How to Sell a House By Owner in Indiana (2023 Update)

Greg Isaacson

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Greg Isaacson

January 26th, 2023
Updated January 26th, 2023

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Why trust us: To create this guide, we surveyed and interviewed Indiana real estate agents, studied Indiana real estate law, and researched more than 20 FBSO companies and alternatives. Learn more about why you can trust our advice.

If you choose to sell your home without a realtor in Indiana, you won't have to pay the average Indiana commission of 2.96% of the sale price. This could mean a savings of $6,754, based on the average home price in Indiana.

But listing your home for sale by owner (FSBO) means taking on a ton of work on your own. You need to list the home, market it to potential buyers, schedule showings, and negotiate offers without any help. This is why most sellers choose to use an agent — only 10% of home sales are sale by owner. You'll also need to handle the closing on your own, which involves a lot of paperwork.

Plus, there's a risk that you'll end up selling for less than you would if you had the help of an agent. FSBO homes sell for as much as 35% less than sales using a listing agent.

Selling on your own is only advisable if you have the necessary experience and you're confident you can take the place of a real estate agent.

Our guide will help you figure out if selling without an agent in Indiana is the best path for you.

Who should sell a house by owner?

Deciding to sell your home without help from a real estate agent isn't a choice you should make lightly. First, research the pros and cons of FSBO. Next, determine if you actually have the time to devote to such a complicated task.

Selling by owner in Indiana could be right for you if:

  • You've sold a home before, with or without an agent's help. If you know what to expect from the selling process, or if you were once a licensed real estate agent yourself, you can draw on that experience.

  • You have a real estate expert you can call on for advice. If you have a friend or family member generous enough to answer the occasional question free of charge, it can be a huge help in the selling process.

  • You have some free time. Remember that being a FSBO seller is like taking on another part-time job. So if your family or first job keeps you occupied, you probably won't have time to act as your own real estate agent.

  • You already know who you're selling to. Marketing your home to find a buyer is a huge part of the selling process. If you can skip all of that, you'll have more time to focus on closing.

  • You want a hands-on approach toward selling. If you trust yourself over a real estate agent to price, market, and close on the home, FSBO will give you complete control.

If you answered "no" to two or more of the above, you're likely better off hiring an agent.

If saving money on realtor commission is what you’re after, it’s worth looking into real estate agents who’ll work at a lower-than-typical commission. Clever Real Estate matches sellers in Indiana with experienced, local agents who offer traditional service for just 1.5%. You can save money and the headache of doing it all on your own.

In addition to looking into FSBO, reach out to Clever to connect with multiple agents in your area. You can interview agents and get a free home valuation so you’ll know you’ve explored all of your options.

Connect with top, local agents in Indiana!

How to sell a house by owner in Indiana

As a FSBO seller, you need to know and understand all your responsibilities, which include preparing your home for sale, pricing your home accurately, finding buyers, negotiating, and filing the necessary paperwork required by state law.

Real estate laws vary across the country. For example, some states don't allow sellers to put a FSBO sign in their yard if they list on the multiple listing service (MLS) using a flat fee company.

Here's an overview of what laws you need to know in Indiana:

Indiana FSBO facts
Real estate attorney required?
No
FSBO yard sign allowed?
Yes
Required state disclosures?
  • Seller's property disclosure statement
  • Flood zone statement
  • Lead-based paint disclosure

Although selling your home without an agent may seem like a great way to save on realtor fees, it’s trickier than many people expect. If it becomes overwhelming, you can hire an agent at any time.

Working with a low-commission real estate company may be a better option for those who don’t have time to sell FSBO. You'll avoid the hassle of a FSBO sale and walk away with the most money possible. Clever saves sellers thousands, and they get offers 2.8x faster than the national average.

👋 Skip the DIY: Get a better agent AND bigger savings

Why do all the work of selling FSBO only to end up with less money than you would have with an agent? Clever offers you bigger savings without sacrificing the service you expect from a traditional realtor.

With Clever:

✅ You'll only pay 1.5% to list your home

✅ You'll work with a full-service realtor from a top broker

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Step 1: Prepare your home for sale

Small repairs and upgrades can make a big difference in boosting your home's appeal and swaying potential buyers. The key is knowing how to spend your money wisely to get higher offers.

Simple DIY projects like a fresh coat of paint or new cabinet pulls have a high return on investment, whereas pricier improvements like building a new bedroom may not. The most important thing is knowing what's necessary and what's over the top.

You want your house to meet buyers' expectations. If your kitchen is in bad shape, spending more money on a remodel will pay off in the end. But investing in high-end features to take it from good to extravagant could be a waste.

