Should I sell without a realtor? | Cost of selling FSBO | How to sell without a realtor | FSBO paperwork | Best alternative: discount realtors | FAQs
Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in Arizona averages 2.8% of the sale price. Considering a typical Arizona house is worth about $409,000, that’s a savings of $11,452.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. You’ll be responsible for every step of the selling process, which can take up a lot of your time and energy.
In the end, selling a house without a real estate agent isn’t worth it for most homeowners in Arizona. Many sellers don’t even realize that there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance at reduced prices.
If you’re considering selling a house without a realtor in Arizona, read on to find out everything you need to know to do it successfully.
✍️ Key Takeaways of FSBO Sales
- Selling without a real estate agent means avoiding a listing commission (2.8% on average in Arizona). But in exchange for those savings, you’ll have to do everything from advertising your home to completing legal paperwork to negotiating the final deal.
- In most cases, you’ll still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission. 2.6% is typical in Arizona.
- Selling without an agent is best for experienced sellers or people selling to family or friends.
- For most sellers, there are better cost-saving options that will net you more money and provide professional support.
Should I sell my house without a realtor?
Selling a house for sale by owner in Arizona comes with many pros and cons. While it’s not recommended for everyone, FSBO can help experienced home sellers save on commission—but only if they know what they’re doing.
✅Selling your home without a realtor might be right for you if…
- You want to save on commission
- You have plenty of time to take on the responsibilities of a real estate agent
- You already have a buyer lined up
- You’re in a hot seller’s market and you have a desirable home
🚫 Selling without a realtor might not be right for you if…
- You don’t have a lot of free time
- You’ve never sold a home in Arizona
- You want to sell for market value – or higher
If you’re still not sure, check out our thorough guide to selling FSBO to help you decide. If you’re open to other options, some low-commission real estate companies, like Clever Real Estate, allow you to work with a top local real estate agent at half the typical cost.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Arizona
Below, you’ll find a list of prices for common services you might want to consider if you decide to sell without a realtor. However, know that if your home is in need of repairs or is in a buyer’s market, you might need to spend a lot more to prep and market your property.
💸 Common costs for FSBO sellers
|Appraisal||$310 to $395||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$108||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$2,565||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$225 to $333 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$89 to $1,000||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.6% of sale price||To compensate the agent that represents the buyer (it’s customary for the seller to pay)|
|Transfer tax||$2||To pay the state of Arizona for the title transfer|
On average, it costs 7.5% of the home price to sell by owner and about 10% of the home price to sell with a real estate agent. However, the amount you’ll actually save will depend on repairs you need to make, concessions, and other expenses.
Use our calculator to get an idea of how much you can expect to spend if you sell without a realtor.
If you’re considering selling without a realtor in Arizona, check out our friends at Clever Real Estate. Clever eliminates all the hassles and headaches of FSBO while helping you pay less than you would for a traditional realtor.
In Arizona, sellers pay an average of 2.8% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Arizona is $409,000, that amounts to $11,452. But with Clever, you can sell with a top local agent for just 1.5%, letting you keep more of your home’s equity in your pocket.
7 steps to sell a home in Arizona without a realtor
Selling a home without a realtor involves many of the same steps as selling with one, except you’re on your own. To learn more about the basic steps to sell, read our simple, 12-step guide to selling a house.
For Arizona FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Wondering how to sell your own home in Arizona? The first step is getting your house in order — literally. Start by doing the following:
- Paint your home’s interior in a neutral color
- Tune up your AC unit
- Spray for any present pests, like termites
- Remove evidence or damage from pests
- Fix any lingering issues like leaky faucets
- Clean the pool (if you have one)
Try to stick with easy, inexpensive fixes unless the problem will discourage buyers. Expensive preparation could end up costing you more money than you get back, and the buyer may not like your solution.
Once the house is in great shape, stage it for listing photos and showings by cleaning, removing extra furniture and toys, and storing away personal items like family photographs. If your current decor isn’t doing your home justice, you can hire a professional stager to bring in a new look. But this service comes at a cost: $1,529 in Georgia, on average.
Hiring a professional photographer costs much less, averaging about $140. If you do these things yourself, just make sure you strive for quality and simplicity.
If your home needs too much work to sell to a typical buyer, you might consider selling to a cash buyer. You can quickly compare cash buyer offers against your home’s value on the open market with Clever Offers. Try it for free with no obligation.
2. Price your home accurately
If you’re not sure how much your home is likely to sell for, don’t guess. Mispricing your Arizona FSBO is one of the best ways to make sure you lose money on your sale.
In fact, most FSBO homes nationwide sell for between 5% and 26% less than equivalent homes sold by realtors. That could mean losing out on $20,450 and $106,350 for the average-priced home in Arizona.
