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  • Writer's pictureMark Buskuhl

The Comprehensive Guide to Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


Selling your house without a realtor can be a rewarding endeavor, allowing you to save on commissions and have more control over the process. However, it also means taking on the responsibility of handling all the paperwork yourself.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential paperwork for selling a house without a realtor. Whether you're a first-time seller or looking for a refresher, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and insights you need to navigate the paperwork smoothly.

Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor | Ninebird Properties
Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

Understanding the Basics

What is Selling a House Without a Realtor?

Selling a house without a realtor, often referred to as "for sale by owner" or FSBO, means that you, the homeowner, take on the role of the real estate professionals. You will be responsible for pricing, marketing, negotiating, and handling all the paperwork related to the sale.

Is Selling Without a Realtor Right for You?

Before diving into the paperwork, it's crucial to determine if selling without a realtor is the right choice for your specific situation. Consider factors like your knowledge of the real estate market, available time, and comfort level with negotiation and paperwork.

The Paperwork Essentials

1. Property Disclosure Form

One of the first documents you'll need is a property disclosure form. This form outlines any known issues or defects with your property. Being honest and transparent in this disclosure is essential to avoid legal complications down the road.

2. Sales Agreement

The sales agreement, also known as the purchase agreement or contract, is the cornerstone of the transaction. It includes details like the sale price, earnest money deposit, closing date, and any contingencies. It's crucial to have a clear and comprehensive sales agreement to protect both parties' interests.

3. Title and Deed

You'll need to provide the buyer with a clear title to the property. This involves obtaining a title search to ensure there are no liens or encumbrances. Once the sale is complete, you'll transfer the property deed to the new owner.

4. Property Appraisal

While not a document you create, the buyer may request a property appraisal. An appraiser will assess the property's value to ensure it aligns with the sale price.

5. Home Inspection Report

In many real estate transactions, the buyer will hire a home inspector to assess the property's condition. The inspection report can influence negotiations, so be prepared to address any issues it raises.

6. Closing Statement

The closing statement, also known as the settlement statement or HUD-1, provides a detailed breakdown of the financial aspects of the transaction. It includes all costs and credits related to the sale, such as closing costs and prorated property taxes.

The Role of Legal Professionals

Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney?

While selling without a realtor is a DIY approach, it's wise to consider consulting a real estate attorney, especially during the paperwork phase. An attorney can ensure that all documents are legally sound and that you're protected throughout the process.


Q1: Can I sell my house without a realtor in any state?

Yes, you can sell your house without a realtor in any state. However, real estate laws and regulations may vary, so it's essential to research your specific state's requirements.

Q2: How do I determine the right asking price for my property?

To determine the right asking price, research comparable properties in your area, consider your property's condition and unique features, and consult with a real estate appraiser if needed.

Q3: What is earnest money, and how much should I ask for?

Earnest money is a deposit made by the buyer to demonstrate their commitment to the purchase. The amount can vary but is typically around 1-2% of the sale price.

Q4: Do I need a real estate agent to handle negotiations?

No, you can negotiate directly with the buyer or their agent if they have one. Effective negotiation skills can help you secure a favorable deal.

Q5: Are there any tax implications when selling without a realtor?

There may be tax implications when selling your home, such as capital gains tax. Consult with a tax professional to understand your specific situation.

Q6: How long does it take to sell a house without a realtor?

The timeline for selling without a realtor can vary, but on average, it may take a bit longer than with professional representation. Be patient and prepared for the process to take several weeks to a few months.


Selling a house without a realtor can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with responsibilities, including handling the paperwork. By understanding the essential documents and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can navigate the process successfully. Remember to prioritize transparency and open communication with the buyer to ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.

If you're considering selling your house without a realtor, take the time to educate yourself about the paperwork involved, consult with experts when necessary, and approach the process with confidence. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can achieve a successful sale on your terms.


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