Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in Maryland averages 2.6% of the sale price. Considering a typical Maryland house is worth about $389,000, that’s a savings of $9,937.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. You’ll be responsible for every step of the selling process, which can take up a lot of your time and energy.
In the end, selling a house without a real estate agent isn’t worth it for most homeowners in Maryland. Many sellers don’t even realize that there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance at reduced prices.
If you’re considering selling a house without a realtor in Maryland, read on to find out everything you need to know to do it successfully.
Key Takeaways of FSBO Sales
- Selling without a real estate agent means avoiding a listing commission (2.6% on average in Maryland). But in exchange for those savings, you’ll have to do everything from advertising your home to completing legal paperwork to negotiating the final deal.
- In most cases, you’ll still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission. 2.5% is typical in Maryland.
- Selling without an agent is best for experienced sellers or people selling to family or friends.
- For most sellers, there are better cost-saving options that will net you more money and provide professional support.
Should I sell my house without a realtor?
Not sure if FSBO is right for you? Use the checklists below to find out if selling your Maryland home without a realtor is the best option for your situation.
Selling without an agent might be right for you if…
You want to save on commission.
When you sell without a realtor, you won’t pay a listing agent commission. In Maryland, that puts 2.6% of your final sale price back in your pocket. However, you will still need to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission (2.5% is typical in Maryland).
You already have a buyer.
If you’ve already lined up a deal with a friend or family member, there’s no need to pay an agent to list your home on the MLS, host open houses, or negotiate on your behalf.
You have lots of time to spare.
Selling a house is a lot of work! You’ll need time to complete all the tasks all the tasks an agent would typically take care of, such as preparing the home for sale, marketing the property, reviewing paperwork, and much more.
You’re in a hot seller’s market.
If you’re in a high-demand area with low inventory, buyers are more likely to come to you. With a flat fee MLS package or a “For Sale” in your yard, it can be easy to find a buyer without an agent’s help.
Here’s how fast and for how much homes in Maryland are currently selling for so you see how your local market compares.
|Avg. days on market||Avg. listing price|
Selling without a realtor might not be right for you if…
You’re short on time.
If you’re on a tight deadline, hiring an agent might be your best option. Unless you already have a buyer lined up, you’ll have to squeeze home selling tasks into your nights and weekends — or make sacrifices elsewhere in your schedule.
You’ve never sold a home in Maryland.
Without an agent, you won’t have any professional guidance about increasing your property’s curb appeal, pricing your home, or choosing the best offer.
We can’t say this enough: If you’ve never been through a Maryland home sale or are facing a complicated transaction, do not try it without a real estate agent.
Making one mistake could cost you tens of thousands of dollars or create some serious legal headaches for you.
You want to sell for more money.
There are conflicting studies about whether FSBO properties sell for less compared to those sold by agents.
On the one hand, FSBO sellers are more likely to sell to friends or family and offer them a good deal on the home. This lowers the average price of homes sold without a realtor.
However, if a FSBO seller is inexperienced with pricing a home, they can lose money by pricing too low or scare away buyers by pricing too high.
There are other ways to save on commissions if selling your house without a realtor sounds too risky or stressful.
Our friends at Clever Real Estate can match you with a top local agent who can provide high-quality service at a fraction of the cost — just $3,000 or 1% for homes over $350,000.
What does a realtor do in Maryland?
Experienced realtors in Maryland can take a lot of pressure off of first-time sellers. A great agent can connect you with local pros to prepare your house for showings, list your property on the MLS, negotiate with buyers, and take care of all the paperwork.
Even in hot real estate markets, you’ll need some basic knowledge to successfully sell a home without an agent. If you don’t hire an agent, you’ll be responsible for handling every aspect of the selling process on your own.
Prices homes competitively
Agents will do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to accurately price your home. They look at the popularity of your housing market, how much similar properties are selling for, new upgrades you’ve added to the home, and other variable factors.
