How to Sell a House By Owner in Connecticut

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When the time comes to move, you want the highest proceeds from your home sale. It’s likely you need these funds to help purchase your next house, so every penny counts. To save on agent commissions, some enterprising homeowners in Connecticut decide to take control of their home sale and figure out how to sell a house by owner.

While millions of homes are sold annually, only about 7% of sellers choose the “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) route. Interestingly, nearly 60% of these sellers already knew the buyer, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

In this guide to selling FSBO in Connecticut, we’ll explore the challenges you might face selling by owner in the Constitution State. We’ll also provide a comprehensive overview of the entire process of preparing, marketing, and closing the sale of your home without the help of a real estate agent.

Unsure About Selling FSBO in Connecticut?

If you don’t have the time or expertise to list your home FSBO, partner with a trusted, top agent in your Connecticut market. We analyze over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to find you the best agent for your unique situation.

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to consult with an expert to discuss your options, HomeLight would be happy to introduce you to a highly-rated real estate agent in your Connecticut city. Top agents know the local market and can typically get you a top-dollar sale and provide a better selling experience. 

How does selling by owner (FSBO) work in Connecticut?

Disclaimer: This post is intended for educational purposes. HomeLight recommends you research your area’s real estate regulations and consult a trusted advisor.

FSBO is a method of selling your house without hiring a listing agent. In a FSBO transaction, the seller assumes the responsibilities that would normally fall to their real; estate agent, such as pricing the home, marketing it to potential buyers, arranging showings, and negotiating the final sale agreement.

In an agent-assisted sale, the seller traditionally pays a Realtor fee or commission amounting to about 6% of the property’s sale price, which is then most typically split 50/50 with the buyer’s agent. That 6% is deducted from the seller’s proceeds at closing. By selling FSBO, a seller can remove the expense of the listing agent’s commission (which is about 3%), though they may still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission.

Commission changes on the horizon

In March 2024, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced a landmark lawsuit settlement that will change the way real estate agent commissions are handled in the future. These changes will “decouple” seller and buyer agent compensation. Industry experts predict that this decoupling will likely lower agent fees and give buyers the ability to negotiate commission amounts directly. Learn more.

You can learn more about the average Connecticut real estate commission rate at this link.

Regardless of how commissions play out in the future, buyers’ agents in Connecticut will expect compensation for the work they do to bring a buyer to a sale, such as arranging showings and helping to tee up and qualify the buyer. Plus, when a seller isn’t working with an agent, the buyer’s agent may end up carrying more of the weight to get the deal to the finish line.

Selling by owner doesn’t mean you won’t need professional assistance. In Connecticut, sellers are required to hire a licensed attorney to conduct real estate closings. But even if it wasn’t required by law, FSBO sales typically warrant legal and professional oversight to avoid an abundance of legal risk.

Most people who sell by owner hire an attorney to make sure all the paperwork is filled out properly, such as the seller’s disclosures. We’ll address what disclosures are required when selling a house in Connecticut later in this post.

Why sell a house by owner in Connecticut?

The top three reasons people typically cite for selling a home by themselves include: “did not want to pay a commission or fee” (31%); sold to a relative, friend, or neighbor (36%); or that the buyers contacted the seller directly (20%), according to NAR data.

While a top-cited reason is to save money, data from NAR shows that FSBO homes sold last year at a median of $310,000, significantly less than the median of agent-assisted homes, which was $405,000.

As you can see, selling a home FSBO in Connecticut can present a number of pitfalls. So, before we share our selling tips, let’s lay out some pros and cons to help you decide if this is the best path for you.

Pros of selling a house by owner

  • Save on listing agent commission fees, usually around 3% of the sale price.
  • Complete control over the sale process.
  • Direct communication with buyers.

Cons of selling a house by owner

  • FSBO listings generally sell for less.
  • FSBO homes can take longer to sell without a buyer lined up.
  • Handling all communications and negotiations is time-consuming.
  • No expert help in negotiations can mean less profit.
  • Pricing the home accurately is difficult and risky.
  • Marketing your home takes a lot of time.
  • You’ll still face selling costs like transfer taxes and settlement fees, and may pay more in seller concessions.
  • Showing your home to unvetted strangers can be a safety concern.
  • Without an agent, you might face legal risks related to disclosure issues.

In spite of the possible pitfalls, we’ll help you navigate the challenges of FSBO if you’re committed to selling your Connecticut home without a Realtor. For some, selling a FSBO is a challenge worth accepting, and success can be measured in more ways than one.

