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 $240,000, that’s a savings of $6,744.
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. 2.7% 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?
Selling a house for sale by owner in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania
- 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 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||2.7% 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 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 $240,000, that amounts to $6,744. 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania.
If you’re wondering how to sell a house in PA without a realtor, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Buyers want a home that’s move-in ready— or as close to it as possible. So the first step in selling a house in PA is to prepare your home for the market by making small repairs around the house, refreshing the paint (inside and out), and sprucing up the landscaping. When landscaping, consider low-maintenance Pennsylvania native shrubs like the American wisteria, or Summersweet.
Take care of large repairs like a leaky roof or a new HVAC system; buyers could consider these repairs dealbreakers.
Deep clean and declutter your home. Experts suggest removing at least half your furniture, so your home feels open and spacious.
If you’re not happy with your furniture, consider a professional home staging service. In Pennsylvania, staging costs an average of $1,529.
Once your home is looking its best, take photos for your listing. If you’re up to it, you can take them yourself—or you can hire a professional, which in Pennsylvania costs an average of $140.
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
A successful home sale starts with an accurate list price. Set it too high, and you’ll alienate many buyers. Set it too low, and buyers may assume there are hidden problems with the home. Ideally, price your home at or slightly below market value to maximize interest.
To arrive at the right price, we recommend going with one of these options.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) looks at recent sales of homes that are similar to yours to come up with a market-supported list price.
You can get a CMA:
- From a realtor (agents offer a free CMA as part of their standard service package)
- Create your own— but be careful not to let your personal bias influence the result
- Get one from a flat fee MLS company
Hire an appraiser
A professional home appraiser is intimately familiar with the local market, and they’ll visit your home personally to evaluate your home’s condition, features, and location to come up with an accurate market value.
In Pennsylvania, the average cost of a home appraisal is $300 to $435.
3. List and market your home
First, review Pennsylvania’s state laws regarding real estate advertising to remain compliant with the law.
Next, list your home on free FSBO sites like Craigslist, ForSaleByOwner.com, Zillow and Trulia (in the FSBO section), and Facebook Marketplace.
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. Tell friends, family, and coworkers about your listing.
Use social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, and Nextdoor to get the word out about your listing. These platforms are free to use, have great reach, and can be invaluable when you’re selling FSBO in PA.
Finally, don’t forget the classic yard sign. Just double-check that your town’s laws, or your HOA regulations, allow the use of them.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Pennsylvania flat fee MLS company.
Pennsylvania flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies can be a huge help for those selling without a realtor. They will get your listing onto the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), from which it will be populated onto popular websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com. Only agents and brokers can enter listings onto the MLS.
Flat fee mls companies only charge you a flat fee to get on the MLS, which is much less than the percentage-based commission you’d pay to an agent. However, they typically offer very few services beyond the MLS listing.
In Pennsylvania, this will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Pennsylvania are:
Read our in-depth guide to Pennsylvania’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Required Pennsylvania Seller Disclosures
Pennsylvania has a standard disclosure law that requires sellers to disclose “known material defects” prior to signing a purchase agreement.
As in all U.S. states, Pennsylvania sellers are required to disclose the presence of lead-based paint.
Make your completed disclosures available by printing out hard copies for your showings, having digital copies to send buyers, and attaching the forms to your listing.
4. Manage showings on your own
Showings and open houses are some of the most challenging parts of an agent’s job, and can be overwhelming for sellers to handle. Put a system in place to track and manage your showings.
There are many free calendar and address book tools that are useful here. If you use a flat fee MLS company, they may provide a showing management tool.
Here are some proven strategies for your showings and open houses:
- Schedule showings in blocks to build buzz and competition between buyers
- Don’t linger during showings, as your presence could inhibit buyers
- If you must be present, give buyers space. Don’t hover!
- Electronic lockboxes and security cameras can make independent showings secure and easy
Keep informational documents on hand for buyers in an easily accessible place like the kitchen counter. These documents should include your contact info, a profile of the house, and disclosure forms for buyers with serious interest.
Finally, be prepared to answer in-depth questions from buyers before and after showings.
5. Review and negotiate offers
In Pennsylvania, offers will come in the form of a purchase and sale agreement, also known as a buy-sell agreement.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you look at offers:
- Have you completely read the offer, and do you understand the conditions?
- Is it a cash offer or a financed one? Many sellers prefer cash offers, since they come with much less risk.
- Are there buyer contingencies? These conditions must be met for the sale to proceed.
- Is the buyer asking for repair credits? If so, you can negotiate them.
- Do you want to submit a counteroffer? Simply amend the sale agreement and send it back.
- Are you comfortable negotiating with the buyer’s agent? Use these negotiating strategies to get the deal you want.
In Pennsylvania, you’re not required to hire a real estate attorney for the closing. However, if you’re selling FSBO in Pennsylvania, it’s advisable to consult a real estate attorney to review your purchase agreement before signing.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The time between when the offer is accepted and the day of closing is called the due diligence period.
The due diligence period is when the following happens:
- The home inspection
- The home appraisal
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- The final walkthrough
Discoveries during this process can result in negotiations. For example, if the home appraisal comes in low, the buyer may ask you to lower the price. All disputes will have to be settled before you can proceed to closing.
This is also when either party can back out due to unmet contingencies. If you decide you want to bail on the deal, but don’t have a contingency that gives you an out, consult with a real estate attorney to talk about your options.
A few days before closing, you’ll receive the closing statement. This document lists all the fees that go along with the transaction, and which party is responsible for paying them.
The exact date of closing is in the purchase agreement. Closing itself is usually facilitated by a third party— either the title company, a real estate broker, or a real estate attorney.
On closing day, you and the buyer will sign all the required paperwork, and then you’ll sign over the deed. The buyer receives the house keys, and you receive payment. In Pennsylvania, sellers are usually paid in full on closing day.
For sale by owner PA paperwork
Here’s a list of the Pennsylvania paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- PA Seller’s Disclosure Form
- Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- FEMA Flood Risk Disclosure
- Pennsylvania 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.
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 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. Learn more by chatting with an experienced real estate lawyer.
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! Cost to Sell a House in Pennsylvania: 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.