Chicago is one of the most renowned cities of Illinois where home prices surged 13.0% between 2021 and 2022. Record home prices mean you’ll pay record commissions. Selling a house by owner in Chicago saves you thousands in agent commissions.
77% of FSBO homes are selling in less than 2 weeks. Selling FSBO in Chicago is more popular and high-tech than ever.
Can I Sell My House by Myself in Chicago, IL?
Yes! You need to do just 4 things to successfully sell most homes by owner
- List on Your Local MLS: Homes listed on the MLS sell faster and for 17% more. The biggest challenge FSBO sellers in Chicago face is not getting access to their local MLS. There are over 600 MLS’ in the U.S. Houzeo.com will automatically assign you the right MLS for your property.
- Price Your Home Competitively: Be sure to look at recent sales in your neighborhood.
- Offer a Competitive Buyer Agent Commission: Most homes sell through a buyer agent, so it’s key to offer a competitive commission to them.
- Take Professional Photos: You’re competing for clicks online. More online clicks = more foot traffic. There’s no single investment as good as pro photos that convert clicks!
» For Sale By Owner Tips: See our 7 FSBO tips to sell a house fast in Chicago!
Should I Sell My Home by Owner in Chicago?
Yes, you should sell your home by owner in Chicago. 36% of Millennials, 26% of Gen Xers, 22% of Boomers, and 19% of Silent Gen are selling their homes by owner.
Real estate commissions in the US surpassed $100 billion in 2021. By selling FSBO, you will save thousands in commissions. You will also retain full control of your transaction. Finally, selling FSBO through a high-tech platform like Houzeo.com is faster than selling property in Chicago with a traditional agent.
👍 Key Benefits of Selling For Sale By Owner (FSBO) in Chicago
- Savings on Commission: Chicago home sellers spend around $18,900 on real estate commissions (based on the median home values in Chicago). Selling a house by owner in Chicago can help you save around $9,400 on the listing agent commission.
- Speed to Market: You can set out to sell your house whenever you are ready. You need not hunt for a real estate agent for selling your home in Chicago. FSBO websites like Houzeo can get you listed within 24-48 hours, or faster!
- Control Over Transaction: You interact directly with buyers or buyer agents. This reduces intermediaries involved in the transaction.
👎 Key Risks of Selling For Sale By Owner (FSBO) in Chicago
- No Help When You Need: If you need help with paperwork, inspections, negotiations, or closing, you’re on your own as a For Sale By Owner.
- No MLS Exposure: MLS is the most important tool an agent has. Selling FSBO means limited exposure, so there will be less competition for your property. That will likely reduce the selling price. Homes on the MLS sold for 17% more than homes, not on the MLS.
💲 List on MLS with Houzeo.com
Houzeo will get your home on the MLS within 2 business days – at $349 only!
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How to Sell a House by Owner (Without a Realtor) in Chicago?
Steps to Sell a House by Owner in Chicago
- Determine the Best Time to Sell Your House
- Price Your Home Competitively
- Prep Your Home for Sale
- Create an Appealing Property Description
- Fill out Seller Disclosure
- Market Your Home For Sale by Owner
- Manage Showings
- Review, Compare and Negotiate Offers
- Handle Closing
Step 1: Determine the Best Time to Sell a House in Chicago
The home-buying season in Chicago starts in spring and runs throughout the summer. It peaks in June which is the best month to sell a house in Chicago. You get up to $7,000 more than the average sale price by selling your home in June.
21% of the homes are listed on a Thursday as they sell quickly and are more likely to sell above the list price. So the best time of year for selling your house without an estate agent in Chicago is June on a Thursday.
Is it a Good Time to Sell a Home in Chicago Now?
The best time to sell your house is whenever you are ready. Never try to time the market – in the long term, that’s a difficult strategy.
» Best Time to Sell a House in Chicago, IL: Read our in-depth analysis
💲 List with Houzeo.com and Save Thousands
Lara Shane sold her condo with Houzeo and saved $24,000 in real estate commissions.
» List Now: Start your FREE listing on Houzeo.com!
Step 2: Price Your Home Competitively
Listing price is the single most important factor that will determine how quickly a home sells. Whether you’re selling a house in Chicago by owner or not, the listing price is crucial for attracting a wide pool of buyers.
REMEMBER! The purpose of the LIST PRICE is to DRIVE TRAFFIC to your listing. It’s not your SALE PRICE!!!
What happens if you underprice or over-price your listing?
|If you price it too low||You will get multiple offers. You’ll likely call for “Highest & Best Offer” or counter the best offers. And you will sell at market price.|
|If you price it too high||You will get little interest. That’ll make you drop the price, and you will sell at the market price.|
Real estate brokers in Chicago typically create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine what’s an ideal listing price for a property. With Zillow and Redfin, you can easily create your own CMA and understand how selling a house in Chicago works.
» How to Price Your Home for Sale in 6 Steps: Learn to Price Your Home Competitively with Houzeo
Step 3: Prep Your Chicago Home for Sale
Here are a few tips to prep to begin the process of selling a house by Owner in Chicago:
- Repaint Neutral: Neutral colors appeal to a wider range of buyers.
- Clean: Scrub, shampoo, wash, and deep clean every nook of your house.
- Improve Curb Appeal: Clear landscape or plant fresh flowers. First impressions are everything!
- Stage: Hire a professional stager or organize your furniture to make rooms look neat and spacious.
- Declutter & Depersonalize: You want the buyers to imagine their own life in your house, not yours.
- Showcase Natural Light: Natural light helps. Ensure you have opened curtains and blinds. Make sure every room has ample light, and add bulbs if necessary.
- Make Repairs: If there’s anything glaringly wrong, take care of it early. For instance, a squeaky doorknob will not be overlooked by potential buyers. It is best to get such defects fixed.
Making your home look its best self works wonders when selling real estate in Chicago by owner. Complement every room in a way that they narrate a story, don’t let furniture consume all the space, and create a visually appealing first look.
🤔 How to Sell a House As Is by Owner in Chicago?
Selling a house “as is” in Chicago by owner is easier with Houzeo.com. You can attract offers as high as 100% of the home value.
» List Now: Start your FREE listing on Houzeo.com!
Step 4: Create an Appealing Property Description
Here are a few best practices to make an appealing property description:
- Craft a Catchy Headline: You only have a few seconds to grab the readers’ attention. So, keep your headline short and use descriptive words.
- Make an Opening Statement: Highlight the features of your property that could not fit in the headline. For instance, parking in city listings, mountain or lake views, etc.
- Choose Popular Adjectives: Listings that contain words like captivating, luxurious, impeccable, stainless, etc. are sold more than the ones that do not include them.
- Avoid these Red Flag Words: A giant of real estate, Zillow found some red flag words which you need to avoid while writing the description. TLC, investment, investor, bargain, and cosmetic are some of these red flag words.
- Keep the Basic Info Aside: Do not talk about the super basic things of your property like stories, beds, and baths because these details are already available in your listing.
- Talk About Features: Mention name-brand appliances, type of flooring (cherry, walnut, etc.), energy-efficient devices like solar panels, wi-fi-enabled smart devices, etc.
- Mention Nearby Amenities: Talk about parks, schools, shopping places, and recreational facilities located nearby.
Step 5: Fill out the Chicago Seller Disclosure
Yes, it is mandatory to fill out seller disclosure in Chicago, IL. Here is the list of disclosures you need to provide.
- Residential Property Disclosure Statement: It is a kind of standard checklist form through which sellers can disclose their property’s condition. This typically includes material defects, features, nature of occupancy, space to provide additional information, etc.
- Lead-Based Paint Hazard: As per the legal binding, for homes built before 1978, the seller should declare any lead-based paint hazards in the house.
» Sellers Disclosure: Know Your Disclosure Obligations
🎯 Houzeo Makes FSBO Paperwork Easy
With varying federal, state, and MLS requirements, paperwork can be daunting. Houzeo automatically assigns you the right paperwork to get your property listed. You can get a Licensed Broker to assist you with closing, if that’s all you need.
» List Now: Start your FREE listing on Houzeo.com!
Step 6: Market Your Chicago Home For Sale by Owner
95% of home buyers search and review homes online. Getting maximum online exposure should be the #1 priority when selling their house, combined with other marketing tactics.
Here are six powerful ways to market your Chicago home for sale by owner:
|1.||List Your Chicago Home For Sale by Owner||Homes 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 entice potential buyers. |
Use for sale by owner websites to list your home for sale by owner 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.
|2.||Get a Yard Sign||Do not get a “FOR SALE BY OWNER” yard sign. FSBO yard signs have a negative association. Additionally, it’ll limit your options because some MLS’ will not allow them. |
Get a “FOR SALE” yard sign, preferably with your phone number. Houzeo custom yard sign is $49 only, and it comes 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.
|3.||Hire a Professional Photographer||Hire a professional real estate photographer to create a portfolio of your house. Professional photos can greatly impact the selling process by attracting more buyers.|
✍️ Pro Tip: A real estate photographer can collate a portfolio that otherwise may not be possible.
|4.||Share Your Listing on Social Media||Share your Houzeo listing on social media sites. It includes your contact info. If you share Zillow or Redfin listings, all the leads your listing generates will be sold to paying buyer agents who’ll demand a competitive buyer agent commission. |
Houzeo doesn’t sell your information or leads. All buyer leads see your contact info, so you might save the 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.
|5.||Print Sales Flyers/Brochures||Keep a flyer ready to hand out. Include property specifics: property description, sale price, property address, and your contact details.|
✍️ Pro Tip: Your MLS listing is the best flyer. It’s detailed, and most agents & buyers are familiar with the format.
|6.||List on Craigslist||Craigslist is still the biggest classified ad platform. And it’s still effective today. Here’s how to sell a house on Craigslist.|
» Creative Ways to Market a House: Discover 18 Unique Ways of Marketing Your Chicago Home
Step 7: Manage Showings
Once your property is ready for showings, it is critical to manage them effectively. You want to know who has seen or expressed interest in seeing your property. And you also want to track when a potential buyer last saw it.
Online showing scheduling tools provide buyers and buyer agents with a frictionless way to request and schedule showings. Cutting-edge showing technologies, like Houzeo Showings, also feature ways for buyers and buyer agents to provide feedback.
Houzeo Showings: How It Works
|1.||Set Showing Calendar||Buyers and buyer agents should only be shown times when the property is available for showing. This saves the time spent in correspondence of all parties.|
|2.||Request & Reschedule Showings||It’s critical that buyers and buyer agents can request showings at available times. Things do change sometimes, so they should be able to reschedule and cancel showing requests as well.|
|3.||Provide Feedback||Feedback from buyers and buyer agents is critical for home sellers. It allows them to assess if their property is priced too high, the backyard needs fencing, or the door lock was too difficult to open. If the property is on a major street, there’s nothing the home seller can do about it. But where the feedback is actionable, small remedies can improve showings and attract top dollar for your property.|
🗓️ Houzeo Showings: See how the most powerful showing app works on mobile and the web.
Introducing the Houzeo Mobile App!
- View your listing
- Review and compare offers
- Manage Showings Online
- Counter an offer
- NEW! Buyers can now search your property and save it in “Favorites”
Step 8: Review, Compare and Negotiate Offers for Sale of a House in Chicago
Though you are selling your home without a realtor in Chicago, the basics of what to do when you get offers remain the same. This includes accepting, declining, or ignoring the offers (not recommended).
Review the offers on all their merits, and never ignore an offer. Even if it’s a low-ball offer, you should counter with what you would accept. Where you are sure you don’t want to counter or accept, just politely decline.
Countering an offer, or calling for the highest & best offers are 2 advanced tactics in every real estate agent’s arsenal. When selling your home by owner in Chicago, you need to learn these 2 tactics.
Most companies will give you complex forms to counter an offer, or to request the highest & best. Houzeo has digitized these features. You can counter or ask for the highest & best offers with just a few clicks!
Houzeo Offers: How to Counter or Request Highest & Best
|#||Advanced Tactic||When to Use||How to Use|
|1.||Counter an Offer||Single or Multiple Offer Situation||Your best offer is not just the highest one. It’ll be competitive across several parameters: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. |
When countering an offer, you can request any of these parameters to be updated per your preferences.
▶️ Learn more: How to counter an offer on Houzeo.com
|2.||Request Highest & Best Offers||Multiple Offer Situation||If you have multiple offers, and a timeline by which you’d like to pick an offer, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all interested parties.|
▶️ Learn more: How to request Highest & Best offer on Houzeo.com
Step 9: Handle Closing in Chicago, IL
In Chicago, IL title companies and attorney handle the closing process and takes care of the legalities involved. You still have several obligations. These include:
1. Title, Inspection, and Appraisal
Title, appraisals, and inspections are crucial parts of selling a house by owner in Chicago. They all require agents/companies that could verify the data and aid in the selling process.
- Title: A clear title and a meticulous transfer are key to a real estate transaction. Title insurance protects you if there is any problem related to the prior ownership of the property. It makes you whole in case of a legal dispute related to the title.
- Inspection: A home inspector inspects the property before the home-buying process is completed. They check for any defects/repairs in the property and raise concerns accordingly. This ensures that the buyers don’t have to shell out money if there are defects in the property that the seller did not highlight.
- Appraisal: An appraiser does market research and evaluates the price of a specific property. The appraisal manager ensures that the seller offers a correct price per the market value. Here’s how to prepare for a home appraisal.
CMA vs. Appraisal: Know the Difference
Here is a table depicting the difference between Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and Appraisal:
|Performed by||Real estate agent/broker||Licensed appraiser|
|Purpose||Suggest the best listing price for a house||Help the bank determine the mortgage amount|
2. Paying all the Chicago Seller Closing Costs
The real estate transaction is not only about real estate agent commission and sale price, but also includes other costs. These include.
- Agent Commission: Even if you are selling your own home in Chicago by owner, there are chances that you will interact with represented buyers. Buyer agent commission in Chicago is around 2.5% to 3%.
- Title Insurance: It helps sellers/buyers from any legalities if there is a flaw in the ownership of the property. Either seller or buyer can pay the title insurance fee based on the negotiations.
- Title fee: In Chicago, the seller needs to pay the title fee to prove rightful ownership of the property.
- Attorney Fee: Real estate attorney fees in Chicago, IL is compulsory because attorneys and the title company close the deal. The average hourly charge of an attorney in Chicago, IL is $200 to $300.
- Documentary Stamp: It refers to the excise tax levied on the documentation that transfers the property from seller to the buyer. The average documentary stamp fee is $1.50 per $1000 of sales price.
- Escrow Fee: Paying the escrow fee is the responsibility of both buyer and the seller. The average escrow fee in Chicago, IL is $200-$500.
- Recording Fees: In Chicago, IL, the government charges this fee for legally recording the property deed and mortgage information. The average recording fee is $125.
- Property Tax: Property tax is levied to ensure that the buyer will be responsible for future tax bills. The average property tax is 2.16% of the property value in Chicago, IL.
- Transfer Tax: The typical transfer tax rate in Illinois is $0.50 per $500, or $500 per $100,000 of property value. Additionally, counties may apply the tax of $0.25 per $500.
- Mortgage Payoffs: The seller has to pay off any remaining balance of the mortgage on your property with the proceeds of your home sale at closing.
- Home Inspection Fee: Home inspection costs around $300-$600 in Chicago, IL.
- HOA Estoppel Fee: It needs to be paid by the seller as part of the process. In Chicago, IL it ranges from $200-$500.
- HOA Transfer Fee: This fee is charged by the homeowner association in exchange for the services it provides. It is a kind of maintenance fee.
- Home Warranty: The seller has to pay for a home warranty only if any home appliances (water heater, air conditioner, fans, etc.) require attention. This amount will benefit buyers if any of these appliances break down later. The average home warranty fee in Chicago, IL is $300-$600 per year.
- Survey Fees: In Chicago, IL, a survey is conducted before finalizing a real estate transaction. A home survey in Chicago typically costs around $125.
- Utility Bills: The title company usually checks for unpaid bills and utility liens. If there are any dues, the seller must clear them at closing. This fee varies according to the pending dues.
» Seller Closing Costs in Illinois: How much does it cost to sell a house by owner?
How to Draft Your Chicago For Sale By Owner Contract?
You can draft your own for sale by owner Chicago contract, but we do not recommend it. It is best to hire a real estate attorney for drafting the contract. A real estate attorney would provide you with professional guidance when needed. They will also ensure the contract stands legally binding for both parties.
What is a For Sale By Owner Contract?
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) contract is a legally binding document used when selling a property by owner. A typical FSBO Chicago, IL contract contains the name of the buyer and the seller, contract date, property description, terms of payment, contingencies, etc.
» For Sale by Owner Contract: Who makes it, is it legally binding, and what does it contain?
What Documents Do I Need To Sell My House in Chicago Without An Agent?
You are required to do following paperwork for selling a house by owner in Chicago:
- The HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure: When homes are purchased with a mortgage, you’ll summarize the detailed costs in the Closing Disclosure. If your sale is all cash, you may get the HUD-1, which is less common. These documents detail the amounts you’re charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds you will take to the bank.
- The Deed: It enables the legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Read this document carefully, verifying all details including the legal description of the property, the deed book, the deed book page, and the Property Identification Number (PIN), if any.
- Chicago Residential Purchase Agreement: It is a standard form of real estate contract that details the terms of transactions. It contains aspects such as sale price, financing contingencies, property description, etc.
- Bill of Sale: It contains information about the sellers and the buyer with the selling price.
- Statement of Closing Costs: This statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction.
- Certificate of Title: It allows you to state that you have the right to sell the property.
There are also additional documents required in selling a home by owner in Chicago, IL. Some of the legal documents needed for selling a house without a Realtor in Chicago, IL or even otherwise are stated below:
- Loan Payoff: You need to provide proper documentation if the disbursement of the loan amount has been completed. Else, you need to provide how much you still owe.
- HOA Forms: If the house is part of HOA, the seller needs to give the buyer all the documentation on restrictions, fees, financials, and more.
- Survey Papers: The documentation defines the location and the dimensions of the property. This is important while selling a home in Chicago.
- Repairing Proof: While selling real estate in Chicago, if the seller has made repairs to the property before the sale, they need to furnish the relevant documentation.
- Power of Attorney: If the property is inherited, then the seller needs to furnish the details of the history and how the property was passed onto him/her.
- Home Inspection Report: This contains all the details about the inspection of the property.
- Home Warranty Papers: It contains all the coverage of the property, period, and cost of insurance.
- Correction Agreement: A correction agreement is a document that allows the buyers and sellers the scope to correct mistakes in some specific documents like a sale deed, a title deed, etc.
- Affidavits: A 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.
» Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor: Everything You Need to Know
🚀 Blast Past Paperwork With Houzeo
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If this is your first time selling a property or learning how to sell your own home in Chicago, 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. Readiness on how to sell a house by owner in Chicago makes a huge difference.
