Who Pays What Closing Costs When Selling House by Owner

Who Pays What Closing Costs When Selling House by Owner (FSBO)?

Home » fees house sellers should know

Seller closing costs average 8% to 10% of the sales price. But how much does the seller pay if they’re selling the house themselves?

Sorry to say the closing costs you pay at an agent-assisted sale are the same if you sell FSBO, with the exception of the real estate agent commission.

Who pays what at closing can depend on your location but more so on how negotiations with the buyer go. Real estate agents help sellers and buyers get the best deal, so each party pays a fair dollar amount. But if you have no representation, and the buyer does, you need to know what you’re doing, so you don’t end up paying a larger portion of the real estate closing costs.

What are the Seller Closing Costs?

What follows are the common closing costs a seller typically pays when finalizing a home sale.

Buyer’s Agent Commission (~3%)

What? But the whole reason for selling FSBO is to save money on commission fees. Sorry. The truth hurts, and we don’t like saying it, but the seller is responsible for the buyer’s agent fees.

If you had a seller agent, you’d pay a 6% commission that would then be split between the seller and buyer agents (3% each). Since you are selling FSBO and do not have representation, you’ll pay the seller’s agent 3% of the sale price.

So let’s say you sold your house for $200,000. You would end up paying the buyer’s agent $6,000, which is still better than if you had representation too, in which case you’d dole out $12,000.

When You Know the Buyer

57% of FSBO sellers know their buyers, so neither party needs representation. Instead, you’ll each hire a real estate attorney to handle the necessary paperwork at the closing table. This way, you can save the 3% and put that money back in your pocket.

When You Need to Find a Buyer

If you do not have a buyer lined up, and you don’t want a seller agent to help you find buyers, you can still benefit from paying a real estate agent a flat commission fee to list your property in the MLS. 

Potential buyers will find your house For Sale By Owner and have their buyer agent contact you to schedule tours. A good buyer agent will have already secured a pre-approval document from the buyers, indicating how much they can afford, which also serves your best interests.

When getting offers from regular home buyers, always ask for their mortgage pre-approval document.

Why do Buyer Agents Want a Fee?

Homeowners who sell by owner (FSBO) often have no concept of the responsibilities they are assuming and can make costly mistakes. You will have to do the common tasks of a listing agent, who knows where to list, how to list, how to boost your property appeal, perform market analysis, and market to find you qualifying buyers and filter out looky-loos.

On the other side, the buyer’s agent wants compensation for bringing their buyer(s) to you. They help arrange showings and qualify the buyer, and since there’s not a seller agent, they often shoulder more responsibility, getting parties to the finish line.

Think of the buyer’s agent commission as your way of saying “thank you” for their efforts. You can pay them the 3% (or whatever percentage is normal for your area), a flat fee, or reduced fee (if they accept).

Pre-Listing Appraisal ($400-$600)

A real estate agent conducts a comparative market analysis and pulls comparable properties to help you determine a fair asking price. Since FSBO sellers do not have access to these helpful resources, flying solo and all, they need to find another way to accurately price their house for sale.

Pricing a property wrong can cost you buyers or dollars. If you price it too high, it’ll likely sit on the market till you bring the price down, and if you price it too low, you may lose out on more money.

A pre-listing appraisal (or pre-listing inspection) is when you hire a professional home inspector to identify potential repairs and estimate the value of your property. This way, you’ll have an idea of the repairs a buyer might ask for and can address them before you list.

Seller’s Attorney Fees ($150-$350 per hour)

FSBO sales warrant legal and professional oversight to avoid legal snafus. A real estate attorney prepares and reviews documentation, including the purchase agreement, mortgage contract, title papers, transfer documents, and necessary disclosures, to make sure everything is legally sound and correct.

Transfer Taxes (0.01%-4%)

Transfer taxes are incurred when you transfer ownership of the title of a property to another party. It’s essentially a transaction fee charged by state AND local governments when real estate changes hands. Transfer taxes are calculated based on the sale price of the house and the tax rate for the state, county, and city you live in.

13 states do NOT charge a transfer tax: Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming.

Property Survey Fees ($300-$800)

Also known as a boundary survey, a property survey is a precise, professional measurement of a plot of land a house is built on. Property surveys are important when building additions, because you need to know the property lines.

Unless you have a recent copy, you’ll need to pay a surveyor to create a property (or land) survey. The survey will serve as a legal documentation of the topography and boundaries of the property and be part of the record of sale.

Who Pays What Closing Costs When Selling House by Owner buyer closing costs What are the Buyer’s Closing Costs?

