How to Find Houses That Are for Sale by the Owner


When a homeowner decides to sell his house, he may list and sell the property through a real estate broker. The broker lists and markets the house, handles logistical work related to the offer and settlement and collects a commission after the sale. If the owner sells the home himself, he'll avoid the real estate commission; but he'll assume the advertising, showing, and settlement preparation work.

According to the For Sale by Owner website, a buyer searching for a home that is for sale by owner can obtain some professional services that will help the sale go smoothly. A real estate attorney, lending expert and qualified home inspector should be consulted throughout the process.

Things You'll Need

  • List of local homes for sale by owner that you want to see
  • Real estate classified ad listings of interest
  • Listings from "For Sale by Owner" websites
  • Browse homes in your chosen community. Once you've selected neighborhoods of interest, cruise through the area in search of "For Sale by Owner" signs. In addition to noting the contact phone number, jot down notes on landscaping, proximity of other homes, and general appearance of the neighborhood. Compare your findings, and contact owners whose homes you want to see.

  • Look for real estate classified ads. Search the real estate classified section of your local newspaper. Listings may be organized by community, by type of home (e.g. three-bedroom, two-bath), or by price. Check often, as new listings are frequently added.

  • Visit an online "For Sale by Owner" Directory. There are several nationwide directories of owner-marketed homes. Homes are searchable by zip code, and sometimes by price as well. Contact owners directly to see the listed homes.

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  • Photo Credit for sale by owner image by dead_account from
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