Selling a home without a realtor (also called for sale by owner, or FSBO) can save you thousands in listing agent fees — which in Oregon average 2.5% of the sale price.
A FSBO sale makes particular sense when you already have a buyer and don’t need to list and market your home. It can also work if you’re an experienced home seller with a solid support network, like a realtor friend who can help price and list your home and a lawyer who can draw up the contract.
FSBO homes have lower median sale prices than homes sold with an agent,and they’re prone to sit on the market longer. A survey of recent home sellers found that those who sold without a realtor were nearly twice as likely as traditional sellers to wait at least three months for an acceptable offer.
While we don’t recommend the FSBO route for every seller, many people have had success selling FSBO. FSBO sales made up approximately 7% of home sales in 2022.
If you do decide to sell without a realtor, here are a few approaches you can take.
Options for selling without a realtor
1. Get a cash offer from an investor
If you need to sell fast without a realtor, you can usually get the quickest offers from investors. Investors include national brands like We Buy Houses and local house flippers. They can usually make offers on the spot and close in as few as 7–14 days.
A key benefit of investors is that they can purchase homes that most buyers either aren’t interested in or can’t get traditional funding for. (Most mortgage lenders won’t finance homes in severe disrepair.) Investors are also adept at handling tricky situations, such as pre-foreclosure, problem tenants, or debt-related property liens.
However, if you want the maximum price for your home, you probably won’t get it from an investor.
Investors earn a profit by purchasing homes at bargain prices — usually no more than 70% of fair market value — then fixing them and selling or renting them for market value. However, some investors can offer 80–90% or more through lesser-known options like novation agreementsand seller financing
Any honest investor will tell you that you’ll get more for your home by listing it with an agent. But if you feel like you’re running out of options, an investor can get you cash quickly — with no added fees for repairs or closing costs.
When should you consider selling to a cash buyer?
Selling to a cash buyer makes the most sense when:
- You’re willing to sacrifice equity to sell quickly
- Your home requires extensive repairs you can’t afford
- You’re dealing with a difficult situation, such as pre-foreclosure or problem tenants
- You inherit a property in poor or outdated condition
How can you get the most cash for your house?
When selling your house for cash, you’ll get the best outcome by seeking competing cash offers from multiple buyers. You can do this on your own, with the help of a realtor, or through a free service like Clever Offers.
The amount you get for your home will depend on your property and situation, as well as the type of agreement you make with an investor.
Options like novation agreements or mortgage assumptionscan get you more than the standard cash offer for your home. But you’ll need to have some flexibility with your selling timeline — or be willing to get paid over time instead of all at once.
2. Sell to an iBuyer
iBuyers like Offerpad and Opendoor promise a quick, hassle-free home sale.
Like investors, iBuyers make an initial cash offer based on the property details you provide and can close in as little as a week or two — no showings, negotiations, or home prep required.
In exchange for this convenience, iBuyers tend to offer 5–10% below market value and charge service fees of about 5%. They also make deductions for repairs, lowering offers by at least another 1–2%.
It’s free to request an offer from an iBuyer. If you decide to move forward, the iBuyer sends an inspector to look over your home and document any visible repairs. After the inspector’s assessment, you receive a final offer reflecting any deductions for repairs.
Many homeowners have been happy with the process of selling to an iBuyer. But recent reviews from Opendoor and Offerpad note that final offers are sometimes dramatically lower than initial estimates — even by as much as $100,000.
If you accept the final offer, the iBuyer handles the paperwork and closes on your preferred timeline — anywhere from 8–90 days, depending on the company. You don’t pay any out-of-pocket closing costs, since everything is deducted from your offer.
3. Hire a flat fee MLS listing service
If you list your home without a realtor, a flat fee MLS listing service can help you increase your listing’s visibility without breaking the bank.
While realtors charge 2.5–3% to sell your home, a flat fee MLS company can list your home for a few hundred dollars. And just like with a regular listing, your property is visible to buyers on popular real estate sites like Zillow and Redfin.
