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How to Sell a House By Owner in West Virginia: A Mountain State FSBO Guide

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

When the time comes to move, some tenacious homeowners in West Virginia are eager to take over the reins of their home sale and figure out how to sell a house by owner.

A house is typically a person’s largest financial asset, and the decision to sell solo is often understandably driven by a desire to save on commission fees and pocket more equity from a hard-earned investment.

In recent years, the hot West Virginia real estate market and a steep rise in equity added extra incentive to maximize profits.

Impulsive home purchases also weren’t unheard of during the pandemic, so maybe you haven’t owned your West Virginia home very long and are concerned about covering the cost of selling your house. As the market shifts, you may have new concerns about how much you can get for your home and the amount of your net proceeds.

With millions of homes sold each year, a modest portion of sellers — about 7% in 2021 and 10% in 2022 — choose to list “For Sale By Owner” (or FSBO — pronounced fizz-bow). Of those, 50% already knew the buyer of the home, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

While the method can work for West Virginians, it does come with some risks. Selling a house is a pretty rare event for most people, so you don’t know what you don’t know.

In this guide to selling FSBO in West Virginia, we’ll cover what can be the most difficult aspects of selling by owner in the Mountain State, including the steps that might be harder than you think. We’ll also provide a comprehensive overview of the full process to prep, market, and close on your home without the assistance of a real estate agent.

Note: Once you’ve seen what’s required, you can roll up your sleeves and get started with your FSBO sale. Or — in the event you’d prefer to work with a real estate agent — HomeLight would be happy to introduce you to highly-rated professionals in your West Virginia market who can help you command top dollar and provide a low-stress selling experience.

Feeling Overwhelmed by the Process of Listing Your Home FSBO in West Virginia?

Selling your home yourself is a complicated and time-consuming process. If you don’t have the time or the expertise to list your home FSBO, working with a top agent in West Virginia could be your best bet. HomeLight analyzes over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to find you the best agent for your unique situation.

How does selling by owner (FSBO) work in West Virginia?

Disclaimer: While we’ve done our best to research laws, guidelines, or policies for FSBO sales in West Virginia, HomeLight always recommends that you look into the local regulations for your area and when in doubt, consult with a legal advisor.

FSBO is a method of selling your home without the involvement of a listing agent. In a FSBO scenario, the seller assumes the responsibilities that would normally fall to their agent, such as pricing the home, marketing it to potential buyers, arranging showings, and negotiating the deal.

In an agent-assisted sale, the seller typically pays a commission amounting to around 6% of the sale price, which is then most often 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 eliminate the cost of the listing agent’s commission (so around 3%), though they may still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission.

Buyers’ agents 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.

Next: Consult our guide on who pays closing costs when selling a house by owner for more details.

Finally, a FSBO sale does not mean that a seller won’t need any professional assistance. In West Virginia, all real estate closings (FSBO or not) must be conducted with the guidance and supervision of a licensed attorney — and FSBO sales in particular warrant legal and professional oversight to avoid an abundance of legal risk.

Most people who sell by owner will need to hire an attorney to review and prepare key documents along the way and make sure paperwork is filled out properly, such as the seller’s disclosures. We’ll address what disclosures are required when selling a house in West Virginia later in this post.

Why sell a house by owner in West Virginia?

The top three reasons people cite for selling FSBO include: “did not want to pay a commission or fee” (36%); sold to a relative, friend, or neighbor (30%); or that the buyers contacted the seller directly (8%), according to NAR data.

To get a firsthand perspective on selling homes in West Virginia, we spoke with Steve Bommarito in Hampshire County, located in the state’s eastern panhandle. Bommarito is a single-family-home expert, working with over 81% more single-family homes than the average Capon Bridge agent.

We also spoke with Bill Raymond, a top real estate agent in Weirton, who completes 11% more sales and sells over 58% quicker than the average Weirton agent.

Bommarito says West Virginia FSBO sellers he encounters “really don’t want to pay the six percent commission or whatever commission would be negotiated — but more often than not, they end up costing themselves more.”

