Should I use a realtor? | What does a realtor do in Missouri? | Cost of selling without a realtor | Missouri real estate regulations | How to sell without a realtor | Alternatives to selling without a realtor | FAQs
Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in Missouri averages 3.1% of the sale price. Considering a typical Missouri house is worth about $221,000, that’s a savings of $6,791.
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 Missouri. 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 Missouri, 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 (3.1% on average in Missouri). 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 Missouri.
- 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?
Not sure if FSBO is right for you? Use the checklists below to find out if selling your Missouri home without a realtor is the best option for your situation.
✅ Selling without an agent might be right for you if…
You want to save on commission.
When you sell without a realtor, you won’t pay a listing agent commission. In Missouri, that puts 3.1% of your final sale price back in your pocket. However, you will still need to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission (2.8% is typical in Missouri).
You already have a buyer.
If you’ve already lined up a deal with a friend or family member, there’s no need to pay an agent to list your home on the MLS, host open houses, or negotiate on your behalf.
You have lots of time to spare.
Selling a house is a lot of work! You’ll need time to complete all the tasks an agent would typically take care of, such as preparing the home for sale, marketing the property, reviewing paperwork, and much more.
You’re in a hot seller’s market.
If you’re in a high-demand area with low inventory, it can be easy to find a buyer without an agent’s help. With a flat fee MLS package or “For Sale” in your yard, it’s possible to find several potential buyers in no time.
Here’s how fast and for how much homes in Missouri are currently selling for so you see how your local market compares.
|Avg. days on market||Avg. listing price|
🚫 Selling without a realtor might not be right for you if…
You’re short on time.
If you’re on a tight deadline, hiring an agent might be your best option. Unless you already have a buyer lined up, you’ll have to squeeze home selling tasks into your nights and weekends — or make sacrifices elsewhere in your schedule.
You’ve never sold a home in Missouri.
Without an agent, you won’t have any professional guidance about increasing your property’s curb appeal, pricing your home, or choosing the best offer.
We can’t say this enough: If you’ve never been through a Missouri home sale or are facing a complicated transaction, do not try it without a real estate agent.
Making one mistake could cost you tens of thousands of dollars or create some serious legal headaches for you.
You want to sell for more money.
There are conflicting studies about whether FSBO properties sell for less compared to those sold by agents.
On the one hand, FSBO sellers are more likely to sell to friends or family and offer them a good deal on the home. This lowers the average price of homes sold without a realtor.
However, if a FSBO seller is inexperienced with pricing a home, they can lose money by pricing too low or scare away buyers by pricing too high.
There are other ways to save on commissions if selling your house without a realtor sounds too risky or stressful.
Clever Real Estate offers a free service that gets home sellers lower rates from top agents at trusted brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. You’ll get full service from a local agent (guaranteed), but pay just 1.5% in listing fees — half the rate agents typically charge. Get started today!
What does a realtor do in Missouri?
Missouri real estate agents are familiar with the local and state regulations that can often confuse and overwhelm first-time sellers. An experienced realtor can manage dozens of home-selling tasks, such as connecting with local pros to prepare your house for showings, listing your property on the MLS, negotiating with buyers, and taking care of the paperwork.
Even in highly desirable areas, selling a house can be a full-time job. If you don’t hire an agent, you’ll be responsible for handling every step of the selling process on your own.
Prices homes competitively
Agents will provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) to accurately price your home. They look at the popularity of your housing market, how much similar properties are selling for, new upgrades you’ve added to the home, and other variable factors.
But if you’re earlier in the home selling process and just need a general idea of what your house is worth, you may not need to contact a realtor. Try online home value estimators instead.
To get an idea of how much home values can vary, here’s a comparison of different sized homes value in Missouri.
|Home size||Home value in Missouri|
Before you make up your mind about selling FSBO, it’s highly recommended to get an appraisal. During this process, a state-certified appraiser will estimate your home’s fair market value based on its location, condition, amenities, and other key details.
