How Much Does It Cost to Sell Your House by Owner in Texas?

Written by Kristine CameronFebruary 9th, 202311 minute read

costs to sell your house by owner in texas

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

Selling a house by owner in Texas typically costs up to 9.37% of the final sale price. For the average Texas property worth around $296,582, that's about $27,804.

Listing your house for sale by owner (FSBO) in Texas means you don’t have to pay a listing agent fee. The average listing fee in Texas is 2.86%. Based on the median TX home value, selling FSBO theoretically knocks about $8,400 off your total selling costs. Not too shabby.

Unfortunately, you probably won’t actually save that much. When you list without an agent, you have to pay for things usually included in that 2.86% fee, like photography, marketing, and more.

These out-of-pocket costs add up and start to erase your potential savings. And when you consider that FSBO homes typically net less than comparable agent listings — and that some agents will help you sell for as little as 1% — FSBO may start to make less fiscal sense.

Of course, every sale and situation is different. The calculator below is designed to help FSBO sellers in TX estimate their selling costs. It can help you plan and budget — and determine how much you stand to save by selling without an agent.

Read on for a full breakdown of required, recommended, and other costs FSBO sellers in Texas may face throughout the home selling process, from getting ready to list through closing.

Summary: Typical FSBO costs and fees in Texas

Surprised by the hidden costs of selling without an agent? Here are some of the major expenses that most FSBO sellers don't consider:

  • Closing costs. Sellers in Texas typically pay for the buyer's title insurance ($1,325), the recording fee ($156), and the title service fee ($1,444), for a total of about $1,481 in closing costs.
  • Buyer's agent commission. Most sellers cover the buyer's agent commission fee (2.87%, or about $8,512 for the average home).
  • Professional valuation. FSBO sellers should consider getting a broker price opinion (BPO) or a professional appraisal to accurately price their homes. A valuation usually costs $100–425.
  • Flat fee MLS listing. Using a flat fee MLS service ($50 to $1,400) helps sellers market their property to agents and buyers in the area.
  • Pre-listing expenses. Sellers are recommended to budget anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for basic pre-listing prep work such as painting, deep cleaning, and repairs, depending on how much work you want to put in.
  • Real estate attorney fees. Although it's not required in Texas, we strongly recommend FSBO sellers hire a real estate attorney to help them through the closing process and minimize liability. The average flat rate for an attorney is about $1,000, or you can pay an average of $236 per hour.

If this seems like a lot, know that it could be worse — unlike many other states, Texas sellers don't have to pay transfer taxes!

💰 FSBO vs. realtor: Are the potential savings worth it?

In theory, selling FSBO in Texas could save you up to $8,400 by cutting out the listing agent’s commission fee. But in practice, you end up covering a lot of expenses typically included in that fee, which erases a lot of those potential savings. Before you commit to selling FSBO, we recommend exploring some FSBO alternatives, like Clever Real Estate.

Clever pre-negotiates 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% vs. the average 2.86% rate in Texas. You get all the benefits of a full-service agent (including pro photos, marketing, and end-to-end support) for about one-third 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, find out how much you could save

FSBO costs in Texas: An in-depth breakdown

Typical pre-listing expenses for FSBO sellers in Texas

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

Pre-listing expenses are things you do and pay for before you put your house on the market.

Generally, you can expect to pay about $3,250 on pre-listing costs if you choose to follow all of our recommended and optional steps. If you only go with our recommendation for a home valuation, it should only cost $100–425.

However, these expenses may vary depending on the condition and location of your home.

Recommended: Professional home valuation ($100–425)

If you're selling FSBO, we recommend getting a professional home valuation.

Many sellers have trouble accurately pricing their homes. If your home is priced too high, it'll be really difficult to sell. However, 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. A broker price opinion (BPO) costs about $100 on average and works best for sellers in suburban or urban areas. This is when a broker or real estate agent does a basic inspection of your home and compares it to similar properties nearby.
  • Appraisal. An appraisal is a bit pricier ($320 to $425), but it's a good option for sellers in less populated areas or with more unique homes. An appraisal is completed by a certified appraiser who will conduct a more detailed analysis and consider more market trends in the surrounding area.

