How Much Does it Cost to Sell Your House by Owner in Ohio?

Written by Kristine CameronFebruary 9th, 202311 minute read

costs to sell your house by owner in ohio

Summary of costs | Pre-listing expenses | Listing expenses | Closing cost expenses | FSBO alternatives

On average, Ohio residents can expect to spend about 10.18% of their home's property value to sell their home. This means it would cost about $21,715 to sell a $213,323 home (the median home value in Ohio).

Properties listed as for sale by owner (FSBO) could help sellers save an average of 3.08%, or about $6,500 on listing agent commissions. However, even by eliminating listing agent fees, selling FSBO probably isn't as cheap as you might think.

Use the calculator below to estimate your actual FSBO selling costs in Ohio. The calculator defaults to the required costs only, but you can adjust the additional recommended fees based on your needs.

This guide will further explain all these costs so you can fully understand what you need to pay as a FSBO seller and which expenses are optional or customizable. By the end, you'll be able to make informed decisions about maximizing your FSBO savings without jeopardizing your sale!

Summary: Typical FSBO costs and fees in Ohio

Surprised by the hidden costs of selling FSBO? Here are all the expenses that most sellers don't consider:

  • Home valuation: A broker price opinion (BPO) is about $100, whereas a professional home appraisal in Ohio can range from $290 to $340.
  • Pre-listing prep: Basic prep work will cost about 2,485 for cleaning services ($168), handyman repairs ($418), and interior painting ($1,899).
  • Real estate photography: A standard real estate photography session in Ohio costs about $135.
  • Flat fee MLS listing: Working with a flat fee MLS company is the only way to get your home listed on the MLS database. Packages can range from $199–999 depending on how many other services you need.
  • Closing costs: Total closing costs add up to about $2,126 for the average home, including transfer taxes ($213), the recording fee ($50), and the title service fee ($861).
  • Buyer's agent commission: The average buyer's agent commission rate in Ohio is 2.91%, or about $6,208 for a home with the median value of $213,323.
  • Concessions (optional): The average concession rate is 2%, or about $4,270 for the average home. However, concessions are more common in a buyer's market, so some sellers might not have to pay these fees at all.
  • Real estate attorney (optional): Although it's not required in Ohio, we strongly recommend FSBO sellers hire a real estate attorney to help them through the closing process. The average flat fee for an attorney is about $1,000, but some Ohio attorneys charge by the hour (standard rates range from $161 to $306 per hour).

💰 FSBO vs realtor: Are the potential savings worth it?
When you sell FSBO, you can save $6,500 by avoiding listing agent commission fees. However, that means you'll be responsible for managing the risks and service costs that an agent usually handles. Luckily, discount brokers offer the full service of an agent at a fraction of the cost.

Our friends at Clever pre-negotiate low rates with top local agents from major brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams. When you go through Clever, your listing fee is just 1.5% instead of the average 3.08% rate in Ohio. You'll get the benefits of a full-service agent (including pro photos, marketing, and end-to-end support) for about a third of the typical price.

Clever’s service is also 100% free with no obligation — so there’s no risk in giving it a try. If you decide it’s not for you, you can just walk away and stick with FSBO.

» LEARN MORE: Try Clever’s free service to find out how much you could save

FSBO costs in Ohio: An in-depth breakdown

Typical pre-listing expenses for FSBO sellers in Ohio

Pre-listing expense
Inspection (optional)
*Based on local service estimates and prices in Ohio

Pre-listing expenses are things you do before you put your house on the market. Generally, FSBO sellers in Ohio can expect to pay between $100–340 on pre-listing costs. However, these expenses may vary depending on the condition and location of your home.

Recommended: Professional home valuation ($100–340)

If you're selling FSBO, it's a good idea to get a professional home valuation. If your home is priced too high, it'll be really difficult to sell. If your home is priced too low, you won't earn the money your house is actually worth. There are two options for getting your home professionally valuated:

  • Broker price opinion (BPO): A BPO is when a broker or real estate agent performs a basic inspection of your home and compares it to similar properties in the area. This service costs about $100 on average and often works best for sellers in suburban or urban regions, like Toledo or Cincinnati.
  • Appraisal: An appraisal is a bit pricier ($290 to $340), but it's completed by a certified appraiser who will conduct a more detailed analysis and consider more market trends in the surrounding area. This option is best for sellers in less populated areas — such as Monroe or Vinton County — or with more unique homes.

Optional: Pre-listing inspection ($340)

Pre-listing inspections aren't necessary in Ohio, but getting one can give buyers additional peace of mind. An inspection costs about $340 on average, although this can vary based on the square footage of the property. In Cleveland, for example, an inspection costs about $309.

