Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 LCD 1705
2 kstreett 240
3 Guest_9020487 110
4 Guest_9190926 105
5 Member Services 100
6 ahowell 95
7 KnowledgeBase 95
8 skbloom 80
9 Guest_98024861 70
10 Guest_9311297 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 6/13/2011

What's the best way to sell your house by owner, FSBO?

I've seen many websites out there and there are a ton of different options. Has anyone out there had good luck doing this? I know the housing market is down right now so any insight you have to help would be much appreciated. This is my first experience in selling a home. Thank you!

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

18 Answers

Voted Best Answer

I bought my last house and also sold it FSBO. For me, both ends of the process were simple and relatively hassle free.

I advertised in the paper once a week and had an open house every Sunday for about three weeks. I also had an FSBO sign in the front yard that I would put balloons on (for attention) when I had the open house. It sold quickly.

The cost of an attorney to go over the paperwork was MUCH less than the price of a relator. I bought one of those ready-made packages from the nearest office store, read it over and made a few changes to it. Then I had the attorney look it over. I think it saved some money having the attorney just look over the document and make changes rather than having him create the entire thing.

When I decide to move out of my current house, I will definitely go FSBO again.

Answered 5 years ago by lorinico


We've bought and sold a few houses and only bought one FSBO. We'd never do it again.

Why would anyone want to buy a FSBO in a down market? Agents will do their best to avoid showing any FSBO house so you've reduced your opportunities by at least 75%. Unless you can wait years or have a To-Die-For house in a To-Die-For location, it's a waste of time. And who needs the stress?

Answered 5 years ago by jwwt


It is the luck of the draw. Put out a sign "For Sale By Owner". Most people looking for homes will cruise the neighborhoods. Find a real estate attorney that can handle the paperwork and escrow stuff for you,and do that ahead of time, so that you will be represented. Give it a little time, you might just get lucky. My friend had his sign out for 3 weeks and got a buyer. However, some properties, I think the more expensive ones, need a broker. We tried FSBO without any results, and have had several showings with a 'high-end' broker. The 'discount' broker was a complete disaster. You will have TONS of real estate agents calling you from your sign, all claiming to 'know your neighborhood', 'have buyers in your neighborhood', etc. You can offer to sign an agreement to give them,let's say, a 3% commission for a particular buyer that they will bring over. Otherwise, all of their 'buyers' are just ghosts. If it doesn't go FSBO after your pre-determined amount of time, do LOTS of research on hiring a real estate agent. VISIT their office to be sure it 'exists' and is not just an internet realtor. If you are in Miami check out EWM or KEYES, they are very reputable, be very choosy and be sure you can cancel the listing contract if you are not happy. Check up, have your friends call the agent to see how long it takes for a return call, and how they handle the calls and the showing. Best of luck.

Answered 5 years ago by miamimommy


Hi...I have sold a condo myself without the use of a r.e. agent. However, it can be a hassle advertising, showing the property (people set appts. then don't show), getting the contract done properly, etc., and you would be wise to hire an attorney to protect yourself which will cost you. Also, keep in mind a lot of people are uncomfortable "haggling" directly with the seller and prefer going through an agent. Most agents (good reputable companies) will agree to a reduced commission if you list it yourself but allow them to bring by buyers (they treat you as the "selling agent".) They likely won't list it in multiple listing in that situation, but they can be another good source of prospects for you. I also have a real estate license (inactive, although with a "referral" company which means I can refer an agent to a buyer or seller who requests one). I have worked with some excellent r.e. agents and if you ever decide to go that route and don't have an agent, I'd be happy to refer one for you. It doesn't cost you any more, and the bonus to you is that the referring agent can keep tabs on the situation and make sure the r.e. agent receiving the referral is on top of things, and because they want to continue to receive referrals, they generally give excellent service. Good luck whichever way you go.

Answered 5 years ago by catcat


About March 2005, I paid $1000+ to list my home/b&b business on FSBO. I also listed it on It sold Sept 2005 for 30k less than asking, but considerably more than the appraisal or realestate agents expected. I conducted open houses every Sunday and maintained the house so it could be shown if anyone cared to stop in...which a few people did! If you would like more info, please email me with specific questions. Good luck! ~hedgerow

Answered 5 years ago by hedgerow


I've never sold a house FSBO, but I will say that I would never consider buying a house FSBO. Too much hassle.

Answered 5 years ago by catnip


Especially with the market is down I tend to trust a Realtor. The legal hassels you get into aren't worth it. I've heard too many nightmare stories. A professional may cost a little more but they can get you better coverage. And No I am not a Realtor - I too am trying to sell my house but I have a company working for me.

Answered 5 years ago by Teddybear


We bought a house last January and sold one in April, using a realtor from ZipRealty. We were extremely happy with her but that was just good luck. I'd never consider buying or selling FSBO; there's way too many legal documents, sign-offs by the city (Los Angeles) that are needed, etc. We had a few issues with both the purchase and sale--all resolved, fortunately---that would have caused monumental stress had we not had someone handling it who knew whatshe was doing.

Answered 5 years ago by evesocal


I bought my FSBO house four years ago and it was absolutely no hassle from my perspective. However, I had a realtor and the seller had no problem paying my realtor's fee. I would recommend one of the FSBO services that allows you to purchase an MLS listing -- this will get you lots of exposure that you wouldn't otherwise get. Good luck!