The average closing costs for a buyer are 2% to 5% of the loan amount. So what does the buyer pay for at closing that the seller does not?

Loan Origination and Processing Fees (1%-3% of the Loan)

Loan origination and processing fees are essentially the lender’s fee for the preparation and evaluation of a buyer’s mortgage.

Buyer’s Attorney Fees ($150-$350 per hour)

Should a buyer not have a real estate agent, they need some form of legal representation to help them with the necessary paperwork without assuming legal risk.

Third-Party Appraisal ($400-$600)

If the buyer is taking out a mortgage, the lender will require an up-to-date appraisal to assess the value of the property versus the requested loan amount. This way, the lender will decide if they’ll lend out the money.

Professional Home Inspection ($300-$500)

More often than not, a potential buyer is going to hire a home inspector to check the condition of the property and uncover necessary repairs or improvements. A typical inspection includes the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical system, HVAC, and other systems, plus any water damage, mold, or evidence of termites.

Recording Fees (varies)

Recording fees are charged by the county to make the purchase of a property a matter of public record. Recording documents include the sale price of the property, number of pages and documents, and the mortgage value. The cost varies by county and sometimes depends on the size of the document.

Negotiable or Split Fees

You may be able to negotiate or split additional closing fees with the buyer before closing day. Again, without representation, you’ll have to look out for your best interests but also make an attractive deal for the buyer.

Seller Concessions or Closing Cost Credits (varies)

A seller concession is a closing cost you (the seller) agree to pay. Why would you do this? To sweeten the deal and entice buyers to make an offer, of course. Also, in some states some concessions are customary. For example, in Texas, house sellers often pay for a year of the home warranty.

Another example: let’s say you need to sell your house fast, and you want to avoid repairs. You might lower your asking price to make up the difference in repairs, which the buyer will then pay out of pocket post sale. Keep in mind though, this only applies to minor repairs that the buyer’s lender doesn’t deem necessary for the buyer’s mortgage approval.

If a lender requires extensive repairs, you really only have two options at that point: (1) make the repairs or (2) sell to a cash buyer who purchases houses As Is.

Seller concessions may also include a couple months of HOA fees, or making a monetary contribution towards buyer closing costs or escrow fees.

Settlement Fees ($800-$2,000)

The title company, escrow company, or real estate attorneys charge a handling fee for final paperwork and distribution of funds to the appropriate parties. Settlement fees cover costs associated with closing costs, including title search fees and loan origination fees, plus any expenses that are in excess of what a person pays to sell or buy a property. The numbers vary by loan amount, property value, and city.

Property Taxes (varies)

You (the seller) need to settle all property taxes accrued during your time owning the house up to the date of closing. The buyer will assume responsibility for property taxes after the closing date.

It’s not uncommon to prorate (or split) the property tax bill by a portion of time, such as by the number of days (for the portion of the tax year) a homeowner owned (or will own) the property, between the buyer and seller.

Title Fees (1%)

Title fees encompass a number of items, including:

Title Search ($75-$100)

A title search discovers any discrepancies with the ownership of a property. For example, it might uncover outstanding liens or a claim on the property. Maybe the seller is not the legal owner, or they share the title with a sibling, as can be the case with an inherited property. A real estate transaction cannot be completed without a clean title.

Owner’s Title Policy (0.05%-1%)

The owner’s title insurance policy protects the homeowner in the rare case a valid claim against the property comes up which the title search missed. It’s not unusual for the seller to put up a one-time payment for the owner’s title insurance.

Lender’s Title Policy (0.05%-1%)

A lender’s title insurance policy protects the lender should a title defect be discovered. Lender’s title insurance is often required to get a mortgage loan, but it does not protect the buyer’s investment in the property (their equity) – that’s what the owner’s title insurance does.

Skip Paying Closing Costs and Repairs When You Sell to a Cash Buyer

Rather than deal with closing fees or the usual stress of a sale by owner, consider instead selling to a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is”, so your house can be damaged, in need of repair, or mid-renovation. 

Their offer will deduct repair costs, since the investor fixes up the house on their dime, BUT STILL you’ll be saving money. How?

  • First, because they pay cash, an investor does not need mortgage financing;
  • Second, an investor does not require an appraisal nor an inspection, so you can go straight to closing; and
  • Third, most investors cover both buyer and seller closing costs and additional sale fees, and don’t ask for or expect any concessions, putting money back in your pocket for moving costs.

