Thinking about selling your home in the Evergreen State without using a real estate agent? You aren’t legally required to hire one, but if you choose to go it alone, be prepared for some challenges along the way. Handling the sale on your own means you’ll need to manage all tasks typically performed by a listing agent, including understanding local laws and regulations, creating an effective marketing plan, negotiating terms, and more. For sale by owner (or FSBO for short) sales save you an expensive listing agent commission fee, but they can also be both strenuous and risky. Here’s what to know about how to sell your house without a Realtor in Washington state.

Selling a house without a Realtor in Washington

There are several critical steps involved in this process. Opting to sell your home on your own in Washington, or any other state, requires handling numerous tasks that would normally be done by a licensed pro. Here are the basic steps to follow:

Step 1: Create a listing

When preparing your home’s listing, it’s essential to write a description that both covers the basics and highlights any major features the property may have. This should include specifics like the property’s age, square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, plus any unique amenities such as a swimming pool, barn or noteworthy view. Information about the neighborhood and school district is also useful.

Pairing your description with high-quality photos and videos is equally important, as most homebuyers depend heavily on online listings. Investing in professional photography can greatly enhance your property’s appeal and attract more potential buyers by making them want to click instead of scrolling past.

Finally, setting the correct asking price is the most crucial aspect of your listing. Consider your local market conditions carefully: Research prices on comparable properties in your area that have sold recently to determine your home’s fair market value. Be as realistic and objective as you can — try to see it as a product for sale and not your home when determining what buyers would likely be willing to pay for it.

Step 2: Market your property

Once you have a listing, the next step is to market it to potential buyers. Social media and platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor can be useful, as long as you’re cautious about the information you share with strangers online. But the best way to get your listing in front of buyers is to put it on the local MLS (multiple listing service). This compilation of for-sale homes is usually only accessible to real estate pros, but there are various companies that will list your home on the MLS for a fee. FSBO sellers in Washington can try platforms like Houzeo, Flat List,, and Sell By Owner Washington, among many others.

Marketing also includes in-person home tours, whether by appointment or by holding an open house. These require a lot of tidying up and coordination of schedules — especially if you’re still living there — so plan accordingly. And again, use caution when inviting strangers into your home.

Step 3: Clinch the deal

Evaluate your comfort level with negotiations — without a real estate agent representing you, it will be your job to haggle back-and-forth with buyers about price, contract terms and more.

The state of Washington does not require home sellers to hire a real estate attorney, but for FSBO sellers in particular, doing so anyway can be a very smart idea. A lawyer can draft a purchase contract that protects your interests and manage the paperwork needed for closing, which can be complex. Legal assistance ensures you are adequately protected throughout the entire transaction.

Required disclosures for Washington home sellers

There’s a lot of paperwork involved in any real estate transaction. FSBO sellers need to understand all the required disclosures they must provide to the buyer — in Washington, this includes the state’s seller’s disclosure statement for residential property. This details the property’s condition and any known defects, and it is the seller’s responsibility to complete it accurately.

Washington sellers may also have to provide a flood risk statement, a lead-based paint disclosure for homes built before 1978 and a radon testing pamphlet along with the disclosure. In addition, if the property is part of a homeowners association, you’ll need to provide documentation about the HOA’s rules and bylaws, financial statements and more.

Pros and cons of selling a house by owner in Washington

FSBO transactions come with benefits, especially for experienced sellers who feel confident in their grasp of the process. However, there can be significant downsides too.


  • Commission savings: A listing agent’s commission typically comes to between 2.5 and 3 percent of the home’s sale price. With Washington’s high median sale price — $658,500 in April, according to Redfin data — that amount can be significant. A 2.5 percent commission on a sale of that price comes to more than $16,000, so foregoing a listing agent can mean serious savings. (Keep in mind that, depending on the details of your specific deal, you may still need to pay your buyer’s agent.)
  • Complete control: Selling on your own gives you full authority over all decisions, without any external influences. You can manage every aspect of the sale according to your own preferences.
  • Faster process: Without a Realtor juggling multiple clients, FSBO sellers can often streamline the sales process and avoid delays associated with scheduling conflicts and extended response times.


  • Lower profits: Without the benefit of professional marketing, your home may not sell for as much as it could. According to the National Association of Realtors, FSBO homes typically sell for less than those sold with an agent.
  • No pro expertise: Agents are licensed pros with expert knowledge of local markets. This can help with accurate home valuation, effective marketing and navigating complex negotiations. Without this expertise, FSBO sellers must rely on their own knowledge and skills.
  • Smaller buyer pool: Real estate agents market properties widely, both to buyers and to other agents. This attracts a larger pool of potential buyers then you’ll likely be able to reach on your own.

Bottom line

It’s possible to sell your Washington home without a real estate agent, and doing so saves you from having to pay their commission fee. But it’s essential to weigh the risks and benefits before committing to a “for sale by owner” transaction. Be prepared for significantly more preparation and work than you might expect, and for negotiating directly with buyers (and their agents).


  • Yes, you can. Home sellers are not required to work with any type of real estate agent if they don’t want to, in Washington or any state. However, if you choose to go this route, be ready to handle listing, marketing, showing and negotiating the sale of the property all on your own — it’s a big commitment.
  • No. Hiring an attorney is not mandatory for selling a home in Washington state, whether you’re using a real estate agent or not. However, if you don’t have an agent to guide you, legal expertise can be invaluable. A lawyer can manage essential contracts and other paperwork, and more importantly, can ensure your interests are protected throughout the transaction.