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 Colorado averages 2.7% of the sale price. Considering a typical Colorado house is worth about $529,000, that’s a savings of $14,442.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. You’ll be responsible for all aspects of the selling process, which can cost 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 Colorado. Many sellers don’t 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 Colorado, 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 (2.7% on average in Colorado). 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. 2.8% is typical in Colorado.
- 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 Colorado 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 Colorado
- 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 Colorado
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||$340 to $495||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$149||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$886||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$295 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$200 to $700||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.8% of sale price||To compensate the agent that represents the buyer (it’s customary for the seller to pay)|
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.
The average realtor commission in Colorado is 2.7% of the sale price, or about . If you want to keep more of this money in your pocket, Clever can match you with an experienced agent at a fraction of the price.
7 steps to sell a home in Colorado 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 Colorado FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
To help potential buyers see themselves living in your home, create a space that is warm and inviting. Declutter the space and remove any excess furniture to make rooms appear spacious. Take down any personal items like family photos that could distract from the home’s features.
A fresh coat of paint is a quick and affordable way to update the main rooms of your home. If you have any bold colors or accent walls, consider painting over them with a neutral off-white or light gray paint that will appeal to a wider audience.
If your furniture looks outdated, you can hire a professional stager in Colorado for about $886.
To improve your home’s curb appeal and make a positive first impression, consider light landscaping projects. Check the USDA planting map to determine the best time for planting in your area and research which types of flowers thrive in your region and during your selling season.
📸 Once your home is looking its best, take photos for the listing.
For the best photos, wait for a sunny day that floods your home with natural light. Take 25–50 photos of the interior and exterior of your home. Don’t forget to include photos of your home’s unique features.
If you’d rather hire a professional photographer, expect to pay about $149 per session in Colorado.
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
Determining the appropriate price for your home seems simple, but it can be tricky. If you set the price too high, the home could stay on the market forever with little interest. Price it too low and you’ll be giving up profits. According to a survey, 18% of Americans said pricing their home was the most challenging aspect of selling.
If you’re selling your Colorado home without a realtor, you may not have access to their expertise when it comes to pricing. Nonetheless, you can still use some of the same methods as realtors to determine the ideal listing price.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis, or CMA, is the standard method for determining a listing price. This report compares your home to recently sold homes in the area that are similar in size, age, features, and condition. By examining what buyers have paid for those homes, you can get an idea of what they might pay for yours.
Realtors often provide a CMA when you show interest in working with them, but you can also create your own CMA. If you’re working with a flat fee MLS company, ask if they offer this service.
Hire an appraiser
An appraisal is considered the most accurate method of determining a home’s value. An appraisal is similar to a CMA, but it’s completed by a licensed professional who personally visits your home and accounts for the physical condition of the property, along with many other factors.
If a buyer uses financing to purchase your home, their lender will order an appraisal to confirm the home is worth the cost of the loan. In Colorado, the cost of an appraisal typically falls between .
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
3. List and market your home
Before marketing your home, familiarize yourself with Colorado’s laws about advertising real estate. Many of the rules apply to realtors, but since you won’t have an agent to help you write the listing, it’s best if you make sure you’re in compliance with the for sale by owner laws in Colorado.
Start by listing on free FSBO listing websites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, ForSaleByOwner.com, and Zillow/Trulia (in the FSBO section). These sites are a good place to gain a foothold, but if you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Colorado flat fee MLS company.
Colorado flat fee MLS companies
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a database where listing agents promote their listings, and buyers’ agents find for-sale homes for their clients. Only realtors can list properties on the MLS, but as a FSBO seller, you can work with a flat fee MLS company to have your listing posted.
In Colorado, a flat fee MLS service will cost you anywhere from $200 to $700, depending on the specific services you choose. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Colorado are:
🥇 HybridMLSListings: Best for showcasing your home
🥈 Home Savings Realty: Best for inexperienced sellers
🥉 Flat Fee Realty: Most affordable
Read our in-depth guide to Colorado’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Can I use a For Sale By Owner sign in Colorado?
The state of Colorado doesn’t require sellers to get a zoning permit to place “For Sale” signs in their yards. Real estate signs are allowed on private property as long as they don’t interfere with public right-of-way.
However, some Colorado cities have slightly different requirements for real estate signage. In Denver, signs must be placed at least 3 feet away from sidewalks and can’t be any larger than 5 square feet. In Colorado Springs, signs can be up to 6 square feet, but must be removed within 14 days after the property is sold.
To be safe, check your county’s regulations before putting a sign in your yard.
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 Colorado, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In Colorado, the average BAC is about 2.8% 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 Colorado seller disclosures
Sellers must fill out a residential property disclosure form that lists all known defects or problems with their home. If a seller finds another issue with the property after completing the disclosure form, they must inform the buyer immediately. Failing to do so could result in legal trouble.
If your property was built before 1978, federal law requires you to disclose the existence of any lead-based paint. Some mortgage lenders may also ask you to provide a Flood Zone Statement.
Sellers in Colorado must additionally disclose:
- If the property is in a special taxing district
- If the property is part of a common interest community
- If the property has been used as a meth lab (unless the damage is fully resolved)
- Any transportation projects that are affecting or will affect the property
- The home’s source of potable water
- Information about surface and mineral rights
Mineral and oil rights
In Colorado, underground minerals can be severed from the ownership of the surface-level property. Known as a “mineral estate,” these underground resources can be sold, subdivided, or leased, just like the surface property.
