...because home doesn't happen overnight.
08.31.11 / Sold By Owner

Well, I’m finally getting around to telling you what we did to sell our previous house by owner.  You may be surprised to know that we aren’t for sale by owner virgins.  In fact, we sold our very first home by owner too.  That means we’re two for two in the for sale by owner department.  Now that I’m thinking of it…we’ve only sold our homes by owner.  The two homes Handy Hubby and I have owned and sold during the 9 years we’ve been married were both sold by owner.  That means we’ve saved over $10,000 in commission by selling our houses ourselves as opposed to listing them with a realtor.  However, that’s not to say that listing with a realtor is bad.

Selling by owner takes up a lot of your time.  A LOT.  You are acting like a realtor so basically you have another job {on top of whatever else you do} during the time your home is on the market. Selling by owner requires some research too – even before you officially list your home.  If you think selling by owner sounds like too much of a time and mind power commitment then, by all means, hire a realtor.

BUT…if you think you can make the time to do your research and marketing AND if you like the idea of saving thousands of dollars {cha-ching!}, then maybe selling your home by owner is a feasible option.  When we decided to sell our previous home, Handy Hubby and I chose to sell by owner because we liked the idea of saving money that could be put towards the Underdog.  It helped that we already had one ‘sold by owner’ house under our belt but we knew it wouldn’t be easy in today’s real estate market.  Still, we figured we’d give it a shot and see what happened.  And guess what…it happened!  We officially sold our house by owner a few weeks ago.  Here’s everything we did…

1 – Researched and set a good asking/list price.  We used several ways to come up with an asking price that potential buyers would deem fair.  We actually had two bank appraisals completed last year when we were looking to refinance our mortgage.  We paid for these unbiased, third party appraisals and had copies of each available at showings and open houses.

We also spent a lot of time on our county auditor’s website looking up recent sale prices of similar homes in our area to get a feel for what homes in our neighborhood were going for.  Typically, this is what realtors call ‘comp sales’ and they’ll use them as a base for determining a listing price.  Since we didn’t have a nifty little computer system to generate the comps for us, finding sale prices was a little more involved.  We tried to remember homes in our neighborhood that had recently sold and asked neighbors if they knew of any recent home sales too.  Then we looked up the addresses of these homes on the county auditor’s website {this is all public information!} to find the date and price of the last sale.  The auditor’s website also lists other pertinent information like square footage, lot size, etc to help you compare these sold homes to your home.

Not only did we look at sold homes, we looked at other homes in our area that were currently for sale.  We referred to Realtor.com for these asking prices or simply grabbed up flyers from for sale signs.  We’ve heard that some realtors will tell you for free what they’d list your home at if you were to list with them. We didn’t use this method but it’s another one to consider.

After we compiled all the pricing info {appraisals, comps sold in the last 6 months, current listings} we looked at it all to come up with a fair asking price.  FYI – This is NOT the same as fair market value…only a buyer can determine that!

We knew that most likely we wouldn’t get what we were asking for because a high number of short sales and foreclosures were pulling down the market value of our home.  We wanted to give ourselves a little bargaining room without overpricing.  We decided to list our home at $249,900.  Both bank appraisals had appraised our home at $250,000 but recent foreclosure sales were pulling those appraisals down.  We figured listing at $249,900 would give us some bargaining room and still entice all those buyers who had capped their budget at $250,000.  Going even a few thousand over $250,000 would have limited our buying field.  Another thing to keep in mind is we did all of this research BEFORE listing our home.  We didn’t want to throw our house on the market with some guesstimate asking price just to find out real quickly that we were asking way too much {or too little} in terms of fair market value.  So, do lots of research and do it prior to listing your home.

2 – Got a flat fee MLS listing.  There are several websites out there to help homeowners sell by owner.  We used ForSaleByOwner.com to list our first home and used fsbo.com to list our most recent home.  Our first home received tons of daily traffic just because of its location so we didn’t have to work as hard to market it.  A sign in the yard with some flyers attached was about all we did in addition to the ForSaleByOwner.com listing.  Plus, the real estate market wasn’t as dire as it is nowadays.