You still handle plenty of the selling process on your own, including pricing, photography, staging, showings, and negotiations. You’re also in charge of vetting offers and verifying buyers’ financing.
And you probably still need to offer a 2–3% buyer’s agent commission, or else you risk buyers going elsewhere. Most buyers won’t like having to pay their agent out of pocket, especially when other sellers are willing to cover their realtor fees.
If you’re mainly considering a flat fee MLS company to save money — and aren’t familiar with the process — you’ll find much better overall value with a discount realtor.
4. Hire a real estate attorney
If you already have a buyer, you may only need to hire a real estate attorney to handle paperwork and closing.
An attorney won’t negotiate the price or the terms of a sale, but they’re uniquely qualified to give legal advice related to your home sale.
For example, a real estate lawyer can:
- Draw up a purchase agreement based on terms you and the buyer agreed on
- Make amendments to a contract after inspections or further negotiations
- Advise you on the best approach for complicated legal issues, like selling a home with a deceased owner or splitting proceeds after a divorce
- Look for loopholes in a purchase agreement and advise you on closing them
- Complete a title search and resolve any issues
- Prepare a statement of the transaction fees you’ll pay at closing
- Draft the deed and other documents required for closing
- Oversee the closing process, including recording the deed with the appropriate county official
For a real estate transaction, an attorney may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate. Fixed rates for a straightforward home sale — including contracts and closing — can cost $500–2,000. Hourly rates can be $150–600. More complex transactions can end up costing several thousand dollars.
If you’re not sure about selling without a realtor, check out our thorough guide to selling FSBO to help you decide. If you’d like to explore other cost-saving options, consider highly rated discount real estate companies, like Clever Real Estate, that allow you to work with a top local real estate agent at about half the typical cost.
8 steps to sell a home in Oregon 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 Oregon FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get familiar with the FSBO process
Regardless of how you choose to sell FSBO, you should familiarize yourself with the practical and legal requirements of selling a house in Oregon.
For example, Idaho home sellers must complete a Seller Property Disclosure Statement notifying buyers about any issues that may affect the home’s value or livability. The form also includes information about the general condition of the home, including its major systems and appliances.
You should provide disclosures to the buyer before signing a contract.
If you hire a lawyer, they can help you know which documents to prepare. Some flat fee MLS companies also provide legal paperwork required by the states they operate in.
2. Get your home ready to sell
If you’re planning to list your house, the next step is preparing your home for photos and showings. This means making sure everything is updated and in great shape to make a good impression on buyers.
Common preparation tasks include:
- Replacing light bulbs and broken fixtures
- Making small repairs
- Ensuring everything is up to code
- Shampooing carpets and deep cleaning
- Applying a new coat of paint
- Improving the landscaping
Strive for a clean, decluttered look when prepping your home for sale. You want the buyer to imagine living there, so many realtors recommend sticking to neutral paint colors and removing personal items.
Avoid making costly upgrades unless they affect the home’s ability to sell. Old, stained carpet or a leaky roof could scare away buyers, so you should address those problems. But you probably won’t get your money back by adding a new porch or swimming pool.
When you’re comfortable with how your home looks, stage it and take listing photos. Realtors especially recommend staging for luxury properties and homes that may need help getting buyers to look past their flaws.
You can do the staging and photography yourself or hire them out. In Oregon, you can hire a stager for around $1,529. Photographers are less expensive at $140 on average.
3. Price your home accurately
When selling a house in Oregon without a realtor, be very careful about choosing a list price. This task is something half of recent FSBO sellers struggled to get right. Err on the side of listing your house either at or slightly below market value.
Often, high list prices result in more time on the market, lost buyer interest, and the seller lowering the asking price before actually achieving a sale. A more competitive list price can lead to a lot more showings and interest from buyers, possibly sparking a bidding war and significantly driving up the price.
According to research from Collateral Analytics and the National Association of Realtors, FSBO sellers make anywhere from 5% to 26% less on their homes than realtors with comparable listings. For the average-priced Oregon home, that means you could miss out on anywhere from $23,700 to $123,000.
