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 Idaho averages 2.7% of the sale price. Considering a typical Idaho house is worth about $430,000, that’s a savings of $11,524.
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 Idaho. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in Idaho, 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 Idaho). 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 Idaho.
- 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 Idaho 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 Idaho
- 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 Idaho
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||$385 to $520||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$175||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$1,529||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||$300 to $400||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 Idaho, 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 Idaho, sellers pay an average of 2.7% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Idaho is $430,000, that amounts to $11,524. 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 Idaho 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 Idaho FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Before you list your Idaho FSBO home, prepare for marketing and listing. This could include:
- Making small repairs
- Improving the curb appeal and landscaping
- Applying a new coat of neutral-colored paint
- Deep cleaning and decluttering
If you can keep the cost down, it’s also a good idea to address areas of concern like cracked foundations or evidence of water in your basement. You don’t want to break the bank prepping your home for sale, but eliminating causes for concern will increase your chances of getting offers at or above asking price.
Make your home as appealing but neutral-looking as possible for your listing. This means stylish but not-too-trendy furniture, decor, and paint colors.
You can stage and photograph your home yourself, or you can hire someone to do it. The average cost for a photographer in Idaho is $175, and a stager costs around $1,529. If you decide to go the DIY route, be sure not to cut corners. Quality prep, staging, and photography are the first steps to a successful home sale.
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
Arguably the most important part of selling your home is pricing it correctly. Pricing too low leaves money on the table, and pricing too high causes buyers to lose interest and the house to stay on the market too long.
Research suggests the average FSBO seller earns 5–26% less from the proceeds of their home sale than comparable realtor-sold homes. For the average home in Idaho, that could cost you between $385 to $520.
Below are a couple of strategies for pricing your listing correctly the first time.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis is a tool for estimating the optimal asking price for a home. Conducting a CMA involves researching properties similar to yours that have sold in the past few months and using these to estimate what your home will likely sell for.
A realtor usually provides a CMA for free as part of their services, but you can also conduct one yourself. Be careful though — selecting the right properties and accounting for differences makes your analysis vulnerable to bias.
Another option is getting a CMA from an Idaho flat fee MLS company. This gets you an expert opinion on the fair value of your home without paying the cost of a full-service agent.
Hire an appraiser
A local appraiser can also give you an accurate assessment of your home’s value. An appraiser will do all the things involved in a CMA, but they will also account for the condition of your home.
Appraisers are experts in your local housing market and will probably give you the best estimate of your home’s value, but their opinion will cost you $385–520. That said, the fee could be well worth the amount you save by accurately pricing your home.
Appraisals can also come in handy if a buyer’s appraisal comes in lower than expected. A professional appraisal gives you a legitimate reason to contest the lower appraisal and request a third opinion.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
Be sure you’re fully aware of any tax implications that may apply based on your asking price and expected sale proceeds before listing your home.
3. List and market your home
Before you list and market your home, you should review advertising regulations in Idaho to avoid any legal issues during your sale.
Listing on free venues can help you gain exposure while keeping costs down. Some good options include:
- Facebook Marketplace
- The FSBO section of Zillow or Trulia
Other sites are great for FSBO listings as well, but not all are free. Still, the additional exposure might be worth the cost depending on your situation. And, of course, there are always the old standbys of lawn signs and word of mouth.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with an Idaho flat fee MLS company.
Idaho flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies exist to help non-realtors list their homes on the local MLS. This is the number one place realtors search for listings to show their clients, so not having your listing posted on the MLS is a disadvantage. Flat fee MLS companies solve this problem.
In Idaho, this will cost you $300 to $400. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Idaho are:
🥇 Lowes Flat Fee: Best for showing off your home
🥈 Congress Realty: Best for help with pricing strategy
🥉 Flat Fee Realty: Best for hard-to-sell homes
Read our in-depth guide to Idaho’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 Idaho, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In idaho, 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 Idaho seller disclosures
Before a buyer can sign a contract to purchase your FSBO home in Idaho, you are required to provide them with a Seller Disclosure form. This form notifies the buyer of any known issues with the property that may affect their decision to purchase or their perceived value of the home.
Federal regulations also require you to provide a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure if your home was built prior to 1978.
Idaho’s laws are pretty minimal regarding Flood Risk Disclosure, but it can be a good idea to include this as well if your property is in close proximity to a water source.
All disclosures must be made available to potential buyers before a purchase agreement is signed. You can do this by attaching them to your listing, emailing them to interested buyers, or providing physical copies available at showings.
4. Manage showings on your own
Managing showings can be stressful and time consuming, so it’s essential to have a strategy for keeping everything organized.