Steps to sell a house by owner

Next, let’s review the FSBO process step by step.

1. Prepare your house for sale

Whether you’re selling with an agent or FSBO, at a minimum, you’ll want to get your Connecticut home into respectable shape before any showings to increase your chances of receiving a fair price. According to a recent HomeLight survey of more than 1,000 top agents, a staged home can sell for up to 13% more than an unstaged home.

Here are a few standard preparation tasks to put on your list.

Indoors

These efforts will go a long way toward impressing buyers looking for a home in Connecticut:

  • Declutter floors, shelves, and surfaces throughout the home.
  • Make small fixes and repairs, like a leaky faucet or broken door handle.
  • Lightly update with new light fixtures, faucets, or cabinet hardware.
  • Refinish hardwood floors.
  • Repaint bold walls (or those that look dingy) in a neutral color.
  • Reduce furniture in crowded rooms — consider a temporary storage unit.
  • Stage the home with final touches like fresh-cut flowers or a basket of fresh produce.
  • Use rugs to define spaces and place them strategically.
  • Deep clean until the house is sparkling.
  • Open blinds or drapes to show off a great view and add natural lighting. Replace any dim, blown, or missing bulbs with bright bulbs.
  • Have a dedicated space or room for an in-home office to make it appealing to a remote worker.

Outdoors

Data from another HomeLight survey showed that, on average, buyers will pay 7% more for a house with great curb appeal versus a home with a neglected exterior.

Some important curb appeal upgrades can include:

  • Mow the lawn and pull weeds.
  • Apply fresh mulch liberally.
  • Upgrade your landscaping. Consider a new walkway, flowerbed, or shrubs.
  • Add a fresh coat of exterior paint.
  • Install a new garage door if yours is looking old or not working properly.
  • Check for weather damage from storms–loose shingles, gutter damage, or driveway cracks.
  • Clean and power wash outdoor decks and patio spaces.
  • Make sure air conditioning is maintained for Connecticut’s humid summers.

2. Do the homework necessary to set a competitive price

You’ve arrived at a critical decision in your FSBO process: setting a selling price, also known as the listing price. You don’t want to leave money on the table, yet you want to encourage buyer activity on your listing.

Before listing a home, a seasoned agent typically conducts a comparative market analysis (CMA). This is a detailed report of local “comps” — similar homes nearby that have recently sold, are pending, are still for sale, or were previously listed but then taken off the market.

In a recent HomeLight survey, 28% of top agents said the biggest mistake sellers are making is overpricing their homes. A professional CMA from a seasoned agent can help you avoid this pitfall. However, with a little time and dedication, a FSBO seller can set a competitive selling price. We’ll show you how to get started.

Conduct your own “CMA Lite”

Handling your own surface-level comparative market analysis begins with research.

Start with an online home value estimate

As a starting point, look at several online estimators for your home’s value. HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator aggregates publicly available data such as tax records and assessments, your home’s last sale price, and recent sales records for other nearby Connecticut properties.

We also add a new layer of information to our estimates using a short questionnaire. Tell us a few details about your Connecticut home, such as:

  • How much work does it need?
  • What type of home is it (single-family, condo, townhouse, or other)?
  • Roughly when was your house built?
  • Are you planning to sell soon?

Using these insights, we’ll provide you with a preliminary estimate of home value in under two minutes.

Whether you use HomeLight’s home value estimate or other estimators (Zillow, Chase, Realtor, Redfin), think of any online home price tool as a first step — and recognize that the data used may be limited.

Narrowly filter your search for comps

When you’re ready to find comps, you can choose from sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, or Realtor.

You’ll want to filter your searches to the area very near your house (within blocks if possible) and with similar characteristics. If you’re not finding any comps, expand your search map.

You’ll also want to filter results by details like:

  • Listing status (look at recently sold, pending, and active)
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • Home type (single-family, condo, etc.)

Beyond the above criteria, the more houses you find with floor plans and an age similar to yours, the better.

Use a site like Zillow to collect your data

As an example, let’s take a look at how to filter your search for comps on Zillow.

  • Navigate to Zillow.
  • Type in your address. If a pop-up with your home’s specs appears, close it with the “X” on the top right (or sometimes you must click “Back to search” on the top left).
  • Filter by “sold.” Yellow dots should appear on the map surrounding your house, and you will see all the recently sold homes on the right.

  • Now, filter by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and check the box “Use exact match.”

  • Next, filter by home type.

  • Next, select the “More” box. Here you can specify square footage, lot size, year built, and — crucially — the “sold in last” (time period) category.

