Indiana real estate commissions | How to list FSBO in Indiana | Indiana FSBO paperwork | FSBO pros and cons | FSBO alternatives
In Indiana, selling your house without a real estate agent is possible, and it could save you a lot of money in agent commission fees. The average realtor commission rate in Indiana is 4.54% to 6.80%. If you sell a house worth $227,200 — the median home value in Indiana — you'd pay more than $10,300 to real estate agents. That's a huge chunk out of your potential profits.
Without a listing agent, you can cut commission expenses in half, and you'll have more control over the sale. But because of added responsibilities, such as setting a listing price and negotiating with buyer's agents, selling without an agent is often only a viable option for experienced home sellers willing to put in the time and effort.
Plus, selling for sale by owner (FSBO) has risks. Research shows that FSBO homes typically sell for about 6% less than those listed with agents. You'll also still have to offer a competitive buyer's agent commission — usually 2.70% of the sale price in Indiana. You'll be responsible for all the work of a trained realtor, so if you have other obligations, such as a job or a family, selling FSBO might not be for you.
You may save time and pocket more profit by working with a low-commission realtor who can sell your home for top dollar. Clever Real Estate pre-negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top-rated local agents. You'll get the support of a full-service agent for a fraction of the typical price, so you can walk away from your sale with the most cash possible.
» SAVE: Find top local agents and get a 1.5% listing fee!
Keep reading to learn how to successfully sell your house without an agent in Indiana. We'll explain the ins and outs of costs, pricing strategies, paperwork, and more.
🔑 Key takeaways
How realtor commissions work in Indiana
When you sell your home, there are four common commission scenarios.
1. List with an agent and sell to a represented buyer. Pay for both agents' commission fees.
This is the traditional model. When sellers work with a realtor, they negotiate commission as part of the listing agreement.
Based on average commission rates in Indiana, this typically ranges from 2.40% to 3.53% of the sale price.
The seller also agrees to a commission rate for the realtor who brings the buyer to the table, which runs between 2.14% to 3.27%.
2. List FSBO and sell to a represented buyer. Pay the buyer's agent commission.
As a FSBO seller, you automatically avoid paying a listing commission. However, there is a solid argument for offering a buyer's agent commission. It's an incentive for realtors to show your house to their clients. If you don't offer a competitive commission, agents may prioritize taking buyers to homes with a commission.
3. List FSBO and sell to a buyer without an agent. Pay no commission.
The best way to avoid paying any commission fees is to sell to an unrepresented buyer. However, nearly 87% of buyers work with a realtor. If you decide not to offer a buyer's agent commission, you may severely restrict your pool of buyers.
4. List with a discount agent and sell to a represented buyer. Pay the buyer's agent commission but save on the listing commission.
You'll typically find the best overall value with a traditional, full-service agent who offers discounted listing fees. For example, Clever Partner Agents work for trusted brands like RE/MAX and Keller Williams and offer a range of full-service benefits for a fraction of the cost. Use Clever's free, no-obligation service to connect with a top-performing agent near you.
The table below shows how this could break down in Indiana:
How Indiana realtor commissions work
Represented seller and buyer
FSBO seller, represented buyer
FSBO seller, unrepresented buyer
Based on the median home sale price in Indiana (Zillow.com) and the average commission rates from a 2023 Clever survey of 630 real estate agents
» LEARN: What is Realtor Commission?
How to sell a house by owner in Indiana
Prepare your home for sale | Set a price | List your home | Show your home | Negotiate the best price | Close
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:
Real estate attorney required?
FSBO yard sign allowed?
Required state disclosures?
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.
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, 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. Ask yourself:
- Is the school district better or worse?
- Does it 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?
Answering these questions honestly will help you see if your price is in the right ballpark.
A pre-sale appraisal gives you 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
In 2021, Indiana had a seller's market driven by fierce demand for a limited supply of homes. The lack of homes sent prices soaring. The median home price in Indiana is $192,512, a 15% increase from the year before.
Median home value*
Median listing price+
Listing price per square foot+
Percent of homes with price reduction+
*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:
Median home value
Local housing markets throughout Indiana are hot, with low inventory and an increase in home sales and sales prices compared to last year. The seller's market in Indiana is expected to continue in 2022.
