For Sale By Owner Checklist

Preparing to Sell
  • Understand the selling process completely. Read books about selling your home, and do some online research.
  • Prepare a timeline for moving out of your home and into your new home.

Preparing Your House   

  • How's your curb appeal and landscaping?
  • Do you need to paint your front door or entryway.
  • Do any rooms need painting or remodeling?
  • How is the carpet, wood floors, vinyl & tile? Do any need to be replaced or professionally cleaned?
  • Reduce clutter, in every room and outside.
  • Are all appliances in working order?
  • Are all faucets & toilets in working order?
  • Change any burned out light bulbs to bright white to brighten your home.
  • Clean all windows, inside and outside.
  • Make sure all rooms are spotless and organized .
  • Decide what items can be sold, given away or thrown away.

Know Your Market

  • Is it a Buyer's Market or a Seller's Market?
  • What other homes are for sale in your neighborhood?

Extra Expenses & Costs

  • Are you going to offer a Home Warranty?
  • Are you going to pay a commission to a real estate agent?
  • Are you going to pay any of the Buyer's closing costs?

Pricing Your Home

  • Conduct your own research of neighborhood homes .
  • Get a local appraisal by a professional .
  • Decide what your "Asking Price" will be and what your "Final Price" will be.

Marketing your home or property  

  • Get For Sale by Owner Signs, directional signs, and a flyer box .
  • Prepare Real Estate Flyers including photos and all the features of your home.
  • Advertise your home on the Internet.
  • In a hurry to sell? You may want to advertise your home on the MLS.
  • Advertise your home in your local newspapers. 80% of homes sold are purchased by people who already live or work in your area.
  • Decide which days you will show your home to prospective buyers. Usually, the weekend plus one night during the week is best.

Contracts & Legalities   

  • Decide on the Title Company with staff of real estate attorneys.
  • Contact them if you need the real estate attorney's to prepare a contract sale agreement for you.

Negotiating an Offer with the Buyer

  • Read & understand the Buyer's Offer and present a Counter Offer, if necessary.
  • Is the Buyer pre-qualified for a loan?
  • Accept the Contract, reject the Contract or prepare a Counter-Offer in Response to the Contract, if any concerns, have an attorney review for you.
  • Accept Earnest Money.
  • Set Time Frames For Inspections, Financing & Closing.

Document Exchange

  • Residential Property Disclosure Forms are required to be completed by the seller and given to the Buyer for their review. See our Disclosures Section to get a copy of this form.
  • If the home was built before 1978, a Federal Lead Based Paint Disclosure is required to be completed by the seller and the buyer.  A pamphlet is required to be given to the buyer at the time of the signing of the contract purchase agreement. See our disclosures section to get a copy of this form  and pamphlet.
  • Buyer Provides copy of Loan Pre-Approval Letter to the Seller.


  • Home Inspection is completed and findings, issues and repairs are resolved, if necessary.
  • Termite Inspection and/or other inspections are completed and findings, issues  and repairs are resolved, if necessary.
  • Home Appraisal Completed for the buyer's lender and Appraisal findings/issues are resolved, if necessary.
  • Survey Is Completed, if necessary .
  • Repairs and other contingencies required by Contract or Inspections are completed.

Title Company   

  • Open Escrow with your Title Company as soon as possible once the purchase contract is signed. The Title Company will need to have a signed copy of your purchase agreement to start work on your file so that we will be prepared to close by your agreed closing date.
  • You may deposit the buyer's Earnest Money with the Title Company, if that is the case you would need to state that in the purchase agreement.  You, as the seller can receive and hold the earnest money from the buyer as long as both of you are in agreement to that effect.
  • Provide Necessary Documents to the Title Company, such as payoff information and authorizations to order your payoffs.
  • Title Search Is Completed and any issues with the Title Search are resolved, if necessary.
  • Settlement/Closing Date & Time Scheduled
        With the Buyer's Lender – If there is a lender involved, the buyers lender is the one that will confirm when a closing date can be set.
        With the Title Company/Escrow Officer and with the Buyer.

The Walk-Through

  • Final Walk-Through Inspection is completed with the Buyer
  • Issues with Walk-Through are resolved, if necessary


  • Check with buyer to be sure that they have their funds ready and accessible for closing. All funds required for closing must be in the form of a wire transfer or a cashiers check. 
  • If the buyer is getting a loan and would like to review their loan closing documents 24-48 Hours prior to the Closing,  the buyer will need to contact their lender and alert them that they will need to send the closing documents a few days before closing.
  • Resolve Issues with the Closing documents, if necessary
  • Settlement/Closing Day. Be sure to bring your current driver's license.