Also, consider how valuable specific repairs are to buyers in your area. Ryan Radecki, a realtor with Indianapolis-based Highgarden Real Estate, recommends the following repairs and improvements that could help a home sell for more:

  • Remove carpeting. Most buyers want modern floor styles, including vinyl plank or hardwood floors.
  • Have your crawlspace examined before listing to check for any problems. Water and other issues in the crawlspace are a common pain point for homebuyers in Indiana.
  • Update electrical systems. Homes built in the early 1900s often have old electrical systems that could be dangerous.

» LEARN: Best Paint Colors to Sell a House

Photograph your home — but you can probably skip staging

You'll need professional photos for your listing — photos taken with your iPhone are much less likely to impress — and you'll want to showcase a clean and furnished home for potential buyers to see.

Start by decluttering, deep cleaning, and sprucing up your home's curb appeal. Consider moving your personal belongings to a storage unit.

While hiring a professional photographer is a must, working with a professional staging company is optional in Indiana's hot market. Radecki notes that professional stagers typically charge somewhere around $1,500–3,000, depending on the square footage of the home.

But for homes under $650,000 or $700,000, it's generally hard to justify the expense — unless the home has an unusual floor plan that would look better staged.

Step 2: Set a price

Pricing strategy can make or break a FSBO sale. List your home for too little, and you leave money on the table. Price it too high above fair market value, and the listing goes stale, forcing a price drop that could make buyers wary of the home.

🙋🏻‍♀️ Ask a realtor: "Many (homebuyers) will cap searches at those even numbers, like $200,000, $250,000, $300,000," Radecki says. "You don't want to overprice beyond belief, because if it doesn't sell within the first few days, then people start making assumptions that there's something wrong," he adds, noting that the time period used to be 30 or even 90 days.

"Now if it's more than three days, you start getting phone calls, like, 'Hey what's going on, Ryan, is there black mold or what?'"

To get an accurate idea of what your house is worth, look at comparable listings online in your area. For example, if you think your house is worth about $300,000, search Zillow, Redfin, or other listing sites for properties that are about $50,000 more or less than that target. Analyze details about the homes and how they compare to yours.

A pre-sale appraisal tells you your home's fair market value, which is a more accurate starting point for pricing your home. In Indiana, appraisals average $325 to $405 but help you walk away with thousands more once your home is sold.

Bonus tip: Ask an agent to perform a comparative market analysis examining comparable properties that have sold recently in your neighborhood. Many realtors will do this for free in the hopes of gaining your business if you decide to forgo FSBO.

» LEARN: What is a Comparative Market Analysis?

State of the Indiana real estate market

Indiana's real estate market is cooling, just like the rest of the U.S. From November 2021 to November 2022, new listings were down 19.1%, and sales declined by 27%. The median sold price in Indiana, however, has risen over that same period by 13.2%.

Median home value*
$227,165
Median listing price+
$271,900
Listing price per square foot+
$139
Percent of homes with price reduction+
36.1%
*Based on data from Zillow (August 2022)⁺Based on data from Realtor.com (August 2022)

However, home values vary from city to city within the same state, and determining the right price for your home will depend on your location. Here are the median home values for some of Indiana's biggest cities:

City
Median home value
Indianapolis
$274,276
Fort Wayne
$215,853
Evansville
$196,294
South Bend
$200,428
Bloomington
$209,696

This means that while the market isn't as competitive as it was a year ago, buyers in Indiana are still looking for homes. More importantly, they're willing to pay a bit more than they did a year ago. And because you won't have to compete with as many homes on the market as you would have a year ago, it might even be a bit easier to sell your home.

When prices begin to fall later in 2023, it might be tempting to skip hiring an agent so you can make as much money as possible from your sale. But remember, having the advice of a local realtor in the midst of a challenging market can help you sell for more than FSBO.

Sell a Home with Clever and Save Thousands!

Enter your ZIP code to find a Clever partner agent in your area.

Step 3: List your Indiana home

Once you've decided on a price, it's time to write a listing description that speaks to local buyers. Understanding their priorities will help you identify what features of your property to highlight in your listing. Here are some of the top buyer priorities in Indiana, according to real estate professionals.

