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 South Dakota averages 3.0% of the sale price. Considering a typical South Dakota house is worth about $276,000, that’s a savings of $8,170.
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 Dakota. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in South 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 South 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 South 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 South 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 South 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 South 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||$250||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||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 South 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 South Dakota, sellers pay an average of 3.0% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in South Dakota is $276,000, that amounts to $8,170. 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 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 South Dakota FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
One of the first things a listing agent will do is tell their clients what to change in the home to make it more appealing to buyers. As a FSBO seller, you won’t have a neutral party to give you this advice, so you’ll have to put away your personal attachment to your home’s decor and look at it through the eyes of a potential buyer.
Touch up the walls with a new coat of paint, repair nail holes, and clean everything. Be sure to remove personal items like family photos so others can easily imagine themselves in your home. Declutter your home by removing as much stuff as you can. This will help make the home appear roomy and ready for its new owners.
📸 Take photos of your home while it’s looking its best.
If you have an eye for good photos, take about 25–50 photos of the interior and exterior of your home. Make sure you choose the right time of day to get each room in its best light. You can also hire a professional photographer, which costs about $250 per session in South Dakota.
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 home can be a challenge, whether you’re working with a realtor or not. In fact, 20% of Americans say that finding the right price for their home was the toughest part of selling. If you don’t have a realtor, this part can be even harder. If you price it too low you can lose money, but if you price it too high it may not sell.
Fortunately, as a FSBO seller, you have a few options to price your home correctly.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis—CMA for short—is the gold standard for determining the listing price of a home. Usually prepared by a realtor, a CMA compiles information about recent home sales in your neighborhood that are similar to yours in age, size, location, and other traits. All of this data will help you determine a fair market value for your home.
You can ask an agent for a CMA if you express interest in working with them, or you can learn how to create your own CMA. Some flat fee MLS listing companies will provide you with a CMA for an extra fee.
Something to keep in mind: If you create your own CMA, make sure you’re being honest and objective when describing the condition of your home. It’s easy for personal bias to creep in, so we recommend having a friend or family member do it for you.
Hire an appraiser
You can also hire an appraiser to visit your home and provide their professional opinion of its value. If your buyers finance the purchase, an appraisal will be required eventually, so this step might help avoid trouble with the buyer’s mortgage later. In South Dakota, an appraisal costs between $315 to $420.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
3. List and market your home
Before you list your home for sale, familiarize yourself with the rules for advertising real estate in South Dakota. As a FSBO seller, however, your responsibilities are pretty straightforward: be honest when describing the property.
Start by listing your home on free FSBO listing websites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, ForSaleByOwner.com, and Zillow/Trulia. You can also place a for sale by owner sign in your front yard and use your social media connections to get the word out.
All of these methods are a good starting point, but if you really want buyers’ agents to notice your home, you need to get it on the MLS, a database where real estate agents advertise their listings.
South Dakota flat fee MLS companies
When you work with a realtor, they’ll list your home on the MLS, a collection of all of the homes for sale in your area. Buyers and their agents comb through this list to decide which houses they’ll tour. So being on the MLS is essential if you want to find buyers.
Only realtors can put homes on the MLS. So if you don’t have a real estate agent, the only way to list your home there is by using a flat fee MLS company that will get you the same exposure for a one-time fee.
In South Dakota, this will cost between $100 and $1000, depending on the specifics of the service package.
Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in South Dakota are:
- Flat Fee Group: Best for inexperienced sellers
- MLS My Home: Best for rock-bottom pricing
- FSBO.com: Best for customizing services
Read our in-depth guide to the best 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 South Dakota, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In South 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?).
South Dakota law requires that you present this property disclosure form to all interested buyers before signing a purchase and sale agreement.
4. Manage showings on your own
If your property attracts a lot of attention, scheduling times and answering buyers’ questions can be a full-time job. To stay organized, use a spreadsheet to keep track of buyer and agent contact information. Use a calendar app like Google Calendar to schedule appointments and set reminders. Some flat fee MLS companies offer apps like ShowingTime, which helps you manage showings.
