Key takeaways

  • You don't have to work with a real estate agent to sell your house in Colorado. However, doing so can make the process much easier.
  • If you take the "for sale by owner" route, you won't pay a listing agent’s commission, but you're still on the hook for the buyer's agent’s fee.
  • Without agent representation, it’s a good idea to hire a real estate attorney to review the contract and other important paperwork.

Realtor fees are one of the biggest expenses homeowners face when selling their home, no matter what state they’re located in. If you’re trying to cut costs, you might have considered not hiring one and instead taking the “for sale by owner” or FSBO path.

There are pros and cons to this method: Owner-sellers are responsible for all the work a listing agent typically handles, which is significant. On the other hand, you’ll have more control over the process and won’t have to pay the commission for that agent. Here’s an overview of how to sell by owner in Colorado, so you can decide if going it alone is right for you.

Selling a house without a Realtor in Colorado

When you sell your house without a real estate agent’s help, you take on all of an agent’s usual duties yourself. This includes everything from creating the listing to preparing the closing paperwork — and everything in-between. Here are some of the main responsibilities you’ll assume with a FSBO sale.

Create your listing

Putting together a listing is one of the first things you’ll need to do to get the word out about your home. This involves writing a compelling description of your property that covers:

  • Basic information about your house: Its age, lot size, square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are all important to include.
  • Special features: Got a hot tub for post-skiing soaks, or an impressive mountain view? Be sure to play them up.
  • Other relevant details: You’ll also want to add information about the neighborhood and local school district. Distance to amenities, shopping or main roads might be important in smaller towns, too. And if your property is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), go into detail on that, too.

To bring your listing to life, include high-quality photos — taken by a professional, if possible — depicting both the inside and outside of the house. Buyers will see your listing online first, and if they aren’t impressed, they’ll keep on scrolling and never bother to come see it in person, so photos matter more than you might think.

But of course, the most crucial part of your listing is the asking price. How much is your home worth? To determine the answer, you’ll need to research local comps, or how much other, similar homes in your area are selling for.

Try to set aside your feelings as the owner and be as objective as you can when setting your price. The median sale price of a single-family home in Colorado was $548,950 as of January 2023, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR). However, prices vary widely across the state, so prices in your area may be lower or higher.

Market your property

When your listing is ready, your next task is to get it seen by prospective buyers. Start by putting it on your local multiple listing service (MLS), a database of for-sale properties in your area. Usually, only real estate professionals can access the MLS, but there are local and national services that will list it on your behalf, usually for a flat fee. In Colorado, these companies include Home Savings Realty, Flat Fee Group and Houzeo. Some firms have multiple packages to choose from, which might include yard signs, photos and more.

On top of that, you can promote your property in local community groups, on websites like Craigslist and on social media. Be mindful about how much personal information you share online, though — you don’t want to attract scammers or compromise your safety.

Next up: Scheduling open houses or private viewings to get home shoppers onto your property. Ask interested buyers to include their mortgage preapproval letter with their offer so you can confirm that they have the financial means to back it up.

Close your deal

Ideally, you’ll bring in a few offers so you can compare them and pick the best one. This part of the process often involves negotiating pricing, contingencies and seller concessions, so be prepared for some back and forth with the buyer’s agent.

Once you’ve agreed on a price and other details, you’ll draft a purchase and sale agreement. It’s a good idea to have a real estate attorney review this legal document — or even better, draw it up. An attorney can also look over other important paperwork to make sure your interests are protected.

Required disclosures for Colorado home sellers

As a home seller in Colorado, you must complete the state’s seller’s property disclosure form. In it, you’ll describe any previous or current problems with the house, including the building itself or its appliances and major systems (such as electrical and water). If the property is part of an HOA, you’ll also need to disclose that, and provide the buyer with information about its rules, bylaws and finances. Other required forms may include a green disclosure, which details your property’s energy-efficiency features, and a lead-based paint disclosure.

Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in Colorado?

No, you don’t need a lawyer to sell a house in Colorado. But hiring one anyway is a smart idea for all sellers, especially those who are going it alone. Navigating a real estate transaction can be tricky, with a lot of paperwork and complex contract language, and any misstep can have serious implications. A local real estate attorney will know your area’s laws, look after your interests and ensure the deal is completed correctly.

Pros and cons of selling a house by owner in Colorado

If you’re on the fence about selling without an agent, consider the benefits and drawbacks as they apply to your situation:

Pros

  • You’ll pay less in commission: Without an agent representing you, there’s no need to pay their commission. Agents typically receive between 2 and 3 percent of a home’s sale price, so based on the median price in Colorado, you’d save between $10,979 and $16,468. You’ll still have to pay the same amount to the buyer’s agent, though.
  • You call the shots: With a FSBO listing, you’re free to do things however you’d like. From pricing to marketing to negotiating, it’s all up to you.
  • There’s less back-and-forth: Real estate agents usually have multiple clients at the same time, so there might be delays in scheduling and communication. You don’t have to worry about this if you sell independently.

Cons

  • It’s hard work: As licensed professionals, agents know the ins and outs of the Colorado housing market and have extensive experience with creating listings, attracting buyers and managing the closing process. Without this knowledge, selling a home can be challenging.
  • You might earn less money: There’s a lot of money at play in a real estate transaction, and a negotiation misstep or mistake in your paperwork can be costly. In addition, according to NAR data, you might not earn as much on your home sale: In 2023, they say, FSBO homes sold for a median of $310,000, while agent-assisted properties had a median sale price of $405,000.
  • It can be harder to find buyers: Agents work hard to promote your property, and they often tap into their network of fellow agents to do so. Without these connections, you might struggle to attract buyers. In fact, NAR data shows that 57 percent of FSBO sellers sold to someone they already knew.

FAQs

  • Yes, you’re free to sell a home without hiring a Realtor in Colorado. But a FSBO sale require a lot of work, including creating and promoting your listing, showing your home to buyers and negotiating a deal, so make sure you’re ready for the time commitment.
  • No, Colorado does not legally require you to hire an attorney to sell your house. However, it’s advisable to do so anyway to protect your interests in such a big financial transaction — especially if you don’t have an agent guiding you through the process.