How To Sell A House By Owner In Kentucky

In Kentucky, the average realtor commission rate is 5.00% to 6.00%. If you sell a house worth $188,500 — the median home value in Kentucky — that’s over $5,700, which is a huge chunk of your potential profits.

Selling without a real estate agent, known as listing For Sale By Owner (FSBO), is a viable option for experienced home sellers who are willing to put in the time and effort.

However, selling FSBO has risks. Research shows that FSBO homes typically sell for about 6% less than those listed with agents AND you’ll still usually be on the hook for offering a competitive buyer’s agent commission. FSBO homes also often take longer to sell and are more likely to fall out of contract after accepting an offer.

Since FSBO homes tend to sell for less money, you may pocket more profit by working with a low commission realtor who can sell your home for top dollar. For example, Clever pre-negotiates 1% listing fees (or $3,000 for homes under $350,000) with top-rated local agents. You’ll get the support of a full-service agent for a fraction of the typical price, so you can walk away from your sale with the most cash possible.

Or, keep reading to learn how to successfully sell your house without an agent. We’ll explain the ins and outs of any costs, Kentucky FSBO paperwork, pricing strategies, and more.

What FSBO sellers in Kentucky need to know

 

🔑 Key benefits of selling FSBO

  • Direct control over how your home is sold, including the pricing strategy, showing schedule, and negotiation process.
  • No listing commission, which could save you 2.90%, based on the Kentucky average.
  • FSBO sellers who find a buyer without an agent, save an additional 2.90%, the average buyer’s agent commission rate in Kentucky.

 

Real estate laws, processes, and trends vary greatly across the country. Understanding the details of your market and getting accurate information can make a FSBO sale complicated.

We’ll go into more details about what you need to do in kentucky, but here’s an overview of the state’s laws and regulations.

Kentucky FSBO overview

 

Real estate attorney required?
Yes
Required state disclosures?
  • Seller Disclosure of Property Condition
  • Flood Zone Statement
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
FSBO yard sign allowed?
Not if your home is on the MLS.
Competitive Buyer’s Agent Commission
2.50% to 3.00%

 

Additionally, you’ll need to know and understand all of your responsibilities as a FSBO seller, which include:

  • Preparing your home by making necessary repairs, cleaning, and staging your home.
  • Accurately and competitively pricing your home.
  • Marketing your home by writing a listing description, taking high-quality photos, posting the listing on different sites (free and/or paid), and promoting your home on social media, in print ads, and via word of mouth.
  • Vetting buyers to ensure they’re qualified, from a financial perspective. Accepting an offer from an unqualified buyer will cause your sale to fall through.
  • Negotiating the final price, contingencies, repair concessions, and other aspects of the purchase agreement.
  • Properly filling out all necessary paperwork for a real estate transaction in Kentucky.

Note: Kentucky is one of several states that require sellers to hire a real estate attorney. While they will assist you with the paperwork and legal aspects of the transaction, they will not help you find a buyer or negotiate a great deal.

 

How to price your home

Pricing strategy is often make-or-break for FSBO sellers. List your home for too little and you leave money on the table. Price it too high and the listing goes stale, forcing a price drop that could make buyers wary of the home.

To get an accurate idea of what your house is worth, look at comparable listings in your area.

For example, if you live in Louisville and think your house is worth about $230,000, search Zillow for active listings that are about $50,000 more and less than that. Analyze details about the houses and how they compare to yours. Ask yourself:

  • Is the school district better or worse?
  • Does it have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Has the house been renovated more recently than yours?
  • How do the neighborhoods and nearby amenities compare?

Answering these questions honestly will help you see if your price is in the right ballpark.

From there, be realistic about what pricing strategy will lead to higher offers. Here are some key pricing metrics that will help you decide the best listing price for your home and market:

State of the Kentucky real estate market

Median Home Value*

$188,463

Median Listing Price⁺

$239,000

Listing Price per sqft⁺

$134

% of Homes with Price Reduction⁺

9.3%

Pricing Advice: Homeowners are over estimating how much their houses will sell for. Even if buyer demand is high in your area, by setting your initial price a little lower, you’ll attract more buyers and hopefully receive multiple offers.
*Based on data from Zillow (February 2022)
⁺Based on data from Realtor.com (February 2022)

 

How to list your Kentucky home for sale by owner

 

Once you’ve decided on a price, it’s time to write a listing description that speaks to local buyers. Understanding their priorities will help you identify what features of your property to highlight in your listing and attract more interest.