Selling your home by owner in a hot seller's market might not require much legwork. Paying full price for an agent may feel like a waste of money if you can easily find an interested buyer on your own.
Still, there are many reasons not to forgo an agent. If your house is in good condition, you're likely to get multiple offers within hours of listing. A realtor can advise you which ones are worth accepting so you can make even more when selling your home.
Enter your ZIP code to see if Clever has a 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Focus on creating a homey atmosphere for buyers. You want to make a great first impression, so add little touches that speak to most people. Bake cookies or light scented candles before a showing. Smell plays a huge part in how buyers perceive and remember your house. Use comforting scents to your advantage so they feel at home the moment they walk through the door.
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:
Benefits of offering concession
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).
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 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 sales 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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros and cons of selling FSBO
Before deciding to sell your home by owner, weigh all the pros and cons to make the right choice for your situation.
✅ Lower commission: Even if your buyer has an agent, you'll still avoid paying 2–3% in listing agent commission.
❌ Less visibility with buyers: Unless you pay a flat fee MLS company, your home won't be on the local MLS, meaning fewer buyers will see your listing.
✅ More control: You can decide the price, showing schedule, marketing strategy, negotiation tactics, and more.
❌ Risks of inaccurate pricing: If you overprice your home, you won't attract buyers. You could be forced to accept a low offer or take your home off the market and relist with an agent.
✅ No competition with other clients: Some agents take on more clients than they can handle, which means you may not get the attention you need.
❌ Safety issues: You're responsible for showing your home to prospective buyers. Not everyone is comfortable being alone with strangers because theft or harassment can occur.
✅ You may sell faster: If you're selling to a family member or friend, FSBO streamlines the process.
❌ More work and stress: Trying to cram all the FSBO responsibilities into your schedule is a hassle many FSBO sellers aren't prepared for.
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 sellers with top, local agents. You pay Clever nothing. You'll only pay your full-service agent 1.5% if your home sells.
💲 Listing Fee
1.5% (min. $3,000 fee)
💰 Buyer Savings
Up to $500 cash back
⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
4.9/5 (1,995 reviews)
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.
- 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 a 1.5% listing fee vs. the typical 2.5-3% rate
- If you buy with Clever, you can get cash back rewards after closing
- 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.
Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates with top agents in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
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
⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
3.7/5 (301 reviews)
Redfin offers real savings and is a proven brand. But sellers could compromise on service — especially agent experience and availability.
- 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.
Redfin is available in 80+ U.S. markets (see all locations).
» COMPARE: Discount Real Estate Brokers: Who's the BEST?
Flat fee MLS companies in Indiana
A flat fee MLS service 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.
Inexperienced sellers who need extra guidance from their listing broker
- 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.
- 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.
Sellers who like to keep things simple
- You can add as many open houses as you want to your listing without paying an extra fee.
- 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.
Sellers looking for a lot of a la carte options
- 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.
- You have to pay extra to e-sign documents.
- The base package doesn't include any open house listings.
» FIND: 5 Best Indiana Flat-Fee MLS Companies
Conclusion: Is FSBO right for you?
FSBO isn't a right for everyone. But if you're feeling confident about the steps and knowledgeable about the challenges, you might be ready to sell without a realtor in Indiana. To succeed, you'll need to:
- Make a plan: From taking photos of your property to filling out the correct paperwork, there will be a lot on your FSBO to-do list. Set completion goals and work out a schedule so you can find a buyer and close in a timeframe that works for you.
- Get ready to hustle: Attracting qualified buyers is hard work. You'll need a great listing description and a killer marketing strategy to generate interest. Also, prepare to spend a considerable amount of time fielding calls from prospective buyers, scheduling showings, hosting open houses, and more.
- Make smart investments: Even though saving money is your main goal as a FSBO seller, spending money on small upgrades or repairs can lead to higher offers and a faster sale. Also, consider paying a flat fee company to list your home on the local MLS to reach more buyers.
- Seek some professional advice: You don't have to sign a listing contract to talk to a realtor. Professional agents understand that smart sellers weigh their options. They'll be willing to meet for a free consultation. After seeing your home and looking at comps, they might notice problems or advantages you overlooked. Once you've heard their advice, if you still want to sell by owner, you can do so confidently because you thoroughly explored your choices.
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.
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.