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 Florida averages 2.7% of the sale price. Considering a typical Florida house is worth about $378,000, that’s a savings of $10,206.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. It will cost you a lot of time and energy because you’ll have to complete most parts of the selling process.
In the end, selling a house without a real estate agent isn’t worth it for most homeowners in Florida. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering selling a house without a realtor in Florida, 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 Florida). But in exchange for those savings, you’ll have to do everything from advertising your home to completing legal paperwork to negotiating the final deal.
- In most cases, you’ll still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission. 2.7% is typical in Florida.
- 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 Florida 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 Florida
- 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 Florida
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||$300 to $380||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$150||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$3,131||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$251 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$75 to $800||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 Florida, 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 Florida, sellers pay an average of 2.7% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Florida is $378,000, that amounts to $10,206. 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 Florida without a realtor
1. Get your home ready to sell
Even if your home is spotless, it might not be quite ready to show to buyers. Before scheduling showings, declutter and remove personal items such as family photos to make the home appear more spacious and help potential buyers imagine themselves living in the home.
Consider painting large rooms with lighter, neutral shades like off-white or light gray. These colors will make the home appear larger and brighter. Remove some furniture, such as end tables and recliners, to make the room spacious and open. If you need some help making the inside look great, professional staging services in Florida cost about $1,529.
Spruce up the curb appeal outside of your home by adding plants and flowers. Fortunately, you can plant almost year-round in Florida. Check this planting guide for what works best in your particular region.
📸 Once your home is looking its best, take photos.
On a sunny day, take about 25–50 photos of the inside and outside of your home. Get good pictures of each room from a few angles and don’t forget to include any distinctive features like a great outdoor entertaining area. If you would rather hire a professional photographer, you can hire one in Florida for about $150.
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
Finding the appropriate list price for your home is one of the most challenging decisions a seller must make, with or without a realtor. In a survey of American home sellers, 20% considered pricing the most challenging aspect of selling a home. If you’re selling your property as a FSBO seller in Florida, setting the right price can be an even greater challenge.
However, the good news is that you can use the same techniques that a real estate agent would use to figure out the best price for your property.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is essential for pricing a home. A CMA is a report comparing your home to other recently sold properties in the local area. This report examines properties that are similar in size, age, and condition to help determine the most appropriate price for your home. By gaining insight into the sold prices of other homes, you can determine the best price for your own property.
Typically, real estate agents prepare a CMA when they first begin working with a client. But you can also create a CMA on your own in a few simple steps. If you make your own CMA, it’s important to be honest when describing the condition of your home to ensure that the report is accurate. If you’re concerned about assessing your property objectively, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or family member for help.
Flat-fee MLS companies will sometimes provide a CMA with their service package.
Hire an appraiser
A professional appraisal is typically the most accurate to determine the market value of a home. If your buyer is using financing to pay for the home, it’s likely the lender will order an appraisal before closing. You can hire an appraiser in Florida for $300 to $435.
» LEARN: Should I get an appraisal before selling?
3. List and market your home
Before you list your home online or anywhere else, read over the rules for advertising real estate in Florida. Most of these rules apply to realtors, but it’s best to make sure you’re not violating any regulations.
Get started by listing on free FSBO listing websites such as Facebook Marketplace, ForSaleByOwner.com, and Zillow/Trulia—all of these are great places to list Florida homes for sale by owner.
You can also promote your home on social media and use a yard sign to get the word out. But the best place to advertise your home is on the MLS.
The MLS is a digital database that catalogs all of the homes listed by real estate agents in the region. It’s the first stop for buyer’s agents searching for properties to find the homes their clients are looking for. Only licensed realtors can list homes on the MLS, but FSBO sellers can still list their properties on the MLS with the help of certain services.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Florida flat fee MLS company.
Florida flat fee MLS companies
Flat-fee MLS companies are run by brokers who will list your Florida FSBO home on the MLS for a relatively small fee that’s much cheaper than a full-service agent. You won’t have much help from an agent (though some plans offer minimal support), but your home will be listed along with all of the other properties being sold by agents.
