FSBO Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of FSBO, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is FSBO?

For Sale By Owner. When an owner sells a house or property without enlisting the help of a broker or other intermediary.

History and Meaning of FSBO

FSBO, or For Sale By Owner, is a term used in real estate to describe the process of selling a property without the assistance of a real estate agent. This trend started in the United States in the early 1970s, as a response to increasing real estate commission fees. Today, the internet has made it easier for homeowners to market and sell their homes without the assistance of an agent.

Examples of FSBO

  1. John decided to sell his house FSBO, and made sure to take high-quality photos of the property and list it on several popular real estate websites.
  2. Mary wanted to save money on commission fees, so she decided to try selling her condo as FSBO but ended up hiring a real estate lawyer for assistance with the legal paperwork.
  3. Tom and his wife sold their home as FSBO and had multiple offers within the first month, eventually closing the sale for a higher price than they expected.

Legal Terms Similar to FSBO

  1. Real Estate Agent: A licensed professional who helps buyers and sellers complete real estate transactions.
  2. Real Estate Broker: A higher-level real estate agent who manages an entire brokerage and can legally supervise other agents.
  3. Dual Agency: When a real estate agent or broker represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction.