Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in New York averages 2.6% of the sale price. Considering a typical house is worth about $411,000, that’s a savings of $10,727.
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 New York. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in New York, 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 (2.6% on average in New York). 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. 2.4% is typical in New York.
- 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 New York 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 New York
- 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 New York
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 $425||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$197||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$1,963||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$252 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$199 to $999||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.4% 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 New York, 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 New York, sellers pay an average of 2.6% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in New York is $411,000, that amounts to $10,727. 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 New York 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, 9-step guide to selling a house in New York.
For New York FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Start your sale by getting your home into its best possible condition.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint, inside and out, as an effective (and cost effective) way to get your home looking as good as new.
- Tackle small repairs around the house as well as big expensive ones like a new roof or HVAC system. Huge day-one repairs can be a turnoff for many buyers.
- Refine your home’s curb appeal by refreshing the landscaping, with an emphasis on hardy, nice-looking native New York State plants like the Northern Blueflag and the Wild Bergamot.
- Clean and declutter your home. Consider removing half or more of your furniture so your living space looks bigger and more open.
If you’re not happy with how your furniture looks, consider a professional home staging service. A stager will provide new furniture and decor, and arrange it in a way that emphasizes the best aspects of your home. In New York, the average cost of staging is $1,529.
Finally, take your listing photos. You can take them yourself, but we highly recommend hiring a professional. In New York, professional photos cost $140 on average.
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
Finding the right list price is one of the most important steps for selling a house without a realtor. Set it too low and you’ll leave money on the table. Set it too high and you’ll limit the number of potential offers (and you might need to lower it eventually anyway).
So how do you find the right list price? We recommend using one of these services to help.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis compiles data about recent sales of homes that are similar to yours. The person completing the CMA will select 3-5 comparable homes (called “comps”) and factor in any differences in size, condition, age, and amenities. It then compares and analyzes that data to produce an accurate list price for your home.
If you express interest in working with a real estate agent, they may offer you one for free in attempt to earn your business. You can also create a CMA yourself using our step-by-step guide. Otherwise, if you list your home with a flat fee MLS company, it may offer CMAs for free or for a fee.
Hire an appraiser
State-licensed appraisers are trusted professionals in home valuation; banks, lenders, and investors rely on them to evaluate the value and risk of taking on a loan or investment.
During an appraisal, a professional appraiser will examine your home’s size, condition, age, amenities, as well as how typical it is for the neighborhood. They’ll also factor in your local market’s conditions. Then, they’ll provide a detailed appraisal report with your home’s value.
In New York, the average cost of a home appraisal is $300 to $435.
3. List and market your home
While reading up on how to sell your own house in New York, review the state’s regulations on real estate advertising, so you can be compliant with your listing.
List your home for sale on free FSBO websites like:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Zillow’s and Trulia’s FSBO section
Use word of mouth to spread awareness; tell friends, family, and coworkers to tell people in their circle. Leverage social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Nextdoor.
Finally, consider using a “for sale by owner” yard sign to let neighbors and passersby your home is on the market. In New York, FSBO yard signs are legal, but if your property belongs to a homeowners association, check the covenants for any rules on signage.
Free avenues are a great place to start, but if you want maximum exposure, think about working with a New York flat fee MLS company.
New York flat fee MLS companies
When selling your own house in New York State, a flat fee MLS company can help you get eyes on your listing without a huge marketing budget.
These companies grant you access to your local multiple listing service (MLS) – the main directory for home listings that populates onto major real estate sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com. The MLS is typically only available to real estate agents, but flat fee MLS companies allow you to list your home on it for a relatively low fee.
In New York, a flat fee MLS listing will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in New York are:
Read our in-depth guide to New York’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Required New York Seller Disclosures
New York’s Property Disclosure Condition Act (PDCA) requires sellers to either fill out a property condition disclosure statement or pay the buyer a $500 credit at closing. Under New York disclosure law, sellers can be found liable for financial damages later only if they “actively concealed” a defect in the property.
Sellers who opt to disclose can use this form and attach a copy, signed by both parties, to the purchase contract when completed. As in all U.S. states, New York sellers must also fill out federal disclosures for the presence of lead-based paint in homes built before 1978, and for flood risks.
