For Sale By Owner

Peter Coy

Realtors will argue that only a professional can get you a good price and guide you through the intricacies of closing. But selling your house without an agent is getting more and more convenient, thanks to increasingly sophisticated Web tools.


One new advertising-supported site called looks vaguely like and offers free listings by owners. You can post as many as 20 photos of your house for free. You also get a free yard sign. Hand-holding costs extra: For $626 you get unlimited telephone consultations on pricing, selling, interior decorating, doing open houses, etc. That's not cheap unless you compare it to the thousands of dollars you'd be paying a brokerage firm.
Mongoose is still light on listings, so it's not yet much of a magnet for potential buyers. Then there's the name--I keep picturing a mongoose. But my guess is that with real estate markets softening, and other FSBO sites are poised to pick up business from sellers who simply can't stand to pay what full-service agents are asking.

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