Bring TWO Forms of Official ID
There will likely be a licensed notary involved who’ll require that you swear you are who you say you are. Take a valid driver’s license or passport for ID. Carry a secondary ID as well, just in case.
Closing documents are legally binding agreements. Ensure you keep the paperwork error-free or you can derail your sale and be forced to re-list your house.
Sell Your House Fast in Chicago
Opt for the following ways to sell your home fast in Chicago:
- How to Sell My House Fast in Illinois: Check out the quickest ways to sell your house
- Selling a House AS IS in Chicago: Selling a house as is in Chicago means the buyer accepts the property in the existing condition. Read further to know how selling “as is” works in Chicago.
- Companies that Buy Houses for Cash in Illinois: Sell your distressed properties with Companies that Buy Houses for Cash. Discover the top companies that purchased houses for cash in Chicago, IL.
FSBO Alternatives You Might Consider
If saving money is the main goal you should consider the following:
- Selling FSBO with Houzeo: Houzeo provides the best combination of fast listing, max savings, maximum exposure, cutting-edge tech, and 5-star customer service.
- Flat Fee MLS Chicago, IL: Flat Fee MLS companies get you on the MLS for a small flat fee saving you thousands in commissions. Check out our rankings for the best Chicago Flat Fee MLS companies.
- Discount Real Estate Brokers in Chicago, IL: If you want to save on commission but still need constant guidance and support, go for a discount broker. We have ranked the top discount brokers in Chicago.
Bottom-line: Selling your Home Without a Realtor in Chicago is Easy
The average real estate agent commission in Chicago is around $18,900. You can save thousands in commissions by selling your home by owner in Chicago with a sophisticated For Sale By Owner platform like Houzeo.
Best and The Fastest Way to Sell A House in Chicago By Yourself
Why Houzeo is #1: Houzeo provides the best combination of max savings, max exposure, cutting-edge tech, and 5-star customer service.
Packages: Houzeo offers 4 Flat Fee MLS packages.
- Bronze Package – $299: It is best for selling a lot. Your listing gets syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Redfin, and more.
- Silver Package – $349: This includes everything competitors like Fizber.com charge $399 for. In addition, you can make unlimited changes to your listing.
- Gold Package – $429: It is Houzeo’s signature package and includes all the technology Houzeo is known for: Houzeo Showings, Houzeo Offers, and Digital Transaction Management.
- Platinum Package – $999+: It includes the assistance of a licensed broker to help you with negotiations, disclosures, and closing.
Custom Yard Sign: To maximize exposure, Houzeo offers custom “For Sale” yard signs. It costs $49 and comes free with a selfie!
👉 Our Take: We recommend the GOLD plan. You’ll have access to Houzeo’s cutting-edge technology, making managing showings and offer negotiations easy!
» Houzeo reviews: Check what customers have to say about our services!
- Quick listing
- Nationwide coverage
- Mobile app availability
- Savings on commissions
- 100% online – easy listing, fast changes, online showings, and online offers
- Listings get syndicated to Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, and 100s of other sites
Houzeo is available nationwide.
» NEED MORE CLARITY? Watch exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why the platform is the best in America’s competitive housing market.
Real People, Real Stories
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Resources for Selling Your Chicago Home
The best ways to sell your house fast in Chicago are listing on the MLS or selling to cash home buyers. Find out what works best for you!.
Save on realtor commissions while selling a property with the best Flat Fee MLS Chicago, IL listing companies. Read more to know how?.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you sell a house without a realtor in Chicago?
Yes, you can sell a house without a realtor in Chicago as FSBO. You can opt for a Flat Fee MLS company to get listed on the MLS. Check out our rankings for the Best Flat Fee MLS Chicago Companies.
2. Do you need a lawyer to sell a house in Chicago?
Yes, you need an attorney to sell your house n Chicago. The closing process in Chicago is handled by title companies and attorneys.
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