Optional: Pre-listing inspection ($340)

Disclosure laws in Texas only require sellers to list known defects of the property, so most sellers don't need a pre-listing inspection. If you're selling your home as-is or have the time to negotiate with buyers, you probably don't need to worry about this expense.

However, an inspection can give buyers additional peace of mind and may be a good idea if you suspect there could be a major issue with the property.

Nationwide, the average home inspection costs about $350, but this can vary depending on the square footage of the property. In Houston, for example, the average cost of a home inspection is $347.

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 Texas, the average cost of repairs all depends on how much work you want to put in. Here's how the standard fees for some of the most common improvements break down:

Cleaning services
Handyman services
Interior painting

To keep more of your money in your pocket, you could do some DIY projects. For example, instead of paying for professional painting ($1,899), you could buy the materials and paint your home yourself.

Just 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 DIY tasks.

Typical listing-related expenses for FSBO sellers in Texas

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

Listing expenses refer to the costs associated with putting your home on the market, attracting buyers, and selecting an offer. These costs can vary a lot depending on how you want to market your home and how you want to conduct showings, but they range from around $202–1,995. 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.

It's strongly recommended to have a lockbox to give potential buyers the freedom to tour the property without feeling pressured/rushed by the seller. Visitors will feel more comfortable speaking honestly with their agent or partner if the seller isn't around. Also, it's a major time commitment to be available whenever someone wants to check out your home.

A standard 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 in your yard will help generate word-of-mouth referrals and attract the attention of local real estate agents and buyers. Make sure that your sign includes your name and contact information.

You may also include a sign rider with brochures/pamphlets with details about your house or upcoming showings. A pamphlet box that can be attached to a sign costs about $25–30.

A basic corrugated plastic sign or an aluminum sign can be placed in a thin H-frame ($1–3) or a sign frame ($18–35) in your yard. If you're in a more expensive neighborhood, you may choose to get a sign post instead, but these can cost over $50.

If you work with a flat fee MLS company, keep in mind that it might include a yard sign as part of its FSBO package.

Recommended: Real estate photography ($125)

The cost of standard real estate photography in Texas is about $125, but this can vary based on your location and the size of your home.

We recommend getting a professional photographer to take pictures of your house since most realtors and buyers review houses online before visiting them in person.

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 ($50–1,400)

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.

Realtors frequently access HAR, the biggest MLS platform in Texas, to find homes to show their clients. According to our recent survey of 1,000 home buyers, 71% of buyers are turning to sources that are fueled by the MLS. In other words, 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 $50. If you want help marketing your property or need additional supplies to advertise your home, it can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000.

✋ What about free FSBO 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. Furthermore, using a flat fee MLS company will automatically sync your listing to hundreds of other websites and local brokerage sites anyways.

Optional: Additional recommended advertising (~$335)

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

  • Advertisements. You could advertise in local papers or buy ad space online. For example, The Dallas Morning News offers different packages for residential sellers ranging from $119–315.
  • Brochures. You can design your own open house brochures using a variety of online templates. Sites like Vistaprint offer different brochure sizes, folds, and designs that you can customize and then order in bulk. One of the most popular options is 250 brochures for $107.50 ($0.43 per brochure)
  • Social media posts: If you want your listing to stand out on social media, you can boost one of your posts on Facebook and Instagram. Both of these sites allow you to customize your own budget and choose how often to boost your listing. It can cost as little as $1 per day on each platform to advertise your post.
  • Materials for open houses and showings. You might want to have refreshments for visitors, brochures for them to take home, a sign-in list, candles to make your home smell inviting, or other items to enhance your property's ambiance. Sellers can get creative here, so costs can vary a lot based on personal preferences.

Closing costs for FSBO sellers in Texas

Listing expense
% of sale price
Up to 1.75%
Up to $5,190
$236 per hour
Concessions (optional)
About 2%
Based on the median home value in Texas ($296,582)

When you sell FSBO, expect to pay up to 7.61% in closing costs, or about $22,559 based on the median home value of $296,582. You probably won't have to cover any of these costs out of pocket unless you're underwater on your loan (if you hire an attorney, they can help you figure it out).