To get an idea of how much home values can vary, here’s a comparison of different sized homes value in Maryland.
|Home size||Home value in Maryland|
If you decide to sell FSBO, we strongly recommend getting an appraisal. A state-certified appraiser can help you accurately price your home after assessing its condition and estimated market value.
Pricing your house is one of the most important aspects of selling your property, so it’s worth it to get an objective, professional appraisal.
Connects you with local pros
Experienced agents have networks of the best professionals in the area. They can connect you with handymen, stagers, photographers, and other service providers so you don’t have to track down reliable pros on your own.
Lists your home
Working with an agent will get your property listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) database. This site can only be accessed by real estate agents, who use it to find homes for their clients. Without a realtor, you’ll either need to pay a flat fee MLS company to list your property on the database or forgo this marketing opportunity altogether.
Markets and negotiates
An agent can market your home, schedule open houses, reach out to potential buyers, and follow up with people who toured your home.
Agents will also take care of negotiating with prospective buyers. Homeowners can often struggle to think of their homes objectively, so negotiating can be an intimidating and frustrating process for FSBO sellers.
Agents can take care of all the paperwork required to complete the real estate transaction, which can be a huge relief for sellers. It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the sheer number of documents you’ll need to finalize the transaction.
Do I need a real estate attorney in Maryland?
No, the state of Maryland doesn’t require sellers to hire a real estate attorney. However, seeking legal advice is a good idea if you have any questions about your responsibilities as a seller, or if you want someone to review any documents for the sale. Selling property can get complicated, but a great attorney can help you avoid any legal trouble.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Maryland
Below, you’ll find a list of prices for common services you might want to consider if you decide to sell without a realtor. However, know that if your home is in need of repairs or is in a buyer’s market, you might need to spend a lot more to prep and market your property.
Common costs for FSBO sellers
|Appraisal||$295 to $380||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$164||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$891||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$210 to $283 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$250 to $1,000||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.5% of sale price||To compensate the agent that represents the buyer (it’s customary for the seller to pay)|
On average, it costs 7.5% of the home price to sell by owner and about 10% of the home price to sell with a real estate agent. However, the amount you’ll actually save will depend on repairs you need to make, concessions, and other expenses.
Maryland regulations FSBO sellers should know
Every state in the U.S. has unique regulations for real estate sellers. In Maryland, specific rules can also vary county by county. For example, Baltimore County and Montgomery County have slightly different regulations for temporary real estate signs.
Whether you’re selling a waterfront home in Annapolis or a bungalow in Frederick, knowing and understanding the regulations for FSBO sellers is crucial. Below, you’ll find some statewide laws that you’ll need to know to have a successful sale, but make sure you check with your local county for additional information.
Maryland disclosure requirements
Sellers in Maryland have to complete the Residential Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement form. However, if your buyer agrees to buy your home as-is, you can forgo filling out the disclosure section and just have them sign the disclaimer to waive their rights to more information about the home’s condition.
In the disclosure part of the form, you must include details about:
- The condition of the water and sewer systems
- The plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems
- Any hazardous materials or pest infestations
- Any other material defects known to the seller
- Whether or not the property is in an HOA
- Whether the home is located in a flood zone or historic district
If the buyer agrees to buy your home as-is, the disclaimer explains that they’ll be liable for any issues found with the property after they take possession. You’ll still be required to tell buyers about all known issues that could be safety concerns, however.
Do I have to disclose my home’s history?
Maryland law doesn’t require sellers to inform buyers about past residents or events that occurred on the property. For example, sellers don’t have to disclose if the property was the scene of a crime, death, felony, or suicide.
If buyers ask about these issues, sellers can’t lie, but they can say that they’re unable to answer those questions.
FSBO marketing rules
FSBO sellers in Maryland are allowed to put “For Sale” signs in their yards. The state doesn’t require permits for “on-premise outdoor advertising signs,” such as signs advertising a home for sale or lease.
If you decide to put a sign outside your property, you’ll need to follow a few basic requirements. All signs must:
- Be placed within 100 feet of the home or business
- Not impact the public’s right of way
- Not encroach on state property
- Not use flashing lights
9 steps to sell a home in Maryland without a realtor
Selling your home without a realtor can be intimidating. Here, we’ve created a step-by-step guide for you to rely on and make the selling process less daunting.