If you’re not sure if you own the mineral rights, your county’s clerk and recorder’s office can help you locate records. However, you might need legal assistance to fully understand what your rights entail.
You can also check the Geographic Information System (GIS) to see if the state owns mineral rights beneath your home. The Colorado State Land Board owns approximately 4 million mineral acres throughout the state, so there’s a good chance they might own your subsurface property.
4. Manage showings on your own
After officially listing the home, potential buyers will begin reaching out to schedule showings. Respond promptly to questions and showing appointment requests.
Create a spreadsheet to keep track of agent and buyer contact details. Use a scheduling app such as Google Calendar to organize appointments.
💡Tips to make the most of your home showings
- Leave the home before buyers arrive. Homeowners can be distracting to buyers when they’re touring a home. If they have any questions, they can contact you later. To give realtors access, purchase a lockbox from a local hardware store for around $50.
- Schedule home showings one after the other to create a sense of competition among buyers. When buyers see others arriving to tour the property before or after their appointment, it suggests the property is in high demand, creating a sense of urgency. This may motivate them to make an offer before losing the opportunity.
- Place the listing description, fact sheets, and all necessary disclosures in a noticeable location, such as a table or kitchen counter. Make sure your contact information is easy to find.
5. Review and negotiate offers
When you receive an offer, it will come in the form of a document called a purchase and sale agreement. This is what a Colorado real estate purchase agreement typically looks like.
You won’t have a realtor to look over this for sale by owner Colorado contract, so read the offer very carefully and note anything you don’t understand. An attorney is not required to sell a home in Colorado, but it could be worth it to hire one to read over the contact for you. In Colorado, a real estate attorney typically costs about $295 per hour.
In addition to the offer price, pay attention to the following things as well:
Do the purchasers have any contingency requests? It’s common for buyers to ask for certain conditions to be met in their offer, known as contingencies. It’s reasonable to expect an appraisal contingency and an inspection contingency, but accepting several contingencies can create a riskier deal for you.
Is it a cash offer or a financed offer? Most home purchases are financed, which means the buyer is obtaining a mortgage to pay for the home. Financed offers often include extra steps such as an appraisal and waiting for the lender’s approval. Although cash offers are usually quicker and simpler, there are exceptions.
Do the buyers provide a reason for their price? In some cases, offers may contain requests for repair credits, which outline specific issues with the property and their estimated repair costs. For instance, a buyer might mention that the driveway needs repaving and reduce the offer price accordingly to account for the cost. If you know the driveway is likely a deal-breaker for other buyers, think about the offer from that perspective.
After reviewing the offer, you have three options: accept, reject, or propose a counteroffer. To submit a counteroffer, simply change the form, add your own terms, and return it to the buyer.
If you get a lowball offer, you can just reject it. If you’re considering a counteroffer, be careful how you respond. You’re free to change the terms however you like, but a counteroffer that’s too aggressive might as well be a rejection if the buyer sees it as unfair.
To learn more, check out our negotiation strategies guide for inspiration on how to respond.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
Once you accept an offer, you will enter the “due diligence” stage where the buyer has an opportunity to closely inspect the home and make sure it’s a solid investment.
During this period, the following may occur:
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
If any issues come up during this period, it may be necessary to renegotiate the sale’s terms. During this time, either the buyer or seller may terminate the agreement, but we suggest consulting with a lawyer before walking away.
If everything goes according to plan, though, you can move on to the closing process.
Prior to closing, you’ll get a closing statement that shows what you’ll earn from the sale and what you’ll pay in closing costs
Real estate closings are usually held at the office of a real estate agent, a title company, or an attorney. Talk to the buyer’s agent if you need help finding a location.
At closing, you’ll sign a lot of documents, including the deed transfer that officially makes the buyer the new owner.
In Colorado, you can expect a check or wire transfer for the difference later the same day.
For sale by owner paperwork in Colorado
Here’s a list of the Colorado paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Seller’s Property Disclosure Form
- Green Disclosure Form
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- Flood Risk Disclosure
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 Colorado
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
Can I sell my house without a realtor in Colorado?
Yes, you can sell without a realtor in Colorado. However, this might not be the best choice if you're unfamiliar with the local market or don't have a lot of time to sell. A real estate agent can save you time and help you sell for top dollar.
Is Colorado a buyer beware state?
No, Colorado has strict disclosure requirements for sellers. Sellers are required by law to disclose all known problems or defects with a property before listing. If additional issues are found after the disclosure form is completed, the seller must tell the prospective buyer as soon as possible.
If you need some more advice about selling your Colorado home, here are a few great resources to check out:
Average Real Estate Commission in Colorado: What’s Fair in 2022?: Even if you decide to sell without a realtor, it’s still a good idea to offer a buyer’s agent commission. Learn how much this might cost you here.
Top We Buy Houses Companies in Colorado REVEALED: We Buy Houses companies offer to buy homes quickly, even if they’re in poor condition. If you need to sell your property quickly, find out if one of these agencies can help.
25 of the Top for Sale by Owner Questions, Answered: Still not sure if FSBO is right for you? Get answers to your most pressing questions here!
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