  • While still in the “More” filter box, scroll down and select to view houses that sold in the last 30 days. If you find there are not many results in your area, try expanding to 90 days. However, the further back you go, the less relevant the comps.
  • If necessary, click the plus or minus buttons to widen the search area.
  • Once you’ve collected data for sold houses, revise or restart the search to view active and pending listings, as well.

Invest in an appraisal

If you want to further reduce pricing guesswork, top Connecticut agents recommend paying an appraiser to provide a professional opinion of value for your home. An appraiser will combine recent property data, research of the surrounding market, and information collected from a walkthrough of your home to determine an appraised value. For a single-family home, an appraisal will likely cost in the range of $300 to $550 — well worth it to avoid possibly over- or underpricing your home by thousands of dollars.

Make sense of the research

Compare your Connecticut home’s features against the nearby comps you collected. From there, you can make price adjustments based on characteristics that add value (patios, curb appeal, an extra bedroom) versus detracting from it (a busy street, deferred maintenance, less square footage, highway noise, etc.).

Consider the differences and similarities of comps with the appraised value of your home to choose a price that will encourage a balance of buyer activity (too high, and the home may seem out of reach to many buyers), but will also maximize your profit.

A fenced backyard, deck, office, or entertainment room are examples of valuable home features in Connecticut. An auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU), like a mother-in-law suite, is an extra-high-demand feature.

How Much Is Your Connecticut Home Worth Now?

Get a near-instant real estate house price estimate from HomeLight for free. Our tool analyzes the records of recently sold homes near you, your home’s last sale price, and other market trends to provide a preliminary range of value in under two minutes.

3. Photograph your home

Listing photos are powerful tools and often provide your first chance at virtual curb appeal, either pulling in buyers for showings or keeping them away.

To give your listing a crucial marketing edge, hire an experienced real estate photographer. While they may charge as much as $160 to $200 an hour, the ROI will far exceed this investment. Ask your photographer about including a video tour on their quote.

But if you do go the DIY route, make sure to:

  • Use a good camera with a wide-angle lens.
  • Pay attention to lighting.
  • Include a photo of every room.
  • Take multiple pictures of living areas, kitchens, and bathrooms.
  • Try shooting different angles.

Review our guide on how to take quality real estate photos for further guidance.

4. Create a detailed, compelling listing

Along with stellar photos, you’ll want to craft an informative and compelling listing for your Connecticut property. Leverage both the listing description (a paragraph or two highlighting key features) and the property details to show potential buyers all about your home and what makes it desirable.

Tell a story with your description

Draw in potential buyers with a powerful listing description that tells a story about your Connecticut house, including details like:

  • Your home’s most unique and desirable features, like a breakfast nook or sunroom
  • Recent upgrades like a kitchen or bathroom remodel, new roof, or HVAC system
  • High-end appliances, materials, or finishes
  • Outdoor features like a pool or patio
  • Neighborhood features and amenities
  • Nearby parks, walking trails, restaurants, and attractions
  • Highlights in nearby metropolitan areas (Bridgeport, Stamford, New Haven, or Hartford), such as best BBQ restaurants, sporting venues, and cultural opportunities.

The listing description is a chance to sell your home and community and describe what a photo may not be able to show. Write a magnetic headline and emphasize the most desirable features of your house, such as its amenities, as well as what the surrounding area offers, such as golf courses, hiking trails, and great restaurants.

Don’t skimp on the property details

Aside from writing the description, you may be prompted to enter information like:

  • Age of the house
  • Total square footage
  • Architectural style (i.e., split-level, rancher, craftsman)
  • Appliances that are included
  • Exterior building materials
  • Flooring types
  • Any HOA fees
  • School zone or district information
  • Lot size and fencing

Real estate agents and potential buyers will read the fine print on your listing, so it’s important to include accurate, interesting details — and plenty of them.

5. List your home online

It’s finally time to post your Connecticut home online. While you can create FSBO listings for free on popular search sites, you’d have to painstakingly post site by site, and your listing wouldn’t reach the majority of buyers and agents.

To give your home the most exposure, pay to have your home put on your local MLS (multiple listing service) — a platform agents use to share properties with one another as well as major real estate sites. Posting there will feed your listing to buyers’ agent databases and to common sites buyers use.

Only licensed real estate agents and brokers who are MLS members can post to the MLS. However, you have two options to gain access: paying an agent to post for you or using a FSBO platform online.

Pay an agent to list your home on the MLS

A local agent may be willing to list your Connecticut property on the MLS for a flat fee, without any other involvement in your real estate transaction. If you decide to go this route, ask whether the fee includes updating your listing if necessary.