In Florida, this will cost you about $75 to $800. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Florida are:
🥇 Flat Fee MLS Realty: Best for inexperienced sellers
🥈 Beycome: Best online experience
🥉 Jack Keller, Inc.: Best for selling unconventional homes
Read our in-depth guide to Florida’s 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 Florida, we still recommend you offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission in your home listing. In Florida, 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 Florida seller disclosures
Florida sellers are required to disclose all known conditions of a home that could reduce its value or make it less desirable to buyers.
Specific disclosure requirements in the state of Florida include:
- General Seller’s Property Disclosure
- The risks associated with radon gas
- For beachfront properties, coastal protection regulations and the possibility of erosion
- Any HOA or condo fees and their regulations
- A property tax summary explaining that the current property taxes may not remain the same after the buyer purchases the home
- Federally regulated disclosures about lead-based paint
If your home was built before 1978, it’s crucial to provide the lead-based paint disclosure. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines.
Radon testing is mandatory in Florida and you must provide a report detailing the measurements and method of testing.
You can attach these disclosures to the listing online and provide hard copies for buyers to take with them after showings.
Mineral and Water Rights in Florida
Some Florida homeowners might not own the subsurface property or beach property of their homes. These are referred to as mineral rights and water rights.
According to Florida Statute 704.05, the mineral rights owner is allowed to enter the property to mine the subsurface. Subsurface property can also be bought and sold just like other real estate.
Make sure to let prospective buyers know if another party owns the mineral rights or water rights of the property. This information can usually be found on your title insurance policy or in your county’s property records.
4. Manage showings on your own
Hopefully, you won’t need to wait too long after listing before getting calls requesting showings. It’s good to be busy, but managing showings can be hectic and time-consuming. Keep track of your appointments and contact information with tools like Google Calendar and spreadsheets.
💡Tips for successful home showings
Leave the buyers to tour the home on their own. The owner being at home during showings can be intrusive. Your presence can be a distraction, and the buyer might not feel comfortable having an honest conversation with their agent if you’re around. Get a lockbox from a hardware store to provide agents access and plan to be away from the home before they arrive. Secure valuables or remove them from the home just to be safe.
Schedule showing appointments back to back. This gives the impression that there is a significant interest in your home. Plus, it reduces the number of times you’ll need to find somewhere to go while buyers are at your home.
Promptly respond to all buyer questions. When prospective buyers ask questions about your home, it means they’re interested. Answer phone calls immediately, respond quickly to text messages and emails, and be prepared to answer follow-up questions. Since buyers typically have a long list of properties to evaluate, if you’re not responsive, they will probably lose interest and focus on other options.
Finally, place disclosure forms and property fact sheets in a noticeable spot in the home, like a kitchen counter.
5. Review and negotiate offers
When you do receive an offer on the home, it will arrive in the form of a purchase and sale agreement, also known as a buy-sell agreement. This is what a Florida purchase agreement typically looks like.
Since you’ll be on your own with no agent help, make sure you understand everything in the purchase agreement before responding. You aren’t legally obligated to hire an attorney to sell a home in Florida, but you might find the average fee of $251 per hour in Florida is worth it to ensure you’re not making an expensive mistake.
In addition to the offer price, pay close attention to the following:
Is the offer cash or financed? Typically, most offers are financed, which means the buyer will need to obtain a loan to purchase the property. This process may involve additional steps, such as waiting for lender approval or scheduling a required appraisal. Cash offers are often preferred because they’re simpler and faster, but there are some exceptions.
Are there any contingencies mentioned? A contingency is a special favor from the seller to help the seller close the deal. A common type of contingency is a home sale contingency, which requires the seller to wait for the buyer to sell their existing property so they can afford to purchase the new one. Consider each contingency carefully and ask yourself if they align with your goals.
