Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in Delaware averages 2.7% of the sale price. Considering a typical Delaware house is worth about $349,000, that’s a savings of $9,493.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. It will cost you a lot of time and energy.
In the end, selling a house without a real estate agent isn’t worth it for most homeowners in Delaware. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in Delaware, 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 Delaware). But in exchange for those savings, you’ll have to do everything from advertising your home to negotiating the final deal.
- In most cases, you’ll still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission. 2.7% is typical in Delaware.
- 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 Delaware 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 Delaware
- 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 Delaware
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||$320 to $385||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$191||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$2,042||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$204 to $359 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$200 to $2,000||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.7% of sale price||To compensate the agent that represents the buyer (it’s customary for the seller to pay)|
Overall, 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 Delaware, 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 Delaware, sellers pay an average of 2.7% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Delaware is $349,000, that amounts to $9,493. 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 Delaware 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 Delaware FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
The first step to selling for sale by owner in Delaware is to maximize your home’s appeal before you put it on the market. Start by making small repairs around the house — many buyers want a home that’s close to move-in ready.
Inside, a new coat of paint is an easy, cost-effective way to make your home look refreshed.
Don’t forget the exterior of your home. Enhance your house’s curb appeal by freshening up the landscaping; in Delaware, consider hardy native plants like seaside goldenrod, bayberry, and maidenhair ferns.
Next, deep clean and declutter your home. Many experts suggest removing half or more of your furniture to make your home look roomier.
If you’re still not happy with how your home looks, consider a professional home staging service. In Delaware, home staging costs an average of $1,529.
Once your home is looking its best, take your listing photos. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a real estate photographer. In Delaware, a professional photographer will cost you, on average, $140.
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
It’s vitally important to get your home’s list price right. Price it too high, and many buyers will assume you have unrealistic expectations and stay away. Price it too low, and they’ll assume your home has hidden problems.
But price it just right, and you’re in for a fast, lucrative sale. We suggest using one of these options:
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) surveys recent sales of properties that closely resemble yours and then suggests a personalized list price.
You can get a comparative market analysis from a realtor (often free of charge to prospective clients), a flat fee MLS company (you may have to pay an additional fee), or by creating your own CMA. Just make sure to stay objective and use good data.
Hire an appraiser
A professional home appraiser uses their extensive experience to come up with a customized value for your home. It’s similar to a CMA but requires a more involved, personal visit rather than just data analysis. It also produces a value for your home, which is slightly different from a price.
In Delaware, the average cost of an appraisal is $300 to $435.
3. List and market your home
Before you start your marketing plan, check Delaware’s state laws on real estate advertising to make sure you’re in compliance.
Next, list your home on popular free FSBO-friendly sites like:
- Zillow and Trulia (in the FSBO section)
- Facebook Marketplace
Post your listing on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Nextdoor, and LinkedIn; they’re free and can have amazing reach. Many homes for sale by owner in Delaware find buyers via social media.
Finally, use a simple yard sign to let passersby and the community know your home is for sale. In Delaware, FSBO yard signs are legal, but it’s always safe to double-check with your city’s laws.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Delaware flat fee MLS company.
Delaware flat fee MLS companies
The main challenge for most FSBO sellers is getting eyeballs on their listing. Flat fee MLS companies will get your listing onto the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the main directory of listings used by agents. MLS listings are also populated onto big sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin, where they can be seen by millions of buyers.
A flat fee MLS company will cost much less than the average realtor fees in Delaware. The only downside of a Delaware flat fee MLS company is that most of them don’t offer any services beyond getting your listing onto the MLS for a flat fee.
In Delaware, this will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Delaware are:
- Simple Choice Realty: Best for extra support
- Flat Fee Realty: Best for rock-bottom pricing
- Houzeo: Best for a stress-free listing process
Read our in-depth guide to Delaware’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Required Delaware seller disclosures
Delaware’s disclosure law requires sellers to disclose any “known material defects” associated with the property. Delaware’s disclosure form is one of the longer ones in the U.S., with around 150 questions.
