure and is a good way to connect with buyers and leads. That said, there are a number of factors to consider before deciding to list your home this way. Here are a few key things to keep in mind.

The Seller is Responsible for All Aspects of the Listing

If you decide to list your home on Zillow, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of the listing. This includes preparing the property, staging, pricing, photographs, listing it, showing it, communicating with potential buyers or their agents, negotiations, and paperwork.

Being an agent is a full-time job, and if you list FSBO, you’ll be handling all aspects of the listing on your home. Depending on your availability and flexibility, this could be challenging. When considering this factor, remember that once your house is listed, you’ll be responsible for responding to emails, calls, and texts, and you’ll need to coordinate showings. It’s best to have your home available as much as possible, so consider your schedule and the amount of time you can devote to selling your home before deciding to go this route.

There are No Listing Fees

The primary reason that sellers decide to sell their home on their own is to save money. Generally, it costs between 6-7% of the sales price to list with an agent, so selling your home on your own can save you a lot. And, there is a fee, generally a few hundred dollars, to get your home listed on many FSBO sites or included in the MLS. In contrast, there is no fee for a seller to list their home on Zillow. And, given that over 60% of buyers and leads look to Zillow, it is a great, free marketing tool.

Zillow Often Links Potential Buyers to Agents

When you’re selling your home FSBO, you ideally want to avoid dealing with a buyer’s agent, as their commission will come out of the sales price. One of the ways that Zillow makes money is through real estate agents purchasing ads. Those ads are displayed prominently at the bottom of listings, and potential buyers are often unknowingly linked to agents. It’s confusing, and buyers will think they’re contacting the seller when really they’re being connected with an agent. For example, on Zillow’s mobile version, there is a call button at the bottom of every listing, which calls one of the agents as opposed to the seller. Because Zillow heavily promotes agents, listing your home this way could result in unintentionally connecting buyers with an agent.

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The Seller has Complete Control of the Listing

For many Birmingham sellers, one of the benefits of listing on Zillow is the ability to maintain control of the listing. This means setting the price, determining when to go on the market, having complete control of showings, and being involved in negotiations. Plus, it gives sellers creative control of the listing, including how to prepare and stage the house and how to present it in photographs, videos, and virtual tours. This is a draw for many sellers and can make listing with Zillow a good option.

You’ll Need Additional Marketing

Zillow is a great marketing tool and provides sellers with lots of exposure. That said, it’s only one tool and is not a complete marketing plan. Real estate agents utilize a variety of marketing strategies, and sellers listing FSBO should be prepared to do the same. Simply using Zillow will not be enough to get top-dollar for your home, so it’s important to be prepared with other marketing strategies.

Buyers’ Agents Often Avoid These Listings

Many agents try to avoid FSBO listings whenever possible. Many times, FSBO listings come with lots of headaches and unrealistic and difficult sellers. Because it can be a waste of time, many agents work hard to avoid these listings. This could decrease the traffic to your property and make it harder to sell.

In contrast, this type of listing often gets additional attention from less-serious buyers, which could waste your time as the seller. For these reasons, listing your home this way can be a less efficient way to sell your house and can result in a lower sales price.


Listing FSBO on Zillow offers some distinct pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh these factors carefully before deciding how to list your home. And, perhaps the most important factors to consider are the substantial amount of time, resources, and expertise needed to effectively list your home this way.

If you’re not prepared or able to list your home on Zillow, you can still avoid working with an agent by selling your home to an as-is cash buyer. To learn more or to start the process, contact Home Buyers Birmingham.

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Home Buyers Birmingham
1821 11th Avenue South Suite #55331
Birmingham, Alabama 35205

Should You List Your House on Zillow?

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