How to Sell a House By Owner in Kentucky (2024 Update)

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By Michael Yessis Updated June 28, 2024
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Edited by Ashley Simon

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Selling your house by owner in Kentucky can potentially save you from paying an average of $6,226 in realtor commission to a listing agent.[1]

But selling your house for sale by owner (FSBO) doesn't guarantee savings. Selling FSBO also isn't the only way to save money when selling a home, nor is it the only good option to sell without a realtor in Kentucky.

Compare the savings you'll get with a discount broker to the potential savings of selling FSBO, or read on for more about managing your own sale and FSBO alternatives.

Should you sell FSBO? Pros and cons

Pros of selling FSBO in Kentucky

  • You can potentially save an average of 3.00%, or $6,226,[2] because you won't have to pay a listing agent's real estate commission. 
  • You'll control the selling process, including pricing your home, showing your home, scheduling buyer visits, and negotiating with the buyer. A seller with the disposition and experience to handle details will appreciate this level of control.
  • You're likely to have success selling FSBO in Kentucky if you live in a hot local real estate market or have a buyer lined up. While only 7% of homes sell without a realtor, 57% of those home sellers already know their buyer.[3]

Cons of selling FSBO in Kentucky

  • You may still have to pay a buyer’s agent commission, which averages 3.00% of the sale price in Kentucky, or $6,226.[4] You may not attract qualified buyers if you don't offer a buyer's agent commission.
  • Your house will likely sell for less than if you had an agent handle your sale. Research shows FSBO homes typically sell for about 24% less than those listed with agents, which may outweigh the money you save doing it all on your own.[5] 
  • You'll face legal risks. 36% of FSBO sellers said they made legal mistakes because they didn't use a real estate agent, according to Clever Real Estate's survey of those who sold FSBO in 2022 or 2023.
  • You'll control the selling process, which generally isn't good for inexperienced sellers. You'll have to do all the work of a trained, licensed realtor, including handling the paperwork. FSBO paperwork can be difficult and overwhelming. 

» MORE: Should you sell FSBO?

Why you should trust us

We surveyed and interviewed Kentucky real estate agents, surveyed FSBO sellers, studied Kentucky real estate law, and researched more than 20 alternatives. Learn more about why you can trust our advice.

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How to sell a house by owner in Kentucky 

Kentucky FSBO sellers must follow state and local rules and regulations, including having an attorney at closing.

Kentucky sellers should also follow the advice and actions laid out in these seven steps:

Step 1: Make your home presentable to buyers

Put these five tasks on your to-do list, in this order: 

🔑 Key to-do: Find the line between necessary home repairs and over-the-top home repairs for your house. 

"If your kitchen is a disaster, spending more money on a remodel to get it in solid condition will pay off in the end," says Clever Real Estate co-founder and real estate investor Ben Mizes, who has experience listing homes without a real estate agent. "But spending money on high-end features to take it from good to extravagant will be a waste."

Also, consider how valuable specific repairs are to buyers in your part of Kentucky. Focus on upgrades that earn back the highest percentage of costs.  

Home repairs with the highest resale value in the East South Central region

Home repairAverage costAverage resale valuePercent of costs recouped
Garage door replacement$4,208  $7,273173%
Entry door replacement (steel)$2,204 $3,377 153%
Manufactured stone veneer$10,236 $14,471141% 
Minor kitchen remodel (midrange)$25,538 $23,95794% 
Grand entrance (fiberglass)$10,356 $8,48782% 
Show more
Source: Remodeling

Step 2: Set a price for your home

Do your own comparative market analysis​​ (CMA). A CMA report estimates a home's value by comparing the recent sale prices of similar properties located nearby.

You can ask a real estate agent to perform a CMA. Many Kentucky agents will do this for free in the hopes of gaining your business.

We don't recommend asking for a CMA if you're planning to mislead an agent into thinking you need their services. If you're open to using an agent, though, asking for a CMA will allow you to weigh the costs and benefits of hiring an agent, and to give you the peace of mind to know you’ve evaluated all the options.

Get a free professional pricing consultation!

Interview top local agents, get free advice, no obligation to sign.

Other FSBO pricing help options

Get a broker price opinion (BPO). A BPO is a home valuation report provided by a licensed real estate professional who will determine your home's estimated value based mainly on its condition and the recent sales prices of similar homes in the area. BPOs cost $150–250.

Get a pre-listing appraisal, which can provide an accurate starting point for pricing your home, too. In Kentucky, appraisals cost $245–$385.