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

Recommended: Buyer’s agent fee ($8,512)

In Texas, the average buyer's agent commission is 2.87% of the sales price, or about $8,512 based on the median home value of $296,582.

Unless you're selling directly to someone you know or an unrepresented buyer, you'll probably have to offer the buyer's agent commission. 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 both parties.

Required: Prorated property taxes (up to $5,190)

Statewide, the average property tax rate is 1.75% of the property value, or about $5,190 annually. Prorated property taxes are fees split between the buyer and seller based on how long 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.

Required: Title service fees ($1,481)

Total title service fees add up to about $1,481 in Texas. These fees cover the cost of working with a title company, the recording fee, and title insurance.

The average recording fee in Texas is $156. Recording fees pay for the county services needed to transfer and update real estate documents whenever property is bought or sold. Recording fees can cover the costs of affidavits, leases, mortgages, deeds, or other documents.

There are two types of title insurance: lender's title insurance and owner's title insurance. Lender's title insurance is usually paid for by the borrower in Texas, but sellers typically cover owner's title insurance, which protects the buyer in case of any issues with the title.

The average cost of title insurance is $1,325 in Texas, but you can find the different costs of title insurance premiums from the Texas Department of Insurance.

Texas is one of just a few states that doesn't charge transfer taxes on real estate transactions.

Optional: Real estate attorney fees ($236 per hour)

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

Expect to pay about $800–1,200 for a flat rate package, or about $236 per hour. Make sure to get a quote upfront so you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.

Most attorneys will offer a free consultation to assess your needs and give you a more accurate price estimate.

Optional: Concessions

Concessions in Texas cost sellers an average of 2%, or about $5,930. However, concessions are more common in a buyer's market, where there are more homes for sale than prospective buyers.

Seller concessions occur when a seller agrees to cover some of the closing costs that are typically the buyer's responsibility, such as certain repairs or the home inspection. This makes the closing process more affordable for the buyer.

Bottom line: Cost to sell a house without a realtor in Texas

FSBO sellers in Texas will spend 5.71% to 9.37% 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 things out of pocket that an agent would normally cover, such as a lockbox, yard sign, 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.

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

Selling FSBO is difficult, time-consuming, and brings a lot of risk. But with ~2.86% in potential savings on the line, many people feel the ends justify the means.

What few FSBO sellers may realize is that there are lots of low commission real estate companies that offer Texas sellers the same services and benefits of working with a full service agent (including professional photos, marketing, and more) — but for a fraction of the typical cost.

Agent matching services with built-in savings, like Clever Real Estate, connect you with top rated, local agents from name-brand brokerages (RE/MAX, Century 21) and pre-negotiate lower rates on your behalf. When you find your agent through Clever, you get the 100% full service realtor experience for a 1% listing fee — one-third their typical rate.

Some discount brokerages, like Redfin, offer full service as well, via their in-house agents and team-based approach. They can be a little more hands-off than the conventional realtors Clever matches you with, but you still get most of the same services and a 1.5% listing fee.

Selling approach
Listing expense
$50 to $1,400
Traditional agent
*Based on median Texas home value ($296,582)

If you want to learn more, we recommend looking into Clever first, as it offers the lowest rates and the largest selection of any low commission real estate brand. It’s 100% free to use with zero obligation, so there’s no risk in learning more or even giving it a try.

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

FAQs about the cost to sell your home FSBO in Texas

When you sell your house without a realtor, you don't pay a listing agent's commission, which saves you 2–3%. That said, you'll need to pay for a lot of services realtors typically out of pocket — not to mention put in a lot more time and effort. That's why we recommend considering an agent matching service or discount broker instead.

To save the most money when selling without a realtor in Texas, skip expensive repairs and improvements and sell your home as-is. You can also skip out on an appraisal and extensive advertising — though we heartily recommend a flat fee MLS listing to help get your home out there.

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