This time around we knew we’d have to put in a little more time and money just to get our house out there.  For one, our house was in a relatively rural area on a quiet culdesac and got very little daily traffic.  Just a sign in the yard wasn’t going to cut it.  Another obstacle was the real estate market…it was pretty saturated with homes for sale.  So, we decided we needed to pay money for an MLS listing to market it.

We paid $300 to have our home listed on the MLS and Realtor.com via fsbo.com.  You can check out more info about the flat fee MLS service that fsbo.com provides here.  The $300 got us an MLS listing {so our home would turn up on those MLS searches that realtors conduct for their buyers}, a Realtor.com listing and an fsbo.com listing for six months. There are a ton of additional options available for purchase as well {virtual tour, yard signs, showcase listing, etc} that you can refer to by clicking on your state here.  Things got a little confusing for us when we discovered that the contact info listed for our property was that of a realty office.  Basically, we paid a realty office to get an MLS listing then all inquiries that came in concerning our home were given our phone number.  We were a little leery at first, afraid we would miss out on calls from potential buyers but it worked really well.  Of all the dozens and dozens of calls we got on the house, no one seemed to have trouble getting in contact with us. I know $300 sounds like a lot of money to pay up front just to get your house on the MLS. However, we paid $300 to save nearly $7,000 in commission so it was definitely worth it to us.

3 – Offered 3% commission to realtors.  Although it would have been ideal to sell our home to private buyers {without any realtor or commission involved}, we knew that wasn’t likely to happen. Heck, we wouldn’t be comfortable buying a home without a realtor in this market!  Realtors aren’t going to consider your home {even if it meets all their client’s criteria} unless you are offering them commission. The average commission made by realtors on the sale of a home to their buyers is 2%-3%. We decided to offer 3% because it was closer to the average for our area and because we wanted realtors to know that we were serious about working with them even though we were selling by owner.  We also made sure to include the realtor commission in our online listings and on our flyers.  I even went as far as to visit local realty offices and spread the word about our home – see #4.

4 – Marketed our home with flyers and signs.  Here’s where we had to think like buyers and since we’ve been home buyers before, it wasn’t too difficult.  I created a professional looking brochure for our house that included pertinent information and lots of quality photos using a template I found on my PC.  {I have a MacBook Pro but maybe other makes/models offer something similar???}  For the entire 5 months that our home was on the market, we kept a flyer box on a sign in our front yard stocked with these brochures.  You wouldn’t believe how fast they went, so we were sure to check the box at least every other day.

I also hand delivered hundreds of flyers to local businesses and real estate offices.  This was pretty time consuming but necessary.  I’d keep a stack of flyers in my car and wherever I drove on errands I’d drop off flyers. I dressed professionally and even visited real estate offices with flyers in hand saying something like, “We recently put our home on the market by owner and are offering 3% commission to any realtor who brings us a buyer.”  I was a little intimidated at first because there can sometimes be tension between ‘for sale by owners’ and realtors but every office I visited was very happy to hang our flyers in their conference room.  In general, most realtors we dealt with throughout the entire process were friendly – even though I think it was in case we gave up on the by owner thing and decided to hire a realtor. Either way, it wasn’t terrible.  I just kept reminding myself why we were doing it.  So yeah, parks, stores, restaurants, medical offices and other businesses ended up with our flyers. I found many of the smaller, local businesses to be more accepting of the flyers versus big box stores.

