Advantages of Selling a House by Yourself

A white and red "For sale by owner" sing with a beautiful house in the background

When it comes time to sell your home, it may sound tempting to list it with a real estate professional. It is the most common way to sell a house. 

Selling with an agent is popular with homeowners for a good reason. The agents have access to buyers looking for a home just like yours.

However, there are also advantages of selling a home by owner. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of selling your house by yourself, as well as the documents required and pitfalls to avoid when selling your house by yourself.

Selling a House by Yourself

Selling a house by yourself is a DIY (do it yourself) concept that few people have experience with. You should consider what’s entailed when going through the house selling process

How To Sell a House by Yourself

If you’re entertaining the thought of performing all the home selling duties on your own, it’s vital to list your duties. The tasks that a real estate agent who can sell a house fast in South Carolina would normally perform will fall on your shoulders. 

Here are four action items you will need to do when you decide to sell your house on your own. Ask yourself if you can thrive in each of the situations.

Prepare Your House for Sale

The first step is to declutter and depersonalize your house. You want buyers to see themselves living in the home, not looking at your family photos and personal items everywhere they turn. You also need to do a deep cleaning, inside and out. Spruce up the landscaping, pressure-wash the siding, clean the carpets and windows, and make the inside of the house sparkle. 

Consider making some cosmetic updates, like painting walls with neutral colors, updating light fixtures, and fixing any broken features. These updates don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. They should make your house look its best, however.

Market Your House for Sale

Once your house is clean, decluttered, and updated, it is time to start marketing it. The goal is to get as many people through the door as possible. As you do, you want to find a buyer willing to pay your asking price. You may even want to attract cash home buyers in Rock Hill.

To do this, you need listing photos and an enticing description. You also want to list your house on all the major real estate websites, like Zillow, Redfin, and If you have a budget for marketing, you can also consider print ads that might attract the “we buy houses Fort Mill” crowd.

What To Do When You Receive an Offer on Your House

The next step is to review any home sale offers you receive and decide whether to accept, reject or counter. If you have multiple offers, you can choose the one that’s the most advantageous for you. 

When reviewing an offer, pay attention to the buyer’s financing contingency, earnest money deposit, closing date, and any other special requests. You should also compare the offer price to your asking price and consider how much you’re willing to negotiate.

Negotiate With Buyers

If you want to counter an offer, it means you will need to negotiate. The buyer’s agent will likely try to lowball you, so you mustn’t get emotional about the process. 

Start by countering with a fair price that’s close to your asking price. From there, you can negotiate on things like the earnest money deposit, closing date, and contingencies. The key is to stay calm and firm throughout the negotiation process.

Advantages of Selling a Home by Owner

When selling your house by yourself, you gain certain advantages.

Control the Sale Process

Selling your house on your own gives you complete control over the sale process. You can decide when and how to show your home, what kind of information to share with potential home buyers, and how to negotiate offers. 

While a real estate agent can offer advice and experience while selling a house, you ultimately make the final decisions when going the FSBO route. Working with an agent can sometimes turn frustrating. For example, you might not agree on the asking price or the marketing strategy. 

If you want to gain control over the sale of your home, consider using the for sale by owner strategy.

Knowledge of Your Home

You know the strengths and weaknesses of your home better than anyone else. You’re also familiar with its history, which can be helpful when talking to potential buyers. 

For instance, if your home has been in your family for generations or has unique features, you can share this information with buyers. It gives them a better sense of the home’s value and helps them see it as more than just a property.

Knowledge of Your Area

After living in the house for several years, you know the neighborhood well. You likely know which schools are best, what the crime rate is like, and what kind of amenities exist nearby.

The information is valuable to a potential buyer who does not know the area yet. By sharing your knowledge, you can help them feel more comfortable making an offer on your home.

Set the List Price

When selling a house by owner, you get to set the asking price. Controlling this aspect of selling a home is one of the biggest advantages. 

You can use online tools, like Zillow’s “What’s My Home Worth?” estimator, to get an idea of the value. Once you understand this data, you can set a selling price that makes you comfortable. If you need to sell quickly, you might consider pricing your home below market value. 

Save On Real Estate Commission

The typical real estate commission is around six percent of the sale price, which can add up to thousands of dollars. Using the FSBO selling process means you will not pay commission fees to a listing agent.

You can save a lot of money by keeping the commission. Use it to cover the cost of selling, like marketing expenses and closing costs. As a home seller working by yourself, you will keep more of the profits from the sale. 

Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your House by Yourself

The above advantages help make the FSBO process attractive. To avoid seller mistakes, you should also consider the disadvantages of selling your house by yourself.

Time Invested in Educating Yourself

One of the disadvantages of selling your house by yourself is the time you’ll need to invest in the process. Educate yourself about real estate law, marketing, and negotiation before starting.

If you don’t have experience in these areas, it might be hard to sell your house without help. You can try to learn as you go, but it’s often better to have a solid understanding of the process before getting started.

Marketing on Your Own

When working as an independent home seller, you must market the house. It includes creating listings, taking photos, and doing open houses.

Are you an experienced marketer? If not, you could struggle to get the word out about your house. You also might not have the time to invest in marketing. Without a solid marketing plan, your home could stay on the market too long.

Ask yourself if you have the upfront cash to invest a little money to use for your marketing needs. You can use paid social media ads, for instance. It can be the difference between a fast sale or your house languishing on the market for months. 

Planning Open Houses and Showings

If you want to sell your house quickly, you’ll need to remain available for showings and open houses. It can become troublesome if you have a full-time job or other commitments. 

It is often difficult to schedule showings around potential buyers’ schedules, which can cause additional complications.

No Access to the MLS

The MLS is a powerful tool that real estate agents use to understand home prices and market properties. MLS stands for “multiple listing service.” It’s a database of homes for sale that real estate agents can access. When you list with an agent, your property will go into the MLS, which gives it a wider reach. 

As an FSBO seller, you don’t have direct access to the MLS. However, you can get around this by working with a flat-fee MLS company. These companies will list your home on the MLS for a flat fee, rather than a percentage of the sale price. 

The Hesitancy of Buyers to Work With an FSBO

Some prospective buyers are hesitant to work with FSBO sellers because they don’t have representation. They might worry about not getting all the information they need about the property. 

As a result, you might need to work harder to build trust with potential buyers. You can do this by being open and honest about the condition of your house and providing all the relevant information upfront. Getting a thorough home inspection can also help to build trust with potential buyers. 

Lack of Legal Knowledge

When you sell your house by yourself, you’re responsible for all the paperwork and legalities involved in the sale. This includes things like preparing the purchase agreement, disclosures, and handling earnest money deposits. 

If you’re not familiar with real estate law, you might run into trouble completing all the necessary paperwork. You could also potentially make mistakes that delay or even scuttle the sale. 

To avoid this, consult with a real estate attorney before getting started. They can help you understand the legalities involved in selling your house and make sure all the paperwork is in order. 

Documents Needed for FSBO Home Selling

Two homeowners dicussing the different documents they'll need to sell a home by themselves

Let’s look at some of the documents you need when selling your house without a realtor.

Listing Agreement

The first document you’ll need when selling your home without a realtor is a listing agreement. It is the contract between you and any parties (such as a brokerage) involved in marketing your property. 

Comparative Market Analysis

A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an estimate of your home’s value based on recent sales of similar properties in your area. 

Preliminary Report

A preliminary report is a document that outlines the condition of your home and any necessary repairs or maintenance. 

Mortgage Statement and Payoff Amount

Your mortgage statement will show how much you still owe on your mortgage. The payoff amount is the amount you’ll need to pay to fully pay off your mortgage. 

Repair and Maintenance Records

If you have records of any repair or maintenance work done on your home, be sure to include them. Buyers want to know how well you kept the house maintained over the years.

Property Survey

A property survey is a document that shows the boundaries of your property. 

The Title

The title is the document that proves you own your home. 

Seller Disclosure

The seller disclosure is a document where you disclose any known defects or problems with your home. Legally, this is a requirement in some states. 

Home Warranties

Home warranties are optional, but they can be a selling point for your home. A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair and replacement of major home systems and appliances. 

Purchase/Sales Agreement

The purchase/sales agreement is the contract between you and the buyer that outlines the terms of the sale. 

Lead-based Paint Disclosure

If your home existed before 1978, you’ll need to disclose any lead-based paint that may be present. 

Buyer’s Appraisal Report

An appraisal report is an estimate of the value of your home from a professional appraiser. 

As you can see, there are quite a few documents involved in selling your home without a realtor. Don’t let that discourage you, however. With a little preparation, you can handle it all.


When you sell your home yourself, you avoid paying a seller’s agent commission on the real estate transaction. However, there are some pitfalls to avoid if you want to sell your house without any hassles. In this article, we’ve discussed the pros and cons of selling your home by yourself. 

Are you ready to go forward with selling a house without a realtor? If so, there’s no better time to begin than today.

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