Sites can help sellers navigate confusing task while saving them thousands. Just don’t expect them to host your open house!

(Source: Associated Press)

Selling a home without a real estate agent can save thousands of dollars in commission fees, but it can also be a painstaking, confusing task.

Foregoing an agent, however, is easier these days thanks to Web sites that help homeowners advertise their properties on the hottest real estate portals and even walk them through figuring out how to price their home to sell.

Sites such as ForSaleByOwner.com, Owners.com and Fizber.com don’t claim to supplant every service a real estate agent provides, but they and others come close to giving a seller’s home the same online exposure as one that’s marketed by an agent.

That kind of access comes at a price, often in the hundreds of dollars, and probably means the seller must settle for saving only half of the 6 percent cut of the sale that traditionally would be split between the agents for the buyer and seller.

On a $300,000 sale, that’s $9,000. Not too shabby.

Some sites, like BuyOwner.com, up the ante, offering to expose sellers’ ads to more potential buyers by placing them onto Web sites like Google Base and Yahoo Real Estate, among others.

For $299, BuyOwner.com also throws in a few extras, such as access to a toll-free customer support line.

ForSaleByOwner.com, meanwhile, offers packages that range from $81 a month to a six-month plan for $809.

Read Alex Veiga’s full article “Web sites cater to for-sale-by-owner home sellers” in the Associated Press (November 29, 2009).

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