Use a FSBO platform with an MLS option

You can use various paid websites to list your Connecticut house online as “for sale by owner.” These sites offer packages ranging from about $100 to $400 for just a listing, or a larger flat fee of $3,000 to $5,000 that includes any number of additional professional marketing services.

Some of these companies display their rates on their websites, but others won’t quote a fee until you input your address or select an area of the country. A few examples include:

It’s important to note that most of these companies serve FSBO sellers nationwide, which can cause challenges if the assisting representatives don’t understand the local market trends in your Connecticut neighborhood.

Whatever you choose, read the fine print carefully: some sites may have hidden fees or even take a percentage off your sale — a detour you’d rather avoid on the FSBO route.

Not willing to pay for the MLS?

If you’re determined to save money by foregoing the MLS, creating a free FSBO listing on Zillow might be your top option. You can post a video and unlimited photos, and get fairly wide exposure via Zillow and the Zillow-owned Trulia.

6. Market your home

Now it’s time to spread the word about your Connecticut home.

Experienced agents know that posting a home on the MLS is just the beginning of the marketing phase. A successful home sale requires a deliberate and targeted marketing plan to reach the most qualified buyers and attract the highest offers.

Create a wide-reaching marketing strategy that includes paid advertising, social media posts, physical yard signs, and promoted open houses. The goal is to reach a high number of real-intent buyers, which will increase the odds of receiving more (and higher) offers.

Here are some of the steps you can take to market your home:

Place a nice FSBO sign by the road

Consider getting a custom yard sign rather than purchasing a generic one you write on with a Sharpie. You can order a custom sign on a site like Vistaprint with your contact information, plus a stand, for as little as $25 plus shipping. Note that some MLS providers may have rules about whether you can post a FSBO yard sign while your home is on the MLS.

You should also check the laws in your Connecticut community and your HOA’s rules about posting signs. For example, your city or HOA may limit the size or placement of for-sale or open-house signs.

Share on social media

Share your home across key social media platforms, and ask your friends to share, too. Many Connecticut home shoppers are likely to look at the MLS, Zillow, Facebook, and Instagram, so you want to post on these sites and others that can add to your overall buyer fishing net.

It can also be helpful to follow real estate agent accounts to see their social media strategies to get additional ideas about what works and doesn’t work in your Connecticut market.

Hold an open house

Try these strategies for a successful open house event:

  • Share details on Facebook and Nextdoor.
  • Update your MLS listing with the open house details (if you’re able to as part of paying the flat fee), or update your DIY FSBO listing.
  • Place open-house signs at nearby intersections.
  • Tidy up the house before potential buyers come through.
  • Pass out info sheets with the address, bullet points about the house, your contact info, and perhaps one photo.
  • If you can, collect visitors’ info — then follow up later to ask if they have any questions.

Find more expert tips for how to hold an open house at this HomeLight blog post link.

7. Manage showings

If your marketing is successful, your next step will be to show the home to prospective buyers. Welcome to the busiest phase of the home sale process. A major reason some FSBO sellers in Connecticut switch to an agent is that they underestimate the time, energy, and expertise needed to manage this pivotal selling step. A Realtor also brings a comforting level of added security to the entire process. This can provide peace of mind during what could be a hectic time of change.

To manage the logistics of showings:

  • Respond to inquiries ASAP.
  • Set end times if you need to fit many showings in one day. This will also create a sense of demand and urgency for buyers to place offers.
  • Remove or secure valuables.
  • Make sure the home is clean and tidy for showings.
  • Follow up with buyers’ agents after showings to get their feedback.

Should you be present for showings?

If you’d rather not be present for every showing, consider using a lockbox with a code to let buyers’ agents enter the house. This is standard industry practice among agents. To ensure you’re working with someone legitimate, use Google or sites like arello.com to check their real estate license number.

With unrepresented buyers, plan to be on the property for the showing. During a showing, we recommend you:

  • Point out a few highlights of the house.
  • Let buyers look without hovering.
  • Be prepared to answer questions.
  • Avoid the temptation to tell all; let the house and listing do the talking.

If you are able to be present during showings, keep things organized by setting appointments in a calendar and then follow up with potential buyers afterward. Try to remain detached and neutral if a potential buyer shares their feedback.

8. Evaluate offers, negotiate a deal, and make disclosures

You’ve got your first offer — congratulations! Before signing anything, make sure buyers are prequalified by a mortgage lender before going under contract.

