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How to List Real Estate for Sale by Owner

by Jann Seal, studioD

If you list and sell your home by yourself, commonly known as For Sale by Owner, the cost of selling it may be considerably less than selling it with the help of a real estate agent, who may charge up to 6 percent of the sales price as commission. If you're familiar with your local real estate market and have a marketing budget -- and the time to do the research and work involved in selling a house yourself -- you could save thousands of dollars.

Research homes that have sold in your neighborhood, or on your street, on online real estate websites. Compare sales for the past six months and base your price on homes comparable to yours in terms of age, size and condition. Don’t overvalue your home improvements.

Set your asking price by basing the number on homes you’ve researched. You also can hire a professional appraiser to valuate your home.

Consider using a listing service, where you pay a flat fee for placing your home on the local multiple listing service. Use these services to get the wide exposure your property needs to draw in buyers. Be prepared to negotiate a fee with a buyer’s agent if they bring a prospect to view your home.

Make fliers with photographs showing the highlights of your home and include all pertinent data, including square footage and price, plus contact information. Distribute the fliers in your community. Make a video of your home and share it with your online social networks.

Place a sale sign on your front lawn, if permitted, and hang a tube below it containing your fliers. You can buy a sale sign with a space for you to write your telephone number or website at a hardware store. Use a Quick Response code on the sign to link to online information about your house.

Take advantage of online media to advertise your house, such as online classified ad websites and your local newspaper’s online real estate section. Take out a classified ad in any publication that has a wide distribution in your area.


  • When pricing your home, you don't have to include foreclosures and short sales in your comparison prices as such homes may have sold under market value.

About the Author

Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images