Finally, neither you nor the investor needs representation, so there will be no real estate agent commissions.

SolidOffers is happy to connect homeowners like you to trusted investors in your real estate market, so you get the most out of selling by owner, without any of the hassle or costs. Click below to request a free, no-hassle offer today.

selling a house in foreclosure court house gavel

Can I Still Sell My House in Foreclosure?

Home » fees house sellers should know

If your house is in foreclosure, you likely fell behind in paying the mortgage, and you may also be incurring the lender’s attorney fees for your delinquency. Different people have different feelings and reactions when in this situation. From feeling sad, ashamed, disappointed, in panic, or even paralyzed or in denial, and having the instinct to ignore the problem, as if it could just go away…but it won’t, and when in pre-foreclosure, time is of essence. But wait! All is not lost. Foreclosure doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process, for you and the lender. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.

Do not wait until your foreclosure is 30 days away, when the lender takes possession of the house with the intent to auction it.

Are you in Pre-Foreclosure or in Foreclosure?

Although the term “foreclosure” is often used to describe both circumstances, there is actually a significant difference that comes down to ownership. 

Pre-foreclosure is part of the process to foreclosure. Most times, it starts 3 to 6 months after your first missed payment.

At that 3-month mark, you’ll likely receive a Demand or Notice to Accelerate letter from your lender to pay up in 30 days, or they’ll foreclose on your house. From the date of notice, it may be 2 to 3 months till the scheduled sale of your house at auction. 

Foreclosure is at the end. Your house is no longer yours. The bank repossesses it or sells it at auction. The foreclosure is also marked in your credit history for a period of seven years, making it extremely hard for you to be approved for a new house mortgage.

Pandemic Exceptional Circumstances

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has offered mortgage relief options and the type of mortgage you have may have different requirements. Many mortgage lender servicers couldn’t even start the foreclosure process before January 1, 2022 and without contacting you to review your options.

Can I Sell My House in Pre-Foreclosure?

If you’re behind in payments because you fell on hard times, you can try to strike a Forbearance Agreement with the lender, but this does not void what you owe. Payment is only postponed. It is also less likely to be approved, if you’re already in pre-foreclosure, to request forbearance.

If you get approved for forbearance, this will give you more time to sell your house or, if you change your mind, to try to make up for missed payments.

The time you have is important because, even in a hot market, depending on the condition of the house and its location, it may be hard to sell within a short timeframe, using the traditional method of listing it with an agent.

Selling your house during pre-foreclosure is one way to prevent foreclosure, and if it’s done early enough, you may be able to get the market value for your property. If you want to list it, it’s important to find a top agent who can help you sell it with the intention of paying off the mortgage and potential lender attorney fees.

In the potential of a short sale, you need to notify your lender, as it requires their authorization. 

Can I Sell a House in Foreclosure?

When the house is foreclosed, meaning the bank takes ownership, the bank will usually send an agent to help you relocate. Most people think a sheriff will come and kick them out, but that only happens if you fight the bank.

Once the bank forecloses the house, it starts the courthouse steps to have it sold at auction. It is not immediate. Until the day of the auction, you can still attempt to sell. Most banks and servicers would rather avoid the auction, if it can be sold prior, and may even be willing to extend terms and negotiate to have it done.

Step 1: Calculate What You Owe

If you’re behind in mortgage payments, there are likely late fees attached. Also, you may have accrued fees owed to the mortgage company’s attorney which are associated with your delinquency.

Add up the sums of what you owe, plus any interest, and subtract it from your estimated sale price.

Step 2: Subtract Selling Fees Too

That’s right: it costs money to sell a house. Selling fees include staging and cleaning costs, as well as the realtor commission, closing fees, seller concessions, and moving costs. Deduct these from the sale price.

Why all the deductions? Because you want to find out if selling your house will cover what you owe your lender, as well as closing costs and selling expenses. With any luck, you’ll have some money left over. If, however, you’re in the black, then perhaps you should negotiate with your lender to do a short sale.

Step 3: Hire a Realtor or Sell FSBO

If the foreclosed house goes to auction, you may still end up with debt due to legal fees. Plus, you will pay taxes for the “forgiveness” of the mortgage. The best situation is to get it sold and hopefully, get some of the excess funds.

Your timeframe to sell is short. Your options include:

  • If the house is in a hot market, a good location, and in great shape, it may sell fast with an experienced Realtor, who knows how to navigate the extra paperwork and evaluate potential buyers.
  • Otherwise, your best option is to sell it yourself to an investor. Investors with experience in purchasing foreclosed properties know how to speak with banks and have their own lawyers ensure a successful transaction.