Answered 5 years ago by Michelle


Hi: Might be or might not be too late for you on this. I see that your posting is from September 2006.

I had success selling a rental townhouse by using the strategies in the book, How to sell your home in 5 days, by Bill Effros. It will take you about an hour to read the book. Follow the advice EXACTLY as it says in the book.

But here's a couple of not- EXACTLYs -- use as many street sign advertisements as possible. Insert a non-refundable $2000 -$3000 clause in the contract (to prevent real estate investors from trying to flip your house between the time they contract it and the contract expires.) To get other unbiased opinions on whether this strategy works or not, read the reader evaluations of the book.

Good Luck!

Answered 5 years ago by rambo


IMHO the real estate market tanked last winter. Additionally in most states the market is flooded with foreclosures.

Anyone hoping to sell their home themselves are in the same race so price it as per the current market (agent appraisals are free, plus there are websites that provide free listings of homes asking prices and selling prices). Last week I toured a house that the bank had listed for the cost of the loan - it was overpriced by $100K and major sturctural problems were obvious. It's a buyers market!

Read the fine print before you accept a sale agreement. Good luck

Answered 5 years ago by tessa89


I have done it myself and it proved to be tedious. It really isn't very tough, but unless you work only part-time, you will find that it will take a great deal of your free time and then some. With the glut of RE agents across the country, I would negotitate a very low commission (why pay more than 3%?). Having bought and sold 11 properties, I have found very little difference between the full price (6%+) agents and the deep discount types. Help U Sell does a pretty good job. There are few other Internet ones that allow you to use the MLS. If you are willing to do some of the work, you can save thousands.

Answered 5 years ago by ETCH Engineer


What store did you buy this packet from?

Answered 5 years ago by Mnt 1


There are a lot of ways to do it. Most real estate searches start over the internet and there are several websites that you can list your properties. You definitely need to consider being open to pay a buyers agent but you can save a lot of money by listing it yourself. Check out and other sites just like it to list your properties online. (There are many) In full disclosure - that's where I work.

Being an FSBO can be hard work but honestly...dealing with agents is hard work sometimes too. Its not easy for anyone in this market. I wish you the best of luck.


Answered 5 years ago by TheRightListing


If you're looking to save money, consider a flat fee listing service that doesn't charge you the commission portion if you sell your home yourself (i.e. no buyer broker). You get the benefit of having your home listed in the MLS and advertised wherever the broker advertises, and you only pay about half the commission and no commission if you get a walk-in off the street.

Yes, I am a real estate Broker.


Answered 5 years ago by Able Realty


Never underestimate the power of free classified ads. I have sold many homes using a favorite site or two and they are always easy to update, the good sites allow many free photos and in the process, you are building page rank for your business website if you have one. I'll add my favorite spot in the source box but don't forget to look around the blog this site provides too, because there is a link there to another 100 free classified ad sites. You can have as much free real estate advertising, geo-targeted, as you want to dedicate the time to. Good luck!


Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9830094


Selling a home is not rocket science. Sticking a for sale sign in the yard is a great way to let your neighbor know your selling. That's a small audience . Be prepared to wait!! But

you could get lucky. That's one part and just the beginning of selling a property.

I would never think of going to court without a attorney or selling a home without representation. There are two many variables and to much at stake to take a chance.

One of the first and most important things to remember is to do your research and price your home right in the right market. Understanding the climate and the environment that you are selling in is invaluable.

I don't know what State you live in but here in South Florida real estate is HOT!!!

A attorney may handle the paperwork but not bring you a qualified buyer. A sign in your front yard can bring in limited prospects and some may just e nosy and not even qualified. Then you have to know how to negotiate to get the best deal you can. This takes experience.

You can figure to spend much time marketing, promoting, showing, staging, researching and learning that can cost big bucks.

The last and final thing to remember is buyers will not pay you the going rate since they know you are not paying a Realtor commission THEY want that discount. FSBOS sell over 20%below market value.

With all that being said I wish you the best. You may indeed have the skills and time necessary to get it done yourself.

Is it worth it in the end?

Source: http;//

Answered 3 years ago by charlene hovey


Your best bet is to consult a real estate broker, like my husband, Tim and I, who will help FSBO clients manage selling their home without a contract but with professional advice on the entire transaction. It is always best, even if you don't hire a real estate broker, to have a professional write your paperwork to conclude the sale. That way if you have problems in the future over the sale, you have written proof of the terms of the sale and you can be sure that anything that needs to be filed with the county and state are taken care of. Often times when you sell your own home, you forget about putting the sale in writing so you are protected in the future if the buyer has a problem and blames it all on you. We charge a flat amount to do your paperwork which is much less than a commission.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9230727


We used and had a great experience. The owner (I believe) actually jumped on a call with us when we needed some specialized help and explained the process of selling my house online. Then he directed me to a few blogs about making the house "Show Ready". it sold in less than 180 days. We are very content.

The process of selling your home online is rather convoluted but if you get in contact with a good MLS listing service they will help every step of the way. Just do the research.


Answered 3 days ago by SchielerM

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy