25 min read May 24, 2022

How To Sell A House By Owner In Alabama (2022 Update)

✍️ Editor’s Note: Houzeo is America’s most advanced For Sale By Owner platform. Almost $3.5 billion worth of properties were listed by home owners on Houzeo.com in 2021. This guide details how to sell a house by owner in Albama (without a realtor) based on our expertise.

How to sell a house by owner in Alabama

As per Zillow Alabama, home values have spiked by 18.8% in the last 1 year making the average prices of homes around $200,497. Also, the average realtor commission here is 5-6% of the sale price. This means if you put a house in Alabama for sale for $275,000, then you need to spend approximately $15,000 on realtors fees, which, if not spent, could be a handsome profit.

» In this guide, we’ll cover:

How to Sell a House By Owner in Alabama

Understand The Benefits & Risks of Selling Your Own Home In Alabama State

Alabama is one of the top states to sell a house due to high demand. A house put up for sale in Alabama attracts a decent number of home buyers owing to the state’s popularity. The closing requirements in the state are a bit complicated but can be easily handled by attorneys.

✍️ Note: The real estate market of Alabama is expected to grow in 2022 with a forecast of it largely remaining a buyer’s market.

Key Benefits of Selling a House in Alabama State By Owner

Control over transactionBy transacting directly with the buyer’s agent or the buyer, you have complete control over the process with fewer hindrances.
Savings on commissionBy selling your house in Alabama by owner (or without an agent), you can save 5%-6% commission.
Speed to marketFSBO listing websites like Houzeo can help you list your home within 24-48 hours or lesser. The average listing time on Houzeo is within a day.

👉 Explore: Houzeo Reviews: Home Selling made easier with Houzeo.com!

Key Risks of Selling Homes For Sale By Owner Alabama (FSBO Alabama)

Customer serviceBe sure to read the reviews to know how an FSBO company’s customer service is. As it will help you understand the first-hand experience of the sellers.
Risk of hidden feesMany Flat Fee MLS and FSBO companies in Alabama are infamous for their hidden fees. Because they are not upfront and can cost you much more than you can think.
Whether help is available?The absence of a real estate agent can complicate the process of selling a house in Alabama by owner. But, this should not discourage the sellers as there are many options available (Flat Fee MLS or pure agent) for assistance.

⭐ Houzeo has rated 4.9 stars on Google & Trustpilot.

Understanding real estate in Alabama, the laws and processes could be testing at times. Before checking the next steps involved in putting a house in Alabama for sale, let’s take a look at some of the state laws and regulations:

Alabama FSBO Overview

Level of Difficulty for FSBOs?Average
Real Estate Attorney Required?Yes
Required State Disclosures– Lead Paint Disclosure
– Material defects and safety risks
FSBO Yard Sign Allowed?Yes
Competitive Buyer Agent Commission2%- 3% (on an average)

Top For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Websites

A thorough comparison between the best in the business

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Get Your Home Ready for Sale in Alabama By Owner

Whether you are selling an Alabama home, or in any other state, you need to take care of certain important factors while selling your house as an owner. Here is what you need to do:

Neutral ColorsOwing to the transparency that neutral colors or paints bring to the house, buyers find them more appealing and could be able to envision their future in the house.
Declutter & DepersonalizeDecluttering and depersonalization is an important aspect as it helps buyers visualize their future in that house. Not only does decluttering make the house look tidy, but depersonalization can also convince the buyers to see the home as their own.
StagingStaging enhances the overall look of the house. And hence sellers could consider hiring a stagger to help the buyer understand the utilization of space better and the overall management of the house.
RepairsIf the appliances, kitchens, and bathrooms are repaired and redone, it can create a positive impact on buyers and further encourage their interest in the property and increase the chances of turning into a great deal.

What Disclosures Are Needed When Putting Homes for sale in Alabama?

State Disclosures in Alabama are very unique as compared to other states in the US. The Alabama real estate laws in the state are called the ‘Caveat emptor,’ which loosely translates to “Let the buyer beware.” Thus, quite obviously, there are no specific seller disclosures in Alabama.

The state does not require sellers to provide all the information with an obligation. Only the lead paint disclosure could be considered mandatory. Any other information could be provided if demanded by the buyer. However, sellers should carry their ‘Fudiciary duty’, which means that the sellers should not take undue advantage and honestly share the details of the property with their potential clients.

The Buyers, on the other hand, are advised to look closely and ask questions about the property. the buyers should take complete responsibility for extracting all the information about the property and even verifying the same at times.