How to get your home ready to sell
1. Make basic repairs
Simple repairs, such as fixing a squeaky door or repairing dents in the drywall, can greatly improve the aesthetic appeal of your house. Outdoors, a fresh coat of paint, and some basic landscaping work can boost curb appeal.
» LEARN: The 8 most important repairs to make before selling your home
2. Stage the rooms
You can hire a professional stager to get your home picture-perfect for showings, but this can be expensive. While prices vary from city to city, in Maryland it costs an average of $891 to stage a house.
3. Photograph the home
High-quality photos of your property can make a huge difference when attracting buyers. Prices can vary based on your location, but in Maryland you can expect to pay $164 on average for a session with a professional photographer.
✍ How to list your home for sale
4. Get an appraisal
Pricing your house can be difficult without an agent’s guidance. Getting a professional appraisal done can make it easier to estimate your home’s fair market value based on its condition, location, and other factors. In Maryland, an appraisal costs $295 to $380.
5. Advertise your home
There are all kinds of websites that allow home listings for free or for a low cost. Although sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can get more eyes on your property, buying a flat fee MLS package will probably be your best option.
In Maryland, this will cost you $250 to $1,000, but without a realtor, it’s the only way to get your property listed on the MLS — which is how most buyers find homes.
How to show your home
6. Get organized
As you start planning for open houses and collecting information from interested buyers, stay organized by using a digital calendar. This method makes it easier to schedule showings, keep track of visitors, and take notes about people who seemed particularly interested in buying your home.
When you schedule tours with individual buyers, make sure they have a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. Pre-approved buyers know they’re qualified to purchase a house, so they’re more likely to make an offer.
7. Don’t hover
During showings, try to avoid following visitors from room to room. This can come off as overbearing and pushy, which might scare off interested buyers. Instead, remain nearby in a common area, such as the kitchen, so visitors can easily find you if they have questions.
How to accept an offer and close
8. Know your priorities
Consider more than the price as you review offers from buyers. To make the best decision, you need to keep your own needs and preferred closing date in mind.
For example, if a buyer is willing to waive certain contingencies, that could save you money on expensive home repairs.
9. Use a title and/or escrow company
Conducting your closing at a title or escrow company is the best way to ensure that your FSBO sale goes smoothly. These third-party agencies can guide you and the buyer through the paperwork, collect the required fees, and handle the title transfer.
Alternatives to selling without a realtor in Maryland
Most sellers come to realize that trying to sell without an agent isn’t worth the hassle. If you think you’ll need some help selling your house, here are a few other low-cost options to consider.
Maryland flat fee MLS companies
If you’re confident about selling your home on your own, you might benefit from using a flat fee MLS company to increase the visibility of your property.
A few of the best flat fee MLS agencies in Maryland include Cottage Street Realty, DNK Real Estate, and Mr. Lister Realty. The cost of each package ranges from $299 to $999, depending on how many services you need.
|Cottage Street Realty||DNK Real Estate||Mr. Lister Realty|
|Number of Photos||Max Allowed||6-25||20-30|
|MLS Listing||6 months to Until Sold||6 months||12 months|
💰 Service is an additional cost or not included in a the basic package
Discount brokers are full-service real estate agents who are willing to work for a reduced commission rate. Sellers can save thousands while still receiving assistance from an expert local agent.
|Clever Real Estate||Houwzer||REX|
|Listing Fees||1% or $3,000||$5,000||2.5% ($9,000 min. fee)|
|Customer Rating||4.9 out of 5 ⭐||4.8 out of 5 ⭐||4.7 out of 5 ⭐|
|Locations||Nationwide||FL, MD, NJ, PA, VA, DC||AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MD, NV, NJ, OR, PA, TX, WA, DC|
For discount broker services, we highly recommend our friends at Clever! Clever pre-negotiates with top agents to offer you the lowest commission rates without compromising on service quality.