Search ​​Zillow or a similar real estate website for active local listings priced within a range of what you think your house is worth. Then compare your home’s features to the competition.

For example, if you live in Louisville and think your house is worth about $258,557, search Zillow for active listings about $50,000 more and less than that. Analyze details about the houses and how they compare to yours. Ask yourself:

  • Does the house have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Has the house been renovated more recently than yours?
  • How do the neighborhoods and nearby amenities compare?
  • Is the school district better or worse?

Answering these questions honestly will help you see if your price is in the right ballpark.

🔑 Key insight: People who sell their home without a realtor are prone to underpricing. A 2023 National Association of Realtors study found that FSBO homes can sell for about 24% less than those listed with licensed real estate agents — meaning these sellers lost out on money even after saving on agent fees. 
Show more

Pricing data for Kentucky and its major markets

These statewide and local pricing metrics can help you hone the listing price for your Kentucky home.

Median Kentucky home value[6]Median listing price in Kentucky[7]Listing price per sqft[8]% of homes where seller reduced the price [9]
$207,528$315,000$16820%
Show more
Kentucky cityMedian home value[10]
Louisville$258,557
Lexington$297,023
Bowling Green$249,426
Elizabethtown$223,400
London$143,814
Show more

Step 3: Create a listing for your home

​​The listing for your home should feature: 

If your listing focuses on these things you're more likely to attract motivated buyers who are qualified to buy your home.

📷 How to showcase your Kentucky home's best visual qualities

Take professional-level photographs of your staged home to showcase its best features. Consider hiring a professional photographer, which costs an average of $199 per session in Kentucky.

» MORE: Photos might be the most important part of your listing

Often, a listing agent will organize staging and professional photography as part of their services.

✍️ How to write a listing that connects with Kentucky buyers

Focus on information buyers can only get from the homeowner or a neighborhood local. Consider addressing these questions in your listing: 

  • What notable views do you have from your house? 
  • Is the neighborhood friendly? 
  • Is the street safe for kids? 
  • Do you live in an area with great schools? How about restaurants?

According to Kentucky real estate professionals, the following are local buyers' priorities. If possible, include them in your listing when you list your FSBO sale

Kentucky buyer prioritiesAdvice for FSBO sellers
Listing priceGet a CMA or BPO to determine the current value of your home. It's often a good idea to price your home below market value to try to start a bidding war. If you overprice your home, it may sit on the market for a while.
Architectural style of homeHighlight unique architectural features or if your house retains original features like flooring. If a known architect designed your home, mention it. Also, point out upgrades you made, like new windows that could save buyers money on heating costs.
School informationInclude appealing information about the school district and schools in your listing description, such as their GreatSchools ratings, graduation rates, parental reviews, or state accolades.
Show more
Based on a 2023 Clever survey of 630 real estate professionals.

💰 How much you should offer in buyer's agent commission 

You should pay at least the average buyer's agent commission in Kentucky, which is 3.00% of the sale price, or $6,226.[11] 

🗣️ Why you should offer a buyer's agent commission for now
A buyer’s agent commission incentivizes the buyer's agent to show your house to their clients.

If you don't offer a competitive commission in your FSBO listing compared to similar homes in your area, agents may prioritize showing buyers homes where the agent will earn a commission. Traditionally, sellers pay the buyer's agent and the listing agent commissions out of the proceeds of the sale.

Also, 87% of buyers work with a realtor.[12] If you decide not to offer a buyer's agent commission, you may restrict your pool of buyers.

Further, if you list FSBO, you'll likely receive multiple calls from Kentucky real estate agents offering to connect you with their buyers if you pay them a competitive buyer's agent commission.

This commission practice may change as soon as mid-July 2024 as the real estate industry implements the settlement of a November 2023 lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Read our coverage of the NAR lawsuit for more details.
Show more

Step 4: List your home for sale

The best place to list your Kentucky home is on your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a private database created and maintained by real estate brokers to facilitate home buying and selling. 

» MORE: What is the MLS?

MLS listings populate onto real estate websites like Realtor.com and Zillow, increasing your home's online presence. That's important because 51% of buyers found the homes they purchased via the internet.[13]

🔑 Key knowledge: Only real estate agents can list homes for sale on the MLS. You'll need to work with a local agent or use a Kentucky flat fee MLS company that charges a one-time payment to list your home on the MLS.
Show more

Options for listing in Kentucky beyond the MLS

As a FSBO seller in Kentucky, you have several other free or low-cost options.

