How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House by Owner?

April 3, 2020

Many homeowners opt to sell their home by owner to avoid realtor fees, but is it the right way to go? Learn how much does it cost to sell a house by owner here.

It seems pretty simple on the surface. You want to sell your home on your own to avoid paying real estate agent commissions.

It may seem like a smart thing to do, but there are pros and cons to that decision. You have to know the ins and outs of selling a home and the costs involved.

How much does it cost to sell a house by owner?

Keep reading to find out the costs to sell a home and tips that you can use to sell your home fast.


Costs Involved in Selling a Home

Selling a home isn’t as easy as placing a classified ad online and showing the home. There are many steps along the way that you need to consider to get the best purchase price of your home. These are the most common steps involved.


Home Pricing

You may have seen a few TV shows where they price the home according to “comps” in a certain neighborhood. You could price your home according to that information.

This is the place where many home sellers make a mistake. They believe that the home is worth way more than it is, so they price it accordingly.

What usually happens is that the home is priced so high, it doesn’t sell. When a home sits on the market for a long time, buyers think that there’s something wrong with it. You also have to continue to pay for the mortgage and utilities.

The best way to price your home is to get a professional appraisal and then use the comps to come up with a good sales price.


Home Staging Costs

Home staging and curb appeal have a real impact on the sales price of the home, too. People will have a first impression of the property when they drive up.

If the outside looks like a field of weeds, you’re going to give buyers the wrong impression. It’s the same inside the home. A cluttered home full of personal items won’t give buyers the opportunity to see themselves living in the home.

Professional home staging cost is worth it because it can add 1-4% to the sales price of your home. A professional home staging company averages $400.

Landscaping the yard will also add some costs to the sales price. The final cost of landscaping will depend on the condition of your yard.


Repairs and Maintenance

Before you put the home on the market, you need to take care of the repairs and maintenance of the home. If you put this off, buyers will want a lower sales price.

Some projects you can take care of yourself. Others will require a professional. It’s best to go through your home and make a list of all of the potential issues.

You can then work to remedy these issues or be willing to adjust your sales price. The cost of repairs will depend on the condition of the home.


Marketing the Home

You have to let people know that your home is for sale. You can’t rely on a For Sale By Owner sign on the property.

There are sites that will allow you to post your home for free, you may want to list your home on the multiple listing service (MLS). There’s usually a fee involved, which will vary from MLS to MLS.

This is usually the area where real estate agents earn their money. Agents have a wide network to other agents who are representing buyers.


Showing the Home

Once you have interest in the home, you have to show the home to prospective buyers. This takes time and effort to explain the features of the home and answer any questions.

You have to make sure that you can find a home buyer that won’t complicate the sale and prolong it.



You’re going to get an offer on the home. Can you decipher what the contract says? What if you want to negotiate the sales price?

You’re not an attorney, so you have to be very careful about the real estate contract. You want to make sure that you have a real estate attorney working on your behalf to get the contracts right.

You’ll also have to have outstanding negotiation skills to get the price that you want. A good attorney will cost about $200 an hour.



A mortgage lender will want to have the home inspected before they approve any offer. They may find items that need repair that you disagree with.

You’re going to need to pay for your own home inspector to agree or offer another opinion. That could cost anywhere between $200 - $500.


Closing Costs

There will be closing costs for the home. You will need to have an attorney present to review the documents and handle the money.

In some cases, a seller will pay for the closing costs. In others, buyers will pay or they agree to split the costs.


How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House By Owner?

As you can see, there are many steps to sell a home, whether it’s done by a real estate agent or by owner. Each step can have costs attached.

When you add everything up, expect to pay at least $2500 for the appraisal, staging, advertising, and attorney fees. There are still costs for repairs that would depend on the condition of the property.

That doesn’t include the time and energy to prepare the home for sale, advertise it, and show it. You have to ask yourself if it’s worth it or if you’re better off hiring a real estate agent.


Selling Your Home

Selling your home is quite a long process. It can also cost a lot of money. How much does it cost to sell a house by owner?

It depends. There are a lot of costs involved, such as advertising, time, home inspections, staging, and landscaping. Plus, there’s still no guarantee that you can get the most value for the home.

Do you want more real estate tips? Be sure to visit this site often.


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