In fact, 2022 data from NAR shows that “FSBO homes sold at a median of $225,000, significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $345,000.” This NAR data contrasts the median prices among all FSBO homes (for which we have limited data) against all agent-assisted homes, regardless of distinctions like square footage. However, an independent study from 2016 to 2017 which does adjust for square footage also shows a significant price difference: FSBO homes sold for an average of 5.5% less than agent-marketed sales.

As you can see, FSBO is a mixed bag. So, before we share our selling tips, let’s lay out some pros and cons to help you decide if this is the route for you.

Pros of selling a house by owner

  • Ability to save on listing agent commission fees, usually around 3% of the sale price.
  • You’re completely in charge and can manage the sale as you please.
  • No “go-between” in your communications with buyers.
  • When you manage showings yourself, you know who enters your home. Raymond notes that some FSBO sellers like the fact that “they can control who comes in and out of their house. They feel more secure knowing that they’re going to be there for all the showings.” Although, he notes, “You still don’t know who is showing up.”

Cons of selling a house by owner

  • FSBO listings tend to sell for less, statistically speaking.
  • Unless the seller already has a buyer lined up, FSBO listings can take longer to sell. According to Bommarito, “the average person just doesn’t have the resources of a real estate company when it comes to driving traffic to websites and social media” — and the less exposure your house is getting to buyers, the longer it’s likely to sit.
  • Managing all communications and negotiations yourself is time-consuming. Not having a communication buffer can be a downside if the buyer pushes back or says negative things about your property.
  • You’ll be negotiating without help from an expert, which could mean leaving money on the table.
  • Setting the listing price is challenging — you may be tempted to go too high. You could also risk under-selling with a low price.
  • Marketing your home is time-consuming.
  • You’ll still have selling costs, which may include transfer taxes and settlement fees. Not having agent representation could also lead to paying more in seller concessions.
  • Without the help of an agent to guide you through the disclosure process, you may put yourself at legal risk to be held liable for potential future problems with your home.
  • If you live in one of the many rural parts of West Virginia — where, as Bommarito puts it, “there’s more cows than people” — exposing your home to potential buyers without an agent is even more challenging.

In spite of the cons, we’ll help you navigate the challenges of FSBO if you’re committed to selling your West Virginia house without agent assistance. For some, selling a home FSBO is a challenge worth accepting, and success can be measured in more ways than one.

A lot of people want to start high and they think they can come down, but the longer your house sits, the more people think, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ Or you know, when it gets past that thirty-day mark, people think, ‘Well, that’s been on market forever — we’re going to go ahead and lowball them.’
  • Bill Raymond
    Bill Raymond Real Estate Agent
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    Bill Raymond
    Bill Raymond Real Estate Agent at eXp Realty
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    Currently accepting new clients
    • Years of Experience 6
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    • Average Price Point $106k
    • Single Family Homes 146

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 West Virginia home into respectable shape before any showings to increase your chances of receiving a fair price. Here are a few standard tasks to add to the list.

Indoors

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

  • Declutter floors, shelves, and surfaces throughout the home.
  • Depersonalize by removing personal pictures, collectibles, or mementos that could make it difficult for buyers to imagine the home as their own.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Repaint bold or dingy walls in a neutral color. Raymond advises, “Right now, you could probably paint your walls gray and add some white, and get like an extra ten to twenty percent. Try to prep it for that HGTV feel. You know, paint is relatively inexpensive. But just gray and white could, in this area, make a huge return.”

You may also want to learn what issues appraisers for government-backed loans will flag and which could delay closing (for example, lack of GFCI outlets) and take care of those things ahead of time. “We are an area with a lot of USDA and FHA offers,” Raymond says, and conventional buyers are “slim pickings.”

Outdoors

Data from HomeLight’s 2022 Top Agents Insight Report shows 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. Not only does this increase curb appeal, but Raymond advises that getting rid of any peeling paint may be crucial before closing if your West Virginia buyer does have a government-backed loan.
  • Install a new garage door if yours is looking old or not working properly.

If you live on some acreage, Raymond recommends catering to the West Virginia lifestyle many buyers want: “Any time that they’re on over an acre of land, I try to get my own clients — and I would suggest the same to someone selling on their own — to clear as much of the land as possible, because a lot of these people do want gardens and livestock. A lot of people will come to West Virginia just to kind of have a slower pace of life and a small homestead. And if you’re on five acres, and only half of it is cleared, that could be the reason that buyer walks.”

2. Do the homework necessary to set a competitive price

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

Strategic pricing can be challenging for FSBO sellers: “A lot of people want to start high and they think they can come down,” comments Raymond, “but the longer your house sits, the more people think, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ Or you know, when it gets past that thirty-day mark, people think, ‘Well, that’s been on market forever — we’re going to go ahead and lowball them.’”

On the other hand, he adds, “Setting it right where it should be could be the reason why you get multiple interested buyers. And then it’s going to drive the price up.”

To find the “right price” before listing a home, an agent usually conducts a comparative market analysis (CMA). This is a highly-detailed study of “comps” — similar homes nearby that have sold recently, are pending, on the market, or were previously listed but taken off the market. Some may have even been pulled off the market without a sale.

Without an agent, you’ll miss out on the complexity of a full CMA and the know-how to interpret it.

However, with a little time and money, you can set a competitive price yourself.

Conduct your own “CMA Lite”

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and 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 properties in the same neighborhood.

We also add a new layer of information to our estimates using a short questionnaire. Tell us a few details about your West Virginia 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 Zillow, Chase, Realtor, or Redfin to get a home value estimate, think of any online home price tool as a first step (not your only source of truth) — 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.
  • Filter by “sold.” Yellow dots should appear on the map surrounding your house.

  • 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.

  • 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 reduce guesswork further, top 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 $500 to $600 — well worth it to avoid possibly over- or underpricing your house by thousands.

However, cautions Raymond, “It’s a good start, but you also have to remember that the bank (financing a buyer’s loan) is going to do their own appraisal. And I’ve seen appraisals from different appraisers ten, twenty, thirty percent apart. It’s just an opinion backed by their facts.” So keep in mind that your own appraisal is not a guarantee of how much a buyer will pay, nor how much a bank will approve.

Make sense of the research

Compare your home’s features against the nearby comps you collected. Hopefully, the houses you studied give an indication of an appropriate price range for your home. From there, you can make dollar 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).

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

3. Photograph your home

Listing photos are powerful, either pulling in buyers for showings or keeping them away.

To give your listing an edge, consider hiring an experienced real estate photographer. While they may charge as much as $140 to $180 an hour, “Good photos could be the reason why someone looks (at your house),” says Raymond. And the more people who tour your home, the more chance you have of increasing demand and, ultimately, the purchase price.

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. 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 West Virginia 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 or 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
  • Reasons to come to the state that highlight its lifestyle. Bommarito recommends enticing buyers with language like, “ride your ATV; look at the stars; come to wild, wonderful West Virginia, where mountaineers are always free — things that make people want to come to West Virginia in the first place.”

Lastly, and this is crucial: specify in your description whether a buyer’s agent will receive a commission from the proceeds. Most agents don’t want to show their clients properties from which they’d receive no commission. You can decide not to offer a buyer’s agent commission, but recognize that doing so could limit your buyer pool as buyers’ agents typically expect to be compensated for their efforts.

Don’t skimp on the property details

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

  • Age of the home
  • Square footage
  • Architectural style (i.e., split-level, rancher, craftsman)
  • Appliances included
  • Exterior building materials
  • Flooring types
  • HOA fees
  • School zone information
  • Lot size

Many real estate agents and potential buyers really do read this “fine print” on your listing — so include accurate details, and plenty of them.

5. List your home online

It’s finally time to post your West Virginia 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 house on the MLS for a flat fee, without any other involvement in your real estate transaction. If you decide to go this route, make sure you ask whether the fee includes updating your listing if necessary.

Use a FSBO platform with an MLS option

There are a variety of paid websites that you can use to list your West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 videos 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 West Virginia home.

Experienced agents like Bommarito and Raymond 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 right buyers and attract the best offers.

“Marketing is key,” says Bommarito, and “I just don’t think that the average person can come anywhere close to giving a level of marketing a good professional real estate agent could do.” For example, Bommarito uses professional photographers and professional social media experts for his listings, which the average seller may not have the resources or knowledge to employ.

However, we’ve curated a few key suggestions for marketing 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.

Share on social media

Share your home across social media — and ask your friends to share, too.

Raymond says, “Social media marketing is great here. I always tell everyone, put it on every local buy, sell, and trade site. I know as an agent, I get a lot of buyers from there and a lot of calls from my listings.”

Raymond recommends starting with Facebook Marketplace and then sharing your listing in your local Facebook buy, sell, and trade groups after that.

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 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. In fact, a major reason some FSBO sellers switch to an agent is that they underestimated the time, energy, and expertise needed to manage this crucial step.

“You can’t sell it if people aren’t seeing it,” says Raymond, so showings are a critical stage.

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.
  • For your own protection, if you’re working with an unrepresented buyer, Raymond recommends requesting a copy of the prospective buyer’s ID before the showing. That way, if a person requesting a showing had ill intentions — casing your home for a robbery, for example — they’re not likely to send the ID or come to the house.
  • Follow up with buyers’ agents after showings to get their feedback.

Lastly, according to Bommarito, “FSBOs are getting a lot of tire kickers, a lot of people that are dreamers,” so you want to vet potential buyers before scheduling showings. To do so, you can ask for a prequalification letter or, Bommarito suggests, “Get with your local lender who is offering mortgages, and just ask your local lender if they would mind qualifying people for you — which they may do, because they may end up getting a loan on it.”

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.

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

You’ve got your first offer — congratulations! Before signing anything, you’ll need to do your due diligence to evaluate the terms of the offer and assess whether the buyer’s financing looks satisfactory.

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

  • Vet potential buyers by requiring a mortgage pre-approval letter (if you haven’t already) or proof of funds.
  • Require everything in writing.
  • Remember you can always counter-offer and negotiate.
  • Look for a good real estate attorney. (See the next step!)

Property condition disclosure

West Virginia is what’s called a “caveat emptor” state, meaning “buyer beware.” This puts the onus on a home buyer to find out if a property has any major defects before purchasing it, and means that a residential seller is not generally required to disclose the condition of the home to the buyer.

This does not necessarily give the seller a free pass, however. If a seller actively attempts to hide problems with a property, overtly lies about the property’s condition, or significantly misrepresents the home, they may find themselves in legal trouble.

According to Raymond, “Buyers always prefer the sellers to fill out disclosures but it could open the sellers up to lawsuits. Sellers are required to disclose any material or latent (hidden) defects, however. If the property is a rental or an estate, it is always recommended sellers do not fill out disclosures since they have not physically occupied the property.”

In an agent-assisted sale, typically your listing agent would provide you with an optional disclosure form if you need or want one. However, as a FSBO seller, you can still access the West Virginia Association of Realtors® (WVAR) form online.

What will you be asked? The optional WVAR form includes questions about things like:

  • Water supply
  • Sewage
  • Heating and cooling
  • Issues with foundation, basement, cellar, or crawlspace
  • Roof condition, type, and age
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Drainage
  • Pests
  • Hazardous conditions
  • Illegal drug or criminal activity
  • Other disclosures (foundation problems, land use, encroachments, zoning or code violations, etc.)

If you’ve opted for the disclosure route, and you’re in doubt about a problem with the home’s condition, most top real estate agents would recommend you disclose it. If you know of an issue and choose not to disclose a major problem, 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.

Some states require attorneys to be present to close home sales, while some do not. According to Bommarito, “In West Virginia, we close with attorneys, not title companies.” So, even without an agent representing you in your home sale, you can still expect to involve a professional at this point (if you haven’t already).