Make your disclosures available to buyers by laying out hard copies at showings, sending digital copies to buyers and their agents, and attaching the disclosures to your listing.
4. Manage showings on your own
Hosting and managing showings is stressful, even for a real estate agent. Streamline the process by coming up with a system that works for you.
Use a free online calendar tool to track and organize your showings, and keep a document with all buyer contact info. If you use a flat fee MLS company, they may provide a showings tool.
Some things to keep in mind as you plan showings:
- Schedule multiple showings on the same day for efficiency. A busy schedule of showings also creates demand among buyers as they see other people coming and going from the property.
- Leave the home for showings. Buyers appreciate the freedom to talk openly with their agent about your property. If you must be there, give space and don’t hover nearby.
- Use a lockbox for independent access. You can buy one for around $20 at a hardware store. Store a key inside and provide the code to buyers’ agents before showings.
Print copies of your listing and your contact information. Attach disclosure forms and place the packets in a high-traffic area like the kitchen.
Buyers will likely have questions for you after their showings, so make sure you’re prepared to answer them right away.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Buyers will send their offers in the form of a purchase and sale agreement.
First, carefully read each offer. If you have any questions, reach out to the buyer’s agent or a real estate attorney and do not sign until you understand all aspects of the contract.
When evaluating offers, ask yourself:
- Does the buyer include contingencies? These are conditions that must be met to move forward with the sale without penalty. Some contingencies are common, but others can create more risk in your deal.
- Is it a cash offer or a financed offer? Cash offers come with less risk, but financed offers are the most common.
- Is the buyer asking for repair credits? You can offer to do the repairs yourself or negotiate the amount of the credits.
- What’s the proposed closing date? Does it work for your timeline?
You’ll have the option to sign and accept the terms as they are, reject the offer, or counteroffer by amending the agreement. Before you do anything, consider these negotiation strategies to see if one might work in your favor.
In New York, you technically do not need a real estate attorney to represent you, but it’s the norm. It’s customary for attorneys to play a large role in real estate transactions in the state of New York.
Buyers typically hire an attorney, so it’s smart for you to hire your own representation, especially in the absence of a real estate agent. For example, if you’re not sure how to do for sale by owner paperwork, a real estate attorney can handle it for you to help you avoid any legal mishaps.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
After you and the buyer sign the purchase agreement, the due diligence period begins. This is when the buyer and their lender (if applicable) have the opportunity to do further research to make sure the property is a sound investment.
During due diligence, the buyer and their lender may coordinate:
- The home inspection
- The home appraisal
- The property title search
- Mortgage underwriting
- The final walkthrough
If any unknown issues arise, the buyer may want to further negotiate the terms of the sale agreement, or even back out using a contingency. If you want to back out of the deal for any reason without a contingency in your contract, consult your attorney first.
If no changes are made, or if you’ve successfully negotiated new terms, you’ll proceed to closing.
The closing date is listed in the purchase agreement. If it needs to be adjusted at any point, both parties must agree and sign an addendum to the contract.
A few days prior to closing, you should receive a closing statement. This statement lists all the fees associated with closing and who is responsible for paying them.
The closing itself will be typically overseen by the title company, a broker, or an attorney. The buyer’s lender may also attend. You and the buyer will sign legal and financial paperwork, and then you’ll transfer ownership to the buyer and hand over the keys.
In New York, sellers can expect to receive full payment on the same day as closing.
For sale by owner paperwork in New York
Here’s a list of the New York paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- New York Purchase Agreement
- Property Condition 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.
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 New York?
In New York, you technically do not need a real estate attorney to represent you, but it’s the norm. It’s customary for attorneys to play a large role in real estate transactions in the state of New York. Buyers typically hire an attorney, so it’s smart for you to hire your own representation, especially in the absence of a real estate agent. For example, if you’re not sure how to do for sale by owner paperwork, a real estate attorney can handle it for you to help you avoid any legal mishaps.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in New York?
If you have experience selling real estate and are confident that you know your market, then it can be worth it to sell without a realtor. Selling FSBO can save you the 3% commission fee that listing agents usually charge — but it also creates the risk of losing a lot more of your profit if you aren’t careful. For example, simple errors in your paperwork can lead to legal complications that could be expensive to fix.
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 New York: 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 New York 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! The True Cost of Selling a House in New York 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.