Step 4: Whatever Path You Decide – Keep the Lender in the Loop!

Keep your lender informed of progress throughout the house selling process. Communicating with the lender is vital. Many will work with you to get it sold rather than foreclose.

SolidOffers Can Help You Sell Your Foreclosed House

When time is of the essence, your best option is to sell your house in foreclosure to a real estate investor. SolidOffers screens hundreds of real estate investors, confirming their reputation, and connects you with legit investors in your market who can help you. Not all investors are the same. When the house is already foreclosed and set to be in auction, you need an experienced investor who will essentially do all the heavy lifting, using their resources to work it out with the bank.

If you are in pre-foreclosure, or your house is already foreclosed, contact us ASAP, so we can ease the process of selling your house in foreclosure.

female realtor with house for sale sign

Can I Sell My House Without a Realtor?

Home » fees house sellers should know

The short answer is yes. You CAN sell without a realtor. However, if you are thinking of selling your house by yourself, understand that the process is far from easy.

Before you decide if you want to sell your house without a realtor or real estate agent, you must understand the benefits and drawbacks of selling it by yourself. 

Selling a House By Owner (FSBO)

There are no rules that require you to sell your house with an agent, though it’s the most common way of doing it. When you decide to sell without a realtor, regardless of how you do it, it’s called “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO. 

Pros And Cons Of Selling Without A Real Estate Agent


  • Avoid paying thousands of dollars in agent commissions. Let’s face it, this is the main reason why homeowners decide to be FSBO sellers. It’s to eliminate the 6 percent in commissions. On a $200,000 house, that comes out to $12,000.


  • You control the transaction.  Since you are not working with an agent, you can set your own price, market the house the way you want to, and never feel pressured by a realtor to make changes that you don’t want to make.

  • In a hot market, the house may “sell itself”. When there is more demand than available houses for sale, finding interested buyers doesn’t take as much time or work. Sometimes, they find you if there is an FSBO sign in the front yard. 

  • It can be faster! The National Association of REALTORS reported that in 2020, 77% of houses on the market without an agent sold in under 2 weeks. The reason was the seller sold it to an acquaintance or a real estate investor.


  • You may still pay agent commissions. This is something not all sellers are aware of with FBSO. Even if you don’t pay a listing agent, you may still have to pay the buyer’s agent, which is 2.5% to 3% of the final sale price.

  • You are responsible for the paperwork. 10% of FSBO sellers rank this as the hardest part of selling a house. There is a lot of paperwork, and while not all states require a real estate attorney, sometimes it is worth it to ensure that everything is done right and to avoid potential problems, which adds a cost to the selling process.

  • It takes up a lot of your time. There are three parts to this 1) the time to find the buyers, 2) to do the showings, and 3) the process itself. Most homeowners selling without an agent have fewer resources to market their property, which means fewer buyers are aware of it. In fact, only 6% of FSBO sellers list on the MLS, which is how most homebuyers find a property. And when there are buyers, you, as the FSBO seller, are the one doing the showings and negotiating with buyers. So when you get an offer, you have to draw up the sales contract and get the process going.

  • It can take longer to sell. Less visibility means fewer prospecting buyers, and not all offers become a reality, as one of the aspects of working with an agent is to ensure that buyers are giving offers they can actually get approved for with a lender. If you want to sell fast by yourself, the safest bet is to sell to a real estate investor.
Hardest tasks for FSBO sellers

Important Takeaways

Selling your house without a realtor can save you money in commissions, but you may still have to pay the buyer’s agent fee. Selling a house by yourself can require a huge time commitment and paperwork, and in some states also require a real estate attorney. The best alternative to save money, sell fast, and avoid the extra work is to sell to a real estate investor.

The Alternative to a Realtor and FSBO: Sell to an Investor

The truth is, selling by yourself is a lot of stress because you do all of the work of a realtor while still juggling with life. Perhaps the better question then is not “Can I” but “Do I want to sell my house without a realtor?” If your answer is still “Yes,” but you don’t want to deal with the stress of FSBO, consider then selling to a real estate investor.

Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is.” They do not ask for repairs or improvements, nor do they require an inspection or appraisal. They do away with most traditional sale warranties, and because they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval. Investors also cover closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money!