If your home has a serious issue that could impact the sale, getting an inspection can be a good idea. With that being said, don't worry about getting an inspection if:

  • Your home is less than 5 years old
  • You're selling to an investor
  • You have the time and flexibility to negotiate with buyers

Optional: Repairs and improvements ($168–2,485)

Making some minor repairs and adding a few cosmetic improvements to your home can make a major difference to potential buyers. In Ohio, the average cost of repairs adds up to about 2,485. Here's how the standard fees break down:

Cleaning services
Handyman services
Interior painting

Additional costs can include landscaping ($3,372 on average) and staging ($1,461). You can do some DIY projects to keep more money in your pocket, but remember to keep your own timeline in mind — it might be worth it to hire a pro if you don't have the time or materials necessary to complete each task.

Typical listing-related expenses for FSBO sellers in Ohio

Listing expense
*Based on local service estimates and prices in Ohio

Listing expenses refer to the costs associated with putting your home on the market, attracting buyers, and selecting an offer. The listing expenses vary a lot depending on how you want to market your home and how you want to conduct showings. We've also included some other suggested marketing costs that might help you sell more efficiently.

Recommended: Lockbox purchase ($25–100)

A lockbox is a small box with a combination lock that holds a key to the property. This device lets buyers' agents check out your home, even if you're not there. This allows visitors to tour the property without feeling rushed or pressured, and you won't have to adjust your schedule to be available for showings at a moment's notice.

A basic lockbox can cost under $30, whereas more expensive Bluetooth-enabled locks can exceed $100.

Recommended: FSBO yard sign ($2–35)

Putting a for sale by owner sign with your name and contact information in your yard will help generate word-of-mouth referrals and attract the attention of local real estate agents and buyers. You can get a corrugated plastic sign or aluminum sign with a thin H-frame for $1–3 or a sign frame for $18–35. If you're in a more expensive neighborhood, you may opt for a sign post, but these can cost over $50.

If you work with a flat fee MLS company, they might include a yard sign as part of their FSBO package.

Recommended: Real estate photography ($135)

It's highly recommended to get a professional photographer to take pictures of your house since most realtors and buyers review houses online before visiting them in person. The cost of a standard real estate photography session is $135 in Ohio, but this can vary based on your location and the size of your home.

If you'd like, you can further show off your property with 3D images or aerial photography, but these extra services can get pretty pricey.

Recommended: Flat fee MLS listing ($199 to $999)

The MLS database is a service that only realtors can access and post listings on. If you're selling FSBO, the only way to get your home listed on the MLS database is to work with a flat fee MLS company.

According to our 2022 survey of 1,000 home sellers, 71% of home buyers browse sites fueled by the MLS. Not listing your house on the MLS can cause your property to go overlooked by agents and prospective buyers.

The cost of a flat fee MLS package varies based on the number of extra services you need. If all you want is to get listed on the database, you can expect to pay around $199. If you want help marketing your property or need additional supplies to advertise your home, it can range from a few hundred dollars to $999.

✋ What about free listing sites?
There are several free websites that allow FSBO listings, such as Zillow, Facebook, and Craigslist. However, these sites aren't used by actual real estate agents as often as the MLS database. Using a flat fee MLS company will automatically sync your listing to hundreds of other websites and local brokerage sites.

Optional: Additional recommended advertising (~$350)

If you want to go above and beyond with your marketing strategy, there are a few additional options to consider:

  • Brochures: You can easily design your own open house brochures using sites like Vistaprint or Canva. Simply customize the templates to your liking and then order or print out as many copies as you'd like. If you need a local printer, check out Northern Ohio Printing Cleveland or Printed Image in Columbus!
  • Social media posts: If you want your listing to stand out on social media, you can boost one of your posts on Facebook or Instagram for as little as $1 per day. Both platforms allow you to customize your own budget and choose how often to boost your listing.
  • Materials for showings: You might want to buy candles to make your home smell more inviting, have refreshments for visitors, provide handouts with facts about the property, or other materials to make your house stand out to guests. Costs here can vary a lot depending on your personal preferences, but feel free to get creative to ensure your home is memorable!

» MORE: How to Buy Foreclosed Homes in Ohio

Closing costs for FSBO sellers in Ohio

Listing expense
% of sale price
Up to 1.53%
Up to $3,264
Total (required fees)
Concessions (optional)
About 2%
$1,000 (average flat fee)
Based on the median home value in Ohio ($213,323)

Closing costs in Ohio usually add up to about $2,126, including the average cost of the buyer's agent commission.

These fees can be paid using the funds you earned from the sale. In other words, you won't have to pay these fees out of pocket unless you're underwater on your mortgage.