We recommend the following approaches to avoid this expensive mistake.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
Performing a comparative market analysis means researching homes similar to yours, also called “comps,” that have sold in the last three to six months and using them to estimate what your home might sell for.
Realtors provide this service as part of their contract, but doing it yourself is also an option.
Alternatively, working with a flat fee MLS company helps avoid personal bias by hiring an objective real estate expert to run the analysis for you.
Hire an appraiser
Hiring a licensed, local appraiser might be your best bet for accurately pricing your listing. An appraisal is a more formal and involved approach to valuing your home – one that’s trusted by banks and lenders to assess the value of properties before they’re willing to approve loans on them.
Appraisers are trained to visit your home personally, considering the size, materials, and condition of your home, as well as its location. They’ll provide a detailed report of their findings.
This will cost you between $300 to $435, but it’s a small price to pay for the quality of analysis you get. You can find qualified appraisers in your area on the Coalition of Arizona Appraisers website.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
If you’re selling a home that isn’t your primary residence, find out if you’ll have a tax liability after the sale is complete.
3. List and market your home
One of the hardest parts of figuring out how to sell your own home without a realtor is knowing where and how to list it.
Before you list, read up on advertising regulations to ensure you’re compliant with rules regarding how and where you can advertise your FSBO listing. Most of the rules are for agents, but you should still comply with the law.
For example, sellers in Arizona are allowed to put a “For Sale” sign in their yard, but the exact regulations for signs can vary by city or county. Check with your local county about any specific sign ordinances in your area.
Start by listing your home on free FSBO websites, such as:
- Zillow’s or Trulia’s FSBO section
- Facebook Marketplace
For a wider audience, consider paid sites as well, but only if you think it’s worth the extra money. Between yard signs, free websites, and word of mouth, you might find you have plenty of interest already.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Arizona flat fee MLS company.
Arizona flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies allow non-realtors to list their homes for sale on the local multiple listing service (MLS) for a low, flat rate. Most agents prioritize MLS listings when showing homes to their clients, so this is a big help in expanding your reach and marketing your home.
In Arizona, a flat fee MLS listing will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for companies in Arizona are:
🥇Congress Realty: Best for step-by-step guidance
🥈AZ FSBO Pro: Best for local expertise
🥉Sell By Owner Arizona: Best for experienced sellers
Read our in-depth guide to Arizona’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Don’t forget to include a buyer’s agent commission (BAC) in your listing
By offering a buyer’s agent commission (also called a buyer’s agency fee), you’ll have more buyers knocking at your door with more (and better) offers.
While you won’t have to pay a listing fee as a FSBO seller in Arizona, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In Arizona, the average BAC is about 2.7% of your home’s sale price.
While it may be tempting to forgo this commission to save, that decision could cost you. A competitive BAC incentivizes buyer’s agents to bring their buyers to your home and do their part throughout the transaction. Without a BAC, the buyer’s agent would be working for free (not too enticing, huh?).
Required Arizona seller disclosures
Arizona law requires sellers to disclose all known material defects to prospective buyers. The Arizona Association of Realtors created the Residential Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement to help sellers cover all necessary information.
The disclosure document is divided into six main sections:
- Property and ownership: Contains general and legal information about the property, such as its location, year built, and occupancy
- Building and safety information: Covers information about heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems; pest infestations; and structural issues with the home
- Utilities: Asks about provided utilities, like water, electricity, and Internet access
- Environmental information: Asks about any environmental hazards, such as mold, lead-based paint, and asbestos
- Sewer/Wastewater treatment: Defines the type of sewage system the property uses
- Other conditions and factors: A catch-all section for room to disclose any other issues that don’t fit into any of the categories listed above
If sellers find a new issue after submitting the disclosure statement, but prior to closing, they must inform the buyer of the problem as soon as possible.
Sellers aren’t legally required to disclose whether the property:
- Is located in an area with a sex offender
- Was previously home to someone exposed or diagnosed with AIDS, HIV, or any other disease not known to be transmitted through occupancy
- Was the site of a suicide, natural death, murder, or a felony
If a buyer asks about any of the topics above, sellers should either answer honestly or say they’re unable to disclose that information.
Depending on the location and condition of the property, a seller might be legally required to provide a:
- Swimming pool barrier disclosure
- Condo/HOA disclosure
- Notice of soil remediation
- Disclosure affidavit for land in unincorporated areas
- Military airport disclosure
Federal regulations also require all sellers to disclose any lead hazards on properties built prior to 1978.
All necessary disclosures should be shared prior to signing a purchase agreement either via email, paper copy, or by attaching to your listing.
4. Manage showings on your own
Managing open houses and showings can be stressful, so get organized early and find an approach that works for you.
Tools like Doodle or the ShowingTime app are great resources for sellers, but you could manage with a Google calendar or even a physical notebook.
