How To Sell A House By Owner In Idaho

Selling by owner is becoming more attractive to homeowners looking to save some money on the sale of their home. Depending on your home’s listing price, realtor commissions can be pretty pricey, eating into your profits. Being able to get information online makes it easier than before to learn how to sell a house by owner. But what all goes into selling a house by owner, surely it’s not that complicated? 

Well, you found the right place to help answer all your questions about selling a home by owner in Idaho. 

For Sale By Owner Sign in front of a house

Tips And Options On Selling Your House By Owner In Idaho

Decide If Selling Your House By Owner Is A Good Option 

It is important to understand why selling a house by owner is a good option. For a lot of people selling by owner is a good option because of the amount of money it will save, not hiring a real estate agent.

A typical real estate commission is 6% of the sale price of your home. For example, if your home sells for $350,000, you will be handing over $21,000 in agent fees. And depending on how much you owe, that can really take a bite out of your profits.

As attractive as that may sound to save 6% on the sale of your home, selling by owner is not as easy as you may think. If your home needs repairs or upgrades to compete with other houses for sale in the area, it would still be advised to do those. Also, some additional costs and responsibilities will come up where you may have to ask yourself if selling your house by owner is worth it? Before making your decision, here are some steps on how to sell a house by owner to help you understand the process.

Step 1: Figure Out A Competitive Asking Price

Did you know the biggest challenge for FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sellers is figuring out the price? Setting the right asking price is a big deal. If you were to price your home too high for the area, the property would likely sit on the market for months, resulting in you decreasing the price.

The other side of that is pricing your home too low. When you set your price too low for the area, prospective buyers tend to think something is wrong with the property, resulting in a lack of interest in your home or low ball offers. 

Houses priced correctly typically sell within three weeks of being listed.

How do you price your home correctly?

As tempting as it may be to use Zillow Zestimate and other online estimators, those typically are off by thousands of dollars. They don’t take into account if you have done updates to your home or it’s current condition. 

Another option is to get the advice of a real estate agent, but the estimates they give are typically high since they are hoping you end up hiring them. 

The best option to get an accurate valuation of your home is to hire a real estate appraiser. An appraiser will take your home’s condition into account and make comparisons of other houses in your neighborhood. To get your house appraised in Idaho usually costs between $250 and $400. Besides using it to set a reasonable asking price, the plus to having that information is to use the report when negotiating with a prospective buyer. Unfortunately, though it cannot be used for much more than that since you initiated the appraisal, the buyer’s mortgage company will want to hire their own to access the property’s value. 

Step 2: Start Getting Your House Ready To Sell

This step in the process can be the most time consuming and expensive, depending on what needs to be done to get your house ready to list. If it has been a while since you have done some work to your home, you may want to start with getting a home inspection. A home inspection will help you determine what needs to be done to the property to get it ready to sell. The average cost of a home inspection in Idaho, is $300. 

Once you get your home inspected, you will have a good idea of what needs to be done to your house and decide which projects you feel comfortable completing. Here is a general idea of what typical home repairs cost.

  • New shingle roof -$6,000 to $8,0000
  • New HVAC unit- average cost $5,500
  • New Hot Water Heater- $900 to $2,100
  • Exterior Vinyl Siding- $6,000 to $8,500
  • Exterior Painting- $5,000+/- depending on the size of your house

Should you remodel? 

If you’re hoping to get top dollar for your property, you may want to check out the competition. If other houses for sale around yours have updated kitchens and bathrooms, and yours doesn’t, you may want to consider making some renovations. The good thing is bathrooms and kitchens tend to get the best return on their investment, but you will have to put quite a bit of time and money into it. Also, keep in mind if you want to sell your house quickly, doing a remodel may not fit into your timeframe.

Here is an idea of what typical upgrades cost.  

  • Kitchen remodeling- $18,500 to $54,000
  • Bathroom remodeling- $3,000+ for each bathroom


Once remodeling and repairs are out of the way, you will need to clean and declutter your home. If it has been a while since you have gone through stuff, now is the time to do so. When you have lived in a house for some time, it’s easy to fill your home with things. For a potential buyer to get a good idea of the space and size of your home, it would be good to put any big pieces of furniture in storage and limit the number of items around the house. Also, cleaning out areas like your attic, basement, closets, and garage would be a good idea. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you can always hire a professional organizer to help. Typically professional organizers in Idaho charge $80 to $140 an hour. 