Does the buyer offer a reason for their price? Most offers will simply list the price without explanation, but occasionally buyers will offer less for a specific stated reason. For instance, a buyer might reduce the offer by $5,000 explaining that the home needs new windows. If you are aware that the windows are in poor condition and anticipate that other buyers will have similar concerns, accepting the price reduction as a repair credit could be the right decision.
If you receive an offer that is significantly lower than your asking price or includes contingencies that don’t align with your goals, it’s okay to reject it outright. However, if the offer is in the ballpark but not quite what you’re looking for, you may want to consider making a counteroffer. To do so, you can amend the offer form and send it back to the buyer with your preferred terms.
When making a counteroffer, be careful not to come across as too aggressive. Being too pushy may turn off the buyers and make them less likely to negotiate with you further.
After carefully considering everything mentioned in the offer, your options are to accept, reject, or counter the offer.
Want to improve your negotiation skills? Check out our guide to 26 negotiation strategies.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
The time frame between accepting an offer and the closing date is known as the “due diligence period.” During this time, the buyer has the chance to conduct inspections and verify that the property is a worthwhile investment.
This may include one or more of the following steps:
- Mortgage underwriting
- Property title search
- Final walkthrough
The purpose of these steps is to identify problems. So if any issues are found, it could lead to reopening negotiations. During the due diligence period, both the buyer and seller have the right to withdraw from the agreement. However, we recommend consulting an attorney before walking away from the deal.
If everything goes smoothly, the final step is the closing.
Typically, the closing appointment in Florida occurs at the office of a real estate agent, attorney, or title company. During the appointment, both you and the buyer will sign plenty of documents, including the deed transfer, which officially transfers ownership to the buyer.
After closing, you’ll be given a statement detailing the proceeds from the sale and how much you can expect to take home after paying for closing costs. In Florida, you should receive your payment either via a wire transfer or check later that same day.
Finally, all that’s left for you to do is hand over the keys to the new owner and celebrate your successful sale.
For sale by owner paperwork in Florida
Here’s a list of the Florida 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 Florida
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
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Florida?
Selling a home in Florida without a realtor will save you the 2.5-3% you'd typically pay them in commission. But selling a house is more than most people can handle alone. For instance, you'll have to accurately price your home or else you can miss out on thousands of dollars. Unless you're an experienced home seller and know your local market, it's most likely not worth it to sell FSBO.
Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in Florida?
Home sellers in Florida are not required to hire a real estate attorney. However, having a legal professional help you with contracts and paperwork can be worth it. Typically, in Florida it costs a couple hundred dollars an hour to hire a real estate attorney.
What paperwork do I need to sell a house without a realtor in Florida?
You'll need different documents for each stage of the selling process. Pre-listing paperwork will include the property survey, original sale contract, and comparative market analysis (CMA). Once your house is on the market, make sure to prepare the home inspection report, appraisal report, disclosure forms, and the final purchase agreement. At closing, you'll need the deed, closing statement, and your property tax records.
Is selling without a realtor in Florida the right choice for me?
Listing your Florida home without a realtor might help you save on commission, but it's not right for everyone. If you're not familiar with the real estate market or aren't comfortable negotiating with prospective buyers, you might want to consider working with an agent instead.
Selling a home in Florida can be complicated and confusing. If you need some extra guidance, these resources can further demystify the Florida home seller experience:
Average Real Estate Commission in Florida: What’s Fair in 2022?: Realtors earn a commission when they help a client buy or sell a home. Learn how much Florida agents expect to earn and what you can do to reduce commission rates.
Cost to Sell a House in Florida: Seller Closing Costs and More: Selling your home without a realtor can save you money on commission, but you’ll be on the hook for several other costs. Find out what you’ll need to budget for here!
9 Steps to Selling a House in Florida: Our real estate experts break down the Florida home selling process from start to finish.
How to Sell a House By Owner: Paperwork You Need: If you decide to sell without a realtor, check out all the forms you’ll need for a smooth transaction.
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