Top buyer priorities in Kentucky

 

Kentucky Buyer Priorities
Advice for FSBO Sellers
1. Listing Price
Be honest about your list price. Look at recent sales data in your area on Zillow or other real estate sites to find an accurate price point for homes of comparable size and condition to yours. Many real estate companies will also conduct an analysis for little to no charge.
2. Architectural Style of Home
In your listing description, talk about any unique architectural features that could set your home apart. If your home was built by a known architect, has original flooring or doors, or has any historical value, be sure to mention it. Also, point out what takes your house to the next level. For example, older homes can be beautiful, but energy inefficient. Highlight upgrades you made like new windows that will save buyers hundreds in heating costs.
3. School Districts
Include appealing information about school districts in your listing description, such as its GreatSchools rating, graduation rates, parental reviews, or state accolades.
Based on a 2022 Clever survey

 

When it comes to advertising and posting your listing, you have several options as a FSBO seller. Each choice has its own pros and cons as well as costs:

  • For Sale By Owner yard sign: You can buy a FSBO sign from most hardware stores or online for $20-$50. Be sure to choose one that allows you to add your phone numbers so interested buyers can contact you for property information and showings.
  • Craigslist: Posting your home on Craigslist is free and simple. Just go to the Kentucky page, find your city, and create a “real estate — by owner” listing.
  • FSBO websites: There are multiple FSBO listing websites that allow you to post your home for free or a few hundred dollars. But each differs in how many photos you can include, how long the listing is live, and the changes you can make — do your research before choosing a for sale by owner site.
  • Flat-Fee MLS companies: Flat-fee MLS services will list your house on your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for significantly less than a realtor. However, they provide few additional services unless you opt for their most expensive packages, which often cost more than using a discount brokerage.

 

How buyers find homes

 

A quick note on using a flat-fee MLS listing in Kentucky: Once your home is listed on the MLS, you can no longer advertise your property with a sign that says “For Sale By Owner”. You’ll need to use a generic sign or get one from the brokerage that listed your house.

If you choose to use a flat-fee MLS company, you’ll have to offer a buyer’s agent commission. The MLS is how real estate agents find homes for their clients, and typically a buyer’s agent commission is included to incentivize these realtors to show the house to their clients.

How realtor commissions work in Kentucky

 

Traditionally, both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent are paid a commission by the homeowner. When sellers work with a realtor, they negotiate a commission as part of the listing agreement.

Based on the average commission rates in Kentucky, this typically ranges from 2.50% to 3.00% of the sale price.

In a typical sale, the seller also agrees to a commission rate for the realtor who brings the buyer to the table, which runs between 2.50% to 3.00%.

 

Average Range in Kentucky*
Average Amount⁺
Listing Commission
2.50% to 3.00%
$4,712 to $5,654
Buyer Agent’s Commission
2.50% to 3.00%
$4,712 to $5,654
*Based on the average commission rates from a 2022 Clever survey of 915 real estate agents
⁺Based on the median home value in Kentucky (Zillow.com, February 2022)

 

As a FSBO seller, you automatically avoid paying a listing commission. However, there is a solid argument for offering a buyer’s agent commission.

A buyer’s agent’s commission is an incentive for realtors to show your house to their clients. If you don’t offer a commission that is competitive compared to similar homes in your area, then your home could be shown less. Agents may prioritize taking buyers to homes with a commission.

The best way to avoid paying any commission fees is to sell to an unrepresented buyer. However, know that nearly 87% of buyers work with a realtor. If you decide not to offer a buyer’s agent commission, you may severely restrict your pool of buyers.

Further, if you list FSBO, you’ll likely receive multiple calls from agents offering to connect you with their buyers…if you pay them a competitive buyer’s agent commission (typically 2.90% in Kentucky).

How commission costs break down in Kentucky

When you sell your home, there are four common scenarios when it comes to commissions:

  • List FSBO and sell to a buyer without an agent: Pay no commission
  • List FSBO and sell to a represented buyer: Cover the buyer’s agent commission
  • List with a traditional agent and sell to a represented buyer: Cover both agents’ commissions
  • List with a discount agent and sell to a represented buyer: Cover the buyer’s agent commission, but save on the listing commission.

The table below shows how this could break down in Kentucky:

 

Represented Buyer
Unrepresented Buyer
Listing Agent
Clever Agent
Sale Price*
$177,155
$177,155
$188,463
$188,463
Listing Commission⁺
$0
$0
$5,465
$3,000
Buyer Commission⁺
$5,138
$0
$5,465
$5,465
Total Profit
$172,018
$177,155
$177,532
$179,998
*Based on the median home vallue in Kentucky (Zillow.com, February 2022) and that FSBO homes sell for 6% less (Collateral Analytics, 2017)
+Based on the average commission rates from a 2022 Clever survey of 915 real estate agents

Paperwork to sell a house by owner in Kentucky

 

Once you find a buyer for your house, it’s time to start the closing process. In a typical real estate transaction, your agent will make sure you fill out all the necessary documents and forms. As a FSBO seller, you’ll have to navigate the paperwork by yourself.

