How to sell a house without a real estate agent: FSBO

Not everyone has the luxury of marketing their stay in the open market and patiently waiting months to complete the deal. The usual process when publishing your property on the open market will be:

  • Question / Interview many Realtors

  • Allow a list of someone to list your home for an exact time frame (usually a 6 month list)

  • Handle a number of open houses

  • Hold out for offers and then negotiate with potential buyers

  • Create home checks, reports, and other information to fill out

  • Sign escrow closing contracts.

For anyone lucky enough, the process can take about six to eight weeks. If an offer falls through, or maybe your home just doesn’t get many offers, you could end up waiting for six months or even more. Alternatively, instead of all the downside of having to pay five percent or more on commission and settlement costs, let’s take a look at how to sell a house without a real estate agent.

For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

A basic strategy to market your property without a real estate agent is “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO Cards. The common way in which individuals try to market their property in this way is to create a few signs in the lawn or perhaps in your newspapers in the neighborhood and then wait for individuals to sneak in. Instead of this inadequate and often unsuccessful strategy, let’s take a quick look at various other methods of marketing your house to get it sold quickly. Everything starts with better advertising. Instead of making a minimum amount, you have to do a lot to make the house stand apart in a crowded real estate market. A few things we would recommend are:

  • Tell all your neighboring neighbors that you are selling your home and ask if they know of anyone watching. (Extra: You can easily offer referral fees to force your neighbors)

  • 1st opinion can be anything, so fasten the front of your property. It is commonly called “curb appeal”. If it doesn’t look good when potential buyers drive around it, it’s likely that they probably don’t want to enter the home.

  • Getting premium quality photos can make a whole world of difference; rent or just take them yourself, but make sure your property is beautifully staged. Meaning absolutely no wide open toilet seats, no trash, beds made, chairs pushed in, etc.

  • Take sandwich board signs along with balloons or some other eye-catcher advertising your property at active crossroads in your community.

After some preparation, a few dollars plus some advertising for your FSBO house has a significantly better chance of selling.


Craigslist happens to be a crucial resource for anyone who wants to sell their house without using a real estate agent. Make sure you use descriptions of your whereabouts to make it sound as neat as possible. Discuss the area – are there parks, community facilities, schools, places of worship or other facilities nearby? What about your specific community / subdivision – are roads lined, are there hills, any kind of view? Also, use these high quality photos as a way to get buyers. A decision to see your home or not will be made entirely on your descriptions, combined with photographs of your home.

Open houses

Open houses are a great way to attract potential buyers (just look at any real estate agent). You need to help make potential buyers feel at home as they possibly can. You definitely need to clear up some clutter, garbage or toys and games. A few other ideas might be to get the fireplace running when it’s cold outside, make a lot of cookies to give the home a comfortable aroma, set the dinner table and possibly turn the game around if the local sports team is on. The secret is that people look at themselves living there, and therefore consider getting rid of any kind of personal knick knacks and family photos. Be sure to promote your open house early and often with the use of signs near your neighborhood, Craigslist, sharing with your neighbors and anything else that gets people into your home. One final suggestion: Acquire booties that can go over people’s boots and shoes so they don’t track dirt and debris all the way through your immaculately cleaned property!


The last, but certainly not the last, place to look is at investors. If you have to sell your house quickly, you have some problem areas that need to be addressed, or you may not want to take care of any of the above issues and give a nearby investor a phone call. These folks are dedicated to acquiring buildings without using a real estate agent.