As far as cleaning goes, you will want to make sure to dust, sweep, vacuum, mop, and clean the windows. If you have any pets, cleaning the carpets would be a good idea to deodorize the house. Besides cleaning the inside, the outside is important too. Make sure to do some yard work, pull any weeds in the flower beds, and pick up any toys left out on the lawn. Keeping the house clean and tidy will be your routine in the upcoming weeks so that it will be ready to show prospective buyers. 

Step 3: Marketing

When you sell a house by owner, it will fall to you to market your property. The best ways to market your home would be to set out a for sale sign in the yard, post the sale of your home to online sites, make flyers, and host an open house. Also, getting professional photos of your home will be useful to have with several of your market strategies. 

Out of the list of ways to market your home, purchasing a yard sign, and creating a flyer of your property is relatively easy. Your local hardware store or office supply will carry ‘For Sale’ signs; make sure to spend a few extra dollars on a nice one. 

Flyers can easily be made in a Word document. Make sure to include: the address of the home, price, general details like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a good contact number to reach you. And this is where some photos would come in handy; you will want to add pictures of the outside and inside of your home to the flyer.

The other two ways to market your home may take a little bit more of your time. The internet is a great way to advertise the sale of your home. 52% of buyers found the home they purchased using, you guessed it, the internet. So posting your for sale by owner to sites like and Zillow would be a good idea. Also, social networking sites like Facebook and Craigslist can be a helpful place to list your property.

Hosting an open house is another great way to show potential buyers your home. Open houses are usually done on the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday, ideally when the weather is good. You will want to make sure the house is neat and clean for visitors, have flyers ready to hand out, and answer any questions potential buyers may have. Make sure to advertise your open house a week before. And the day of, set out signs directing people to your home. 

Step 4: Be Prepared To Negotiate

Since you are handling your home’s sale, you will want to be prepared to do a bit of negotiating. It’s typical when selling a house for a prospective buyer to come in with an offer lower than your asking price. You will need to decide what price you would be comfortable with selling your home for. And it’s ok to go back and forth with counter offers until both of you agree on a price. Once the final offer is approved, the next step is to get a written offer from the buyer. 

When you receive your written offer, it is probably wise to seek legal advice to review your contract. Hiring a real estate attorney would be another expense you will need to consider when selling a house by owner. 

Step 5: The Closing Table

Once the offer is reviewed and approved, the next step is to figure out a location for the closing that you and the buyer agree on. Since selling a house is a legal matter, closings are usually done with a real estate attorney present or at a title company. Before the closing date, a home inspection requested by the buyer is typically done, and the buyer will be waiting on loan approval from their mortgage lender. 

You will need to make sure to have the necessary documents ready for closing and maintain contact with the buyers to get updates on their end. It’s at this point that a contract can fall through if the financing does not get approved. Unfortunately, if that happens, you will need to start marketing your house again. 

Woman standing by a for sale sign outside a family house, fingers crossed

Is There Another Way To Sell Your House?

Now that you have a better understanding of how to sell a house by owner, you may have discovered selling a home isn’t as easy as you thought. Selling your house by owner can be overwhelming and safe to say, be just as expensive as hiring a real estate agent. When selling a house, it’s hard to justify spending more money and time on a property that you’re about to sell. If your home needs repairs or upgrades and you prefer not to spend the time or money getting it ready to sell, selling it as-is is a great option!

How to find an as-is buyer?

As-is buyers are typically real estate investors. Besides buying properties in as-is condition, real estate investors also pay in cash. Not only would repairs or upgrades be unnecessary, but you wouldn’t have to wait for your house to sell. Since they would be buying your home with cash and not using bank financing, they can close in as quickly as 7 days. They are easy to work with and prepared to buy houses in any condition, no matter the situation. 

If you live in the Idaho area and are planning to sell your house, Gem State Cash Offer would be happy to work with you. Gem State Cash Offer is a family-owned business and BBB accredited. They can make you a fair cash offer within 24 hours. No commissions to pay, and can even help with closing costs. We buy houses in Idaho in any condition and can help you sell your house fast.

To get started, visit our website, give us a call or text us! In the meantime, feel free to check out our FREE Guide: Learn The Pros and Cons Of Selling Your House To Local Idaho Professional Home Buyer.


Kevin is a real estate investor dedicated to helping homeowners sell their properties quickly and without the stress and hassle of a traditional listing.

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