3 min article

Real estate policy

Unlike listings in most other eBay categories, real estate listings are not a binding offer to sell the property shown.

As there are a wide variety of laws governing the sale of real estate around the world, eBay offers a variety of advertising formats. For more details on listing real estate on eBay, and our role as a platform for advertising, please read our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I list a property on eBay for a friend?

No, eBay users are not allowed to list real estate for a third-party, unless you are a licensed real estate professional. For more information, please read our full policy below.


Read our full policy

Real estate policy overview

To best meet the needs of our users while accommodating the wide variety of laws governing the sale of real estate across the globe, eBay offers advertisements of real estate in a variety of formats. These Real Estate Rules explain these format offerings, clarify eBay's limited role as a hosting platform for advertising and venue-provider, and outline certain limitations on eBay's obligations and liabilities. Your use of the eBay Real Estate Pages confirms your agreement to these rules.

Due to the wide variety of laws governing the sale of real estate, eBay's auction-style advertisements of real property do not involve legally binding offers to buy and sell. Instead, eBay's online auctions are simply a way for sellers to advertise their real estate and meet potential buyers. eBay is commonly referred to as an online auction website; however, eBay is not a traditional "auctioneer" with respect to real estate. eBay is not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers and, as a result, has no control over the quality, safety, or legality of the properties advertised, the truth or accuracy of the postings, the ability of sellers to sell items, or the ability of buyers to buy items. eBay cannot ensure that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction.

Selling an undivided interest in a land real estate property is not permitted. An undivided interest is defined as a partial interest by two or more people in the same property. This prohibition shall not apply to mineral rights.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation
  • Limits on account privileges
  • Account suspension
  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
  • Loss of PowerSeller status

Some Examples

Non Binding Auctions

"Non binding" auctions of real estate do not involve binding commitments by users to buy and sell property. Instead, these "auctions" are simply a way for sellers to advertise their real estate within the auction-style environment familiar to eBay's user community. At the close of the auction, the seller is expected to contact the high bidder to discuss entering into a contract for the real estate property. Neither party is obligated to complete the transaction.

Ad Format Items

eBay also offers sellers the option of advertising their property in an "Ad" format rather than an auction format. When the ad format is used, no auction takes place. The ad format allows the seller to receive leads from multiple interested buyers rather than from a single high bidder. Buyers viewing the advertisement provide their name, contact information, and questions/comments in the "Contact the Seller" form embedded within the advertisement. This information is then forwarded to the seller via email. In accordance with the eBay User Agreement, the seller must treat the buyer's contact information in full compliance with eBay's Privacy Policy. This policy prohibits sharing the buyer's information with third parties as well as use of the buyer's information for any purpose other than communicating with the buyer about the information and services referenced in the item description, unless expressly permitted to do so by the buyer. Failure to comply with this policy can result in the seller's suspension or expulsion from the eBay community.

Purchase Notes and Mortgage Notes

Within eBay's "Other Real Estate" pages, eBay sellers are permitted to advertise for sale certain purchase money notes and mortgages (referred to in these rules as "mortgage notes"). These mortgage notes are created when, in a real estate transaction preceding the offer of the mortgage note on the eBay site, a purchaser of certain real estate obtains financing for all or a portion of a property from the seller, and executes a note in favor of the seller secured by a mortgage on the real property being purchased. A mortgage note created in this manner may be advertised for sale on eBay (in either the auction format or ad format) if the following requirements are satisfied:

  • the mortgage note must have arisen in connection with a bona fide real estate transaction
  • the interest offered constitutes the entire indebtedness under the note
  • the purchaser will receive the mortgage note by unconditional endorsement, without recourse, together with a full assignment of the mortgage securing the note, both of which the purchaser will hold until satisfaction of the note
  • the mortgage note is offered without any interposed services or other enhancements to be provided by the seller; and
  • the sale of the mortgage note complies with all applicable law

All mortgage notes are required to be offered only in the "Other Real Estate" category.

Additional information

Privacy of Information

Sellers must treat buyers' contact information in full compliance with our User Privacy Notice. This policy prohibits sharing the buyer's information with third parties as well as use of the buyer's information for any purpose other than communicating with the buyer about the item, unless expressly permitted to do so by the buyer.

eBay's Role as a Venue Provider/Brokerage Relationship (Agency) Disclosure

The role of eBay in the sale of properties is limited to publishing advertising provided by sellers and providing a venue for communications about a property. eBay is not responsible for, and does not engage in, brokering, selling, purchasing, exchanging, or leasing posted properties or providing a "multiple listing service" as that term is traditionally used. eBay does not counsel sellers or buyers, show properties, negotiate sales contracts, or hold a position of trust and confidence, whether or not in connection with the eBay website. Accordingly, no brokerage relationship or any agency or fiduciary relationship is intended to be or shall be deemed to have been created between eBay and any seller or buyer of real estate. eBay makes no representations about properties advertised on eBay, about the sellers of such properties, about the accuracy of information provided by such sellers, or about the financial capabilities of prospective buyers. Prospective buyers are advised to perform all due diligence before entering into a contract to purchase property, and, as emphasized above, all parties are encouraged to seek the help of a licensed real estate professional and real estate attorney.

License Information

eBay does not purport to broker transactions, although it holds certain state real estate broker licenses.

Professional Assistance

The purchase and sale of real estate is a complicated matter that is governed by laws, practices and customs that vary significantly from locality to locality. Sellers are advised that many jurisdictions require that you provide a disclosure statement to all prospective buyers regarding the condition of your property. In addition, under U.S. federal law, sellers have an obligation to disclose information on lead-based paint hazards. Members are strongly advised to seek the help of a licensed real estate professional and/or a real estate attorney to help in the negotiation and sale of any real estate.

Members may wish to visit the website of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, which offers a search tool providing access to a database of information about the current license or registration status of real estate licensees.

Why does eBay have this policy?

eBay and eBay Real Estate want to ensure that sellers and buyers comply with all governmental laws and regulations. Since the sale of real estate is regulated, or may cause harm to eBay, eBay Real Estate or its members, the sale of real estate on eBay is restricted.

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