Start a calendar dedicated to scheduling showings and create a separate document for tracking interested buyers and their contact information or inquiries.
More advanced sellers might use Doodle or Square Appointments. The most important thing is you have a system that works for you and the potential buyers.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your showings:
- Schedule showings near each other for convenience.
- Leave a 10- to 15-minute gap between showings to avoid overlap.
- Be sure parking spaces are cleared of any snow or debris.
- Make the home as well-lit as possible prior to arrivals.
- Place any documents in easy-to-find locations and print extras.
- Use a lockbox to let realtors in when you’re not there.
As a seller, it’s best not to be present at showings. You don’t want to make buyers feel uncomfortable by hanging around while they discuss what they like and don’t like about your house.
If you feel like this is too much to manage by yourself, some flat fee MLS companies include packages that assist with showings.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Hopefully it doesn’t take long after scheduling a few showings for the offers to start rolling in. These will usually come in the form of a purchase and sale agreement. According to Idaho law, offers to purchase property must include the following:
- A legal description of the property
- A provision for earnest money as assurance of good faith
- All terms and conditions of the transaction as directed by the buyer or seller
- All appropriate signatures and dates
You can amend the purchase agreement after signing, but any changes must be agreed to by all parties involved in the transaction.
Be sure you understand all the stipulations of the offers. If something confuses you, consult a real estate lawyer or the buyer’s agent for clarity. Although you’re not required to hire a real estate lawyer to sell your home, it might be a good idea if you’re overwhelmed at any point in the process.
Pay special attention to high-priority items like purchase price, contingencies, and closing timeline. You’ll also want to note whether the offer is cash or traditionally financed. Traditionally financed offers often require jumping through more hoops, but cash offers can sometimes be lowball offers.
Purchase agreements can also include language specifying expectations around repairs. For example, “The buyer agrees to cover expenses for repairs totaling up to $500 based on an inspection report.” This means you don’t have to worry about the buyer trying to renegotiate based on a bunch of small-ticket items that are recommended for repair in an inspection report.
Remember that all aspects of the purchase agreement are up for negotiation, so you can use the closing timeline or seller credits as leverage to get a higher sales price. Check out other negotiation strategies to help you get the best deal on your home sale.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The time between signing the purchase agreement and closing is the due diligence period. Usually, a purchase agreement will specify a certain number of days the buyer has to conduct due diligence like having the home inspected or appraised. Cash buyers may forego these options, but traditionally financed homes generally require thorough due diligence before approving a purchase.
The most common due diligence process includes the following steps:
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
If anything surprising arises during due diligence or a contingency clause applies (like a major repair recommendation in an inspection report), you may need to go through a second round of negotiations.
The buyer may agree to pursue the purchase with the original terms, but they could also request seller credits, insist on repairs, or ask for a lower purchase price. They could also just walk away if a contingency is not met.
If the buyer tries to walk away without legitimate cause, as specified in the purchase agreement, you will probably be entitled to the earnest money deposit.
If you wish to back out of the deal without allowing a contingency, you should consult a real estate attorney to understand the ramifications of that action.
If no issues arise during due diligence or renegotiations are successful, you will be cleared to close.
The closing date is identified in the purchase agreement, though these can be pushed back if all parties agree.
Closings are facilitated by a third party such as a title company or real estate attorney. During closing, you and the buyer will sign a lot of paperwork, including the deed to transfer ownership of the home.
Your title company will provide a closing statement that summarizes all aspects of the transaction and tallies how much money is required to finalize the purchase.
Since Idaho is a dry-funding state, it will take a few days for you to receive the proceeds of your home sale. These will likely arrive via physical check or wire transfer. Be sure to confirm the payment method and expected timeline with whoever is conducting the closing before leaving.
For sale by owner paperwork in Idaho
Here’s a list of the Idaho paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Seller Disclosure Form
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- Flood Risk Disclosure
- Idaho Residential Purchase Agreement
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 Idaho
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 Idaho?
No, it is not required to hire a real estate lawyer when selling in Idaho. While that may be the case, it is in your best interest to have an attorney look over your documentation and contracts to ensure everything is on the up and up. On average, a lawyer in Idaho will cost you about $200 to $300 dollars per hour.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Idaho?
FSBO can be worth it if you have previous experience selling real estate. Although selling without a realtor will save you the 3% commission fee, a small mistake in the sales process can cost you much more than you’d have saved. Incorrect paperwork, for example, can open you to legal complications that will take a long time and a lot of funds to remedy.
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 Idaho: 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 Idaho 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.
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