Lead Paint DisclosureSpecifically for homes that were built before 1978. Federal law requires the seller to disclose any dangers related to lead-based paint.
Seller’s property disclosure statementEven though this document is not mandatory, this could still be utilized in Alabama real estate transactions. The document contains basic details regarding the property like title, septic systems, structural, and general fixtures, etc.

» More: Learn more about the seller disclosures in Alabama.

Price Your Home Competitively

Accurately pricing your property in Alabama for sale is an integral part of the home-selling process. Sellers must take into consideration the market price and undergo a comparative market analysis as well. Even though the market trends are different for different states, sellers still need to be aware of the state prices at which they are selling the property.

REMEMBER! The purpose of the LIST PRICE is to ATTRACT BUYERS to your listing. It’s not your SALE PRICE!!!

What happens if you under-price or over-price your listing?

Pricing too highHighly-priced properties could not only create less traffic but also force sellers to lower the price later on. However, sellers could still be selling their property as per the latest trends and values.
Pricing too lowThe advantage of selling your house at a low price is that it will fetch you more buyers. As a seller, you will always have an option to choose the highest and the best option. But there will still be some negotiation and counter-offering required, to bag the best deal.

Understanding an ideal listing price for a property can at times become difficult. However, this should not discourage sellers from taking the pathway of FSBO Alabama. With Zillow and Redfin, you can easily create Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that will help you in selling your house.

» More: How to Price Your Home For Sale in 6 Steps

Create Description of Your Property

Putting homes for sale in Alabama? Write a property description as good as your bio!

While selling a house by owner in Alabama, you must make the description attractive enough to lure the buyers. You can add unique features to your house or any historical significance while selling your house or any other state.

You can also add any details about the renovations done to your property. Mention if there were renovations done by you or previous owners, things included in them, the cost of such renovations, etc. Any such description will help the buyers in having a holistic view of the property. It will also reflect how much effort the seller has put in to maintain the property.

What is the Right Time to Sell My Alabama Home?

According to 365propertybuyers, the best time to sell a house in Alabama is considered to be June.

The homes for sale in Alabama sold in June witnessed a 5% greater net profit through their sales.

Find Ways to Market Your Home

Almost 95% of buyers rely on the web to search to find their next home. Thus marketing a house online should be the #1 priority for every seller irrespective of the state of residence.

Here are some of the marketing tactics for putting up a home on sale in Alabama by the owner. These strategies are not limited to Alabama but apply to other states as well.

Sr. no.Marketing TacticDescription
1.Hire a professional photographerHiring a professional photographer and creating a portfolio of your house can help your house look even more attractive and attract more buyers.

✍️ Pro Tip: Professional photographer can curate a portfolio that otherwise may not be possible if you take up the job.
2.List on the MLSHomes listed on the MLS sell faster and for 17% more. That doesn’t mean you need to hire a listing agent or pay that extra commission. Craft appealing listing descriptions to attract potential buyers. Use a for sale by owner website to list your home and offer a competitive buyer agent commission. That’ll have you in good stead to get top-dollar for your property.

✍️ Pro Tip: Research the best For Sale By Owner websites before picking one
3. Share your listing on social mediaSharing your Houzeo listing that includes your contact details could help you gain maximum exposure. If you instead share Zillow or Redfin listings, all the leads your listing generates will be sold to paying Buyer Agents who could demand a competitive buyer agent commission.

Houzeo doesn’t sell your information or leads. Instead, Aal buyer leads see your contact info, so that YOU don’t have to pay a buyer agent commission.

✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from social sharing, chances are you’ll save on the Buyer Agent Commission as well.
4.Run adsSelling a home FSBO in Mississippi could get all the more convenient, should you run ads on print and social media.

✍️ Pro Tip: Try to cover as many social media channels as possible to initiate ads for your listing.
5.Get a Yard SignGetting a “FOR SALE BY OWNER” yad sign could have its downsides. They have a negative association and will limit your options because the MLS’ don’t allow them. You could instead get a “FOR SALE” yard sign, preferably with your phone number on it. Houzeo custom yard sign is $49 only, and it’s FREE with a selfie!

✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from a yard sign, chances are you’ll save on the Buyer Agent Commission as well. Well worth the $49 investment!

▶️ Case Study: Paige Zukowski saved $11,000 selling through FSBO

With Houzeo (one of the best multiple listing services in Alabama), you can market your property to a large audience as it gets listed on the MLS and other real estate websites.

What is Houzeo?

An introduction to one of the best Flat Fee MLS and FSBO platforms in the US

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Manage Showings

Selling a house by owner in Alabama requires a lot of preparation concerning managing showings to the prospective buyers/buyer agents. And to avoid the havoc it could create, sellers could make use of the Manage Showings tool. It will help them to manage the showing times of their listing and be on top of the process.

Houzeo Showings helps buyers and buyer agents choose a particular showing slot as stated by the seller. The tool also provides features like rescheduling, updating, canceling, requesting, and more.

Sr. no.FeatureDescription
1.Home Sellers Can Set Their Showing CalendarThis feature helps buyers and buyer agents timings at which the property is available for showing. This helps in saving the time spent in correspondence of all parties, along with minimal interaction.
2.Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Request & Reschedule ShowingsThis feature enables buyers and buyer agents to schedule, reschedule and even cancel showing requests as per their needs and convenience.
3.Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Provide Feedback on the ListingThis feature enables buyers and buyer agents to schedule, reschedule and even cancel showing requests as per their needs and convenience.

🗓️ Houzeo Showings has all the required features and is available on the Houzeo mobile app!

Introducing the Houzeo Mobile App!

  • View your listing
  • Review and compare offers
  • Manage showings with Houzeo Showings
  • Counter an offer
  • NEW! Buyers can now search your property and save it in “Favorites”

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Negotiate Offers for Sale of House in Alabama

Perhaps negotiating offers poses the biggest challenge to sellers when trying to sell a property on their own because as FSBO, you sell a house without a realtor. The basics of what needs to be done when receiving an offer remain the same though – Accept, Decline, or Ignore the offers (not recommended).

We suggest you review the offers holistically and never reject them directly. Even if it’s a lowball offer, you should counter with what you would accept. Where you are sure you don’t want to counter or accept, just politely decline.

There are two advanced tactics in every real estate agent’s arsenal i.e. countering an offer, or calling for the highest & best offers. While selling a house by an owner, you need to learn these 2 tactics.

#Advanced TacticWhen to UseHow to Use
1.Counter an OfferSingle or Multiple Offer SituationIt is quite obvious to believe that the highest priced offers are essentially the best ones. However, several other parameters could determine the best offer for you like: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. When you want to counter an offer, you can request any of the mentioned parameters updated as per your preferences.

▶️ Learn more: How to counter an offer on Houzeo.com
2.Request Highest & Best OffersMultiple Offer SituationLuckily, if you have received multiple offers with a stipulated timeline to pick one amongst the many, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all the interested parties.

▶️ Learn more: How to request Highest & Best offer on Houzeo.com

It should be noted that negotiating offers during a home sale is inevitable. With the slightest change comes the massive paperwork update, signatures, due diligence, and much more. This is where Houzeo can be useful. Being a 100% online platform, Houzeo updates the changes across the paperwork seamlessly and digitally, cutting back on efforts and saving time in every update.

💰Incredible Technology, Incredible Savings

Houzeo’s technology makes FSBO easy by giving you access to tools only agents have
Learn more

Take Care of Title, Appraisal, and Inspection

TitleIn Alabama’s real estate laws, title insurance protects buyers and sellers with the title of properties. Generally, the title insurance policies are split between the seller and the buyer.
AppraisalA money/mortgage lender typically goes for a home appraisal to identify what is the appropriate value of a particular property. Based on the outcome by licensed appraisal agents, the lender decides the amount that should be part of the mortgage.

This is crucial while selling a house in Alabama by owner (or any other state) as it keeps the buyer protected from the unwanted sale prices.
InspectionInspection is also part of the process where licensed individuals scan the property for any issues. If there are defects, re-negotiations might take place between the seller and the buyer. Consulting a real estate agent may be a good option for the seller to take care of these processes.

How to Handle Closing in Alabama?

When selling a property in Alabama you would have to be prepared for paperwork and legalities. Even though your closing agent or attorney will handle most of the legal work involved in a property transfer, as a seller you do have several obligations. Here are the documents you would require for closing:

» More: Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

The HUD-1 or Closing DisclosureVery seldom, if you are putting a house in Alabama for sale and the sale is entirely in cash, you get the HUD-1. Whereas, if you purchase a home with a mortgage, you are expected to summarize the detailed costs in the Closing Disclosure.

These documents provide all the details regarding the amounts you’ve been charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds you will take to the bank. Depending upon how much equity you have in the property, you could also be required to bring a check (or send a wire) on the closing date.

It is also equally vital to ensure there are no typos in your name, address, property address, bank info, and other details. You should then review all the amounts and totals to make sure there are no errors, mathematically or otherwise.
Real Estate Purchase Agreement AlabamaThis written agreement entails information regarding the sale of property, buyers, and sellers, their names and contact details, purchase price, closing dates, earnest money, etc.
The DeedThe Deed enables the legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Sellers must read it carefully and verify all details including the legal description of the property, the deed book, the deed book page, and the Property Identification Number (PIN) if any.
Statement of Closing CostsThis statement gives insights while summarizing all the expenses involved in the transaction.
Certificate of TitleA certificate of Title allows sellers to claim their right of selling their property.