💡Tip: Get a lockbox so buyers can visit while you’re gone. You can buy a lock box for about $50–100 at any hardware store. Any agent will tell you that it’s best for sellers to make themselves scarce while prospective buyers tour the home to make it easier for home shoppers to imagine themselves living there.
Try to schedule showing appointments back to back. This will give the appearance that people are lining up to see the home, plus it limits how often you need to leave the house.
Leave a fact sheet in the home for buyers to take with them, along with the property disclosure forms. The sheet should include the same info as the listing, plus your contact information. Check your phone and email for buyer questions and plan to answer them immediately.
5. Review and negotiate offers
When you receive an offer from a buyer or their agent, it will come in the form of a purchase and sale agreement, also known as a buy-sell agreement. Here is an example of what the form usually looks like in South Dakota.
As a FSBO seller in South Dakota, you’ll be on your own when it comes to reviewing offers. Make sure you understand everything in the offer before accepting, rejecting, or making a counteroffer.
In addition to the price, here are a few things to pay attention to in the offer:
Is the offer cash or financed? Cash offers are usually faster and preferred (although there are some exceptions). A financed offer means the mortgage lender will need to appraise the home to make sure it’s worth what the buyers are willing to pay. Financed offers also come with more paperwork and possible delays.
Are the buyers asking for any contingencies? Some buyers might want to delay closing until they have sold their current home. Review these contingencies carefully and decide if you’re willing to accept those terms.
Does the offer mention any repair credits? Repair credits are a way for the buyer to negotiate minor issues by asking for a reduction in price now to fix something in the home later. Consider these requests carefully—if they are small issues, accepting them might be the easiest path to a deal.
If you think the offer is way off base, you can simply reject it. If the offer is close to what you’re looking for, you can make a counteroffer by amending the form. Consider your goals carefully when negotiating. If your counteroffer asks too much of the buyer, you might not hear from them again.
For more ideas on negotiating, check out these 26 negotiation strategies.
Legally, you don’t have to hire a real estate attorney in South Dakota, but it might be a good idea when selling without a realtor. Having an attorney available to review your agreement can give you peace of mind.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The time period between accepting an offer and the closing date is known as the “due diligence period.” This is when the buyer will take a number of steps to ensure the home is a solid investment.
During this period, the following steps may occur (according to your purchase agreement):
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
During the due diligence period, other issues may pop up that lead to further negotiations. For example, the inspection could uncover necessary repairs or the house may appraise for a lower amount. Either party may back out of the sale, but we recommend speaking to an attorney before you take that step.
But if there are no further issues, you’ll be ready to move on to closing.
In South Dakota, your closing appointment will usually be conducted at the office of a title insurance company, a real estate broker, or an attorney. During this appointment, you’ll receive a closing statement that details your earnings on the home sale, which is the sale price minus all of your closing costs. You’ll sign a lot of documents, including the deed transfer which legally transfers the ownership rights to the buyer.
In South Dakota, you’ll typically receive a check or bank transfer with your sale proceeds the day you close or the following day.
After closing, the buyer will get the keys to the home and officially have access rights to the property.
For sale by owner paperwork in South Dakota
Here’s a list of the South Dakota 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.
» READ: The Best Discount Real Estate Brokers in South 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 South Dakota?
You're not legally required to use a lawyer to sell in South Dakota, but having one can be helpful. Real estate attorneys will usually charge around $300 per hour for their services. It may seem expensive, but having a professional help you with legal requirements is worth the cost — especially when selling FSBO.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in South Dakota?
Unless you have experience selling real estate and intimate knowledge of the local market, it might not be. Although selling without a realtor will help you save on the 3% commission fee, you can lose much more than that if you make a mistake. For instance, if you don’t price your home properly or mishandle negotiations with the buyer, you might miss out on a few thousand dollars.
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 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 South 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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