  • For sale by owner websites in Kentucky: Several well-established and recognized for sale by owner sites cater to people selling and buying FSBO homes.
  • Trulia and Zillow. Both real estate sites allow FSBO sellers to post listings free of charge in the FSBO section of their sites.
  • Social media: Post your listing to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Nextdoor. Sharing is free, and you can reach a lot of people where they’re already spending time. 
🚨 Beware of using a FSBO yard sign. Kentucky doesn't allow you to advertise your property with a sign that says "For Sale By Owner" once your home is listed on the MLS. Instead, use a generic sign or one from the flat fee MLS company that listed your house.

Step 5: Show your home to potential buyers

Focus on four key strategies when you show your Kentucky house to potential buyers.

  • Be organized. Develop a system for scheduling open houses and showings, and saving buyers' and agents’ contact information. Calendly, Mixmax, and Trafft are among the best-rated scheduling apps. 
  • Be flexible. Show your house at buyers’ convenience, not at your convenience.
  • Be clean. Keep your home spotless. You don't want to scramble around with a vacuum after a buyer calls for a last-minute showing.
  • Be homey. Add little touches that speak to most people, which can help make a great first impression. "Bake cookies or light scented candles before a showing," says Mizes. "Smell plays a huge part in how buyers will perceive and remember your house. Use comforting scents to your advantage so they feel at home the moment they walk through the door."

Step 6: Negotiate with potential buyers

🔑 Key to-do: Ask to see a mortgage pre-approval letter. Accepting an offer from an unqualified buyer may cause your sale to fall through.
Show more

You and the buyer's agent (or the buyer, if they don't have a real estate agent) will negotiate the final sale price. You'll also negotiate other issues, including:  

🔑 Key knowledge: You'll improve your negotiating position by educating yourself about these topics, your local real estate market, and what's important to buyers in your part of Kentucky. 

If a potential buyer won't negotiate, and their offer doesn't meet your expectations, decline the offer. 

Offering seller concessions

You can also offer seller concessions, contributions home sellers give to their buyers to help offset the costs of buying a Kentucky home. 

Seller concessions might cost you a little more at closing, but they also sweeten the deal for buyers and could lead to a higher final sale price and a quicker sale. 

Consider offering these common seller concessions in Kentucky: 

  • Repair credits: Credit the buyer a set amount of money to cover the cost of home repairs. Once the deal closes, the buyer can oversee the project and you don't have to worry about repairs going over budget.
  • Home warranty: Give buyers peace of mind if your home has major appliances or systems on their last leg. A warranty will cover possible issues and is typically less expensive than paying for the repairs (or accepting a lower offer from a wary buyer).

Step 7: Close your sale

You must use a real estate attorney to facilitate closing in Kentucky, even if you're selling without a realtor. Attorneys in Kentucky cost $150–$150 per hour per hour.  

Find Kentucky lawyers near you by searching the Kentucky Bar Association or FindLaw.

Closing costs in Kentucky

Expect to pay about 3.06% of your home's final sale price in closing costs. For a $207,528 home — the median sales price in Kentucky — that comes to around $6,360.

Paperwork for selling a house by owner in Kentucky

Kentucky requires those selling FSBO to fill out and file many documents and forms. Several of these documents are legally binding agreements. Your real estate attorney will supply and help guide you through the required paperwork.

The paperwork below is generally required for all Kentucky real estate sales.

  • 2 forms of ID. In most cases, a valid passport, driver's license, or other form of Kentucky-issued ID.
  • Copy of purchase and sale agreement. Plus any addendums.
  • Closing statement. A detailed list of all the costs associated with the sale and who pays them. Your escrow agent or title company usually prepares this statement.
  • Signed deed. You'll need the deed that proves you're the rightful owner to legally transfer your property. On your closing date, you'll sign the deed over to the buyer.
  • Bill of sale. Essentially a receipt that includes your information and the buyer's. It will also list the final sales price of the home and what was included in the sale.
  • Affidavit of title. A notarized document that states you own the home, that there are no liens on the property, that you aren't simultaneously selling the home to someone else, and other information.
Kentucky disclosure forms
  • Seller's disclosure of property conditionThe seller disclosure statement details known issues with your home and its major appliances and systems.
  • Flood risk disclosureWith some mortgages (like federally backed ones), your buyer's lender might require information about the property's flood risk.
  • Lead-based paint disclosure. Federal law requires that you disclose information about the dangers of lead-based paint to your buyer if your home was built before 1978.

