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 Dakota averages 3.0% of the sale price. Considering a typical North Dakota house is worth about $239,000, that’s a savings of $7,074.
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 Dakota. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in North Dakota, 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 (3.0% on average in North Dakota). 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 Dakota.
- 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 Dakota 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 Dakota
- 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 Dakota
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||$315 to $420||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$164||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||$100 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 North Dakota, 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 Dakota, sellers pay an average of 3.0% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in North Dakota is $239,000, that amounts to $7,074. 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 Dakota 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 North Dakota FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Before you list your North Dakota home for sale by owner, you’ll want to do some prep work to get it ready to sell. This could include:
- Making small repairs, especially of easily-visible defects
- Applying a fresh coat of paint
- Cleaning and decluttering
- Improving curb appeal and landscaping
Ideally, you want to keep costs down when prepping your home, but you might need to address larger issues if they’re going to deal-breakers. Since flooding is a common issue in the spring, you’ll want to address any areas of the home that might look prone to water damage, for example.
When prepping, you want to arrange your home with showings and photos in mind. Keep it clean, simple, and use neutral-colored paint. Remove any personal items and make sure the home is well-lit.
Hiring a photographer in North Dakota costs $164 on average, and stagers cost about $1,529. If it’s an especially long drive for them to get to your home, it may cost more. You could save money and do these things yourself, but be sure to do a good job. Listing photos and staging are two of the biggest contributors to making a good first impression on buyers.
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
Pricing your listing correctly is probably the most important step in successfully selling your North Dakota FSBO. Pricing too low leaves money on the table and pricing too high means more days on the market, which often results in lowering the asking price anyway.
Research shows that FSBO listings sell for between 5–26% less than comparable realtor-sold homes. For the average-priced home in North Dakota, that could cost you anywhere from $12,000 to $61,000!
To ensure you price your listing correctly the first time, we recommend the strategies below.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis consists of researching homes that have sold in your area in the past few months (usually 3 to 6). You select 3 or 4 homes that are similar to yours in quality, size, bedrooms, and bathrooms, and use those comparable homes to estimate what you think your home could sell for.
This is a service a realtor would usually provide, but you can conduct the analysis yourself as well. Just be careful not to fudge your numbers. Deciding which homes to use as comparables and accounting for differences in homes is a bit of an art. This makes you vulnerable to bias and inflating your numbers — but that could cost you money in the long run.
One way to avoid bias skewing your numbers is to get a CMA from a flat fee MLS company. This gives you an objective analysis conducted by real estate professionals, but you only pay a fraction of what a full-service realtor costs.
Hire an appraiser
Getting a pre-listing appraisal is another great way to determine the fair market value of your home. An appraiser will conduct their own CMA, but they will also tour your home, make notes about its amenities and condition, and then factor in local real estate trends.
Appraisers value homes for a living, so their local market expertise and experience could be well worth the cost. The average appraisal in North Dakota costs between $315 to $420.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
After you decide on a listing price for your North Dakota FSBO, be sure to find out if there will be any tax burdens based on your expected proceeds from the sale. This is something you don’t want to get blind-sided with later on.
3. List and market your home
Before listing your home, check out the ad regulations for real estate in North Dakota. It’s important to be compliant with these rules to avoid unnecessary headaches during the sale process.
A good first step in promoting your FSBO listing is publishing it on various free websites, such as:
- Zillow or Trulia’s FSBO section
- Facebook Marketplace
There are other great sites for selling FSBO properties as well, but they aren’t all free. You’ll have to decide if you think the additional exposure is worth the extra cost.
North Dakota flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies allow non-realtors to list their homes for sale on the local MLS. This is important because that is the number one place realtors find listings to show their clients.
In North Dakota, this will cost you about $100-$400. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in North Dakota are:
- Fizber: Best for customer service
- Houzeo: Best for tech-savvy sellers
- Flat Fee Realty:Best for competitive pricing
Read our in-depth guide to 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 Dakota, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In North Dakota, 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 Dakota Seller Disclosures
North Dakota is a non-disclosure state, which means you are under no legal obligation to inform buyers of issues with your home. With that said, it may still be a good idea to provide them with a Seller’s Disclosure Form. Doing so will encourage more interest from buyers and minimize the chance of the deal falling through during inspection.