Pricing your house appropriately is one of the most important aspects of selling your property, so it’s worth it to get an objective report.
Connects you with local pros
Experienced agents have networks of the best professionals in the area. They can connect you with handymen, stagers, photographers, and other service providers so you don’t have to track down reliable pros on your own.
Lists your home
Working with an agent will get your property listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) database. This site can only be accessed by real estate agents, who use it to find homes for their clients. Without a realtor, you’ll either need to pay a flat fee MLS company to list your property on the database or forgo this marketing opportunity altogether.
Markets and negotiates
An agent can market your home, schedule open houses, reach out to potential buyers, and follow up with people who toured your home.
Agents will also negotiate with prospective buyers, which can be an intimidating process for FSBO sellers. It can be difficult for homeowners to view their houses objectively, so having a professional take care of negotiations can lead to the best outcomes for both parties.
Agents can take care of all the paperwork required to complete the real estate transaction, which can be a huge relief for sellers. It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the sheer number of documents you’ll need to finalize the transaction.
Do I need a real estate attorney in Missouri?
No, the state of Missouri doesn’t require sellers to hire an attorney. However, it’s still a smart move to get legal advice before accepting an offer or submitting your paperwork.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Missouri
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||$280 to $360||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$144||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$1,150||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||$100 to $800||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.
If you’re considering selling without a realtor in Missouri, 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 Missouri, sellers pay an average of 3.1% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Missouri is $221,000, that amounts to $6,791. 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.
Missouri regulations FSBO sellers should know
Real estate regulations can vary from state to state, and even city to city. Missouri sellers have to be aware of their county’s real estate laws, as well as federal and state requirements.
One thing that sets Missouri apart from other states is that it doesn’t charge transfer fees on real estate transactions. This 2015 ruling was intended to help more buyers be able to afford a house.
Here are some additional facts that are important to know before listing your home for sale.
Missouri doesn’t require sellers to disclose many details. Sellers only have to tell prospective buyers if the property:
- Was used as a site for methamphetamine production
- Has a permitted or unpermitted solid waste disposal site or demolition landfill
- Has lead paint or other sources of lead (if it was built prior to 1978)
Sellers also don’t need to disclose if the property was “psychologically impacted.”
What is a psychologically impacted property?
A psychologically impacted property may have no material defects, but rather a troubling or disturbing history that could deter buyers. For example, a home that was the site of a felony, suicide, or murder can be difficult to sell.
However, despite the lack of disclosure regulations, the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act states that it’s unlawful for sellers to use “deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, [or] unfair practice” to hide any material defects about a property. In other words, if you’re aware of an issue, it’s in your best interest to inform buyers.
To give buyers greater peace of mind and make your home more appealing, you can complete the Missouri disclosure statement. This document includes questions about the property’s:
- Electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and sewage systems
- History of pest infestations
- HOA fees and regulations
- Past repairs or alterations
- Roof and gutters
Title insurance etiquette
In Missouri, the seller usually pays for the owner’s title insurance policy, and the buyer covers the lender’s title insurance policy.
FSBO marketing rules
Sellers are allowed to put a “For Sale” sign in their yard throughout the state, but specific sign regulations vary by city.
For example, sellers in Kansas City can have:
- One sign per street frontage
- Signs up to 4 feet tall
- Signs up to 8 square feet in area
- Signs that don’t have any flashing, moving, or animated signals
However, in Raymore, FSBO yard signs must:
- Not exceed 4 feet in height
- Be less than 6 square feet in area
- Not be illuminated in any way
- Only be installed once the property is actually available for sale
- Be removed once a final contract has been approved
Check with your local county to see if there are any specific regulations about on-premise FSBO signs.
9 steps to sell a home in Missouri without a realtor
Selling your home without a realtor can be intimidating. Here, we’ve created a step-by-step guide for you to rely on and make the selling process less daunting.
