How To Sell Your House As A For Sale By Owner

selling FSBO is not as scary as it seems

Interested in selling your home, but put off by the high cost of real estate agent commissions?


Many homeowners consider going the “for sale by owner” route and taking on the task of getting their property sold on their own.

What does it mean to sell a house by owner?
For Sale

For sale by owner, also referred to as FSBO, is when home sellers choose to list, market, and—hopefully—sell their home without the help of a licensed real estate agent. The motivation for doing this is almost always to save on costs, since home sellers are usually responsible for paying the commission of both their own agent and the buyer’s agent. Ultimately, that means a pretty big chunk of money lost out of the profit on the home. These agents provide a service and need to put food on the table, so compensation in the form of commissions are involved.

In residential real estate, commissions for the transaction are usually 3% to the listing agent and 3% to the buying agent. On a $300,000 dollar property the paid out commissions are $18,000 dollars!

Step 1: Do Your Research
  • Study All Homes Currently Listed For Sale

Current listings in your neighborhood are very important because they are your main competition. The next house to sell in your neighborhood will be the best one, so you need to make sure that your house is the best. Study the price per square foot, upgrades/updating, and overall presentation of each active property. If all of the homes for sale in your neighborhood have nice hardwood floors and new carpet, make sure yours does too. If not, then make sure you price it to be able to compete.

  • Study All Sold Properties

Sold properties are your best source of data to determine an accurate listing price. Take notice to what the properties sold for in comparison to what they were listed for. Also, notice how many days each property took to sell. What made each home sell? Take into account the year built, upgrades, and layout. It's hard to objectively determine your real market value when you are the beneficiary of the sale. Try to step back and pretend that you are coaching a friend through the process. Be realistic and study the raw data to land at an accurate selling price.

  • Study The Amenities & Upgrades

Amenities and upgrades can completely change the way buyers feel about your house. If all of the recently sold homes in your neighborhood had granite countertops and you are trying to sell your home with 1980's formica countertops, then you've got a problem. Carpet that is worn out and/or carries pet odor, poorly landscaped lawns, and old paint are common issues that need to be dealt with before listing a house. Try your best to determine what upgrades are relevant for you to be a successful for sale by owner listing. 

  • Research Selling & Closing Fees

You'll want to know what fees to expect at closing. This varies for certain areas. In Denver Colorado, it is common for the seller to pay for most title fees. You will also need to budget for possible repairs that can come up in a buyer's inspection report. Call your local title company to help you determine all the possible fees that you may incur when you sell your property. You can also research common real estate fees on Google to get a good idea of what to expect. 

  • Know Your Mortgage Payoff

The most important monetary value you will need to know when selling your house as a FSBO is your mortgage payoff amount. If this number is not readily available on your mortgage statement, call your mortgage company to obtain the exact number. Make sure that your house can sell for enough to payoff your mortgage and pay for closing fees, or you will have to bring money to the closing table. This may seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many home sellers have not taken their mortgage payoff into account before considering listing.

Advice For Selling A House By Owner
Image by Christin Hume

Don’t overprice - An overpriced home is difficult to sell with professional help, and even more difficult to sell on your own. You can determine the appropriate price by researching recent comparable home sales in your area and seeing what they sold for. Keep in mind location, home size, and home quality when determining what can be considered a comp. If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money, you can also hire an appraiser to let you know your home’s fair market value.

Be completely honest in your disclosures - If the house is going to need a new plumbing system or there’s water damage under the carpet in the basement, you need to disclose these to potential buyers—even if you don’t want to. Sellers are required by law to reveal any known defects in the property, and a failure to do so could get you into some serious legal trouble later on.

You already have an interested and viable buyer - Yes thats right, Mile Hi House Buyer is always interested in any property in or around the Denver, Colorado area. All of our offers are made as full cash offers to you, and we always pay for all closing costs. No commissions, no clean up, no repairs, we buy properties in any situation and in AS IS condition. We can even close in as little as one week and have the cash in your bank account. Please reach out to us for a no obligation offer on your property! Call, email, and texts us, or leave your information below and we can contact you.

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