Who hires the attorney? “Usually,” Bommarito adds, “it’s a collaboration between the buyer and the seller. What I try to do, if there are no objections, is to get one attorney to close both sides because it’s just easier that way, and that’s allowed in West Virginia.”

Regardless, it’s always a good idea to invest in the services of an experienced attorney as you close one of the biggest and most complex deals of your life. By doing so, you’ll minimize your legal and financial risk, plus simplify the process for yourself.

Real estate attorney fees can vary depending on location and how much help you want or need. In West Virginia, one estimate puts them at an average of $148 per hour — well worth it for professional guidance in closing one of life’s largest legal transactions.

FSBO mistakes to avoid in West Virginia

On your FSBO journey, watch out for these major pitfalls:

  • Missing out on the MLS.
  • Forgetting or refusing to pay the buyer’s agent commission.
  • Over- or under-pricing. Bommarito explains one reason for this: “Mostly they (FSBO sellers) just don’t have very good things to compare (their homes) to, because they really can’t pull comps and things like we can do as agents. And a lot of times the people really either wildly underprice or wildly overprice them.”
  • Letting your house sit on the market too long.
  • Failing to prequalify buyers.
  • Overlooking issues an appraiser would look for — especially for government-backed loans common in West Virginia, like USDA, FHA, and VA.
  • Working with a buyer whose bank is short on appraisers, which can really slow down a deal. Raymond says that a good local agent will know which trusted banks have appraisers ready to help move your home sale along.

Lastly, beware of getting personally involved in a transaction. Raymond cautions that when FSBO sellers strike a deal with someone they know, “They think they’re giving their friend, their brother, their uncle, a discount, and they’re just losing money in the end.”

Request a Cash Offer on Your West Virginia Home and Skip the Prep Work

Skip the prep work and the agent commissions by requesting a cash offer for your home. With HomeLight’s Simple Sale, you can receive a no-obligation all-cash offer in as little as one week, and close the sale in as few as 10 days.

Alternatives to selling by owner in West Virginia

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.

Raymond tells a story of a FSBO seller in Weirton who reached out to him because, although they had a buyer lined up, they couldn’t close the sale of their home: “They were under contract with Quicken Loans (as the buyer’s lender) and three weeks — well, about four weeks into the sale — Quicken Loans couldn’t get an appraiser to work with them.” The seller was ready to terminate the contract in order to find another buyer. However, Raymond helped both the seller and the buyer by connecting them with a trusted lender who could close on the home in 30 days — a happy ending for all.

Bommarito shares his own experience when he reached out to a FSBO seller in Mount Storm. She was struggling to understand what it would take to complete a FSBO sale, he remembers — and not only that, but his market knowledge told him she’d also priced her house too low, at $215,000.

After teaming up with Bommarito and listing the house for $229,900, it sold for $240,000. “And by the time she paid the commission and everything else,” recalls Bommarito, “she walked away with $222,000, so she actually made $7,000 more by using an agent than she would’ve if she had stuck to her course and sold the place for $215,000 by herself.”

Interested in such expertise? HomeLight can connect you to top-performing agents in your West Virginia market. 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 West Virginia 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 in as few as 72 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 West Virginia home?

Unless you already have a buyer lined up, selling a house by owner in West Virginia requires a significant investment of time and effort. You’ll need to pull your own comps, capture excellent pictures, create a listing, market the house online, field inquiries, host showings, negotiate, and close the deal. And that’s after preparing the house itself.

You also have to consider that FSBO listings tend to sell for less than agent-assisted sales. An experienced agent who knows the area can make recommendations for targeted upgrades to help you maximize your sale price and get a premium offer. This can help to offset or, in some cases, more than make up for the cost of commission — while saving you time and headaches.

If you choose to go FSBO, you should have a good idea now of what to expect from the process. Otherwise, our internal transaction 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 introduce you to some of the best agents in your West Virginia market.

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