Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in South Carolina averages 2.8% of the sale price. Considering a typical South Carolina house is worth about $269,000, that’s a savings of $7,586.
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 South Carolina. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in South 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 (2.8% on average in South 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. 2.8% is typical in South 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 South 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 South 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 South 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||$235 to $360||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$149||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$700||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 $800||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 South 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 South Carolina, sellers pay an average of 2.8% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in South Carolina is $269,000, that amounts to $7,586. 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 South 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 South Carolina.
Beyond the basics, here’s how to sell a house by owner in South Carolina.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Before listing, get your home into optimum condition. Perform small repairs around the house like replacing light bulbs and fixing leaky faucets.
Next, consider repainting. A new coat of paint can refresh your home, and it’s incredibly cost-effective, especially if you do the work yourself.
Enhance your home’s curb appeal by freshening up the landscaping. Consider hardy native plants like the crested iris and wild indigo that are pleasing to the eye.
Tackle any big repairs, like a new roof or boiler. These can be deal breakers to a lot of prospective buyers.
Deep clean and declutter your home. Put half (or more) of your furniture into storage so your home appears roomy and open.
If you’re not happy with your furniture, consider a professional home staging service. In South Carolina, it’ll cost, on average, $1,529.
Finally, take your listing photos. If you don’t feel confident that you can take them yourself, a professional photographer costs an average of $140 in South Carolina.
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
Your home’s list price will make or break your home sale. Price it too low, and buyers will assume it has hidden flaws. Price it too high, and they’ll assume you’re an unrealistic, difficult seller.
So how do you settle on the right list price for your market? We recommend these options:
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a report that looks at recent sales of homes that are similar to yours and uses that data to suggest an accurate, up-to-the-minute list price for your home.
You can get a CMA from a local realtor (agents often offer CMAs as a complimentary service), a flat fee MLS company (if you’re using one), or you can create your own CMA. If you choose the DIY route, use recent data and stay objective.
Hire an appraiser
A home appraisal is similar to a CMA, but it’s conducted by a human being instead of data analytics. A professional home appraiser will visit your home and produce an appraised value that theoretically represents your home’s “true value.”
In South Carolina, the average cost of a home appraisal is $300 to $435.
3. List and market your home
First, review South Carolina’s regulations on real estate advertising. It’s important to be compliant with local laws during your home sale.
Next, list your home on free FSBO listing sites like:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Zillow and Trulia (in the FSBO section)
Don’t underestimate the reach of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They can reach a lot of people, depending on your network, and they’re free.
Word of mouth is also a great way to spread the word — tell friends, family, and coworkers about your sale.
Finally, the classic yard sign can let locals know your home is on the market. FSBO yard signs are legal in South Carolina, unless your listing is on the MLS, in which case you have to use a sign from your listing broker.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a South Carolina flat fee MLS company.
South Carolina flat fee MLS companies
A flat fee MLS company can dramatically increase your FSBO listing’s visibility by getting it onto the multiple listing service (MLS). Only agents can upload listings onto the MLS, and it’s the main directory where buyer’s agents look for properties for their clients.
The MLS is also the source of listings on big sites like Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, and more.
Flat fee MLS companies generally charge much less than you’d pay a traditional realtor — but you also get far fewer services.
In South Carolina, this will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in South Carolina are:
Read our in-depth guide to South Carolina’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Required South Carolina Seller Disclosures
South Carolina has a standard disclosure law that mandates sellers disclose any known material defects about the house. In 2019, the state added a question about flood claims to the standard state disclosure form; the question requires sellers to list the dates of any flood-related insurance claims, including claims made before their ownership.
As in all U.S. states, South Carolina sellers are required by federal law to disclose the presence of lead-based paint.
Make these forms available by appending them to your listing, sending digital copies to interested buyers and their agents, and handing out hard copies at open houses.
4. Manage showings on your own
Hosting and keeping track of showings and open houses can be tough. Make things easy on yourself by coming up with a consistent system.
There are many free tools that help you manage your calendar and record buyer contact information; if you use a flat fee MLS company, they may supply you with a showings tool as part of their basic service package.
Here are some proven tips on how to conduct your own showings:
- Schedule showings in consecutive blocks. It’s efficient and will encourage competition between buyers
- Try not to be present during showings. If you must be there, give the buyers space.
- Use a lockbox for buyer-guided showings.
- Print out fliers featuring facts about the home and your own contact information. Attach completed disclosure forms and make them available somewhere like the kitchen counter.
Interested buyers will have questions after their showings, so make sure you’re prepared to answer them.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Buyer offers will come in the form of a purchase and sale agreement (sometimes referred to as a “buy-sell.”) Thoroughly read the full text of each offer and ask for clarification on any points that remain unclear.
Consider these items carefully when evaluating your FSBO South Carolina offers:
- Note whether it’s a cash offer or a financed offer. Cash offers come with much less risk.
- Examine any buyer contingencies, which could allow them to back out of the deal. You can also insert your own contingencies.
- If the buyer is asking for repair credits, you can negotiate the amount or offer to do the repairs yourself.
Submit a counteroffer by amending the purchase agreement and sending it back to the buyer’s agent. Use these strategies to negotiate the best possible deal.
In South Carolina, the buyer is required to hire a real estate attorney to review your South Carolina real estate sales contract, certify the property title, and conduct closing. As a seller, you’re not required to hire one, but it may be smart to have your own representation in case any issues arise in the process.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The time between acceptance of the offer and the closing day is called the due diligence period. Note that, as of June 2022, South Carolina real estate law shifted to a strict due diligence contract which eliminates the repair procedure and “as is” option.
Depending on the specifics of your purchase agreement, the due diligence period could include:
- The home appraisal
- The home inspection
- Property title search
- Mortgage underwriting
- The final walkthrough
The buyer may want to negotiate after any of the above, so be prepared for that. If any contingencies are unmet, they can back out of the deal without penalty. If you want to back out of the deal without a contingency allowing you to, contact an attorney about your options.
When negotiations conclude, or if there are no negotiations, you can proceed to closing.
The date of your closing will be specified in the purchase agreement.
A few days before closing, you’ll receive the closing statement in accordance with South Carolina real estate closing guidelines. This document lists all the charges associated with the transaction and who’s responsible for paying them.
The closing itself is usually facilitated by the buyer’s real estate attorney.
On the day of closing, you’ll sign all the required financial and legal paperwork, and then you’ll transfer the deed to the buyer. They’ll get the house keys and you’ll be paid; in South Carolina, sellers receive their money the same day as closing.
For sale by owner paperwork in South Carolina
Here’s a list of the South Carolina paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
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 South Carolina?
Yes, you need a lawyer when selling your home in South Carolina. However, their fees are well worth the money, as their professional guidance will help you navigate all the legal forms you need to fill out. Real estate attorneys in the state charge around $300 per hour for their services. Learn more by chatting with an experienced real estate lawyer.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in South Carolina?
You can save the 2.5-3% realtor’s commission that’s typically charged by selling FSBO. However, if you don’t have real estate experience, you might make a mistake that will cost you more than what you would have saved. For instance, pricing your home inaccurately can cause you to miss out on a few thousand dollars instantly. Unless you have experience and know your local market, it's most likely not worth selling FSBO.
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 South 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 South 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!
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.