Sellers can use this state disclosure form for general disclosures and this form for flood risk disclosures. As in all U.S. states, federal law requires that all homes built before 1978 disclose the possible presence of lead-based paint using this form.
Make these forms available to buyers by offering hard copies at showings, attaching them to your listing, and sending digital copies to buyers and their agents.
4. Manage showings on your own
Managing showings and open houses can be time-consuming. Come up with a system to track your showings and stick to it.
Find a free calendar tool to organize and track your showings; it should also be able to record buyer contact information. If you decide to work with a flat fee MLS company, they’ll probably supply you with a showings tool.
Some tips on conducting showings:
- Block them back-to-back for your own convenience and to build competition between buyers.
- Try not to be in the house during a showing; your presence could inhibit buyers.
- If you must be there, give them space.
- Use an electronic lockbox and security cameras for secure independent showings.
Have informational documents on hand for buyers. Make sure fliers contain your contact info and all relevant info about the home. Also consider including disclosure forms. Place all documents in a highly visible place, like the kitchen counter.
Finally, make sure you’re prepared to answer questions about the house after each showing.
5. Review and negotiate offers
When offers come in, they’ll be in the form of a purchase and sale agreement (also known as a buy-sell).
Here are some things to keep in mind when reviewing offers:
- Thoroughly and fully read the text of the offer before you sign
- Take note of any buyer contingencies in the contract. You can also add your own contingencies at this point.
- Is it a cash or financed offer? Many sellers prefer cash offers, which come with much less risk of falling through.
- Is the buyer asking for repair credits? You can veto these or negotiate the amount. If you don’t want to do repairs, you could always consider selling a house as is by owner.
- If you want to counteroffer, amend the purchase agreement and send it back to the buyer.
- Use these negotiation strategies to get the best deal possible
In Delaware, you are required to hire a lawyer to review the sale, so you may want to get in touch with one during this process to help you understand and evaluate your offers.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The due diligence period is the time between the acceptance of the offer and the day of closing.
During this time, the buyer or their lender will conduct the following:
The buyer may want to negotiate at this point or even walk away from the deal via a contingency. If you, the seller, want to back out of the deal but don’t have a contingency giving you an out, consult an attorney.
Once all negotiations are settled, you and the buyer can proceed to close.
You can find the date of the closing in the purchase agreement.
A few days before closing, you should receive your closing statement. This will list all the fees associated with the sale and who has to pay them.
The closing appointment itself is usually facilitated by a third party — typically the title company, though it can also be handled by an attorney or real estate broker.
At the closing itself, you and the buyer will sign legal and financial paperwork, and then you’ll transfer the deed to the buyer. They’ll receive house keys, and you’ll be paid; in Delaware, sellers are paid in full on the day of closing.
For sale by owner paperwork in Delaware
Here’s a list of the Delaware paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
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.
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 lawyer to sell my house in Delaware?
Yes, the state of Delaware requires a lawyer to sell your home. Real estate attorneys will typically charge you around $300 for their services. However, with all the legal requirements and documentation to complete, having an expert to help you out is well worth the money you’ll be spending. Learn more by chatting with an experienced real estate lawyer.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Delaware?
If you’re looking to save some money, then selling FSBO can save you the 2.5-3% commission that listing agents typically charge. However, you’ll be stuck handling the nuances of selling a property on your own, such as scheduling showings, filling out all the required documents, and negotiating with buyer’s agents. Given that, selling without a realtor is only a good idea if you have experience in real estate deals or if you have a buyer lined up.
If you’d like some more advice about selling your home, here are a few great resources to check out:How realtor commissions work in Delaware: Even if you decide to sell your house without an agent, it’s still a good idea to offer commission to the buyer’s agent. Learn how much realtors expect to earn and what you can do to make your listing more appealing to agents and their clients. Top We Buy Houses Companies in Delaware REVEALED: If you need to sell your home in a hurry, a We Buy Houses company may purchase your house as-is for a reduced rate. Find out if this option could be the best option for you here!
How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House? True Costs Revealed: Wondering how much you’ll have to pay to sell your house? Check out this article to calculate your repair budget, closing fees, marketing expenses, and more.