Since we lived in a rural area where our home wasn’t viewed by a great amount of everyday traffic, we placed for sale signs at all nearby major intersections with an arrow pointing towards our home and the name of our subdivision.  We stuck a sign at the entrance to our subdivision and, within our subdivision, we placed low standing arrow signs that read ‘for sale by owner’ on them with an arrow at all turns needed to direct interested passerby to our home. {We used these and these respectively.}

If your home is in an HOA development you’ll need to comply with HOA regulations concerning signs.  Technically, we weren’t supposed to have signs in our neighborhood but we called the developer {who also runs the HOA because it’s such a new subdivision} and he agreed to let us put up our signs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  His reasoning was that he didn’t want the subdivision to become cluttered with signs but we argued that builders had about a million signs at the entrance that were cluttering up the landscaping way more than our one sign.  So, if push comes to shove, don’t be afraid to ask about putting up a sign.

Once all signs were in place, it was my job to keep an eye on them and restake/replace them as needed.  We put our house on the market in March and had a crazy wet and windy spring until May.  For two months, I was hunting down our lost for sale signs in cornfields, creeks and ditches.  It was insane but, again, worth it.

Get creative with your sign placement too.  Tune in to events that draw large numbers to your community such as parades, fairs, outdoor markets, etc and place signs/hand out flyers accordingly.  On Easter Sunday, I put up a bunch of signs across from local church exits for all the churchgoers to see.  Another small problem we ran into with our signs was when summer came and they got mowed over by county/HOA maintenance crews.  Eventually, I found ‘sweet spots’ that didn’t get mowed regularly and that helped to lengthen the life of my signs.  I also wasn’t afraid to bat an eyelash or two at our HOA mowing crew!  {Handy Hubby gave me full permission to do whatever it took to sell the house…haha!} I know it sounds a bit sexist and devilish, but it worked! The first time they mowed over one of our signs, I kindly asked if there was a more convenient place for me to put it so it wouldn’t happen next time.  Wouldn’t you know, once I started staking the signs closer to the curb we no longer lost signs.  I think in general people are willing to work with you if you’re nice about it.

5 – Provided necessary forms at all showings.  Handy Hubby found copies of required disclosure forms at audrie.com. We had a home disclosure form, an HOA disclosure form and a lead paint disclosure form according to Ohio rules.  We also had a sales contract available just in case on the off chance we had a private buyer {with no realtor representation} come through and want to make an offer. In our experience, we’ve found that all realtors who present a buyer’s purchase offer will do so with their own realty company’s forms…which all include the same info but may look different…so there’s not a huge need for a blank sales contract unless you are working with a completely private buyer.

We laid out all these forms on the dining table at each showing and open house we hosted. Which reminds me…HAVE BACKUP COPIES…or at least a way to print out more copies!  Because realtors and buyers will take these forms as reference and you’ll need more for later showings.  The realtors who brought buyers through our home were very impressed that we had all these forms available – along with copies of the two appraisals we had paid for.  They knew we meant business and that we were well informed about the house selling process. OF NOTE:  The realtor who brought us our buyers would not accept the home disclosure form we had on hand.  We simply had to fill out all the same information on a different form provided by the realtor’s office and all was well.

6 – Accommodated potential buyers.  We didn’t turn down a single request for a showing – even if we had other plans or didn’t really feel like showing the house at that particular moment.  This means our house was in a constant ‘showroom’ state.  We did our best to pick up and clean a little every day to avoid last minute cleaning frenzies.  We relied on neighbors, friends and family members as babysitters to watch our kids while we showed the house.  By far, the most difficult times were when someone wanted to see the house when HH was at work and I was home alone with the boys.  I’d have to figure out a way to clean up quickly and get the boys out of the house before it all fell apart again.  Some very lovely neighbors and friends came to our rescue more than once.

On the days when we had planned open houses, it was a lot easier to manage because it was expected and we could make arrangements beforehand.  Which brings me to another accommodating feature…have several open houses soon after listing your home and then as you deem necessary afterwards.  For the first 8 weeks that our home was on the market, we held 6 scheduled open houses.  Yep, 6!!  That might sound like a lot but we had people come to each one.  We advertised our open houses on OnlyOpenHouses.com, Zillow {where we also had our house listed for sale} and craigslist {where we placed yet another for sale listing}.  Handy Hubby even created a master list of realty office contacts and emailed them the Thursday before every Sunday open house inviting them to come by with or without clients. The more people you get to your house the better!

