When selling a home, most people look to a real estate agent to help with the process. But if you have the time and are willing to put in the effort, you can sell on your own, without a Realtor. This is called “for sale by owner,” or FSBO for short, and it’s relatively common: About 10 percent of home sales were FSBOs in 2021, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

As is the case in any state, a North Carolina home seller going it alone will save on the cost of a listing agent’s commission. But in exchange, you’ll be responsible for all the tasks a pro real estate agent would typically handle, and the process can be both complex and time-consuming. Here’s more about how to sell by owner in North Carolina.

Selling a house without a Realtor in North Carolina

When you sell a house by owner, everything from determining how much the home is worth to negotiating over contract terms becomes your responsibility. Here are some basic steps to follow to put you in the best position for a successful sale:

First, create your listing

A sale listing requires eye-catching photos, a detailed description and, most of all, an asking price. Pricing your home is one of the most important parts of the FSBO process. You don’t want to list too high and risk pricing yourself out of the market, or too low and lose out on potential profits. Home values can vary greatly within the North Carolina housing market, depending on where in the state you’re located, so be sure to check recent sales of comparable properties in your area — these are called “comps” in real estate parlance — to get an idea of how much similar homes are selling for.

With the proliferation of online house-hunting, you’ll also want professional-quality photographs that make browsers want to stop scrolling and see more of your listing. Include both interior and exterior shots, and pay attention to curb appeal; a mowed lawn and some light landscaping can go a long way toward making a place feel welcoming.

Be sure your listing description hits on all the basic information, like the home’s age, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc., as well as any unique factors like a swimming pool, mountain views or proximity to the beach. School district info is useful for families, as well, and if your home is in a community that’s run by a homeowners association, you’ll want to include HOA info too.

Next, get your listing seen

The greater the visibility for your listing, the better: Even the most well-crafted listing is of no use if house-hunters can’t find it. You can post your listing on social media sites and share with friends and family, but the most efficient way to get it in front of homebuyers is to make sure it’s listed on the local MLS, or multiple listing service. This is something normally handled by a real estate agent, but there are ways to list a home on the MLS without an agent, if you pay for access. Look into sites like Houzeo, Broker Direct MLS, Flat Fee Realty and Carolina Listing Express, all of which will list FSBO homes for a fee. Some companies also provide marketing services, yard signs and more.

Without an agent, you’ll have to manage the scheduling of buyer showings on your own as well. Keep the property as clean and tidy as possible for last-minute visits or unannounced drop-ins, and use common-sense cautions when letting strangers into your home (especially if you still live there).

Accept an offer and close the sale

With any luck, all of your efforts will result in an offer or two. You may have to negotiate on your price and other deal terms in order to come to an agreement, so be prepared for a bit of haggling. This part can be extremely tricky without a pro by your side, but luckily, the state of North Carolina requires a real estate attorney to oversee a home sale. It’s smart to have your attorney look over the contract and other paperwork too, to be sure it’s legally sound and protects your interests properly. There’s too much money at stake to risk a mistake in the legal documentation.

Required disclosures for North Carolina home sellers

All North Carolina home sellers, FSBO or not, must submit a four-page disclosure statement outlining any problems that might affect the home’s value or safety. This means that if your property has a problem with the roof, you will need to disclose that on your form. If it is part of a homeowners association, you will need to document that, too, which can include submitting a copy of the HOA’s records, financial details and the board’s meeting minutes from the last year.

Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in North Carolina?

Yes. North Carolina is one of many states that requires a real estate attorney to manage a real estate closing. Their main role is to make sure all the documentation is in order before the deal is finalized, but it’s smart to hire one earlier in the process. With no real estate agent to guide you, FSBO sellers can really benefit from a legal expert going over the contract to make sure it’s sound.

Pros and cons of selling a house by owner in North Carolina

There are both benefits and drawbacks to an FSBO home sale in North Carolina.


  • No listing agent commission: As the seller, you will still be responsible for your buyer’s agent’s commission. But not having a listing agent means you save on that agent’s commission. Considering that each agent typically gets around 2.5 or 3 percent of the home’s sale price, that can be a considerable savings.
  • Full control and management of sale: When you sell your house yourself, there is no need to worry about another party getting in the way. You can manage the process exactly how you like with complete freedom from start to finish.


  • A lot of work: From crafting listings to coordinating showings to negotiating contracts, real estate agents do a lot to earn their fee. Without one, all that work falls on your shoulders.
  • Fewer potential buyers: Agents are also pro marketers, sharing their listings with fellow agents and a wide pool of house-hunters to garner the most possible interest. Not having that kind of support can limit the amount of potential buyers who see your listing.


  • Yes. You don’t necessarily need a Realtor to sell your North Carolina home, but if you opt to sell without one, be prepared for the responsibility and work that the process entails — including choosing the right price, creating a listing, marketing it to the right people and negotiating contract terms.
  • Yes, the state of North Carolina requires a real estate attorney to manage all real estate transaction closings. In addition to handling all the closing paperwork — of which there is a lot — it’s smart to have an attorney look over your purchase contract before signing it as well.