Should I use a realtor? | What does a realtor do in Pennsylvania? | Cost of selling without a realtor | Pennsylvania real estate paperwork | 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 Pennsylvania averages 2.8% of the sale price. Considering a typical Pennsylvania house is worth about $257,000, that’s a savings of $7,203.
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 Pennsylvania. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in Pennsylvania, 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 (2.8% on average in Pennsylvania). 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. 2.8% is typical in Pennsylvania.
- 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania, that puts 2.8% 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 Pennsylvania).
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 take on all the tasks a realtor normally handles.
You’re in a hot seller’s market.
If you’re in a high-demand area with low inventory, you could find a buyer relatively easily with just a flat fee MLS package or a “For Sale” in your yard.
Here’s how fast and for how much homes in Pennsylvania 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. 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 Pennsylvania.
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 Pennsylvania 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, they can lose money by pricing too low or scare away buyers by pricing too high.
If selling your home without a realtor sounds too risky or like too much work, you have other ways to save on commissions. You can work with a discount broker, save money, and not have to deal with the stress of selling without a realtor.
What does a realtor do in Pennsylvania?
Selling your home in Harrisburg — or anywhere else in Pennsylvania — can be a lengthy process. You have to prepare and stage your home, do real estate market research in your area, and schedule house viewings. It can be time-consuming, and with how hot the market is, even one mistake can cost you a few thousand dollars. Working with a real estate agent can make it easier for you to sell your home. Here’s what a realtor in the Keystone State can do for you:
Selling your home in Harrisburg — or anywhere else in Pennsylvania — can be a lengthy process. You have to prepare and stage your home, do real estate market research in your area, and schedule house viewings. It can be time-consuming, and with how hot the market is, even one mistake can cost you a few thousand dollars.
Working with a real estate agent can make it easier for you to sell your home. Here’s what a realtor in the Keystone State can do for you:
Prices homes competitively
If you’re earlier in the home selling process and just need a general idea of what your house is worth, you can plug your address into several free home value estimators.
However, an agent can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) for a more accurate valuation. 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.
To get an idea of how much home values can vary, here’s a comparison of different sized homes value in Pennsylvania.
|Home size||Home value in Pennsylvania|
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 can only be accessed by real estate agents, who use it to find homes to show their clients. Without a realtor, you’ll need to pay a flat fee MLS company to list your property, or you will face a much smaller pool of potential buyers.
Finds potential buyers
An agent can market your home, schedule open houses, and follow up with people who toured your home.
Agents will also take care of negotiating with prospective buyers and dealing with paperwork to ensure the sale doesn’t fall through.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Pennsylvania
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 $385||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$169||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$2,042||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$200 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$100 to $2,000||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)|
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 Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania, sellers pay an average of 2.8% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Pennsylvania is $257,000, that amounts to $7,203. 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.
Pennsylvania FSBO paperwork and regulations
If you decide to sell without a realtor, you’ll be responsible for collecting, preparing, and filing all the correct paperwork.
But know that every state has its own laws and regulations for real estate sales — and Pennsylvania is no different. Here are some additional forms you may need to close on a house without a realtor in Pennsylvania:
6 steps to sell a home in Pennsylvania without a realtor
🤔 Did you know?
56% of house sellers report being uncomfortable filling out legal documents without a professional.
There are a lot of documents to fill out when selling a house. Missing out on any of the requirements can cost you, and there may be legal repercussions to consider. It can be a confusing and nerve-wracking process to go through without help. If you don’t have experience with real estate sales, consider working with a real estate attorney to help smooth out the process.
Source: 2022 Clever Real Estate Survey
1. Get your home ready to sell
Simple repairs, such as fixing a squeaky door or repairing dents in the drywall, can greatly improve the aesthetic appeal of your house. Outdoors, a fresh coat of paint, and some basic landscaping work can boost curb appeal.
You can also hire a professional stager to get your home picture-perfect for showings. While prices vary from city to city, in Pennsylvania it costs an average of $2,042 to stage a house.
High-quality photos of your property can make a huge difference when attracting buyers. Prices can vary based on your location, but in Pennsylvania you can expect to pay $169 on average for a session with a professional photographer.
2. Price your home accurately
Without a real estate agent, it can be difficult to accurately price your home. Home value websites can provide you with a quick ballpark home value estimate. You can get a more accurate home value with an appraisal. In Pennsylvania, an appraisal costs $320 to $385.
3. List your home
In Pennsylvania, this will cost you $100 to $2,000, but without a realtor, it’s the only way to get your property listed on the MLS — which is how most buyers find homes.
4. Show your home
Once buyers start contacting you, it’s important to have a system to track showing appointments and their contact information.
During a showing, be available to answer the buyer’s questions, but don’t follow them around from room to room. That can come off as overwhelming and scare buyers off.
5. Consider offers
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.
6. Use a title and/or escrow company
It’s important to have a third party that will take care of collecting signatures and fees before and during closing. Often this will be your title company, but in some cases, you might have to find a separate escrow company to manage the money involved in the transaction.
Alternatives to selling without a realtor in Pennsylvania
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, here are a few other low-cost options.
Pennsylvania flat fee MLS companies
Getting your home listed on your local MLS is the best way to reach more buyers. The biggest home search sites (Zillow, realtor.com, etc.) all pull their listings from the MLS. Unfortunately, the only way to get your home on the MLS without a realtor is by purchasing a flat fee MLS package.
In Pennsylvania, this will cost you about $100 to $2,000. However, if you want more support from a real estate professional, there are better options.
|Simple Choice Realty||XFlatFeeMLS||Houzeo|
|Number of Photos||25||6||6 to Max Allowed|
|MLS Listing||6 months||1 month to Until Sold||3 months to Until Sold|
Pennsylvania discount brokers
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
Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in Pennsylvania?
No, you don’t need to hire a lawyer to sell your house in Pennsylvania, but it can be worth it to do so. With all the legal documents to fill out and requirements to comply with, having a professional to guide you can make it easier and stress-free. On average, a Pennsylvania real estate attorney will charge about $200 an hour for their services.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Pennsylvania?
Selling without a realtor in Pennsylvania will save you the 3% commission fee that’s usually charged. However, if you don’t have real estate sales experience, then you might make a costly mistake, such as inaccurately pricing your house — which can easily cost you thousands of dollars. It’s best to sell FSBO only if you know what you’re doing or if you already have a buyer lined 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 Pennsylvania: 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 Pennsylvania 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! : 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.