How Do I Sell My House by Myself: 6 Steps for Success

by | Feb 25, 2023 | Selling Advice

Selling a home can be an intimidating process, especially for those unfamiliar with the real estate market.

There is often apprehension involved in selling one’s own house without relying on professional help or advice. However, it is possible to successfully sell your house by yourself and this article will provide you with guidance on how to do so.

With proper preparation and utilizing available resources, you can confidently take on the journey of selling your house on your own.

Why would you sell your house yourself?

Selling a house by yourself often referred to as a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) transaction, has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), FSBOs accounted for 10% of home sales in 2021.

Real estate transactions are complex and involve numerous legal matters; having the right knowledge is essential for making a successful sale without involving a real estate agent.

Comparative market analysis plays an important role in deciding how much a property should be listed at when selling it privately. There are several advantages and some risks associated with selling your own home which we will cover next.

Pros and cons of For Sale By Owner

When considering whether to list a home for sale by owner or use a real estate agent, there are pros and cons that must be weighed. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is an attractive option as it can save potential sellers money on commission fees; however, this route also has its drawbacks.

In terms of advantages, not having to pay out agent commission fees may be the most appealing aspect of FSBO since these fees usually amount to 6-7% of the sale price. This can equate to thousands of dollars in savings for homeowners who decide to take on selling their property themselves.

When listing your own house, there is more control over how much time and effort goes into advertising your home and negotiating with prospective buyers. Some states have streamlined the process through online filings which further reduces the complexity associated with traditional methods.

On the other hand, many people find that they lack the necessary expertise needed to market their property effectively compared to those provided by real estate agents. Attempting to value your own property can often lead to mistakes due either to inexperience or bias towards setting too high a price that could scare away potential buyers. This usually results in a longer wait before successfully finding a buyer willing to pay what you ask for your home.

Consequently, without professional guidance navigating certain legal matters related to closing deals can become complicated and lead to potentially costly errors and delays down the line.

a couple looking at their laptop in the kitchen doing research to sell their house without a realtor

Can I sell my house without a real estate agent?

Yes, you can sell your own house without the help of a real estate agent.

When it comes to selling a house by owner, many people wonder if they need to hire a real estate agent. After all, real estate agents are experienced professionals who know the local market and can help make the process easier. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider before making the decision.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a real estate agent is that they can handle all of the paperwork associated with selling a home. They’ll also be able to advise you on pricing and negotiate on your behalf. Furthermore, they can typically help with marketing your home so that it reaches as many potential buyers as possible.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to hiring an agent when selling your home by owner. First of all, you’ll have to pay the agent commission based on the final sale price of your home. This could be a considerable expense depending on how much your house sells for. Additionally, you may feel like you’re losing control over certain aspects of the sale process since an agent will be taking care of everything for you.

Steps to selling your house by yourself

Selling a house involves more than simply placing ‘For Sale’ signs in the front yard and crossing your fingers that someone makes an offer.

Even though there are numerous resources available online, taking the DIY route means sorting through all of them to find what works best for you. The key here is to understand every step involved so that when potential buyers come knocking with questions, you have solid answers ready for them.

With some research and pre-planning, selling your own home doesn’t need to be overwhelming or stressful – not only can it save money but also provides peace of mind knowing that everything was done correctly from start to finish.

So let’s dive into what needs to be done before putting up that ‘For Sale’ sign!

1. Determine your home’s market value

To start with, it is important to know your home’s market value. This will help set an appropriate list price for potential buyers and provide a benchmark for negotiations in the current housing market in your local area.

Determining the fair market value of your property can be done in various ways such as researching local comparables or having a professional appraiser inspect your property. You can use sites like Zillow or Redfin to research previously sold homes in your area.

Taking into account factors like location, condition of the home, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, recent sales prices in the area, and other features like upgrades and improvements made over time are all important when setting the sale price.

Pro tip: Look for previously sold homes within 3 years of your home’s build year.

The goal should be to come up with a number that accurately reflects what similar homes have recently sold for while still allowing enough room for negotiation. Consider the next steps carefully – pricing too high could mean spending more time on the market than necessary while pricing too low can prevent you from getting the full worth out of your property.

2. Prep your home to sell

First and foremost, staging your house properly should be a priority.

This means removing any personal items such as family photos or memorabilia that could distract visitors from focusing on the house itself. Doing so will make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the space and envision their own memories being made there.

In addition to decluttering, sprucing up the interior can go a long way.

Repainting walls with neutral colors like white or gray helps create an uncluttered look while also making rooms appear bigger than they actually are. Replacing small worn-out fixtures such as door handles and light switch plates can improve the overall aesthetic without breaking the bank.

Consider adding some plants or flowers throughout the exterior of your house as this can add life to each area and contribute to a more welcoming environment. Consider power washing the exterior of your home along with sidewalks to give it a fresh look.

It’s important to remember that fewer distractions mean an increased focus on what matters most — features such as square footage, storage capacity, natural lighting, etc.

a homeowner painting their walls white to prepare it for listing for sale

3. Take your listing photos

Taking photos of your house is like taking a picture for a dating profile; you want to put your best foot forward and show off all the features that will make people say “wow!”. Homeowners need to showcase their property in the most attractive way possible, so it’s important to take quality pictures.

Before you start snapping away, think about who your target market might be. If you’re trying to appeal to young families, highlight kid-friendly spaces such as playrooms or outdoor areas. If you’re targeting empty nesters, focus on spacious bedrooms and living rooms with lots of natural light.