You can enjoy a quick closing, on a date of your choice, in less than 30 days, and move into your next home right away!

turkey Tips to Sell Your House Around Thanksgiving

6 Tips to Sell Your House Around Thanksgiving

Home » fees house sellers should know

Contrary to popular belief, selling a house between Thanksgiving and the New Year is not a bust. Buyers are serious during the winter holidays, and competition thins with fewer houses for sale. If you’re listing your property in November, here is what you can do to improve your chances of selling around Turkey Day.

Tip #1: Avoid Clutter and Keep the House Clean

When buyers visit, they want to picture themselves living in the house. Too many belongings disrupt their vision and limit the perceived size of rooms and the house overall.

Family visiting during Thanksgiving can add to the clutter. Encourage your relatives to keep spaces clean, and consider hiring professional cleaning services to tidy up before showings. You can also move your own belongings (that you can spare) into storage.

Tip #2: Price Property to Sell

The right price makes buyers merry, or in this case thankful. Your real estate agent should recommend a good price, based on your property’s current condition, age, issues, and comps in the area.

If you do not have a realtor, you can still price the property yourself by:

  • Pulling comparable listings;
  • Researching the market; and
  • Getting an inspection and deducting repairs

If you need to sell fast, lowering your price may be necessary.

Tip #3: Spruce Up House Listing

More people are searching for houses online, so make your listing attractive and word it properly. Any photos you show should be during the warmer seasons, when curb appeal is at its best. Be sure to also stage the interior for photos.

Tip #4: Do Not Go Overboard on Decorations

While it’s fine to get in the spirit of the holiday, you never want to over decorate. Decorations are distracting and can clutter spaces. Focus instead on creating a warm atmosphere that encourages buyers to envision themselves celebrating the holidays in the house.

Tip #5: Send Family Out During Showings

There’s nothing more distracting than a bunch of bodies, making noise and being disruptive. The best thing you can do is let your realtor handle showings, while you and your family go out.

Should you not have a realtor, though, you can show the house yourself. Treat your family to tickets to a museum, movie, or something else entertaining, while you host an open house.

If it’s easier, consider putting your family up in a hotel, so the house is free of bodies and messes at all times.

Tip #6: Enjoy Your Thanksgiving

Do not stress out about selling your house on Thanksgiving Day. Buyers will not be shopping then, nor is it likely that they’ll be searching on Black Friday. So enjoy your Turkey Day with your family.

The holiday is also a good time to relax and recover before you start hosting open houses again or continue with buyer negotiations.

Sell Before or by Thanksgiving

If you need to sell before or by the holiday, consider selling it to a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a house “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. There are also no warranties or inspections, and no commissions like a traditional sale.

Investors often cover all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money. You pick the closing date, which can be in less than 30 days or in several months. This way, you enjoy a quick closing and can celebrate Turkey Day with family, maybe even in your new home.

home seller nightmares frustration

8 Home Seller Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

Home » fees house sellers should know

Every house sale has bumps in the road. Some are unavoidable, while others can be prevented or resolved by the right means and with the right resources. Here are 8 possible issues that can quickly turn selling your house into a nightmare, and what you can do to prevent them.

1. Structural Issues

Structure damage to the foundation or underlying structure of the house, mold, termites, flood, or fire damage, all deter buyers from making an offer. The bones of your house should not be compromised.

Have an inspector come through, then resolve all issues before listing the property.

2. Lender Drops the Ball

Though rare, it is not impossible for a buyer to get a bad lender. Lenders are responsible for paperwork, necessary filing, and approval of the loan. If they misplace documents or miswrite information, your house sale can drag on and cost you more money.

Since the buyer chooses their lender, there’s not much you can do. But your realtor can nudge things along and keep an open channel of communication between you, the buyer, and their lender.

3. Buyer was Pre-Qualified, but Not Pre-Approved

It happens more often than you think: a buyer gets pre-qualified for a loan, but not pre-approved. The reason is pre-approval requires a more rigorous screening process, and a bad credit score or outstanding debt is often met with rejection.

To avoid this situation, require your buyers to submit a letter of approval from the lender when they put in an offer.

4. Faulty Appraisal

The lender requires an appraisal of your property to confirm it’s worth the loan amount. If you live in a hot market, and properties in your area are selling for more than the asking price, your house may not appraise well. A bad appraisal can result in the buyer not getting their loan.

To combat this, your realtor should gather property appreciation values in the area to argue the appraised value, or negotiate adjustments to the purchase agreement.

5. Repairs are Not Made in a Timely Manner

When a home inspection finds issues, buyers ask for repairs. You hope repairs will be fast, easy, and affordable, but sometimes you get a bad crew, or they uncover additional problems. Either way, the longer repairs take, the more money you lose, and the buyer may find a more attractive deal elsewhere.

