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Paperwork for Selling a House without a Realtor

Are you getting ready to list your home for sale?

Unless you have a lot of luck on your side, this can be a very long process. Therefore, most people choose to hire a professional real estate agent to help make the process go smoothly.

If you decide to take care of the sale yourself, you will have a lot of paperwork to deal with. So, it is essential to make sure that you obtain all the necessary documents and complete them correctly.

So, let’s take a closer look at the necessary paperwork for selling a house without a realtor.

For Sale By Owner

Commonly known as FSBO, this is the process of selling your home without a realtor. Although this can be stressful, it does give you the chance to learn a new skill.

Not to mention saving on agent fees!

A professional realtor, also known as a real estate agent, usually takes care of the work for you. They are available to guide you through the whole process and make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. However, choosing to do the work yourself can be rewarding, and it could be well worth exploring this option.

If you have several properties, you will have the opportunity to manage the entire process from start to finish, which could save you a lot of money over time.

For Sale By Owner

The FSBO Process

It’s important to make sure that you understand the entire process before you get started. You need to create a comprehensive plan of how you will tackle the task from start to finish. So, let’s go through the steps…

Determine a Price

The first step is working out how much your home is worth and how much to ask. You need to spend time researching similar listings to get an idea of market trends and selling prices. This will help you get the highest price possible without pricing yourself out of the market.

Prepare Your Home

Take the time to give your home a facelift and do any necessary minor repairs. This may include giving walls a fresh coat of paint and tidying up the yard. Place fresh flowers in vases throughout your home before taking photos that show the rooms in the best light.

List Your Home

Once your home looks its best, it’s time to list it for sale. Ideally, you need to choose a user-friendly multiple-listing service that receives a lot of traffic. So, take the time to choose a website that will give you the maximum amount of exposure possible.

Host an Open House

An open house gives you the chance to meet a lot of potential buyers and show them around. If you have done your job well, several people should turn up to the open house. Take the time to interact with everyone who attends and answer their questions. You may even find that you receive a few initial offers on the spot.

Host an Open House

Make the Sale

Once you have chosen the right buyer, you need to complete the sales process. You will need strong negotiation skills, attention to detail, and a lot of patience to get through this stage. It’s worth considering hiring a real estate attorney to help you with this part of the sale.

The Necessary Paperwork for Selling Your House

When you first look at all the documents you need to gather, you may feel a little overwhelmed. So, creating a list and working through it systematically can help make the task easier. Here are the documents you will need to list your home and sell it to an interested buyer.

Comparative Market Analysis

Of all the paperwork for selling a house without a realtor that you’ll need, this is probably one of the most important. This analysis is conducted to help you determine the current market value of your home. And it is essential to complete the analysis before listing your home for sale, as this will help you set an accurate price to enhance your chances of making a quick sale.

MLS Input Form

As mentioned, you will need to add your home to a multiple listing service. This is a website that shows all the properties for sale in a particular area. The input form is a data entry form that includes all the information about your home.

Seller Disclosures

This is a standard checklist that presents the condition of a property to the best of your knowledge. However, the information that you have to include in this document varies between different states. So, you need to read the requirements carefully and follow them to the letter when completing the document.

Lead Paint Disclosure Form

This is only required if your house was built before 1978 and features painted walls. Again, it is a good idea to check on the exact state requirements before completing this form.

Property or Deed Title

This document is used to prove that you are the legal owner of the property and should include the results of a legal title search along with a full description of the property. Essentially, the property or deed title will protect the buyer against potential ownership issues in the future.

Property Tax Bill

This document shows the amount of tax collected by your state and local government and used for local infrastructure and programs that you have paid on your property. Potential buyers may ask to see this document to work out how much tax they will have to pay.

Property Tax Bill

Mortgage Statement

This is a detailed statement that presents the details of your mortgage and any other outstanding loans. You need to obtain this document from your mortgage lender. This will show you how much money from the sale of your home will be used to pay off your mortgage.

Property Survey

This legal document shows the exact borderline of your property. This helps to protect you and future owners against future boundary disputes. Potential buyers are likely to request this document so that they know exactly what they are buying.

Counteroffer Form

When selling your home, you need to make sure you choose the best offer possible. There are several factors that determine this, including the closing time, financing, deposit, and inspection contingency. When you counter an offer, you can request any of these elements to be updated.

Request for Highest and Best Form

This document can be very useful if you have received multiple offers. It helps you to organize all the offers to work out which ones are best for you. Once you have added all the details, you only need to contact the people who provide the highest and best offers.

Optional Documents for Selling Your House

The more information you provide about your home, the more likely you are to make a quick sale. Potential buyers appreciate transparency and will want you to show evidence that backs up your claims. Here are some of the additional documents you can provide.

Certificate of Compliance

This document confirms that your property complies with particular local laws. Providing a certificate of compliance gives potential buyers extra peace of mind.