Federal law requires anyone to include a Lead-based Paint Disclosure form if your home was built prior to 1978.
You can make these documents available by attaching them to your listing, emailing them to interested buyers, or bringing print copies to showings. The most important thing is providing them to buyers before signing a purchase agreement.
4. Manage showings on your own
It can be stressful and time-consuming managing showings, so it’s imperative you have a system in place right away.
At the very least, you’ll want a calendar dedicated to scheduling showings. It’s also a good idea to have a document for keeping track of buyer inquiries and contact information.
You should start a separate email folder for all communications with potential buyers and realtors, since email is a common method of communication.
Some tips for managing showings include the following:
- Schedule showings close together
- Leave a 10-15 minute gap between appointments to avoid overlap
- Place subtle scented air fresheners around the house
- Make sure the home is well lit and a comfortable temperature before showings
- Make any flyers or information sheets easy to locate
We recommend not being physically present at the showings, as that can make buyers uncomfortable. But you still want to be available to answer questions, so have your phone on you.
Lockboxes are a useful tool for allowing realtors access to the home without you being there. They’re also good for general security.
If managing showings feels overwhelming, you might consider working with a flat fee MLS company. They sometimes have packages with add-on features to support you in the showing process.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Once offers start rolling in, you’ll have to read them over carefully and decide if you want to accept, deny, or counter-offer. Offers usually come in the form of a purchase and sale agreement.
Some high-importance areas of the offer to pay special attention to include:
- Purchase price
- Is it a cash offer or traditionally financed
- Pre-approval amount (if included)
- Buyer contingencies
- Closing timeline
- Earnest money amount
Each offer is unique, so it’s important you consider and understand every aspect. If you’re unclear on something, reach out to the buyer’s agent or a real estate attorney for an explanation before signing anything.
North Dakota law requires a real estate attorney to examine the title anyway, so it’s best to involve them early in the process if you need guidance.
Remember that people have different priorities, so you can use some aspects of the contract to negotiate a better sales price, or vice versa.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
Once a purchase agreement is signed, the buyer enters the due diligence period. This is their opportunity to conduct all the research and inspections necessary to complete the sale.
If the buyer is paying cash, they have the ability to forego some of these steps, but that will be specified in the purchase agreement.
For traditionally financed homes, the process is pretty consistent and involves the following steps:
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
If anything unexpected arises during due diligence, you will need to go through a second round of negotiations. This could involve lowering the sale price or offering seller concessions. You may need to walk away from the deal if it no longer meets your goals.
In the event a buyer tries to back out without proper cause, as described in the purchase agreement contingency clauses, you may be entitled to their earnest money deposit.
You should talk to a lawyer beforehand if you want to back out without allowing contingency, as there may be repercussions.
If no negotiations are required, or if you successfully renegotiate, then you will be cleared to close.
Your closing date is specified on the purchase agreement. It is possible to reschedule this, but you need to get it approved by all parties involved.
Closing appointments will be facilitated by a third party such as a title company or real estate attorney. During the appointment, you will sign a bunch of paperwork, including the deed to transfer ownership.
You’ll also receive a closing statement which itemizes every part of the transaction and provides a final amount to complete the sale. You’ll receive the proceeds of the sale that day via wire transfer or physical check.
For sale by owner paperwork in North Dakota
Here’s a list of the North Dakota paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Seller’s Property Disclosure Form
- Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- North Dakota 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 North Dakota
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 Dakota?
No, you do not need a lawyer to sell real estate in the state. However, hiring one to ensure all your legal documents are filled out correctly can be worth the cost. North Dakota real estate lawyers charge around $300 per hour on average.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in North Dakota?
Yes, but only if you know what you’re doing. North Dakota realtors will usually charge a 3% commission for their services, which you can save if you sell FSBO. However, you’ll be shouldering the selling process, and one tiny mistake can cost you a lot. For instance, inaccurately pricing your home can make you miss out on a few thousand dollars — and that’s just one example.
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 Dakota: 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 Dakota 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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