Pros and cons | Florida realtor commissions | What’s required | Preparing | Marketing | Paperwork | Costs | Alternatives | Should you sell FSBO? | FAQs
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Thinking of selling your house for sale by owner (FSBO) in Florida? You might consider selling FSBO if you’re looking to save money and want more control over the sale. But you might not realize how much time and effort it takes to successfully sell a house yourself.
Selling FSBO can be doable for experienced sellers with a solid knowledge of their local area. But for most, it’s often too big of a commitment.
Plus, if you’re not careful with how you price and negotiate your home sale, you can end up leaving more money on the table than what you saved in commission fees.
If you want to save on realtor fees but you think selling FSBO in Florida is too much work, we recommend going with a low commission real estate agent. That’s why we’ve partnered with Clever Real Estate.
Clever is a nationwide low commission brokerage that can pair you with top-performing and pre-vetted Florida agents who can help sell your house for 1.5% or $3,000. You’ll save thousands on realtor commission fees without any of the DIY!
💡 Connect with a Clever agent and find out how much you can save on your Florida home sale!💡
Pros and Cons of Selling For Sale By Owner in Florida
Selling FSBO can be a lot of work. Be sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of listing your Florida home for sale by owner before taking the plunge.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
How Real Estate Agent Commissions Work in Florida
Most sellers consider selling for sale by owner in Florida to save money.. So how much do real estate agents in Florida actually make on a home sale?
According to our partners at Clever’s Data Center, the average total real estate agent commission in Florida is 5.40%. According to the Florida Realtors trade association, the median home sale price in Florida is $410,000. On a typical home sale with a buyer’s and seller’s agent, commission fees on a $410,000 house in Florida would be $22,140. Keep in mind that some agents will charge 3%.
It sounds like a lot of money, but the payout covers agent services, including putting together a comparative market analysis to set a price for your home, listing it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), negotiating with buyers and ushering the home sale through to closing.
|💡 What is the MLS?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. It’s a localized database that real estate professionals use and maintain to collect and organize information about properties for sale.
Hundreds of MLSes from around the country feed into big sites like realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, and Zillow. Listing on your local MLS is the best way to get your house on those sites.
Only real estate agents and brokers can post on the MLS.
How Realtor Commission is Split
The listing agent and the buyer’s agent share the commission, whether you’re selling land, a mobile home or stick-built property.
But here’s the kicker: if you sell without a listing agent, you must still pay the buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent helps clients find the right property and negotiate on their behalf. Expect to pay 2.5-3% for the buyer’s agent commission, or half of the total commission. In Florida, you’re looking at an average of 2.7% for the buyer’s agent fee.
For a $410,100 sale price, the buyer’s agent would get $11,070 — and that eats into your profits. According to the National Association of Realtors, the vast majority of buyers — 87% — use a real estate agent or broker to purchase a home, so you can count on paying that fee.
» MORE: How Florida Realtor Commissions Compare to National Averages
What it Takes to Sell Your House Without a Realtor in Florida
Without an agent, all the work of selling your home falls on your shoulders. You’ll need to find the time and resources to:
- Accurately set the listing price
- Improving curb appeal
- Prepare your house to sell
- List your home for sale
- Market your house to attract buyers
- Hold showings
- Accept, negotiate, or reject offers
- Handle boatloads of paperwork
But there’s a catch: you can’t get your house on MLS without a realtor. Without the MLS, you can’t get your listing in front of as many buyers. Getting your home seen is a sure-fire way to increase the number of offers you get, which can translate into higher profits.
Individuals can’t get on the MLS, but you can skirt the rules by using a flat fee MLS service. However, you’re on your own when it comes to advertising your home sale and attracting buyers outside of the MLS portal.
» MORE: Are Flat Fee MLS Companies Legit? Learn the Risks, Costs, and Alternatives
Preparing Your House to Sell in Florida
Preparation is key to showing your home in its best light. Here’s how to get your house ready to sell:
- Declutter each room and remove personal items
- Schedule professional photos
- Stage a home office (many adults are working from home)
- Set a competitive price based on recent sales of similar homes in your area
Setting a competitive listing price is the most important factor in making a successful FSBO sale. Realtors determine a price by running a comparative market analysis (CMA, or “comps”) of similar nearby homes and comparing features.