Again, the best thing you can do is get your property inspected before listing. You can then calculate costs and project a timeframe for repairs, and screen professionals to make repairs.

6. Bad Realtor

Your real estate agent can make or break a deal. A good agent should do everything in their power to find buyers, gather offers, and expedite the sale process. They should also care about getting you a great offer since they take a 3% to 6% commission fee.

Do your research. Screen realtors carefully and check online reviews. Ask friends or family if they recommend a realtor. Look for someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, but also likable and tech-savvy.

7. Property Sits on Market, But No Attention

You can do all the right things, but the longer your house sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes. Buyers think a house that sits too long must have something wrong with it.

You can offer financial incentives and/or price it below the market value to spark new interest.

8. Bad Neighbors and Other Put-Offs

You cannot help where you live or who lives next door to you. Bad neighbors run off buyers with their eyesore lawns and loud, nosy personalities.

But maybe it’s not your neighbors. Maybe your property sits near an airport or busy highway or is in a bad part of town. If it’s outdated, cluttered, or in desperate need of maintenance – these are all issues that make a house unsellable.

Some things you cannot fix. The best you can hope for is to sell to a desperate buyer or a real estate investor.

Sell Your Nightmares to an Investor, aka The Dream Sale

Real estate investors will buy properties, with cash, in any location in any condition. The house can be damaged, rundown, or a hoarding space – they will buy it “as-is.” Investors also void traditional sale warranties and inspections and pay all closing costs and additional sale fees.

You can walk away from your problem property in less than 30 days, forgo home seller nightmares, and use the cash proceeds for a down payment on your new dream home.

key to house how to sell rental property

How to Sell a Rental Property

Home » fees house sellers should know

Selling a rental property has more challenges than selling a primary residence. Often, it is easier and more profitable not to sell it the traditional way. Here are the steps to selling your rental property, even if it is occupied with tenants.

Step 1: What to Do with Your Tenants

Review the lease. Is it a month-to-month lease? If so, give your tenants notice to vacate and when they need to move out. If they and their belongings are not gone by the scheduled date, you can start the eviction process, or opt to sell with tenants.

If the lease is for a fixed term, check for an early termination clause. Early termination means you, the landlord, can break the lease if you need to sell the property. If no such clause is in the lease, your options are limited. You can either:

  • Wait for the lease to expire;
  • Pay your tenants to vacate; or
  • Sell with an active lease

Only investors will purchase occupied rental properties.

Step 2: Evaluate Repairs

Whether your tenants stay or go, a rental property has to be up to par with health codes and regulations. It is your job, as the landlord, to perform regular maintenance and make repairs.

Evaluate the property and assess its damages, if any. Schedule time to make repairs when your tenants are not home. If your reason to sell is because there is property damage, you can sell to an investor who intentionally seeks out properties that need TLC.

Step 3: Clean!

You are going to have walkthroughs with potential buyers. Remember to give notice to your tenants prior to every showing. Ask them to clear clutter and not be present at the scheduled time.

Bad tenants are less inclined to follow your requests, so you may have to pay for professional cleaning and landscaping services.

Step 4: Hire a Realtor

Being a landlord is hard work. If you do not want to sell FSBO, you can hire a real estate agent to manage the sale for you. They will list the property, schedule walkthroughs, and help with sale negotiations.

A few things to keep in mind though:

  • Agents/realtors receive a commission of 3% to 6% of the sale price upon closing.
  • If your rental has damage, and you plan to sell AS-IS, your property is less likely to sell to a regular homebuyer and more likely to be of interest to investors.
  • Tenant-occupied properties will only be purchased by investors.

When your most potential buyer is an investor, you will profit by selling directly to the investor instead of bothering to list the property.

Step 5: To List or Not to List

Identifying your ideal buyer is perhaps one of, if not the, most important step in this entire process. It will save you time and stress, and even prevent you from losing money to identify the target buyer. How do you choose?

You should list your rental if:

  • It is vacant;
  • In great condition; or
  • Needs only minor repairs or quick fixes, which you plan on having done.

You can sell directly to an investor if:

  • The rental is tenant-occupied. You’ll need to disclose if they are non-paying tenants.
  • The property is outdated or needs major repairs.
  • You already tried listing it but it didn’t sell. Failed listings often get the “something must be wrong” label after 30 to 45 days on the market, and consequently sell for less than the asking price.

