For Sale By Owner (FSBO) .. with an MLS listing?

In industry parlance, we call it Fizbo (FSBO), a.k.a., For Sale By Owner .. you, being said owner of course. FSBO is a great option for those who can pay attention to their own marketing, deal with queries and showings from the general public in an even and fair manner, and retain a real estate attorney who can review offers and deal with all legal aspects to the sale. I’ve come across some really successful owners who had the time, interest, and temperament as well as skill to sell their own property.


Here are some things to consider when going the FSBO route:


*connect with and hire a real estate agent/broker who can help you with the listing price and also to put your listing in the local MLS (multiple listing service). This is key to your success. Sure, you can try Craigslist only, but that will not get the distribution you will need for success.


*find, research, and retain a real estate attorney to represent your interests during the transaction. This real estate attorney will draw up contracts such as the Purchase & Sale (P&S), review offers if you instruct them, and help with the Seller side closing documents .. they will also be a good interface with the Buyer’s attorney


*make sure to offer the market commission rate in your area for Buyer’s agents so you can make sure to entice Buyer’s agents to show your listing to their buyers. In FSBO listings I have seen on the MLS, the rates being offered to a Buyer’s agent on the listing range from 2-3% with the average being 2.5%. In the Boston metro markets, I have seen mainly foreclosure properties offering 3% buyer agent commissions.


*don’t go “fishing” with your listing price. Buyers know that you are saving at least 2% on the overall commission price, and they do take that into consideration when approaching your property. Btw, I tell them that you are saving at least 2% on the commission price. It’s information that most of my buyers already have factored in.


FYI, the MLS that Greater Boston agents/brokers subscribe to ( calls FSBO listings “Entry Only” listings. Why? The reason is because the agent/broker who you hire to create the listing into the MLS for a nominal fee is not providing any other services (such as showings, etc) for your listing except to Enter the data. Buyers or whomever are searching for property in the Greater Boston markets through the network (through whatever online property search provider such as,, etc.) can create a search for FSBO properties by requesting (from an agent/broker) to create a search for “entry only” properties only.


If you are interested in hiring a broker to create an “Entry Only” FSBO listing for your property, Willard Realty Group charges $200 and you are responsible for taking most of the pictures of the property. We can help advise on what pictures to take and give other practical advice as well. See our contact information below.  ~Willard


Best of luck with your FSBO listing!



Willard D. Cunningham
Willard Cunningham, Broker/Principal
(617) 921-4758
MA License# 9077116
1953 Massachusetts Ave.
Ste. 400775
Cambridge, MA 02140
MA License: 9011


“Your referrals to me will get the best of many years’ residential real estate experience

– and my heartfelt thanks.”