The below table showcases some more documents that you could require to sell a house in Alabama:

Loan PayoffYou need to provide proper documentation if the loan amount disbursement is completed In the case of a mortgage. You may otherwise need to provide how much you still owe.
Bill of SaleThe bill contains Information about the seller and the buyer with the selling price. This is quite important because it contains all the base information about the property.
Correction AgreementIn case there are any errors in the documentation, you may be required to correct those errors.
Survey papersWhat this documentation defines is the location and the dimensions of the property.
HOA formsIf the house is part of HOA, the seller needs to give the buyer all the documentation on restrictions, fees, financials, and more.
Repairing Proof The needs to furnish the relevant documentation in case of repairs made to the property before.
Home InspectionContains all the details about the inspection of the property.
Power of AttorneyIf the property is inherited, then the sellers need to furnish the details of the history and how the property was passed onto them.
Home WarrantyAll the coverage of the property, period and cost are within the home warranty.
Closing Disclosure This disclosure is provided to the lender as proof that the seller agreed to buyer concessions.
Close to ClearLender issues “close to clear” after he/she is satisfied that the buyer has fulfilled all the obligations mentioned as part of the loan commitment.
Health Department Approval (septic)Sellers must get the approval of the Alabama Health Department for the septic system of their homes. These rules vary from county to county, so accordingly you need to contact the local authorities.
AffidavitsA seller will need to provide a few affidavits like name affidavit, non-foreign, etc. This may also include affidavits like “Affidavit of Title” which discloses that you are the rightful owner of the property and that there are no liens on the property.

Ask Questions

If this is your first time selling a property or learning how to sell a house by owner in Alabama, schedule an appointment with the closing agent before the date of the closing. Before that appointment, do your research and ask clarifying questions on anything you have doubts about how to sell your own house in Alabama by owner. Readiness on how to sell your house by owner makes a huge difference.

Bring TWO Forms of Official ID

While putting homes for sale in Alabama, there will likely be a licensed notary involved in the closing process who’ll require you to swear on your identity. You would be required to furnish identity proof (like a passport, driving license, or any other authorized document) during the process. However, the closing process might also require you to produce secondary identity proof.

Closing documents are legally binding agreements, so ensure you keep the paperwork error-free when selling your house. Also, any errors can derail your sale and you may be forced to re-list your house. Not only this, but if you are stuck with the wrong paperwork, it can also severely impact the closing cost.

» More: Closing cost calculator for Alabama

Awareness of Overall Costs While Selling a Home by Owner in Alabama

It should be noted that realtor commission and sale price are not the only two things involved in a real estate transaction. In Alabama, there are multiple other fees involved while selling a home that should be known to a seller and is crucial for a sale. Here’s a list to get you started:

Note: The list will also help the seller in getting an answer to the question – What is the cost of selling a home in Alabama?

Transfer TaxTransfer Tax is a tax levied when the title of a property is transferred from one person to another. In the state of Alabama, Transfer Taxes are imposed at – “$0.50 for each $500 of the value of the property conveyed.”
Title InsuranceTitle insurance protects the buyer if an important chain of title ownership is missed by the Title agent/company which could cause issues later. The premium is typically paid by the buyer but it can be paid by either seller or buyer based on negotiations.

In Alabama, Title insurance is approximately $800.
Home WarrantyA seller may go for a home warranty if some components of the home (water heater, air conditioner, fans, etc.) require attention. This will benefit buyers in case a component of the home breaks down later.
Survey FeesA survey of the property is generally carried out before the purchase deal. It includes all the features related to the property. Surveys can generally cost you somewhere around $300- $670.
Attorney FeesA real estate attorney can help you with the documentation and other closing processes. Alabama real estate attorney fees could range from $256 per hour.
County Recording FeesIt is the amount charged by respective counties to register the sale of your house. The amount varies from county to county in Alabama. It generally varies between “50 per $500 or $1.00 per thousand on the value of the property conveyed”
Other CostsApart from the stated costs, multiple other costs are involved to sell a home in Alabama. These can be fees related to the courier, pest inspection, estoppel fees, and any other as imposed by the city/county. Apart from these, there can be fees to prep your home, relocation fees, and more.

How Much Will You Make by Selling a House in Alabama State?

The amount of money you will make after selling your house in Alabama depends on a lot of factors such as the cost of repairs, taxes you need to pay, closing costs, etc.