Houses that are priced too high will languish on the market and buyers will eventually start to think something is wrong with them. Houses that are priced too low will sell fast because the buyer is getting a great deal.
» MORE: 5 Steps to Getting Your House Priced Right
Listing Your Home For Sale By Owner in Florida
A good description can attract buyers and get your home on their “must see” list. For your listing, you’ll want to:
- Highlight outdoor living spaces and mention energy-efficient features
- Sell the location (is the home near parks, trails, quiet streets or public transportation?)
- Post on the MLS and popular FSBO websites
» MORE: How to Write a Compelling Listing Description
Marketing Your FSBO House in Florida
Market your Florida home to get your property in front of more buyers. Here are a few ideas:
- Share the property listing on social media
- Hang up physical signs around town
- Buy print ads in local papers
- Schedule open houses
- Use a flat fee MLS company to get on the MLS
Getting on the MLS is the best way to market a FSBO home. Flat fee MLS companies will list your house on the local MLS for an upfront cost — typically $100-$400 in Florida — but won’t help you sell your house beyond that.
You’ll be given a listing broker and will communicate with them to make any changes to your listing. Depending on the changes and the service, some companies will charge you for alterations.
Florida For Sale By Owner Paperwork and Legal Documents
FSBO has many risks, but you really want to watch out for legal hurdles. Selling a house without the help of a real estate agent requires a lot of paperwork and documents.
In Florida, you’re required to have these documents:
- Two forms of ID
- Copy of purchase agreement with legal description of the property and any addendums
- Bill of sale
- Affidavit of title
- Closing statement
- Lead paint disclosure for homes built before 1978
- Seller’s disclosure forms, which may include disclosures related to radon gas, erosion potential, past flooding events and presence of termites and wood-destroying organisms
Other documents that may be required include
- Appraisal reports
- Flood zone statements for federally-backed mortgages
- Residential radon measurement report
- Home inspection results and response
- Proof of repairs
- HOA forms, guidelines and transfer fees
- Loan payoff information
- Home warranty information
» MORE: 20+ Examples of Paperwork You Need When Selling a House Without a Realtor
Cost of Selling For Sale By Owner in Florida
If you don’t want to work with a realtor you must cover all the costs to list and market your home yourself. You’ll pay out of pocket for appraisals, photography, marketing, the MLS listing and real estate attorney fees.
Compared to a traditional real estate agent sale, FSBO can save you around $11,070 based on the average Florida home value of $410,000 and a typical Florida seller’s agent fee of 2.7%.
Whether you sell FSBO or not, you’ll have to pay the buyer’s agent commission. However, you can pay a much lower seller’s agent commission if you go with a low-commission agent, like the ones Clever can connect you to. With our partners at Clever, you’ll only pay a 1.5% listing fee for a home worth $410,000 and save $5,500 compared to a traditional Florida home sale.
Keep in mind FSBO homes sell anywhere from 6% to 18% less than agented homes, which will cancel out any savings. Most FSBO sellers already have a buyer lined up so they never had to play the market.
FSBO Florida Alternatives
Selling your house or land for sale in Florida by owner sounds like a good idea. You do a little work in exchange for big savings. But it rarely works out that way.
FSBO requires an incredible investment of your time (and some cash), with no guarantee your house will sell.
Use a Low Commission Real Estate Company
Low commission real estate brokers (sometimes called discount brokerages) offer discounted listing fees by pre-negotiating rates with agents.
Most low commission companies offer a 1-2% listing fee or a minimum listing fee if the house value falls below a certain threshold. For example, Ideal Agent offers a 2% listing fee or $3,000 for homes under $150,000, while our partners at Clever Real Estate offer a 1.5% listing fee or $3,000 for homes below $350,000.
💰 Connect with a Clever agent and find out how much you can save today!