» MORE: Disclosure requirements for selling Kentucky real estate

Possible additional documents
  • Loan payoff information. If you have a mortgage on your home, you'll need documentation of how much you still owe and any payoff fees. If you've already paid your mortgage in full, you'll need documented proof.
  • HOA forms and guidelines. If your home is part of an HOA, you'll need to give the buyer documentation on the HOA's covenants, codes, and restrictions; financial history; required fees; approval process; and more.
  • Survey results or survey affidavits. A survey (or an affidavit verifying a previous survey) confirms the property lines.
  • 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 inspection was part of the sale agreement, you should receive a copy of the results before closing.
  • Home warranty information. The home warranty service agreement will explain what's covered and for how long, and the costs associated with the policy.
  • Proof of repairs or renovations. Documentation proving any major repairs or changes to the house help verify its value. These receipts tell the buyer who to contact if they discover issues with the repairs in the future.
  • Copies of relevant wills, trusts, or power of attorney letters. If you're selling an inherited property, you'll need copies of all the legal documents that passed ownership to you. 
  • Relevant affidavits. 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 aren't 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 someone loses forms or discovers errors in the future, a correction statement and agreement requires you, the buyer, or their lender to replace or fix those documents, if need be.

Where to find paperwork for selling FSBO in Kentucky

Your Kentucky real estate attorney will generally supply the paperwork. 

You can also find free downloadable forms through LawDepot or eForms

Some services, such as US Legal, combine the most popular state-specific real estate forms into a package that FSBO sellers can purchase by subscription for a monthly fee of $39–59.

The Kentucky Realtors trade organization provides forms only for member realtors. 

For tax records, property surveys, and deeds, check state or local government offices, such as your tax assessor’s office or the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

How much can I save selling without a realtor?

Kentucky FSBO sellers typically save an average of $6,226 by not paying a listing agent realtor commission.[14] 

FSBO sellers in the state can save up to $12,452 on total realtor commission if they also don't pay the buyer's agent commission.[15] 

These realtor commission savings figures are based on a $207,528 home — the median home value in Kentucky — and an average listing agent commission of 3.00%[16]  and an average buyer’s agent commission of 3.00%.[17]

FSBO savings calculator

Insert your estimated home sale price and the average listing agent and buyer's agent commission into the calculator below to determine your potential savings.

FSBO alternatives 

Consider these alternatives to selling your home by owner in Kentucky.

  • Discount real estate services in Kentucky. Discount real estate companies will help you sell your Kentucky house for less than a traditional realtor. In most cases, you'll still need to offer a competitive buyer's agent commission, but you'll save money on listing fees.
  • Flat fee MLS companies in Kentucky. A flat fee MLS service will post your listing on the local MLS, usually for a low, upfront fee. In Kentucky, this will cost you $249–1,290.
  • iBuyers in Kentucky. iBuyers purchase homes for cash at a slight discount, then resell them on the open market. By selling to an iBuyer, you'll avoid realtor fees. Most iBuyers charge sellers a service fee of 5–13%, however. They'll also deduct the cost of any required repairs after an on-site visit. 
  • Cash home buyers in Kentucky. Cash home buyers typically buy houses in poor condition or from sellers who need to sell their house fast. Often, you won't get the fair market value from cash home buyers that many sellers get using an experienced real estate agent. 

Get a free professional pricing consultation!

Interview top local agents, get free advice, no obligation to sign.

Additional resources for Kentucky home sellers 

Article Sources

[1] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[2] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[3] National Association of Realtors – "Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers".
[4] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[5] National Association of Realtors – "Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers".
[6] Zillow – "Zillow.com housing data". Updated May 31, 2024.
[7] Realtor.com Data Library – "Data from the National Association of Realtors, provided through Realtor.com". Updated May 1, 2024.
[8] Realtor.com Data Library – "Data from the National Association of Realtors, provided through Realtor.com". Updated May 1, 2024.
[9] Realtor.com Data Library – "Data from the National Association of Realtors, provided through Realtor.com". Updated May 1, 2024.
[10] Zillow – "Zillow.com housing data". Updated May 31, 2024.
[11] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[12] National Association of Realtors – "Quick Real Estate Statistics".
[13] National Association of Realtors – "Quick Real Estate Statistics".
[14] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[15] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[16] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.
[17] Average Real Estate Commission in Kentucky – "Average real estate commission data". Updated January 1, 2024.

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