Original Sales Contract

You would have created a legally binding contract with the seller when you purchased your home. This contract will clearly outline the sale price and any disclosures that were made by the previous owner. The original sales contract can also be used to help prove that you are the owner of the property.

Original Sales Contract

Previous Utility Bills

Potential buyers may ask to see your various utility bills. This can include your electricity, heating, and gas bills. Although you are not obligated to provide this information, it can help you to make a faster sale.

Repair and Improvement Receipts

Taking the time to renovate your home can add a lot of money to its value. Plus, potential buyers are likely to want to see proof that your home has been maintained. This shows that your home has been properly cared for over the years.

Appliance Maintenance Service Records

Large and new appliances that are included in the sale should be maintained. You can include copies of the maintenance service records to demonstrate this and provide information on any items that are still under warranty can also add extra value.

Septic System Inspection Record

Providing this information is a requirement in some parts of the United States. The record should show when and how frequently your septic tank system has been inspected.

Water Quality Test

This is an additional requirement in certain municipalities. This test will show the properties that are contained in your household water. Providing this document is likely to give potential buyers extra peace of mind.

Inspection Report

It is worth hiring a professional home inspector before you list your property for sale. They will be able to uncover and list any factors that could affect the safety and value of the property. If you receive a glowing report, this can be a valuable tool for use during negotiations.

Response to the buyer’s repair request

A serious potential buyer may ask you to make certain repairs to fix issues that are discovered during the inspection. Once this has been done, you can fill out a repair request response form to clearly outline the repairs. You can obtain this form from your listing agent.

Appraisal Report

This report includes the full details and photographs of your home. It should also include an honest market value and the process used to determine the value. This document needs to be created and signed by a professional property appraiser.

Contingency Removal Form

This form lists all of the pre-conditions that relate to the sale of your property. This can include a home appraisal report and an inspection report. Failing to comply with the pre-conditions will delay the sale of your home.

Certificate of Occupancy

This legal document needs to be obtained from your local municipality. The certificate needs to clearly state that your home is suitable and ready for occupancy. It includes confirmation that your home meets local building and safety codes.

Homeowner’s Association Agreements

There may be rules in your neighborhood that dictate behavior in the area, such as regulations about pets, quiet hours, and parking. These are usually drawn up by the Homeowner’s Association, and all neighbors are expected to follow them. A potential buyer may ask to see these agreements before making an offer.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Your House Yourself

Before you decide to go for the For Sale By Owner route, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons. Once you get started, you will soon see that this process can be very challenging. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages that you should take into account.


The main advantage of selling a house without a realtor is that you have full control over the process. You get the chance to do everything on your own terms and won’t be pressed into making a sale. Here are some of the other benefits of choosing this option.

  • You keep 100% of the profits
  • You learn a lot about the real estate market
  • Interacting with potential buyers
  • Setting your own price
  • Expert knowledge about your home and neighborhood


Realtors are experts in the property market who have a good understanding of the requirements. They are expert negotiators who are able to establish a rapport with potential buyers. So, let’s take a look at some of the other potential drawbacks of taking on the task yourself.

  • Steep learning curve
  • Can be very time consuming
  • You might make less money
  • Limited reach without professional resources
  • You need strong negotiation skills

Now that you understand exactly what paperwork for selling a house without a realtor you need, do you…

Want to Learn More About the World of Estate Agents?

Perhaps you’re curious to know, Do Realtors Run Background Checks, or exactly How Much Do Real Estate Appraisers Make in 2023?

Or maybe, now that you have a better understanding of what real estate agents do to earn their commission, you could be considering the benefits of becoming one. If so, we have a lot more useful info to share with you!

So, why not check out our comprehensive guides to realty-related careers? You can start by taking a look at our complete Real Estate Agent Job Description or our Real Estate Assistant Job Description. Or examine the differences between a Leasing Consultant Job Description against a Leasing Agent Job Description, as well as an Assistant Property Manager Job Description versus a Property Manager Job Description.

We can also take you through How to Become a Real Estate Broker or, if you’re more the creative type, how about learning more about How To Become A Real Estate Photographer?

Buying real estate as a savvy investment?

If that’s got your attention, then don’t miss our in-depth guide to Is Real Estate Investment Trust a Good Career Path? Or maybe you’re considering your next move after selling your house. And you’re now wondering, Can I Afford a Million Dollar Home, and what profit will I need to make on the sale of my house to put down a suitable deposit?

Go ahead, and search our site with all of your questions!

Ok, back to…

Final Thoughts

If you are interested in real estate, selling your own home can be a rewarding venture. This allows you to set your own price and keep all the profits for yourself. And although you will need to learn a lot about the real estate market, this information can be very valuable.

One of the most important steps in the process of selling your house yourself is making sure that you obtain and complete all of the necessary paperwork correctly. There is a large number of documents associated with the process, and each of them is equally important. So, it is essential to be very focused and organized to ensure that all the documents are filed at the right time.

Happy house sales!

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