Selling Your Home By Owner: What You Should Know

So, you’ve decided to sell your home, and you’re hoping to save some money and sell it on your own! Here are a few things you should know before venturing down the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) road:

To begin the sale of your home, you will need to complete a Real Estate Condition Report, which discloses to prospective buyers your knowledge of any problems associated with your home (leaky roof, basement tends to flood, etc.).

  • In addition, for homes built prior to 1978, an Addendum regarding the disclosure and acknowledgment of any lead-based paint in the home must also be filled out.
  • These forms must be completed and provided to all prospective purchasers, and can be requested from your real estate attorney.

Once you receive a written offer from a buyer, it is advisable to have your attorney review the offer to ensure that you are protected.

  • Any verbal understandings go out the window once you have a signed and accepted offer, so the written agreement is very important!
  • Also, if your buyer is represented by a real estate agent, keep in mind that realtor commissions are typically paid by the seller, even if the realtor is working with the buyer.

Once you have an accepted offer, you will want to keep a close eye on deadlines in the offer (i.e. title commitment, inspections, repairs, proof of loan commitment, etc.). A missed deadline can make the offer null and void under certain circumstances, so keep a careful watch!

Once it is time to close, the title company that prepared the title commitment will often hold the closing at their office.

  • Your attorney should prepare and/or review all of the closing documents prior to closing to ensure everything is in order.
  • This includes items such as:
    • Closing statements
    • Municipal letters that describe any outstanding taxes and/or special assessments
    • Lien waivers from any contractors who worked on your home within the prior six months

Don’t forget to throw an apple pie in the oven before your open house! For more information about FSBO sales, please visit our real estate practice area page.


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Melissa R. DeVantier

Estate Planning and Business & Corporate Law Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Melissa assists individuals and families with their estate and business planning needs. She also advises business owners and stakeholders on a range of topics, including LLC formation, mergers, real estate, contracts, and succession planning.