Having scheduled open houses is convenient when a potential buyer/realtor calls and is wanting to see your house.  We would say, “Great! We’re having an open house this Sunday from 2-5.  Would you be able to make it?”

When showing your home, you have the option to be present or not.  Of course, one of us was always present at the open houses but that wasn’t so for all showings.  We felt comfortable leaving a lockbox on the front door with keys inside for realtors to show the house to their buyers. Remember, you can always call the realty office to confirm a scheduled showing so you know it’s not a hoax.

Other times, we were present when realtors brought their buyers through.  Usually, we’d just ask the realtor what they felt most comfortable doing. Sometimes they wanted us there to answer questions, point out features, etc and sometimes they preferred no one being there.  The times one of us did stay, we always asked if the realtor/buyer would prefer to tour our home at their leisure or if they’d like us to accompany them around the house.  {Of course, we kept all personal info and valuables hidden away and locked up.}  Most preferred to tour the home at their leisure which we respected.  Even though there are crazies out there, I think homeowners can still fulfill most potential buyers’ viewing wishes in a safe way.

7 – Paid attention to the real estate market.  In the end, the people who bought our house were relocating from another state.  They were represented by a realtor {who received 3% commission at closing} and, as I had guessed early on, they were a young family similar to ours who appreciated the open floor plan and were looking for a kid-friendly neighborhood with a pool in a rural setting.  It took another month before the house was officially theirs.

We sold our home by owner in 5 months for $225,000.  Just before their offer came in, 3 foreclosures in our subdivision sold so we knew we had better act quickly before our home’s value dropped even more.  We were closely following home sales in our area and knew that their offer was about as solid as it was going to get.

In case you’re wondering, we originally bought our home for $229,000 in December 2007.  We lived there for 3.5 years and put about $13,000 into it: custom outbuilding, granite countertops and professional landscaping. Even though we did sell by owner, we didn’t get dollar for dollar what we put into the house.  Which is pretty indicative of today’s market – at least in our area. Selling by owner doesn’t guarantee you any higher sale price, it’s just a way to recoup some money on commission.  We saved ~$7,000 by selling our home by owner versus listing with a realtor.  So all that stuff we had to do – research, legwork, marketing, emailing, cleaning, showing our house, etc – was totally worth it.  I’ll be divulging more details on the financial aspect of our downsizing escapade in a future post for all those people who are wanting to know how much we got the Underdog for, how much we’re putting into it and where the money is coming from.

Does selling by owner sound like something you would try?  I’m not going to lie.  It’s a lot of work and at times I felt like we were in over our heads.  I felt like a total salesperson and I am soooo NOT a salesperson.  Or maybe you have successfully sold by owner and have some other helpful tips?  I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

One book we own that we bought when we put our very first home on the market ourselves was Sell It by Owner and Save.  We referred to it again this time around and found it helpful still.  If you prefer a book reference as opposed to a website, we’d recommend it.

If you have any questions about listing or selling your home by owner, feel free to post your inquiry in the comments section and Handy Hubby and I will do our best to answer based on our personal experience.  I’m going to go ahead and apologize for this post being so geographically specific.  We have never bought or sold a home outside the U.S. so we aren’t knowledgeable in international real estate. Sorry.  Please remember that we are NOT realtors nor attorneys so if you have any legal questions please, please, please consult a professional!  Also of note: we were not upside down on our mortgage {i.e. we owed less on our house than what we sold it for} so we aren’t familiar with selling under those circumstances.  This is just the story of how we sold our home ourselves.  We hope by sharing it with you we’ll inspire you to save some money and give for sale by owner a try.  I don’t think we’ll ever sell any other way!

