4 Things You Should Know About Selling Your Own House in Chicago and Illinois


4 Things You Should Know About Selling Your Own House in Chicago and Illinois

Are you considering selling your own house in Chicago or Illinois? While it may seem like a great way to save money on real estate agent fees, there are many factors to consider before taking on this task. In this blog post, we will discuss four things you should know about selling your own house in Chicago and Illinois. We will cover the legal requirements, the importance of pricing your home correctly, the benefits of professional marketing, and the challenges of negotiating with buyers. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of what it takes to sell your own house and whether it’s the right decision for you.

1. Legal Requirements for Selling Your Own House in Illinois

When you decide to sell your own house in Illinois, you are taking on the role of a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) seller. This means that you are responsible for understanding and complying with all the legal requirements involved in selling a property. Here are some of the key legal requirements you should be aware of:

  • Property Disclosure Report: As a seller in Illinois, you are required to provide potential buyers with a Residential Real Property Disclosure Report. This report discloses any known material defects in the property, such as issues with the foundation, roof, plumbing, or electrical systems. Failure to provide this report can result in legal consequences and potential liability for the seller.
  • Title and Deed: When selling your own house, you will need to ensure that the title is clear and free of any liens or encumbrances. You will also need to prepare a deed to transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. This typically involves hiring an attorney or title company to handle the paperwork and ensure that all legal requirements are met.
  • Real Estate Transfer Tax: In Illinois, sellers are responsible for paying a state and local real estate transfer tax. The amount of the tax varies depending on the location of the property and the sale price. Be sure to research the specific tax rates for your area and factor this cost into your overall budget for selling your home.
  • Contract and Closing: As an FSBO seller, you will need to prepare a legally binding contract for the sale of your home. This contract should include all the necessary terms and conditions, such as the purchase price, closing date, and any contingencies (e.g., financing, inspections, etc.). Once the contract is signed, you will need to coordinate the closing process, which typically involves hiring a title company or attorney to handle the paperwork and ensure that all legal requirements are met.

While it is possible to handle these legal requirements on your own, many FSBO sellers choose to hire a real estate attorney to assist with the process. This can help ensure that all legal requirements are met and reduce the risk of potential liability.

2. Pricing Your Home Correctly

One of the most critical aspects of selling your own house is determining the right asking price. Pricing your home too high can result in your property sitting on the market for an extended period, while pricing it too low can mean leaving money on the table. Here are some tips for pricing your home correctly:

  • Research Comparable Sales: Look at recent sales of similar homes in your area to get a sense of what your property might be worth. Pay attention to factors such as square footage, lot size, age, and condition, as well as any unique features or upgrades that may affect the value of your home.
  • Consider Market Conditions: The real estate market can fluctuate, so it’s essential to consider current market conditions when pricing your home. If it’s a seller’s market with low inventory and high demand, you may be able to price your home slightly higher. Conversely, if it’s a buyer’s market with high inventory and low demand, you may need to price your home more competitively to attract interest.
  • Be Objective: It can be challenging to set an asking price for your own home, as you may have an emotional attachment to the property. Try to be objective and focus on the data when determining your home’s value. If you’re struggling to set a price, consider hiring an appraiser to provide an unbiased opinion.

Remember, the goal is to find the sweet spot where your home is priced competitively enough to attract interest but not so low that you’re leaving money on the table. If you’re unsure about pricing your home, consider reaching out to a professional like Tony Buys Homes for guidance.

3. The Importance of Professional Marketing

When selling your own house, it’s crucial to invest in professional marketing to attract potential buyers. Here are some marketing strategies to consider:

  • High-Quality Photos: Most buyers begin their home search online, so having high-quality photos of your property is essential. Consider hiring a professional photographer to capture your home in the best light possible.
  • Online Listings: List your property on popular real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com to reach a broad audience of potential buyers. Be sure to include a detailed description of your home, along with the high-quality photos you’ve taken.
  • Signage: Place a “For Sale” sign in your front yard to attract drive-by interest. Be sure to include your contact information so potential buyers can easily get in touch with you.
  • Open Houses: Hosting open houses can be an effective way to generate interest in your property. Be sure to advertise your open house online and with signage in your neighborhood.

While marketing your home can be time-consuming and costly, it’s a crucial aspect of selling your own house. If you’re not confident in your marketing abilities, consider working with a professional like Tony Buys Homes in Illinois to ensure your property gets the exposure it needs.

4. Negotiating with Buyers

As an FSBO seller, you will be responsible for negotiating with potential buyers and their agents. This can be a challenging aspect of selling your own house, as you may not have the experience or expertise to navigate the negotiation process effectively. Here are some tips for negotiating with buyers:

  • Be Prepared: Before entering negotiations, be sure to familiarize yourself with the current market conditions and recent sales in your area. This will help you understand what your home is worth and give you a solid foundation for negotiating.
  • Stay Objective: Remember that selling your home is a business transaction, and it’s essential to keep emotions out of the negotiation process. Focus on the facts and be willing to compromise to reach a fair agreement.
  • Be Patient: Negotiations can take time, and it’s essential to be patient and not rush the process. Be prepared to go back and forth with the buyer and their agent until you reach an agreement that works for both parties.

If you’re not comfortable negotiating with buyers, consider working with a professional like Tony Buys Homes to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your sale.


Selling your own house in Chicago and Illinois can be a challenging and time-consuming process. By understanding the legal requirements, pricing your home correctly, investing in professional marketing, and being prepared to negotiate with buyers, you can increase your chances of a successful sale. However, if you’re not confident in your ability to handle these aspects of the sale, consider working with a professional like Tony Buys Homes in Illinois to ensure a smooth and stress-free selling experience.