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 North Carolina averages 2.9% of the sale price. Considering a typical North Carolina house is worth about $302,000, that’s a savings of $8,637.
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 North Carolina. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in North Carolina, 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 (2.9% on average in North Carolina). 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 North Carolina.
- 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina
- 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 North Carolina
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||$285 to $380||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$142||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$780||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 $1,000||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 North Carolina, 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 North Carolina, sellers pay an average of 2.9% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in North Carolina is $302,000, that amounts to $8,637. 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina.
For North Carolina FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
You want your home to look its best when it hits the market. Start by making small repairs around the house— things like leaky faucets, burned-out light bulbs, loose doorknobs.
Polish your home’s appearance. A new coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to boost your home’s appeal. Don’t forget to refresh your landscaping. Consider decorative, low-maintenance native plants like the flowering dogwood, or the Northern maidenhair fern.
If your home needs big repairs like a new roof or furnace, take care of them now. Those items will be dealbreakers for many buyers.
Next, deep clean and declutter your home. Experts recommend removing half your furniture and half-emptying storage areas like closets and cupboards, so your home looks roomy and open.
If you don’t love your furniture, consider using a professional staging service. In North Carolina, this costs an average of $780.
Now that your home is looking its best, take your listing photos. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional photographer. In North Carolina, that’ll cost an average of $142.
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
If you’re wondering how to sell a house by owner in North Carolina, it all starts with an accurate list price. Price your home too high, and many buyers will stay away. Price it too low, and many buyers will assume your home has hidden flaws.
So how do you decide your home’s list price? We suggest one of the following options:
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) compares recent sales of similar properties, and uses that data to produce an objective list price for your home.
Some common ways to get a comparative market analysis are:
- From your real estate agent (many agents provide a free CMA)
- Create your own CMA— but try hard to stay objective
- Get a CMA from a flat fee MLS company
Hire an appraiser
A professional home appraiser will be able to assess your home’s condition and features and produce a precise home value. A home appraisal is similar to a CMA, but it uses human expertise instead of data analytics.
In North Carolina, the average cost of a home appraisal is $285 to $380.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
3. List and market your home
Before you start getting the word out about your FSBO sale, take a look at your state’s local laws regarding real estate advertising.
Next, list your home on excellent free sites like ForSaleByOwner.com, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Zillow, and Trulia (in the FSBO section).
Don’t underestimate the usefulness of social media. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, Nextdoor, and LinkedIn all have great reach and are free. Use word-of-mouth, too, by telling friends, family, and coworkers about your listing.
The classic yard sign can also be an effective, low-cost method of publicizing your sale. Just make sure your local city laws allow them.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a North Carolina flat fee MLS company.
North Carolina flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies will get your listing onto the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which raises its visibility by getting it in front of other agents, and onto huge real estate sites like Redfin, Zillow, and Realtor.com.
FFMLS companies cost much less than a conventional agent, but they don’t usually offer any services other than getting your listing onto the MLS.
In North Carolina, this will cost you about $100 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in North Carolina are:
- Clickit Realty: Best for pricing support
- Carolina Realty Solutions: Best for hard-to-sell homes
- List with Freedom: Best for experienced sellers
Read our in-depth guide to North Carolina’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 North Carolina, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In North Carolina, 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 North Carolina Seller Disclosures
North Carolina has fairly standard disclosure laws that require sellers to disclose facts about any known defects in the property. In North Carolina, sellers are required to deliver the disclosures to buyers before they make an offer, and the state has a unique disclosure requirement relating to any mineral, oil, or gas rights associated with the property.
Sellers can use this standard North Carolina Seller’s Disclosure Form for general disclosures, and this FEMA Flood Risk Disclosure form for your required flood risk disclosures.
U.S. sellers are required by federal law to disclose the presence of lead-based paint.
Make these disclosure forms available by providing hard copies at open houses and showings, sending digital forms to buyers and their agents, and attaching them to the listing.