This process varies by state — here’s a quick breakdown of Kentucky’s requirements.

Required for all Kentucky real estate sales

 

2 Forms of ID
In most cases, a valid passport, driver’s license, or other form of Kentucky-issued ID.
Copy of Purchase Agreement and Any Addendums
Copy of the original, signed sales agreement as well as any agreed upon changes.
Closing Statement
A detailed list of all the costs associated with the sale and who pays them. This is often prepared by your escrow agent or title company.
Signed Deed
To legally transfer your property, you’ll need the deed that proves you’re the rightful owner. At closing, you’ll sign the deed over to the buyer.
Bill of Sale
This is basically a receipt that includes both your information and the buyer’s. It will also list the final price of the home and what was included in the sale.
Affidavit of Title
A notarized document that states you own the home, that there are no liens on the property, that you are not simultaneously selling the home to someone else, etc.

Possible additional documents

 

Loan Payoff Information
If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ll need documentation of exactly how much you still owe and any payoff fees. If you’ve already paid your mortgage in full, you’ll need documentation proving that.
HOA Forms and Guidelines
If your home is part of an HOA, you’ll need to give the buyer documentation on the HOA’s Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions, financial history, required fees, approval process, etc.
Survey Results or Survey Affidavits
A survey (or an affidavit verifying a previous survey) proves exactly where the property lines are.
Home Inspection Results
If you had a pre-sale inspection, you’ll want the results to compare to the buyer’s inspection. If having a buyer inspection was part of the sales agreement, you should receive a copy of the results before closing.
Proof of Repairs or Renovations
Documentation proving any major repairs or changes to the house help verify its value. These receipts also provide the buyer with information about who to contact if they discover issues with the repairs in the future.
Home Warranty Information
The home warranty service agreement will explain what is covered, for how long, and any costs associated with the policy.
Copies of Relevant Wills, Trusts, or Power of Attorney Letters
If you are selling an inherited property, you’ll need copies of all legal documents that passed ownership to you.
Relevant Affidavits (Name Affidavits, Non-Foreign Affidavit Under IRC 1445, etc.)
You may need additional affidavits like a name affidavit (which lists all of your or the buyer’s previous names) or an affidavit proving you are not a foreign citizen and therefore exempt from certain property sales taxes.
Closing Disclosure
If your buyer is taking out a mortgage and you agreed to certain seller’s concessions, you may need a copy of their closing disclosure to verify the lender approved your concessions.
Correction Statement and Agreement
In the event forms are lost or errors are discovered in the future, a correction statement and agreement requires you, the buyer, or their lender, to replace or fix those documents if need be.

Kentucky disclosure forms

 

Seller Disclosure of Property Condition
The seller disclosure statement details any known issues with your home and its major appliances and systems.
Flood Zone Statement
With some mortgages (like federally backed ones), your buyer’s lender might require information of the property’s flood risk.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Federal law requires that if your home was built before 1978, you disclose information about the dangers of lead-based paint to your buyer.

 

Many closing documents are legally binding agreements. Any errors can derail your sale and cost you thousands in fees or in costs to re-list your house.

To avoid an expensive mistake, consider working with a low commission realtor instead.

FSBO pros and cons

 

Before deciding to sell your home by owner, weigh all the pros and cons to make the right choice for your situation.

Pros

  • More control: As a FSBO seller, you can decide the price, listing timeframe, showing schedule, marketing strategy, negotiation tactics, and more.
  • No competition with other clients: Some agents take on more clients than they can handle, which could mean not getting the attention you need to meet your home-selling goals.
  • Lower commission: As a FSBO seller, you could sell your home without paying any commissions. Based on Kentucky’s average commission rates, that could leave 2.50% to 6.00% of your sale price in your pocket. Even if your buyer has an agent, you’ll still avoid paying 2.50% to 3.00% in listing commissions.

Cons

  • Less visibility with buyers: Unless you pay for a flat-fee MLS service, your home won’t be on the local MLS. Most agents use MLSes (not Zillow and Trulia) to find properties for their clients and most buyers work with a realtor. So if you’re not on the MLS, fewer buyers will see your listing.
  • Risks of inaccurate pricing: Many FSBO sellers find it difficult to be objective when pricing their house and list for too much. If you make this mistake, you won’t attract buyers and the listing will become stale. Eventually, you could be forced to accept a low offer or take your home off the market and relist with an agent.
  • Safety issues: As a FSBO seller, it will be your responsibility to show your home to prospective buyers. Not everyone is comfortable being alone with strangers in their homes since incidents such as theft or harassment can occur. Make sure to gauge your own comfort levels before deciding to sell FSBO.
  • More work and stress: Selling a home is a full-time job. Trying to cram all the steps and responsibilities into your schedule is a hassle many FSBO sellers aren’t prepared for.

 

Hardest parts of selling FSBO

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