Here are key considerations when considering an offer on your Connecticut home:

  • Vet potential buyers by requiring a mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds.
  • Require everything in writing.
  • Remember, you can counter-offer and negotiate.
  • Look for a good real estate attorney. (See the next step!)

Property condition disclosure

Connecticut law requires home sellers to disclose material facts about the property to potential buyers through the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Report.

Whether required by law or not, some sellers may prefer to provide the disclosures before an offer has even been presented so that a prospective buyer is more informed beforehand and less likely to withdraw from a deal later on.

In an agent-assisted sale, your listing agent would likely provide you with the required disclosure form(s). What will you be asked? In Connecticut, you can expect to disclose any significant defects or issues you’re aware of concerning:

  • Property boundaries and encroachments
  • Structural issues and defects
  • Roof condition and any leaks
  • Plumbing system condition
  • Electrical system condition
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Presence of termites or other pests
  • Condition of appliances and built-in systems
  • Water supply and quality
  • Presence of hazardous materials like lead paint, asbestos, or radon
  • History of flooding or water damage
  • Any known zoning violations or legal disputes
  • Environmental hazards and contamination
  • Issues with the septic system or sewer connection
  • Previous fire or smoke damage

If in doubt about an issue with your home’s condition, most Connecticut real estate agents recommend you disclose it. If you know of a major problem and choose not to disclose it, and that defect is later discovered, you could be held liable for damage or subsequent costs.

9. Close the sale — with professional help

Time to button up that deal.

As noted above, Connecticut law requires that FSBO sellers hire a real estate lawyer to help close their sale. By doing so, you’ll minimize your legal and financial risk, plus simplify the process for yourself, especially when legal paperwork is involved.

Real estate attorney fees can vary depending on location and how much help you want or need. In Connecticut, they generally range from $250 to $400 per hour — well worth it for professional guidance in closing one of life’s largest legal transactions.

FSBO mistakes to avoid in Connecticut

On your FSBO journey, watch out for these potentially costly pitfalls:

  • Not getting your home on the multiple listing service.
  • Not budgeting for the buyer’s agent commission.
  • Over- or under-pricing the property.
  • Letting your home sit on the market too long.
  • Not getting enough marketing exposure.
  • Being overly fixated on any one detail and missing the big picture.
  • Not showing your home’s full potential if you don’t declutter and remove personal decor.

Sell Your House in Connecticut Fast With a Cash Offer

Get an all-cash, no-obligation offer through HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform whenever you’re ready. Receive your offer in as little as 24 hours and close in as few as 10 days. No showings, no repairs, no open houses. Available to sellers throughout Connecticut.

Alternatives to selling by owner in Connecticut

If you decide you don’t want the hassle or pressure of FSBO, you’ve got other solid options.

Enlist the help of a top-rated real estate agent

Ultimately, the services and price gains you can get with an experienced real estate agent may put more money in your pocket than FSBO. A proven agent is also better equipped to help you achieve your selling and moving timelines.

Interested in such expertise? HomeLight can connect you to top-performing agents in your Connecticut market who have built a network of trusted local professionals. Our free tool analyzes over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent is best for you based on your needs. It takes only two minutes to receive your matches.

Request a cash offer to buy your Connecticut home

If you’d like to skip the sale prep altogether — plus avoid paying agent commissions — you can opt to sell your home as-is to an all-cash buyer instead.

For a low-stress experience, consider requesting a cash offer from HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. Tell us a few details about your home, and within 24 hours, we’ll send a no-obligation all-cash offer your way. If you decide to accept the offer, Simple Sale sellers have the ability to close in as little as 10 days.

Without leaving the Simple Sale platform, you’ll also be able to compare your cash offer to an estimation of what your home would sell for on the open market so you can make an informed decision.

Ready to sell your Connecticut home?

Unless you already have a buyer lined up, selling a house by owner in Connecticut requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. You’ll need to research your own comps, get professional-looking photos, create a powerful listing, market the property online, field buyer inquiries, host numerous showings, negotiate, and close the deal. And that’s after preparing the house itself.

You also have to consider that most FSBO listings sell for less money than agent-assisted sales. A top agent who knows the area can recommend specific upgrades to help you maximize your sale price. This expertise can help offset or, in many cases, more than make up for the commission fees — all while saving you time and frustration.

If you choose to go FSBO, you should now have a better idea of what to expect from the process. If you’re unsure if you’re ready to tackle this process, our data at HomeLight shows that the top 5% of real estate agents sell homes for as much as 10% more than average, and we’d be happy to connect you with some of the best agents in your Connecticut market.

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