Try the pricing strategies below to help you land on the optimal listing price for your home.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis is one of the primary ways real estate professionals determine the value of a single-family home. It involves using the sale prices of recently sold homes in your area to establish a range for your listing price.
You’ll need to account for differences between similar homes — called “comparables” or “comps” — and yours to accurately price your listing.
This analysis is one of the many services a traditional realtor would provide. Conducting one yourself is possible, but proceed carefully and resist the temptation to skew your numbers to justify a higher listing price.
A better option might be to pay a flat fee MLS company to run the analysis for you. They are objective real estate professionals who will give you a fair estimate of what your home will likely sell for.
Hire an appraiser
Consider hiring an appraiser if you want the highest-quality estimate of your home’s value. Appraisers are licensed professionals and will do the most work and research to assess what they think your home is worth.
Expect to pay between $300 to $435 for a formal appraisal in Oregon. You can check an appraiser’s credentials on Oregon’s government website.
If you’re selling an investment property or expect to make a profit in the hundreds of thousands, make sure you have a plan for any applicable tax liabilities as well.
4. List and market your home
Be sure any marketing materials you use comply with regulations regarding how to sell a house by owner in Oregon. Some of these regulations are for brokers and agents, but it’s still wise to familiarize yourself with the rules.
Rules that could apply to you include restrictions on sign dimensions, the amount of time to remove a sign after sale, and the placement relative to things like sidewalks and fire escapes. Rules may vary depending on your city, so check local ordinances.
Like most Oregon FSBO sellers, you should take advantage of the popular free websites available for listing homes for sale, including:
- Facebook Marketplace
- FSBO section of Zillow and Trulia
Paid sites are also an option, but there’s no guarantee the additional expense is worth the added exposure.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with an Oregon flat fee MLS company.
Oregon flat fee MLS companies
For FSBO sellers, flat fee MLS companies are a hugely important resource. These companies allow you to list on the local MLS despite not being a realtor, which is important because that’s where most realtors go to find listings for their clients.
In Oregon, this will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Oregon are:
Read our in-depth guide to Oregon’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Required Oregon seller disclosures
In Oregon, sellers are required to share a local seller disclosure form with any buyer who submits an offer. Failure to do so allows them to back out without consequence anytime before closing.
Intentionally withholding information from buyers about material defects in your home, even if they have been resolved, could also lead to a rescinded sale or potential lawsuits. So when in doubt, it’s best to disclose.
If your home resides in a high flood risk area, you should make this known to your buyers by including a Flood Risk Disclosure. If you’re not sure about this, you can check the FEMA.gov website for flood maps.
Finally, federal legislation requires any home built prior to 1978 to include a Lead-based Paint Disclosure to prospective buyers.
Provide all necessary disclosures to buyers prior to signing an Oregon purchase and sale agreement, either via email, by sharing paper copies, or by including them in your listing.
5. Manage showings on your own
Staying organized is the key to successfully managing showings. Keep a calendar for scheduling appointments and save all email communications with buyers in their own file.
You can use Gmail, Google Calendar, Doodle, or a physical calendar — just make sure your system works for you.
When it’s time to actually show the house, try these tips to maximize your effectiveness and efficiency:
- Schedule appointments in blocks on the same day
- Verify buyers are still coming the day before
- Use a lockbox to allow realtors entry without you being there
- Make plans to be elsewhere, but stay available by phone or email
Buyers like to inspect a home without someone hovering over them, so it’s best to find someplace else to be during showings. However, it’s also common for questions to arise regarding the house, neighborhood, or utilities, so you should be ready to answer those questions if possible.
If you plan to share hard copies of disclosures or flyers, make those easily accessible by placing them on a kitchen countertop.
6. Review and negotiate offers
Offers to purchase your home should come as an Oregon Residential Purchase Agreement — verbal agreements are not legally binding in Oregon and should be avoided. Offers normally have an expiration date, after which they are no longer valid.
