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Online sites help owners sell homes without an agent

By Jeff Collins, OC Register, Oct. 29, 2014

You’re gambling with a lot more money these days when you try to sell your home without an agent. Home values are three times what they were 25 years ago. Real estate deals also are more complex, and there’s so much information available now, it’s hard to make sense of it all.

Experts say these may be among the reasons why the number of for sale by owner deals are on the wane, dropping from 20 percent of U.S. home sales in 1987 to 9 percent last year.

But a host of websites now are seeking to reverse that 27-year decline by offering tools, marketing advise and exposure to homeowners selling without an agent.

While industry insiders are skeptical, operators say FSBO websites will function much like TurboTax, guiding ordinary folks through an otherwise complex process.

“Sellers have access to all the same information and resources as real estate agents,” Eddie Tyner, general manager of Chicago-based, said in an email. “And the process of selling your home by owner is the same as selling with a real estate agent. It’s just a matter of who is doing the work.”

A Ladera Ranch website,, recently joined the fray, offering free listings and tools, and for a fee additional services for the for sale by owner adventurer.

“Whatever route you take to sell your home, we have things that will help you save,” said Fizber President Zack Zackrison.

If Fizber is to become profitable, it needs to “upsell” customers on these additional products, said CEO Evan Gentry.