Indiana buyer priorities
Advice for FSBO sellers
Extra space
There's increased demand in Indiana for extra space for home offices and remote learning. Finishing your basement or building a loft upstairs to accommodate a home office or two could be a huge plus. Also think about conversion opportunities. Traditional dining rooms have fallen out of favor in new construction, so if you have one, consider remodeling or repurposing it.
Yard size
Homebuyers in Indiana have traditionally wanted the biggest yard possible, and Indiana has the largest median lot size of any U.S. city at 9,191 square feet. The trend in recent years has been toward smaller lots and lawns, but many buyers are still attracted to homes that have sprawling lawns, especially if they own dogs.
Listing price
Indiana's housing market is the most competitive it's ever been, but it's still very affordable compared to other states. Do your research and look at recent sales data in your area for an accurate price point for homes of comparable size and condition. Be careful not to overprice your home, because if it sits on the market for a while, potential buyers will think there's a problem.
School district
Include appealing information about school districts in your listing description. Mention the GreatSchools rating, graduation rates, parental reviews, or state accolades.

Where to list your home

The best place to market your home is on the MLS. MLS listings populate onto real estate websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com, increasing your home's online presence. That's important because 51% of buyers found the homes they purchased via the internet.

However, agents are the only ones who can list on the MLS. You can work with an agent and still maintain control of your sale by using a flat fee MLS company that charges a one-time payment to list your home on the MLS.

It usually costs a few hundred dollars and includes a property description, up to 25 photos, and a listing lasting no more than 12 months. Additional services, such as a virtual tour, downloadable contracts, and free changes to your listing, are often bundled into more expensive packages — but they're still typically cheaper than paying a listing agent's 3% commission fee. Find the best flat fee MLS companies in Indiana.

As a FSBO seller, you also have several free or low-cost options.

  • Zillow: Listing on Zillow is free and takes just a few simple steps: create a profile, claim your home, navigate to the FSBO page, fill out your listing info, click publish, and wait for verification. Zillow listings also automatically appear on its sister site, Trulia. However, recent changes to Zillow keep FSBO listings separate from agent listings, meaning your home will be a lot less visible to buyers.
  • ForSaleByOwner.com: This well-established and recognized for-sale-by-owner site caters specifically to people wanting to buy or sell FSBO homes. It's free to advertise, but your home won't show up on the MLS or syndicate to other real estate websites. That means your listing will only be viewable to buyers who go to ForSaleByOwner.com.
  • For-sale-by-owner yard sign: You can buy a FSBO sign from most hardware stores or online for $20–50. Choose one that allows you to add your phone number so interested buyers can contact you for property information and showings.
  • Craigslist: Posting your home on Craigslist is free and simple. Just go to the Indiana page, find your city, and create a "real estate — by owner" listing.

» MORE INFO: Learn How to Sell a House on Craigslist

Step 4: Show your home

Organization is key when showing your home to potential buyers. You'll need a good scheduling system and a spreadsheet to save buyers' and agents’ contact information. You'll want to be flexible and try to show your house at buyers’ convenience.

Keep the home clean and decluttered at all times. The last thing you want is to scramble with a vacuum after a buyer calls for a last-minute showing.

Step 5: Negotiate for the best possible price

Negotiations are about more than the final sale price. You and the buyer (or their agent) will also have to agree upon contract contingencies, how closing costs are divided, the timeline, and more.

To gain the upper hand, get creative with the seller concessions you offer a buyer. While they might cost you a little more at closing, concessions sweeten the deal for buyers and could lead to a higher final sale price.

Knowing what's important to buyers in your area will help you strengthen your offer. A Clever survey of local real estate professionals found that in Indiana, sellers often cover 1.00% to 2.00% of buyers' closing costs. On a home of median value, that will cost an additional $2,272 to $4,543.

You should also consider offering these popular seller concessions:

Concession
Benefits of offering concession
Home warranty
If your home has major appliances or systems that are on their last leg, a home warranty can give buyers peace of mind. A warranty will cover possible problems and is typically less expensive than paying for the repairs (or accepting a lower offer from a wary buyer).
Property taxes
You often have to share past tax information about the property before closing a sale. By covering some of those costs, you can offer buyers some financial relief and make them more inclined to close the sale.
Repair credits
Repair credits are a win-win for buyers and sellers. You'll credit the buyer a set amount to cover the cost of repairs. Once the deal closes, buyers can oversee the project to their liking, and you don't have to worry about repairs going over budget.

Step 6: Close

Closing is the final step in a real estate transaction. The title of the property is officially transferred from the seller to the buyer, and both parties pay their closing costs.

Use a title company to facilitate a smooth closing. Title companies collect and distribute closing costs, collect signatures, ensure sellers have the right documents, and file them with relevant agencies.

🤔 Do I need a real estate attorney to sell my house in Indiana?

No, you don't need to hire a real estate attorney to sell a house in Indiana. Even though it's not required, you might find it useful to work with a lawyer, especially if you're selling FSBO. A real estate attorney can review the final contract before you sign, assist with the closing process, or help resolve any disputes that may arise.