Occasionally buyers will try to gain an edge by including a personal letter (also called “buyer love letters”) to the seller describing reasons why they should sell to that buyer. Although you might be curious about what the buyer has to say, having access to personal information about them might make you vulnerable to claims of discrimination and possible lawsuits. Oregon realtors suggest you avoid reading “buyer love letters” and discourage their inclusion in offers.
When evaluating offers, you can accept, reject, or counteroffer. Read the offers carefully and make sure you understand everything included before you make a decision.
If there is anything you don’t understand about the offer, ask the buyer’s agent or a real estate attorney for an explanation. Although real estate attorneys are not required in Oregon to sell a home, hiring one may still be a good idea to ensure you comply with the law and don’t miss important fine print in an offer.
Offers can be complicated, depending on the terms, so pay attention to high-importance items such as:
- Purchase price
- If it’s financed or a cash offer
- Pre-approval amounts
- Buyer contingencies
- Closing timeline
- Earnest money amount
Many Oregon FSBO sellers are inexperienced and get tunnel vision with the purchase price. That’s an important detail, but you can use other elements of the contract to negotiate a better purchase price, or vice versa.
Remember that paying for repairs or offering seller credits will deduct from your bottom line, which is the same as settling for a lower sale price, so you should negotiate with those things in mind.
7. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The due diligence period is the time reserved for the buyer to have the property inspected and appraised, and to conduct a title search. This takes place between both parties signing the purchase agreement and closing. This is also the stage where you will be happy you disclosed known issues with the property, because those are not valid reasons for the buyer to back out of the deal.
During this period, buyers may initiate the following processes:
A buyer can only back out of the purchase without forfeiting their earnest money deposit if a contingency clause is triggered during the due diligence period. Depending on the terms of the agreement, this may include a low appraisal, a major issue with the home, or failure to sell their own home.
If a contingency clause applies, you may need to renegotiate the deal or allow the buyer to walk away. Speak with an attorney if you want to back out of the deal without a contingency clause.
If the buyer completes due diligence and no issues arise — or you successfully renegotiate — you will be cleared to close.
Closing takes place on the date specified in the purchase agreement. These appointments are usually conducted by a third party like a title company or a real estate attorney. During this appointment, you’ll sign a series of forms, including the deed transfer.
You’ll also receive a copy of the closing statement, which itemizes all aspects of the transaction and provides the final amount necessary to complete the sale. Since Oregon is a dry-funding state, it will take a few days before you receive the proceeds of your sale.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Oregon
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||$400 to $525||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$148||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$1,529||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$250 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||2.5% 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 Oregon, 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 Oregon, sellers pay an average of 2.5% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Oregon is $474,000, that amounts to $12,040. 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.
For sale by owner paperwork in Oregon
Here’s a list of the Oregon paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Oregon Residential Purchase Agreement
- Seller 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 offer reduced commission rates. Sellers can save thousands while still receiving assistance from an expert local agent.
For discount broker services, we highly recommend Clever Real Estate. Clever pre-negotiates with top agents to offer you low commission rates without compromising on service quality. Other reputable discount brokers include Redfin and Ideal Agent.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in Oregon?
No, you don’t need a lawyer to sell a home in Oregon — but it's strongly recommended to work with one if you're listing without a realtor. Oregon real estate lawyers typically charge around $200 an hour, which is definitely worth it if it means that you avoid any problems with all the legal paperwork you’ll have to handle. Learn more by chatting with an experienced real estate lawyer.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Oregon?
Realtors in Oregon typically charge about a 3% commission fee, which you can save by selling FSBO. However, this means putting in a lot of time and effort to close the deal. You’ll have to handle all the showings, for example, which is crucial if you want to impress buyers. If you don’t have the time or the real estate sales experience, then it might be better to work with a realtor.
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 Oregon: 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 Oregon 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! Cost to Sell a House in Oregon: Seller Closing 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.
How to Sell Your House — The Ultimate Guide: Our guide breaks down the process of selling a house in 12 steps. We discuss how to find and choose a realtor, list your home for sale, review and negotiate offers, close, and calculate capital gains tax.