Step 6: Conduct Walkthroughs

If you are trying to sell, and the lease is expiring, but the tenants still live at the property, ask them about their schedule. Just like with regular listings, and the owners are asked to not be present, ideally your tenants will not be present during showings. However, if you decide to sell to an investor, meeting the tenants may be beneficial since an investor is the only type of buyer who will purchase a rental with tenants. Keep the parties separate though if you suspect there is a risk of bad impressions.

Step 7: Pay Capital Gains Tax

When you sell an investment property, you pay tax on depreciation recapture and capital gains taxes. The amount you are expected to pay depends on multiple factors:

  • The total depreciation expense claimed;
  • Your tax bracket;
  • If you plan to buy a replacement property within 180 days of selling your rental; and
  • If you sell to receive a lump sum or installments (via seller financing).

We work with investors who specialize in purchasing rental properties, and you can discuss options with them. Even so, we recommend you also speak with a tax advisor to find out possible deductions and do the math to break even or maybe get a refund.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous reasons to sell a rental property. High equity, high demand, an increase in value, and the house being in good condition all make it favorable to place it on the market.

Other times the best option is to sell to an investor directly, so you can avoid costly fees and repairs. If your rental is occupied with good or bad tenants, your best, if not your only, option is to sell to a real estate investor.

Our investors offer to pay cash, as a lump sum or installment payments, to purchase the property “as-is.” There’s no need for an appraisal or inspection. Plus, you choose the closing date, in several months, 15 days or less, giving you time to handle last-minute items.

questions about selling house to real estate investor for cash

Most Common Questions When Selling A House to An Investor

Home » fees house sellers should know

If you are selling your house or another property, we have a question for you: Have you considered selling to a real estate investor?

No doubt, you have heard rumors about investors – the most common being they offer less money. We want to put your mind at ease by answering the most frequently asked questions about investors by sellers.

1. Why should I sell to an investor?

An investor is your best option if you want to sell fast and without making costly repairs. Most investors offer cash for a property “AS-IS.” They also let you pick the closing date, whether it’s in several months or a few days, giving you time to move out.

Investors do not require mortgage approval, an appraisal, or a house inspection. You avoid all the obstacles of a typical home sale. Owners who sell to an investor find themselves in one of the following situations:

  • Bad tenants
  • Bankruptcy
  • Code violations
  • Divorce
  • Downsizing
  • Financial hardship
  • Inherited property
  • Outdated (needs renovations)
  • Pre-foreclosure
  • Probate
  • Rundown (needs maintenance/repairs)
  • Tax defaults
  • Upgrading (make room for family)
  • Work relocation

2. I hear investors make low ball offers. Is this true?

It depends on a few things: (1) the condition of the property, (2) its real market value (sorry, but Zillow is often wrong), (3) when you need to sell, and (4) the type of investor.

There are two types of investors: house flippers and rental property owners. Flippers usually pay 70% of the property’s value AFTER repair value. Their offer estimates how much they can sell it for after flipping minus repairs. Flippers, then, are looking for distressed properties that need TLC.

Rental Property Investors, on the other hand, prefer properties that require minor or no repairs. They want a deal that gives them a monthly income of 1% of the purchase price. Their offer is based on how much they can rent it out for, minus repairs. If your property is in top shape and in a high-rent area, you may get its market value.

3. How does an investor make their offer?

We have simplified the process! You can click below to request your free offer today. All you have to do is provide some details about your property.

Our investors may also conduct their own research on the property, where it’s located, and compare it to similar properties for sale in the area.

4. Can I sell virtually?

Yes, if you prefer a virtual sale, many of our investors are capable of doing such. They may ask you to do a video tour or send pictures of the property so that they can assess its condition and value. All documents will be exchanged and signed electronically, and your cash offer wired to your preferred account.

5. What fees or commissions can I expect?

Zero! Unlike when you sell with a real estate agent, who expects you to pay a 3% to 6% commission, selling to an investor means avoiding fees and closing costs.

6. Do I need a real estate agent?

No, you do not need a real estate agent if you are selling to an investor. In fact, you are recommended not to so you avoid paying their commission fees. The investor can handle all the paperwork and necessary details of the transaction. All you have to concern yourself with is accepting their cash offer, picking a closing date, and signing the purchase agreement.

7. How soon do I get my cash?

You get your cash at closing.

8. Does the property need to be cleaned out?

No. Take what you want with you and leave the rest. Just tell the investor you are leaving belongings behind prior to closing.