You can calculate your overall cost using Houzeo’s Advanced Closing Cost Calculator. The calculations are based on the latest prices and it gives you a very detailed estimate of all the costs involved in the transaction.

» More: Sellers have saved up to $11,000 by selling their properties with Houzeo!

What If I Want To Sell My Home Fast In Alabama?

Due to some reasons, a seller may want to sell his/her house fast in Alabama or any other state. Here’s what you can do in such cases:

Sell Your House For CashIf you want to sell your house fast in Alabama for cash then selling them to cash companies can be a very good option. Cash home buyers in Alabama are quite common and they can offer you cash right away and ensure your house is sold quickly. There are various types of cash companies that can ensure that the deal is closed instantly.

» More: Reviews of 13 Best Cash Companies
Offer Your House To A FlipperIn real estate in Alabama, Flippers are buyers that buy a property in its existing condition, repair it, and sell it at a higher price. Selling your house to a flipper will help you save time and dollars.

» More: How to Flip a House: An Introductory Guide For Beginners
Sell Your House As IsSelling a house as-is in Alabama can help you save hundreds of dollars by bypassing the repairs. This also ensures that your house is sold fast.

Selling a house as is can be done via a real estate wholesaler as well. A wholesaler is an investor who buys your house in the existing condition and sells it for a higher profit.

» More: Selling A Home As Is: A Step-By-Step Guide For Sellers

Difference Between Selling a House by Owner (FSBO) and With a Realtor

Selling a house FSBO in Alabama requires time and effort. It is always recommended to take the help of a realtor while selling your property. Of course, as discussed earlier, there are Flat Fee MLS platforms that make the job much easier.

Here are some of the differences between selling a house as FSBO and with the help of a Realtor:

With a Traditional Realtor
purely FSBO
FSBO with Houzeo
💲 Pricing5%-6% 2.5%-3%$349
📱 Cutting-Edge Technology
Superfast MLS Listing
📢 Maximum Exposure
⭐ 5-star Customer Support
📅 Showing Management
🔢 Offer Management

Final Word on How to Sell a House by Owner in Alabama

Minimum Service State*Yes
Seller Disclosures ComplexityAverage
Closing ProcessAverage

* Minimum Service State defines that a real estate agent needs to deliver at least some basic services to the seller in that state.

So, summarizing the answer to the question – How to sell your own house in Alabama?

While putting up houses for sale in Alabama, taking the FSBO route can be one of the best ways of selling your house by owner, but it makes the process a little complicated. A seller will need to be aware of a lot of processes and documents that form a part of the process. In fact, for most new sellers, the extra bucks incurred come at a cost. Ultimately, you will have to be on top of many things to close the deal and may require professional help.

After having learned about homes for sale by owner in Alabama, let’s now compare selling a home via an agent and via Flat-Fee MLS by the owner. This data will help understand which is the best way to sell a home.

Note: The comparison is generic and applies to all the states.

This is where Houzeo can help. With Houzeo, you have the option to list your property as an owner and enable a smooth closing process. You do not have to worry about complex processes as the platform is 100% online. It will help in listing your property on the MLS at a flat rate and take care of other tasks that otherwise would require manual intervention. Another big point is that due to platforms like Houzeo, the real estate agent commissions are declining. This is because of the Flat Fee MLS structure that companies are providing.

Check out some of the Houzeo reviews and how it has helped customers around the US.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to get my listing on the MLS in Alabama?

It takes 1-2 business days to list a house on MLS in Alabama. In the case of Houzeo, after you’ve submitted your property info and all other details, your home will go live on the same day or the next business day. The MLS system will manually enter the listing that takes extra two business days to process and activate.

What's FSBO?

FSBO, or For Sale By Owner, as the name suggests, is a term used for selling of house by the owner himself and without any help from an agent.

Is MLS needed to sell For Sale By Owner?

Absolutely! MLS is by far the most important tool a real estate agent can provide you. The US Department of Justice says that home sellers can save $6,200 on the sale of median-priced homes by choosing innovative services like MLS-only packages offered by brokers on Houzeo. If your home is more expensive – it’s much much more than that!

How much is the average realtor commission rate in Alabama?

The average realtor commission rate in Alabama varies between 5%-6%.

Can I sell my house in Alabama without an attorney?

No, you cannot sell a house in Alabama without an attorney.

How to sell (your) house without a realtor?

You can sell your house without a realtor with FSBO Alabama. You can list it on various Flat Fee MLS companies like Houzeo.

Can a realtor sell a house without listing it?

Yes, with the method of 'Off Market Listings', it is actually possible for a realtor to sell a house without a listing.

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