The term is a bit confusing - of course the owner sells the home! Plus, here at Houses.Direct, we have a slightly different interpretation of the term.
Essentially "FSBO" refers to an owner who is trying to sell a home without using at least one of the two agents normally involved in a sale (the listing agent, and the buyer's agent). Traditionally, an FSBO seller would skip the listing agent. The owner would do all the work of marketing the home. However, the seller still offered the full 3% commission to any buyer's agent - because that's what the MLS requires.
Today, that just doesn't make any sense, not when there are alternatives to the MLS. In particular, Zillow (another Seattle startup!) attracts millions of viewers each month. It routinely advertises itself as a great place to search for a home.
This allows Houses.Direct to offer a new take on the FSBO model. You get a seller's agent, someone to either help you, or take the lead in, selling the home. We list the home on Zillow "For Sale by Owner," but we provide all of the services you expect from a listing agent. And we do it for a very reasonable flat fee.
The buyer's agent? Well, believe it or not, the buyer's agent is paid by - GASP! - the buyer. And you picket the savings.