Once you know what type of buyer you’re looking for, arrange the furniture accordingly and declutter any unneeded items around the home.

When ready to shoot, keep an eye out for details!

Make sure each room is well-lit but not overly bright – this could wash out colors in the photo. Aim for crisp photographs that bring out unique elements in every corner of your house.

These images should serve as virtual walk-throughs that draw potential buyers into wanting more information or even scheduling a physical tour of the property.

4. Market your home’s listing

Selling a house by owner is an attractive option for many, allowing them to take control of the process and potentially save money. However, it requires taking specific steps in order to ensure success. Listing your home without a realtor is one of these critical stages.

To start with, you’ll need to market your home effectively. This means creating compelling ads that highlight its features and benefits, as well as any other selling points like nearby attractions or transportation links.

Consider using social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to help spread the word about your property listing. You can also try using FSBO listing sites like,, or Zillow For Sale By Owner.

Whatever method you choose, it is important that all relevant information about the home including price, size, and location is included in order to attract offers from qualified buyers.   

5. Negotiate the offers

One of the crucial steps in the process is negotiating offers on your home.

When preparing for negotiations, keep in mind that buyers will likely want some contingencies from you as part of their offer strategies such as inspection, required mortgage, closing costs, or title company choice. Be sure to do research on local market trends so you have an understanding of what comparable homes are going for in order to ensure you don’t accept too little for your property.

Remember not to get too emotional when responding to buyers’ requests; instead, be firm and confident in what you expect out of the deal while being open-minded toward compromise.

It may also be wise to consult with legal professionals if necessary so all parties involved understand their rights regarding the purchase agreement.

In addition to understanding market conditions and researching legal advice, having knowledge about who pays commission fees can give you leverage during negotiations. Typically sellers pay both real estate agents’ commissions which can be around 6-7% depending on the title company used. 

6. Close the sale

Once you have received potential offers for your house, it is time to negotiate the terms with interested buyers. After discussing and agreeing on a price that works for both parties, the next step in selling your house by yourself is closing the sale.

The title of the property must be transferred from the seller to the buyer. This process involves signing documents such as a deed or contract along with other related paperwork at a title company. It is important to note that when dealing with these companies, commissions will likely be involved which can be significant depending on state laws and regulations.

It is crucial to hire professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable about local real estate law when transferring titles so make sure you do your research before selecting any particular company.

These professionals should provide guidance throughout this last stage of the sales process while also ensuring the accuracy and validity of all legal documentation required for completion. Once all papers are signed and sealed, the transaction is officially finalized and you may receive payment according to mutually agreed upon terms between buyer and seller.

a homeowner's hands giving keys to buyer signing real estate documents

Documents needed to sell a house by owner

The most common document is a sales contract, which outlines all of the details of the sale, such as the purchase price, closing date, buyer and seller responsibilities, and more.

It’s also important to have a disclosure statement outlining any known defects in the property or other relevant information that may affect the buyer’s decision. Additionally, this statement should also include information about any liens or judgments against the property.

When it comes time to close on the house, there will also be additional forms that need to be filled out by both parties, such as paperwork with title companies or attorneys. Most states require that a deed transfer form is completed in order for ownership of the property to legally change hands.

It’s highly recommended that both sides seek professional help if either party isn’t familiar with all of these documents or doesn’t understand their purpose.

With all of these documents in place and properly signed off on by both parties involved, your title company or real estate attorney can take care of them correctly according to state law regulations. This will make sure your home sale goes as smoothly as possible without any unexpected issues popping up along the way.

How long does it take to sell a house by myself?

Generally speaking, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months before your house is sold. The timeline for selling a house by the owner depends on several factors, including market conditions and the amount of work needed to make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

In fast-paced markets, homes may sell in less than two weeks, while in slower markets it may take up to six months. It’s also possible that there are no interested buyers in your area at all, meaning you’ll need to wait until demand increases.

Do research on comparable properties in your area and talk with a real estate professional about what should be done to make the home more appealing. This can help give you an idea of what kind of timeline you’re looking at – from listing the property all the way through closing costs and handing over the keys.

Are there tax considerations when selling a house on your own?

You may need to pay capital gains taxes on any profit you make from the sale, or if you’re converting the home into a rental property, you may be responsible for paying income tax on the rental income. Depending on your situation, there may also be other taxes you need to consider.

Tax laws can vary from state to state, so it’s important to research and understand what taxes you may need to pay when selling your house. If you have any questions about taxes or other financial aspects of the transaction, it’s best to consult with a qualified tax professional who can provide advice tailored to your specific situation.

It’s also a good idea to keep accurate records of all documents related to the sale of your home, including any contracts and financial statements. This will help ensure that all applicable taxes are paid and that everything is handled in compliance with local law. Keeping detailed records will also make it easier when filing your annual tax return.


Selling your home is not only about finding the right buyer – it’s also about making sure you get the most out of the sale. Make sure you take all necessary steps to ensure success; from pricing competitively to presenting the home properly, each step is important when selling a house by owner.

By taking ownership over every aspect of the sales process from start to finish, you’re setting yourself up for success and giving yourself peace of mind knowing that you made sound decisions along the way.

At the end of the day, selling your home will come down to hard work and dedication toward achieving success. Doing research ahead of time and following these steps carefully will put you one step closer to completing an effective sale.

If you’re considering selling your home and need a fast and reliable solution, HomeBeacon can help sell your house for cash as an option. Our team of experts will work with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth and stress-free process. Contact us today to find out how we can make your home-selling experience a positive one.

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