4. Manage showings on your own
Hosting and coordinating showings and open houses without the help of an agent can be tough. Make sure you have a system in place to track and organize your showings.
Find a free calendar and address book tool to track your showings and buyers. If you decide to use a flat fee MLS company, they may provide one.
Here are some keys to successful showings if you’re selling “For Sale by Owner” in North Carolina:
- Don’t hover while buyers are browsing the property, as you could make them uncomfortable
- If you must be present, give them space.
- Consider using a lockbox and security app for independent showings
- Schedule showings back-to-back, to encourage competition between buyers
Keep an info sheet on your home in a central location like the kitchen counter. Consider also printing out completed disclosure forms. Finally, be prepared to answer questions from buyers after their showings.
5. Review and negotiate offers
When you receive offers for your home, they’ll come in the form of a purchase and sale agreement (also known as a buy-sell).
In North Carolina, it’ll look something like this.
When you’re pondering offers, keep the following in mind:
- Thoroughly and completely read the text of the offer before you sign.
- Review the buyer’s contingencies. These conditions can make or break a deal.
- Is the buyer asking for repair credits? Remember that you can negotiate these.
- Is it a cash offer or a financed one? Many sellers prioritize cash offers, since they don’t have the risk of unapproved financing derailing the deal.
- If you want to counteroffer, simply amend the purchase agreement and send it back to the buyer’s agent.
- Use these negotiation strategies to get the best deal possible.
In North Carolina, you’re not required to hire a real estate attorney to do a title search and oversee closing. However, NC FSBO sellers are advised to consult a real estate attorney to review the terms of the deal.
Keep in mind that if you use a flat fee MLS company in North Carolina, you must use their sign instead of your own “for sale by owner sign.” This is because the FFMLS is technically representing you as your broker.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The due diligence period is the time between when the seller accepts the offer, and the day of closing. During the due diligence period, the buyer and their lender conduct:
- The home appraisal
- The home inspection
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- The final walkthrough
This is when negotiations could happen, often due to discoveries from the inspection or appraisal. All negotiations have to be concluded before closing.
Unmet contingencies can also lead to one party backing out of the deal during this phase. If you decide you want to walk away from the deal, but don’t have a contingency allowing you to, talk to a real estate attorney about your next steps.
The date of closing will be listed in the purchase agreement.
A few days before closing, you’ll receive the closing statement. The closing statement lists all the charges and fees that go along with the transaction, and who pays them.
The actual day of closing is usually facilitated by a third party. Often, the title company will handle it, though it can also be coordinated by a real estate attorney or broker.
At closing, both parties will sign all the required “For Sale by Owner” in North Carolina forms, as well as legal and financial paperwork, including the deed transfer. The buyer will receive the house keys, and the seller will get paid. In North Carolina, sellers are usually paid in full on closing day.
For sale by owner paperwork in North Carolina
Here’s a list of the North Carolina paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- North Carolina Seller’s Disclosure Form
- Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- FEMA Flood Risk Disclosure
- North Carolina Real Estate 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 North Carolina
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 North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you’re not required to hire a real estate attorney to do a title search and oversee closing. However, NC FSBO sellers are advised to consult a real estate attorney to review the terms of the deal. On average, real estate lawyers in the state will charge around $200 to $300 per hour — but the cost is usually worth it, especially given all the legal documents you will need to complete and file.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in North Carolina?
Selling without a realtor in North Carolina can be worth it if you know what you’re doing. Realtors will typically charge you around 3% as a listing commission fee, which you save by listing FSBO. But if you don’t price your home accurately or mishandle the negotiations with your buyer, then you may lose thousands of dollars. Given that, you should only sell without a realtor if you have the North Carolina real estate experience to back it 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 North Carolina: 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 North Carolina 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! Seller Closing Costs in North Carolina: Realtor Commission and Fees 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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