» READ: How Much are Closing Costs for Sellers in Indiana?

Paperwork to sell a house by owner in Indiana

In a typical real estate transaction, your agent will make sure you fill out all the necessary documents and forms. As a FSBO seller, you'll have to navigate the paperwork by yourself. Here’s a quick breakdown of Indiana's requirements.

Want to save this list for later? Download our FSBO paperwork checklist to help you prepare for your sale.

Required for all Indiana real estate sales

Two forms of ID
In most cases, a valid passport, driver's license, or other form of Indiana-issued ID.
Copy of the original, signed purchase and sale agreement, as well as any agreed upon changes.
A detailed list of all the costs associated with the sale and who pays them. This is often prepared by your escrow agent or title company.
Signed deed
To legally transfer your property, you'll need the deed that proves you're the rightful owner. At closing, you'll sign the deed over to the buyer.
This is basically a receipt that includes both your information and the buyer's. It will also list the final price of the home and what was included in the sale.
A notarized document that states you own the home, that there are no liens on the property, and that you are not simultaneously selling the home to someone else.

Additional documents

Loan payoff information
If you have a mortgage on your home, you'll need documentation of exactly how much you still owe and any payoff fees. If you've already paid your mortgage in full, you'll need documentation proving that.
HOA forms and guidelines
If your home is part of an HOA, you'll need to give the buyer documentation on the covenants, codes, restrictions, financial history, required fees, and approval process.
Survey results or survey affidavits
A survey or an affidavit verifying a previous survey proves exactly where the property lines are.
Home inspection results
If you had a pre-sale inspection, you'll want the results to compare to the buyer's inspection. If having a buyer's inspection was part of the sales agreement, you should receive a copy of the results before closing.
Proof of repairs or renovations
Documentation proving any major repairs or changes to the house help verify its value. These receipts also provide buyers with information about who to contact if they discover issues with the repairs in the future.
Home warranty information
The home warranty service agreement will explain what is covered, for how long, and costs associated with the policy.
Copies of relevant wills, trusts, or power of attorney letters
If you are selling an inherited property, you'll need copies of all legal documents that passed ownership to you.
Relevant affidavits (name affidavits, non-foreign affidavit under IRC 1445)
You may need additional affidavits like a name affidavit, which lists all of your or the buyer's previous names, or an affidavit proving you are not a foreign citizen and, therefore, exempt from certain property sales taxes.
Closing disclosure
If your buyer is taking out a mortgage and you agreed to certain seller's concessions, you may need a copy of their closing disclosure to verify the lender approved your concessions.
Correction statement and agreement
If forms are lost or errors are discovered in the future, a correction statement and agreement requires you, the buyer, or their lender to replace or fix those documents.

Indiana disclosure forms

The seller disclosure statement details known issues with your home and its major appliances and systems.
With some federally backed mortgages, your buyer's lender might require information about the property's flood risk.
If your home was built before 1978, federal law requires that you disclose information about the dangers of lead-based paint.

» LEARN: Disclosure Requirements for Selling Indiana Real Estate

Where to find documents

Need a document that's not on the list? The Indiana Realtors Association provides real estate forms on its website, but they're intended for real estate agents, and you must log in to access them.

However, real estate forms can be written in a variety of formats, and you can find downloadable forms online:

When you're looking for other documents, such as tax records, property surveys, and deeds, check state or local government offices, such as your tax assessor’s office or department of revenue.

Just remember, many closing documents are legally binding agreements. Errors can result in an unenforceable contract that could derail your sale and cost you thousands in fees. To avoid an expensive mistake, consider working with a low-commission realtor.

💰 Incredible savings, none of the DIY

Selling your home is time-consuming, and fraught with potential legal issues.

There's a better option. Clever pre-negotiates lower listing fees with top agents in your area. You still save on commission, while getting the support of a full-service agent.

  • Clever partner agents offer full-service support for half the typical cost: a pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fee
  • Clever sellers save an average of $7,000 on commission AND they get offers 2.8x faster than the national average

Ready to find real estate agents who can help you save thousands on your sale? Enter your zip code below to get started!

FSBO alternatives

If saving money is your main reason for selling FSBO, there are alternatives.

Clever Real Estate

Clever is a nationwide real estate service that connects Indiana home sellers with top, local agents. You pay Clever nothing. You'll only pay your full-service agent 1.5% of your home sale price, saving up to 50% on listing fees.

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate

Get Started

💲 Listing Fee

1.5% ($3,000 min.)

