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 Vermont averages 2.7% of the sale price. Considering a typical Vermont house is worth about $339,000, that’s a savings of $9,017.
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 Vermont. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in Vermont, 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 (2.7% on average in Vermont). 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. 2.5% is typical in Vermont.
- 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 Vermont 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 Vermont
- 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 to sell your home in Vermont without a realtor
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||$164||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||$250 to $1,500||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 Vermont, 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 Vermont, sellers pay an average of 2.7% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Vermont is $339,000, that amounts to $9,017. 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 Vermont 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 Vermont FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Before listing your Vermont FSBO property, do some prep work. This could involve:
- Making any minor repairs, especially in high-visibility areas
- Adding a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint
- Deep cleaning and decluttering
- Improving curb appeal and landscaping
Avoid making costly repairs if possible. That said, eliminating issues with mold, water damage, or other larger problems might be worth the money.
Remove any personal items and strive for a minimalist aesthetic before staging and taking photos for your listing. The average photographer in Vermont costs about $140 and staging costs $1,529 on average, but you can also save money by doing it yourself — only do this if you can do a quality job, though.
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
Selling FSBO in VT is only a good idea if you can get the pricing right. Many FSBO sellers end up costing themselves more money than they save because they misprice their home.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the average FSBO home sells for 5–26% less than comparable realtor-sold homes.
Pricing can vary by city or neighborhood, so consider all factors when pricing your home. A home that sells for $250,000 in Barre, for example, might go for over $500,000 just down the road in Burlington, so you need to know your area to get the list price right.
We recommend the following strategies to determine the fair market value for your home.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis determines the fair market value of a home. It finds comparable homes to yours in a similar area that have sold recently — usually in the past 3 to 6 months.
The person performing the CMA uses the sale prices of these homes to estimate what your home would likely sell for.
Realtors typically provide this service, but you can do it yourself. Be careful though — as the seller, you may be prone to personal bias when assessing the condition and desirability of your home, which can lead to an unrealistic sale price.
If you’re not sure you can be objective, an alternative is to pay a flat fee MLS company to conduct a CMA for you. This gives you a professional estimation of value without paying the cost of a full-service agent.
Hire an appraiser
Paying for a pre-listing appraisal is another way to determine fair market value. An appraiser will do everything involved in a CMA, but also tour your house and factor in local housing market trends.
Since an appraiser’s job is to evaluate home prices in your area, they will be one of the best resources for determining your home’s worth.
The average cost of an appraisal in Vermont is $300 to $435.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
When you decide on your listing price, factor in any tax liability based on your expected gains from selling your home.
3. List and market your home
Start by posting your listing on free websites for FSBO properties, such as:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Zillow or Trulia’s FSBO section
There are also the old standbys of putting a sign in the yard and word of mouth.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a flat fee MLS company.
Vermont flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies help non-realtors get their listing on the local MLS. Since this is the main place realtors find listings, it’s a huge advantage to have your listing included there.
In Vermont, a flat fee MLS service will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies serving Vermont are:
🥇 Landfall Properties: Best for hard-to-sell homes
🥈 EntryOnly.com: Best customer service
🥉 Houzeo: Best for listing quickly
Read our in-depth guide to Vermont’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one is 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 Vermont, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In Vermont, 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?).
Required Vermont seller disclosures
Since Vermont is a “buyer beware” state, you aren’t legally required to present buyers with a seller disclosure report. That said, it may still be wise to do so. If there are no major issues with the home, saying so only increases the chances of getting an offer. If there is a major issue, odds are that the buyer will find it during an inspection and may back out of the deal later on.
Federal law requires all home sellers to include a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure if the home was built prior to 1978.
Include these forms on your listing, share them with interested buyers via email, or have print copies available at showings and open houses. The most important thing is that you give them to buyers before they sign a purchase agreement — that way, they have fewer reasons to back out later.
4. Manage showings on your own
Have a system in place before you try to manage all the showings, open houses, and buyer inquiries.
Create a calendar dedicated to scheduling showings. Using a tool like Doodle allows you to share the schedule and coordinate multiple people for a showing.
You’ll also want a document for tracking conversations with interested buyers and recording their contact information. This could be electronic like a Google Doc or just a notepad. Do whatever works best for you.
Here are some tips to maximize the effectiveness of your showings:
- Schedule showings near each other for efficiency
- Leave a 10- to 15-minute gap between appointments to avoid overlap
- Be prepared to answer questions before and after showings
- Make all paperwork easily accessible
- Be sure the house is well-lit and cozy before interested buyers arrive
It’s usually best to not be present during showings so buyers feel comfortable poking around and discussing their concerns. Use a lockbox to allow realtors access to the home when you’re not there.
If managing showings and open houses is overwhelming, some flat fee MLS companies may offer packages with add-on tools that will assist you in managing this process.
5. Review and negotiate offers
A buyer usually submits their offer in the form of a purchase and sale agreement. Read this over carefully and reach out to a real estate attorney if anything confuses you.
In Vermont, it’s typical for buyers to hire a real estate attorney to do a title search and provide title insurance. Sellers aren’t required to hire an attorney, but FSBO sellers in particular might find it helpful to have a professional review their contracts and other paperwork.
Pay special attention to high-importance aspects of the offer such as:
- Purchase price
- Whether the offer is cash or traditionally financed
- Pre-approval amount (if included)
- Any contingencies
- Seller credits
- Expectations regarding repairs
- The closing timeline
You are not obligated to agree to all the details of an offer. You can also use some aspects of the deal to negotiate better terms in other areas.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
Once all parties sign the purchase agreement, the buyer enters the due diligence period. This is their opportunity to have the property inspected and appraised, as well as conduct any other research they need to complete before closing on the home.
If your buyer is paying cash, they may forego one or more of these steps, but that will be specified in the purchase agreement.
For traditionally financed homes, the process usually follows these steps:
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
If new information arises during due diligence, you may need to renegotiate the purchase. A renegotiation could involve lowering the purchase price, offering seller concessions, or making some repairs. The seller could also back out if you can’t come to a mutually agreeable compromise.
The same goes for you. If a contingency clause is triggered and you don’t like the renegotiated offer, you can also walk away. If you want to back out without allowing a contingency, you should speak to a real estate attorney first to understand the implications of that decision.
If everything goes smoothly during the due diligence period, you will be cleared to close.
Your closing date is listed in the purchase agreement, though you can push it back if both parties agree.
The closing will usually be conducted by a real estate attorney or a title company. During this appointment, you’ll sign a bunch of paperwork, including the deed to transfer the title to the new owner.
Both you and the buyer will also receive a closing statement that outlines the details of the transaction and calculates the amount necessary to complete the transaction. The buyer will pay you on the day of closing, usually via wire transfer or certified check.
For sale by owner paperwork in Vermont
Here’s a list of the Vermont paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Vermont Seller’s Property Information Report
- Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
- Vermont Purchase and Sale Contract
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 Vermont
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 Vermont?
No, you do not need to hire a real estate attorney in Vermont — but it can be worth the expense to hire one anyway. There is a lot of legal paperwork to go through, and any mistake in these will cost you a lot. For a few hundred dollars an hour, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and without stress.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Vermont?
Those confident in their real estate knowledge may find it worth it to sell without a realtor. You’ll get to save the 3% listing commission, but it will require a lot of work and patience to do. For one, you’ll have to personally handle the house showings, which will take up a lot of your free time. If you don’t have the time or the know-how, then you should probably work with a realtor instead.
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 Vermont: 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 Vermont 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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