When conducting showings, take steps to make sure everything runs smoothly. For example:
- Turn all the lights on before showings
- Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature
- Open shades to let natural light in
- Schedule appointments consecutively for efficiency
- Clean out the pool if you have one
Being available to answer questions is a good idea but preferably not on site — it can make buyers uncomfortable if you’re there. Instead, find someplace else to be where you can answer texts or calls if necessary.
Sharing keys with a lockbox is a common strategy for conducting showings without being physically present.
If this feels like too much to manage, you can get extra help from some flat fee MLS companies who offer add-on packages.
Make sure you place any documents, like flyers or disclosures, in a conspicuous spot and alert buyers or agents to where they are.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Written offers should arrive after you’ve conducted a few showings. We don’t recommend entertaining verbal offers as they’re not legally binding. Offers should come as a formal Purchase and Sale Agreement.
Although a real estate attorney is not required in Arizona, it may be worth the additional expense to have one look over and explain offers to you. These can be complicated, and you don’t want to get blindsided by fine print you didn’t fully understand.
Some key items to look for in the purchase agreement are:
- Purchase amount
- Conventional financing or cash offer
- A pre-approval letter and amount, if it’s financed
- Earnest money amount
- Buyer contingencies
- Repair credits and expectations
It’s important to consider every aspect of the contract when you negotiate your deal. You can accept or deny an offer, but making a counteroffer with both parties’ needs in mind is how the best deals are made.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
After you’ve settled on terms and a sale price, both parties can sign the purchase agreement, and the due diligence period begins. Before closing, the buyer will conduct any inspections, appraisals, or title research they intend to do before completing the purchase.
Cash buyers have more flexibility around what kind of diligence they want to undertake, but you’ll know what they plan on doing based on the purchase agreement. The most common stages of due diligence are:
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
Since pools are so common in Arizona, the buyer may need to schedule a separate pool inspection in addition to a general inspection for the home.
This stage is where contingencies come into play. A contingency is a condition in your purchase agreement that must be met in order to move forward with the deal. For example, the purchase may be contingent upon the home appraising for the sale amount, or upon the buyer’s home selling first.
In any of these steps, if the contingency isn’t met, you may need to renegotiate or cancel the sale.
If you want to cancel the sale without a relevant contingency, you should speak to an attorney first so you know what the consequences might be.
Typically, you’ll be provided a closing statement a few days before closing which itemizes all the expenses involved in the transaction. You will have this time to review and alert the title company or attorney (whoever is conducting the closing) of any issues.
You should close on the date listed in your purchase agreement. If you need to postpone, you’ll need everyone to sign an addendum and clear it with the lender if the purchase is financed.
The closing appointment is generally conducted in person and involves signing lots of paperwork. The title will also be transferred to the buyer at this time.
Since Arizona is a dry funding state, it will take a few days before you get the proceeds of the sale. These should arrive via check or wire transfer, which the closing agent can explain to you before you finish closing.
For sale by owner paperwork in Arizona
Here’s a list of the Arizona paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Seller Disclosure Form
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- Flood Risk Disclosure
- Residential Purchase Contract
Not finding what you’re looking for? Check out our comprehensive list of paperwork for selling your house without a realtor.
Best alternative: work with a discount broker
For many people, trying to sell without an agent isn’t worth the hassle. If you think you’ll need some help along the way, a discount broker is a good alternative.
Discount brokers are full-service real estate agents who are willing to work for a reduced commission rate. Sellers can save thousands while still receiving assistance from an expert local agent.
» READ: The Best Discount Real Estate Brokers in Arizona
For discount broker services, we highly recommend our friends at Clever! Clever pre-negotiates with top agents to offer you low commission rates without compromising on service quality.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a real estate attorney to sell my home in Arizona?
No, the state of Arizona doesn't require sellers to hire a real estate attorney. However, having legal guidance can give you peace of mind when reviewing offers, completing paperwork, or navigating the closing process.
What is the transfer tax rate in Arizona?
Arizona charges a flat fee of $2 for every real estate transaction, regardless of the property's value. Arizona is one of just 13 states that has prohibited transfer taxes for home buyers and sellers.
Still have questions about selling your Arizona home? Check out these additional resources to learn more:
Average Real Estate Commission in Arizona: What’s Fair in 2022?: Even if you decide not to hire a listing agent, you should still offer commission for the buyer’s agent. Find out what Arizona realtors expect to earn on an average real estate transaction here!
Top We Buy Houses Companies in Arizona REVEALED: If you need to sell your property as quickly as possible, working with a We Buy Houses company might be the best solution for you. Discover the pros, cons, and our top choices for Arizona residents.
How to Sell Your House – The Ultimate Guide: Our guide breaks down the process of selling a house in 12 steps. We discuss how to find and choose a realtor, list your home for sale, review and negotiate offers, close, and calculate capital gains tax.
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