🏡 How to get your home ready to sell
1. Make basic repairs
Don’t underestimate the power of quick, inexpensive fixes! Taking the time to fix a squeaky door or patch up a dent in your wall can greatly improve the aesthetic appeal of your house. Outdoors, a fresh coat of paint and some basic landscaping work can boost curb appeal.
2. Stage the rooms
You can hire a professional stager to get your home picture-perfect for showings, but this can be expensive. While prices vary from city to city, in Missouri it costs an average of $1,150 to stage a house.
3. Photograph the home
High-quality photos of your property can make a huge difference when attracting buyers. Prices can vary based on your location, but in Missouri you can expect to pay $144 on average for a session with a professional photographer.
✍ How to list your home for sale
4. Get an appraisal
Without a real estate agent, it can be difficult to accurately price your home. An appraisal is a professional assessment of a home to evaluate its condition and estimate its value. In Missouri, an appraisal costs $280 to $360.
» MORE: Tools for pricing your home
5. Advertise your home
There are several websites that allow FSBO listings for free or for a low cost, such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. However, you’ll probably get the most bang for your buck by using a flat fee MLS company.
In Missouri, this will cost you $100 to $800, but without a realtor, it’s the only way to get your property listed on the MLS — which is how most buyers find homes.
📅 How to show your home
6. Get organized
Once interested buyers start contacting you, use a digital calendar to keep everything organized. Schedule open house times, set reminders for buyer tours, and take notes of each visitor who comes through your door.
When you schedule tours with individual buyers, make sure they have a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender first. Pre-approved buyers know they’re qualified to purchase a house, so they’re more likely to make an offer.
7. Don’t hover
During open houses and showings, try to avoid following people from room to room. Allow them to take their time so they can appreciate everything your house has to offer.
It’s recommended to stay in a common area — like the living room or kitchen — so visitors can easily find you if they have questions.
🤝 How to accept an offer and close
8. Know your priorities
Reviewing offers is about more than the price. You also need to consider whether the buyer’s moving timeline aligns with your own and what types of contingencies or concessions they’re asking for. Those parts of the offer will impact negotiations and how much you’ll actually walk away with.
» LEARN: Common home buying contingencies
9. Use a title and/or escrow company
To make sure the closing process goes smoothly, find a title or escrow company to oversee the closing. The third-party agency will help you and your buyer complete the required paperwork, collect the closing fees, and handle the title transfer.
Alternatives to selling without a realtor in Missouri
Most sellers come to realize that trying to sell without an agent isn’t worth the hassle. If you think you’ll need some help selling your house, here are a few other low-cost options to consider.
Missouri flat fee MLS companies
If you’re confident about selling your home on your own, you might benefit from using a flat fee MLS company to increase the visibility of your property.
Some of the best flat fee MLS agencies in Missouri include BuySelf Realty, Flat Fee Group, MLS My Home, and Flat Fee Realty. Packages cost between $85 and $799, depending on how many additional services you need.
|BuySelf Realty||Flat Fee Group||MLS My Home||Flat Fee Realty|
|Number of Photos||8-35||10-36||5-45||6|
|MLS Listing||3-18 months||6-12 months||6 months||6 months|
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 the lowest commission rates without compromising on service quality.
Frequently asked questions
Does Missouri have a transfer tax?
No, Missouri doesn't charge transfer taxes on real estate transactions. Only 12 other states have similarly eliminated transfer fees.
Do I need a real estate attorney to sell my home in Missouri?
No, the state of Missouri doesn't require sellers to hire an attorney. However, having an attorney on your side can help you avoid legal complications that may come up during the closing process.
Still have questions about selling your Missouri home? Check out these additional resources to learn more:
Average Real Estate Commission in Missouri: What’s Fair in 2022?: Whether you decide to sell your home FSBO or with a realtor, you should still offer the buyer’s agent commission. Find out what agents in Missouri expect to earn from a sale in 2022!
Top We Buy Houses Companies in Missouri REVEALED: If you need to see your house quickly, selling to a We Buy Houses company may be a good option. Learn how much you can expect to earn, how long it will take to close, and other details here.