How To Sell A House By Owner In Indiana – Bankrate.com

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Key takeaways

  • Indiana law does not require you to hire a real estate agent in order to sell a home.
  • It does, however, require you to submit a Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure form to the homebuyer.
  • Selling a home on your own means you avoid paying a listing agent’s fee, but you may still have to pay a commission to your buyer’s agent.

Have you ever wondered whether it’s possible to sell your home in Indiana without hiring a real estate agent — and paying an agent’s commission? You can. The do-it-yourself approach is known as a “for sale by owner” (or FSBO) listing.

While you won’t have to pay a listing agent a cut of the sale proceeds when going the FSBO route, you will need to be prepared to do a lot of work. This option involves doing all the marketing, showing, detail-managing and negotiating without a professional to guide you. Here’s a closer look at how to sell your house without a Realtor in Indiana.

Selling a house without a Realtor in Indiana

If you choose to sell your house on your own in the Hoosier State, you’ll need to stay organized and on top of all the details an agent would normally handle. Here are some basic steps to follow:

Create your listing

To sell a home, you need to create a listing that will be used to advertise the property. The selling price is perhaps the most critical part of a home’s listing. It’s important to do your research when coming up with a price, in order to understand what your home is worth and what comparable homes in your area are selling for. The median sale price for a single-family home in Indiana in April 2024 was $256,100, according to data from Redfin. However, the figure varies significantly throughout the state. In New Castle, for instance, the median was just $134,000, but in Bloomington it was $310,000. Be as realistic and objective as you can when choosing the appropriate price for your home — try to think of it as a product for sale, not a home where you’ve made memories.

Along with setting the right price, you’ll also need to write an engaging description of your home. Include key details, such as square footage and how many bedrooms and bathrooms the home has, and emphasize any special features, as well, like a barn, a gourmet kitchen or energy-efficient upgrades. Information about the surrounding neighborhood and school district is also helpful for prospective buyers.

Finally, you’ll also want high-quality photographs to attract potential buyers. House-hunters look online first before they go see places in person, and good photos will encourage them to click on your listing rather than to keep scrolling.

Market your property

Once your listing is complete, it’s time to get it in front of prospective buyers. You can spread the word via social media platforms and marketplaces (just be careful when sharing information via these channels, especially if you’re still living there). But to really gain visibility, consider online platforms that allow you to list a home on the local MLS for a flat fee. There’s a variety of options in Indiana, including nationally known platforms like Houzeo and List With Freedom, as well as local sites like Flat Fee Indiana. MLS listings will usually show up automatically on portals like Zillow and Realtor.com.

Marketing your property also requires hosting open houses or coordinating private showings with interested buyers. Here, too, be sure to exercise caution when letting strangers into your home.

Close the deal

Once you receive an offer or two, it’s time to work on closing the deal. This entails negotiating with prospective buyers — a prospect that may be intimidating for the inexperienced. The research you did when you were setting your price will come in handy here: Approach the negotiations with realistic expectations about how much your home can reasonably fetch. You might also want to draft a list of compromises or concessions you’re willing to make to get the deal done. And remember, you can always decline an offer or make a counteroffer.

When a deal has been reached, a purchase contract must be drafted — this is a legal document for which a real estate attorney can be invaluable. And there will be plenty of paperwork associated with the closing, too, which will be your responsibility to handle with no agent on your side to do so.

Required disclosures for Indiana home sellers

As is the case in many states, Indiana law requires home sellers to complete a standard disclosure form as part of the sale transaction. This is known as the Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure, and it provides prospective buyers with information about any flaws, problems or damage the home has sustained. Copies of this document can be obtained online at Indiana’s State Forms Center.

If the property is in a community managed by a homeowners association, sellers will also need to provide all relevant HOA documents, including bylaws and financial statements.

Pros and cons of selling a house by owner in Indiana

Pros

  • Save on commission: When you work with an agent, you pay a commission for their services. When you go the FSBO route, this fee is avoided, keeping money in your pocket. A listing agent’s fee typically runs around 2.5 or 3 percent of the home’s sale price — on a median-priced $256,100 Indiana house, 2.5 percent comes to around $6,400. (Keep in mind, though, that you may still have to pay your buyer’s agent.)
  • Control the timeline: A Realtor is likely to be juggling multiple clients simultaneously, which means they return phone calls and plan showings as their schedule allows. When you’re handling the process yourself, you have control over when all of these things take place.
  • You call the shots: The FSBO approach means you’re the boss. You are the one making decisions about list price, marketing style and more — there’s no one else trying to make the call on your behalf.

Cons

  • More work: A FSBO sale is work-intensive and time-consuming for you as the seller. From creating the listing to conducting showings and navigating the negotiations, all the work will be your responsibility.
  • No professional guidance: The flip side of the coin to being in total control of the process is that you have no guidance or expertise from a seasoned professional who knows the ropes. This can be daunting.
  • Lower sale price: You may even make less money when you sell without the assistance of a pro. Agents know their markets well and are expert negotiators. Data from the National Association of Realtors has shown that homes sold by owners often sell for a lower price than homes sold by agents.

FAQs

  • No — Indiana law does not require that an attorney be involved in a real estate sale. However, real estate contracts are complex, and a home sale is a major financial transaction with a lot of money changing hands. Having a legal pro ensure that your interests are properly covered is typically worth the added expense, especially for a FSBO seller with no agent to guide you through the process.

  • From negotiations to contracts to closing documents, selling a house requires plenty of paperwork. In Indiana, you’ll also need to fill out a state disclosure document for the buyer, and if you’re paying off your mortgage with the proceeds from the sale, there will be documentation surrounding that too. If you’re selling by owner, with no agent to handle the process, it’s smart to hire a real estate lawyer to make sure all your paperwork is in order.

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