Sell Your House for Cash
If your house needs a lot of work or is distressed and you need to make a quick home sale, selling your home to a cash investor is an option. Cash investors can be those “We Buy Houses” companies or individual investors who are looking to flip properties in your neighborhood.
Be aware that cash investors will pay only a fraction of the cost of your home’s resale value. Investors typically pay no more than 70% of a home’s after repair value, minus repair costs.
For example, if a home is valued at $410,000 but requires $25,000 worth of repairs, an investor will only pay $262,000 or less ($410,000 x 0.70 – $25,000 = $262,000).
Sell to an iBuyer
IBuyers are tech-oriented investment companies that purchase homes for slightly below fair market value, make some repairs, and flip them. While you won’t get maximum value for your home, iBuyers can make cash offers and close lightning fast. Offerpad, for example, can close in 15 days on some sales.
Eligible homes vary by iBuyer and where they operate. Offerpad is available in every major market in Florida, while the iBuyer OpenDoor is available in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando.
Want to see how an iBuyer or cash buyer stacks up to listing on the open market in your area? Connect with our friends at Clever Real Estate to weigh your options with a fully licensed real estate expert!
Purchase a Flat Fee MLS Listing
If you choose to do a for sale by owner Florida, you can get more exposure by including your house on the MLS. Only agents can list on the MLS, but you can pay a flat fee MLS company to act as your agent and list your house.
The downside is they’re only your agent on paper. You’re still on your own to find a competitive pricing strategy, market your house and handle the legal documents to complete the sale. Some flat fee MLS companies offer additional services, like lockboxes and yard signs, at an additional fee. Other than that, you’re on your own.
» MORE: What You Need to Know About Flat Fee MLS Companies
Is Selling FSBO in Florida right for you?
Selling your home is a big decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. Before selling your house by owner in Florida, understand the pros and cons. FSBO takes a lot of time as you prepare and market your property. You must also have the skills to negotiate with buyers and be familiar with the disclosures and legal paperwork required to sell a house.
Selling a home yourself is a big decision that takes a lot of time and effort. You’ll need to wear a lot of hats and know how to price your home accurately so as not to leave any money on the table. However, selling a home FSBO will save you money, if you do everything right — about $10,000 in commission fees, minus other FSBO costs.
But compared to the 1% seller’s agent fee that Clever offers for most home sales, selling FSBO is less than $3,000 cheaper. Plus you’re going to have to do everything yourself when selling FSBO — it’s a big task and if you have other obligations, like a full time job, it’s a real challenge. And if you don’t price your home correctly, you’ll end up losing money.
If you want to sell your house but don’t want the DIY stress of selling FSBO, try Clever. They’ve pre-vetted a slew of top-performing Florida agents from companies like RE/MAX, Berkshire Hathaway, and Coldwell Banker waiting to sell your house for just a 1.5% listing fee (or $3,000 for homes below $350,000).
Best of all, Clever is 100% free to use, so if they can’t match you with an agent you love, you can go right back to selling FSBO. Clever also offers a free online home value estimator — type in your ZIP code below to see how much your home is worth and connect to a Clever agent who can save you thousands!
💰 How Much Is Your Home Worth?
Before listing your home, find out how it compares to others in your local market.
FAQs About Selling A House Yourself in Florida
How do you sell a house yourself in Florida?
You’ll need to do all the work that a realtor normally would, which includes: setting the listing price, improving curb appeal, marketing your home, holding showings and negotiating offers. Read more about what it takes to sell a house yourself in Florida.
Is selling a house yourself in Florida worth it?
If you have lots of time and real estate knowledge, selling FSBO in Florida can save you a good chunk of cash. However, most home sellers find that the time and effort it takes to successfully sell FSBO isn’t worth it. Learn more about how much you can save selling FSBO in Florida and if it’s the right choice for you.
What kind of FSBO paperwork do I need to sell my house in Florida?
Each home sale is different, but some paperwork is required. For example, two forms of ID, state disclosures, a closing statement, bill of sale and other disclosure forms are required. Learn more about the paperwork you need when selling FSBO in Florida.