I Have More Questions

You do? Wonderful! The more you know about investors and SolidOffers, the better you can make a decision about how to sell your house. Check our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

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How Much Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid? Fees House Sellers Should Know

Home » fees house sellers should know

Real estate agent commissions take the biggest cut of your house sale. Is it worth it then to even hire an agent or realtor? Or should you sell your house for sale by owner (FSBO)? Here is a rundown of real estate agent fees to help you decide.

What Are You Paying a Real Estate Agent to Do?

Seller agents may do the following:

  • Assign a fair, accurate price to your house.
  • Market your house across the MLS, social media, and print marketing.
  • Schedule walkthroughs.
  • Advocate for you when dealing with house inspectors and appraisers.
  • Help negotiate terms of sale between you, the buyer, and buyer’s agent.

How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Get Paid?

An agent earns commission upon sale of the house. Typically, their cut is 6% of the sale price, though a recent survey shows the national average is 5.45%. This downward trend is attributable to competition and a shortage of houses for sale in certain markets.

You can negotiate agent fees by arguing these points:

  • Time it takes to sell: if the house sells fast (in less than a month).
  • Anticipated sales price: if your house is priced high (e.g., $500,000s and up), a low rate is still a good chunk of change.
  • Buyer’s agent: if there is no buyer agent for the commission to be split with.
  • Agent’s workload: if you take on some responsibilities in the home sale process.

 An Agent Does Not Keep What They Earn

An agent does not keep all of the commission because they do not act alone. Most agents work under a real estate broker. The broker, then, takes half of the agent’s commission.

The seller agent then splits the commission with the buyer agent, and they with their brokerage. If we do a quick calculation, as an example, here is how it might play out:

  • Your house sells for $250,000;
  • 6% of the sale price is $15,000;
  • each brokerage gets $7,500; and
  • the brokers each pay their agents $3,750.

Once paid, your agent has to cover expenses. These include membership dues to real estate institutions and technology, but also money spent to market your house. You can see then that an agent does not make a huge profit. That is why they handle multiple house sales at a time.

Who Pays the Real Estate Agent?

You, the seller, pays both the buyer and seller agents. True, the buyer is purchasing your house, but it is out of your profit that the 6% is paid to these agents.

Instead of an Agent, Sell to an Investor

If you want to forgo agents and commission rates, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house, regardless of how it looks and without a buyer agent. You, then, only pay your share of closing costs. You enjoy a quick closing and a profit which you then use as a down payment on your next house.

Closing cost of selling a house

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

Home » fees house sellers should know

Selling a house can be a costly venture. Sellers often have no idea just how much money goes into selling a home till closing day. Some expenses are negotiable, and others might be waived. Here is an overview of the costs to sell a house so you can plan and budget for them.

Real Estate Agent Commissions

Realtors often receive 5% to 6% of the selling price on a home, and this commission is divided between the seller and buyer agents. An agent does a lot of work, from arranging tours to updating listings to handling paperwork to negotiating with buyers. Sellers can sell without an agent, but this means more work, as well as the loss of leverage that comes with an agent’s knowledge of the market.

Seller Concessions Cost

Seller concessions are buyer expenses a seller agrees to pay, such as a portion of the closing costs, appraisal fees, or inspection fees, to help sweeten the deal, so a buyer is more likely to close on the house. Their loan type often limits the amount a buyer can ask for, but concessions help offset the cost of a higher offer in a competitive market.

Home Repairs

Most buyers do not want to purchase a fixer-upper, which will cost them more money in the long run. For this reason, if issues are found during the home inspection, buyers will ask the seller to make repairs as part of the ongoing negotiations to close the deal.

Home Improvements

Sometimes a home needs a facelift. This could be minor cosmetic work, such as painting the interior, or large upgrades like remodeling the bathroom or kitchen. These changes not only enhance the appeal of a home but its value as well.


When visiting, buyers want to envision themselves in the home. Sellers can hire a professional to stage the home for greater appeal. They can rearrange furniture, declutter and depersonalize rooms, and repurpose spaces in ways you never imagined. Professionals have their fees, and even if a seller does not hire a stager, they might still pay for professional cleaning services.

Closing Costs

Buyers and sellers pay closing costs. Sellers closing costs can reach 8% to 10% of the sale price. These can include the closing fee paid to the closing agent, property taxes, attorney fees, a transfer tax, title insurance, and the remaining balance of the seller’s original mortgage, as well as any interest accrued.

If you would like to save money, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer with fewer negotiations for the terms of sale, and regardless if a property is old or needs repairs. You can enjoy a quick closing, with fewer expenses, and keep a fat wallet.