💰 Buyer Savings

Cash back after closing

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

4.9/5 (1,995 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Clever is a quick, easy, and free way to find a top-rated local agent. And, unlike many similar companies, Clever pre-negotiates big discounts on your behalf, so you can save thousands without sacrificing on service.


Try Clever for free — save thousands on commission

  • Free, nationwide agent-matching service that partners with full-service local agents from conventional brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX
  • Provides multiple agent matches so you can interview, compare marketing plans, and choose the best fit
  • Pre-negotiates low rates on your behalf — you get full service for just a 1.5% listing fee ($3,000 minimum)
  • If you buy with Clever, you can get cash back to help pay for your move
  • You may not get matched with an agent from your preferred real estate brokerage.
  • Agents may not provide premium services like drone photography and professional home staging.

As of 10/21/2022, Clever has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, based on 1,844 reviews.


Read reviews from real Clever customers here.

Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates with top agents in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

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Discount real estate services in Indiana

Discount real estate companies can help you sell your house for less than a traditional realtor, although pricing and services vary. In most cases, you'll still need to offer a competitive buyer's agent commission, but you'll save on listing fees.

💲 Listing Fee

1.5% (min. fees vary)

💰 Avg. Savings

$5,550

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

3.7/5 (301 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Redfin offers real savings and is a proven brand. But sellers could compromise on service — especially agent experience and availability.


Read the full Redfin review.

  • If you buy and sell with Redfin, you'll get a 0.5% listing fee discount.
  • Redfin gives its listings premium placement in its popular home search app.
  • If finding the right agent is a top priority, you'll have limited options Redfin only has a few agents in each of its markets.
  • Redfin agents handle more customers at once than the average realtor, so they may not be able to provide as much personalized service.

Redfin has a 3.7 out of 5 rating (301 reviews) across popular review sites like Google and Yelp.


Read reviews from real Redfin customers here.

Redfin is available in 80+ U.S. markets (see all locations).

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» COMPARE: Discount Real Estate Brokers: Who's the BEST?

Flat fee MLS companies in Indiana

A flat fee MLS company will post your listing on the local MLS, usually for a low, upfront fee. In Indiana, this will typically cost you a couple hundred dollars.

Flat Fee Realty LLC

Flat Fee Realty LLC

Flat Fee Realty LLC

Best For

Inexperienced sellers who need extra guidance from their listing broker

Price Range

$599

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Your listing comes with a comparative market analysis to help you price your home. Many competitors charge extra for this service.
  • You get a yard sign with your listing. The sign includes a phone number and website where people can get more info about your property.
  • An agent will come take pictures of your property that you can use for your MLS listing.

Cons:

  • There's only one package to choose from. This isn't a great option for sellers on a shoestring budget.
  • They don't specify how many photos you can add to your listing.
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Mentor Listing

Mentor Listing

Mentor Listing

Best For

Sellers who like to keep things simple

Price Range

$299-399

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • You can add as many open houses as you want to your listing without paying an extra fee.

Cons:

  • The base package only includes one photo. Most other companies include at least six (if not more) in their basic listing package.
  • You'll have to pay an extra $200 at closing to cover Indiana's minimum service requirements.
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Mink Realty

Mink Realty

Mink Realty

Best For

Sellers looking for a lot of a la carte options

Price Range

$299-499

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The gold and platinum packages come with a lot of extra assistance from the listing broker like contract reviews and advice, listing feedback, and negotiation assistance.
  • For an extra fee, the broker will promote your listing on social media for you.

Cons:

  • You have to pay extra to e-sign documents.
  • The base package doesn't include any open house listings.
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» FIND: 5 Best Indiana Flat Fee MLS Companies

If you'd like some professional guidance with no strings attached, Clever can help. Fill out your info below to connect with a top, local realtor for a no-obligation consultation.

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Additional resources for Indiana home sellers

FAQs: How to sell your house without a realtor in Indiana

Home sales in Indiana require a lot of paperwork, including a copy of the purchase agreement and addendums, the closing statement, signed deed, bill of sale, and affidavit of title. You also need to provide the seller's residential real estate sales disclosure and other forms and disclosures.

No, you don't need a lawyer to sell (or buy) a house in Indiana. Real estate agents typically handle paperwork and closing details, rather than attorneys. That said, if you're not using an agent, you may want an attorney to look over the final contract before you sign.

The best place to market your home is on the multiple listing service (MLS). Only agents can list on the MLS, so if you're selling without an agent, you'll need to use a flat fee MLS company. You can also consider listing your home for free on Zillow, Trulia, ForSaleByOwner.com, social media, and Craigslist.

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