FSBO in Maryland: What You Need to Know


What is a FSBO?

We have all heard the term before, FSBO, but what does it mean? FSBO stands "for sale by owner." This is a property sale where a property owner has elected not to engage the services of a realtor to assist in the sale of a property they wish to sell. The buyer may or may not have a realtor involved to assist them with the transaction.   

Why would someone want to sell a house without realtor being involved?

There are a variety of reasons that a seller would elect to forego using a realtor in a FSBO transaction. For example, the sale may be a related party transaction where the buyer and seller know or are related to each other. We have also handled transactions where tenants are buying from their landlord and are familiar with the property being purchased. In these settings, the parties have usually come to an agreement on the important terms of the transaction and just need the details to be properly memorialized. 

Who handles the paperwork in a FSBO? 

Heise & Heise, LLP maintains a library of contracts and addendums and can handle any paperwork needed to place a valid and binding contract on a property. The library is updated regularly so that as Maryland law changes annually so are our forms unlike those you might find online or in a store. In some scenarios, we have crafted special addendums to cover unique situations that are uncommon in the world of real estate. Our firm has the flexibility to represent either a seller or buyer in a transaction and we are able to offer a fixed price fee schedule.

What if I need a recommendation for service provider? 

During the FSBO sale, you may discover a need for a service provider. To aid in that need we have assembled a list of the following service providers that have been carefully selected based on their customer service, reputation in the industry and cost.

  • Home Inspectors
  • Appraisers
  • Lenders
  • Settlement / Title Companies
  • Surveyors


If you search online the most commonly stated drawbacks to a FSBO are the limited exposure to the marketplace and the possibility of realizing less than the full market value on a sale. We are able to overcome these obstacles by working with you to get your property listed on the multiple listing services for maximum exposure. Additionally, we are able to connect you with a Maryland licensed appraiser so that you can ensure that you are pricing your house properly.

The most significant advantage of a FSBO is that a seller and buyer may enjoy reduced expenses as a result of the nature of the transaction. Oftentimes a seller may be willing to pass along a portion of what is saved on commission to a buyer in the form of a credit or price reduction. This is a true win-win situation for all parties concerned.



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