Most of these fees are required in Ohio, but sellers and buyers can negotiate which costs each person is responsible for.

Recommended: Buyer’s agent fee ($6,208)

Unless you're selling directly to someone you know or an unrepresented buyer, you'll probably have to offer the buyer's agent commission. In Ohio, the average buyer's agent commission is 2.91% of the sales price, or about $6,208 based on the median home value of $213,323.

However, the commission rate is always negotiable. If you're selling FSBO, you can negotiate directly with the agent to come to an agreement that's fair for everyone.

Required: Prorated property taxes (up to $3,264)

Prorated property taxes are split between the buyer and seller. The cost is determined by when each party actually lived in the home. For example, if the seller lived in the home for 10 months before selling the home, they should cover the property taxes for that period of time.

In Ohio, the average property tax rate is around 1.53% of the property value, or about $3,264 annually. However, this rate can vary greatly depending on your city. Cuyahoga has the highest property tax rates in the state at 1.34%, whereas Lawrence has the lowest at just 0.38%.

Required: Title service fees ($1,265)

Title service fees add up to about $1,265 in Ohio. These costs cover the fees charged by the title company during the closing process and the buyer's title insurance.

Title insurance protects the buyer in case there are any issues with the property title. It's customary in Ohio for the seller to cover the cost of the buyer's title insurance, which is about $1,002 on average.

Required: Recording fee ($50)

Recording fees pay for the services needed to transfer and update real estate documents, such as affidavits, leases, mortgages, and deeds. The average recording fee in Ohio is $50.

Required: State transfer tax ($213)

The average transfer tax rate — or the real property conveyance fee — in Ohio is 0.10%. This includes the mandatory state tax rate of $1 per $1,000 of a property's sale price, in addition to the average fees charged by individual counties(up to $3 per $1,000).

For example, Washington County charges a county transfer tax of $3 per $1,000, whereas Huron County only charges $1 per $1,000.

Sellers can expect to pay about $213 in state transfer taxes to cover the costs of transferring ownership of the property to the buyer.

Optional: Concessions ($4,270)

Seller concession fees refer to any closing costs the seller agrees to pay for the buyer. These are more common in a buyer's market, where there are more homes for sale than prospective buyers, and are paid using the profits made from selling the home.

For example, if a seller agrees to pay $2,500 in concessions and sells for $150,000, they'll earn a total of $147,500.

Concessions in Ohio cost sellers an average of 2%, or about $4,270.

Optional: Real estate attorney fees (~$1,000)

Although FSBO sellers in Ohio aren't required to hire a real estate attorney, it's still a good idea to get legal advice when reviewing offers or completing the closing process.

The average cost of a real estate attorney is about $161 to $306 per hour in Ohio, or about $1,000 for a flat rate package. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation to assess your needs and give you a more accurate price estimate.

Summary: Cost to sell a house without a realtor in Ohio

FSBO sellers in Ohio will spend 6.15% to 10.18% of their home's property value to sell their home. However, the savings that come from working without a realtor might not be worth the extra work and hassle.

FSBO sellers will have to manage all the tasks an agent usually takes care of, such as marketing the property, negotiating with buyers, and hosting house showings. Sellers will also have to pay for several things out of pocket that an agent would normally cover, such as a lockbox, yard sign, an MLS listing, and professional photography.

It might be helpful to investigate the costs of these services in your area to see how much you'll actually save if you sell without a realtor. If you're not sure FSBO is right for you, there are other alternatives.

FSBO alternatives in Ohio: Better ways to save on realtor commission

If selling without a realtor sounds too stressful, you can sell directly to a cash buyer. You can also work with a discount broker to save money without missing out on valuable realtor services.

A cash buyer typically refers to a company, such as Ohio Cash Buyers, that can purchase your home without taking out a mortgage. These companies buy homes as-is, which lets you avoid the costs of preparing your home for sale and marketing your property.

Another option is a discount brokerage that will connect you with full-service real estate agents who are willing to work for a lower commission rate. Instead of the standard 3% commission rate for a listing agent, you could spend just 1.5% by working with a service like Clever Real Estate. Clever pre-negotiates with top agents across the country to help sellers keep more of the money they earn on their home sale. Check out Clever to get matched with an agent today and see how much you can save!

» MORE: Learn about Clever, find top OH agents, save on realtor fees


No, sellers aren't required to hire real estate attorneys at closing. However, having an attorney review your paperwork or assist with the closing process can help you save time and avoid potential legal issues.

If you choose to sell FSBO, you won't have to pay commission to a listing agent. In Ohio, the average commission rate is 3.08%, or about $6,570 based on the median home price of $213,323.

Cost to sell without a realtor by state

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