FYI – We were not compensated in any way to use/mention any of the resources linked to above.

images: 1) Look Charlotte  2) LeeC Workshops  3) Sell My House FSBO  4) Our Excellent Adventure  5) My Divorce USA {which we don’t endorse, btw}  6) Select2Gether  7) Discover Spring Texas



This is all very good advice!! I think the one other thing is to know your area which you obviously did) in terms of the relationships between competitive realtors and how they view their place in the market. From looking at homes in my area I found that there was one realty office chain that “owned” a particular town. There was one other semi-acceptable shop, but any sell by owner or smaller, reduced commission shops’ listings were utterly shunned. We literally had a realtors tell us that certain properties were bad in some way (hinting, always) until one day the sign out front changed and voila! suddenly it’s a “great little place you ought to see.” Happened enough times to clue me in.
We mostly did our buying through an online-based operation that gave us cash back at closing, but we always sold through the big guys in order to make sure we got the showings. If I lived in a different area I totally would SBO, it’s soooo worth it to not pay a sellers agent!!!


Holiday – I guess that situation would make it very difficult to sell by owner or with another realtor for that matter. Luckily, we didn’t have to deal with that drama.


Great info! It’s unbelievable how much money you saved by not listing with a realtor. I hope my husband and I can do this when we are selling our first home! :)


Hey, I live in Spring, Texas. Cool. Small world.

I sure do appreciate all this great info you are sharing with us readers!


We’re trying to sell our condo by owner, and it’s listed crazy cheap ($89,999), and I haven’t received one call! I’m so frustrated, and your post made me feel kind of hopeless! (Don’t feel bad, that’s not your fault.) We might be going back to a realtor. We had one at the beginning, but we let her go so we could afford to reduce the price, but obviously that’s not working! I hate everything about this!


Informative, sincere post.


Kari – I’m so sorry you are having such a hard time selling your home. Had we made it to the 6-month mark with no accepted offer, we probably would have pulled the home off the market and tried again next year. Unfortunately, in today’s market, you can follow all the how-to’s and rules and still not sell. We are very thankful that our home sold.


Thank you so much for this post, I have been waiting to see what you did and how you did it. I absolutely want to do this when we are ready to sell our place. I appreciate your honesty on how much work this took. I had a friend that created a website for her home when selling by owner, is that something you considered?


Jenny – We did not look into creating a website for our home. We figured most buyers/realtors would find our home through the MLS or Realtor.com. I did directly link to our fsbo.com listing on House*Tweaking and on our flyers. I wouldn’t say that a website would be a bad idea but it would definitely add to your work load and I’m not sure how many people would see it. I’d be curious to know how your friend got traffic on the website. Definitely another option to consider!


We also just sold our home by owner to save the extra 3% on Realtor commission. I’m actually a licensed Realtor but work for a big corporation doing their relocations, so I wasn’t able to simply list it with me as a Realtor. So it was a little different on our end because I did have access to the MLS to price comps, etc. We used MLSmyhome.com to put it on the local MLS and on Realtor.com. We listed at $249K, sold for $225K in 4 months. We only had 3 showings though and it was frustrating to keep it show ready, but we feel really fortunate to be able to sell at all. We didn’t make any money, in fact we lost based on what we had put into it, but it was a necessary step to make the move we desired. This is a great post to help others! I would second the advice to pay for an independent appraisal before listing and then go with that price.


Thank you for your willingness to share such detailed information. You are so open and honest and I love that about your blog. Can’t wait to see all the info on Underdog. (Whenever I read about “Underdog” I can’t help but to picture the actual dog -Underdog -flying through the air – “Underdog is here!”)


Great job selling this on your own! I am a little biased in favor of realtors since my mom is one and is having a hard time in this market, but I am all about DIY! Kudos to you and HH, what a weight off your shoulders that must be.


Ditton to what Anna just said!


I sold the last two homes I had myself – for one, I created a website with all the information about the neighborhood (we had a strong neighborhood association with a lot of community events), taxes, images (befores & afters), floor plans, etc – and I posted the www. address large below our sign and it was on the flyers. We sold that house for the listing price (that was 5 years ago) within 30 days. The condo I sold last year, same story except that I didn’t build a website (hadn’t gotten to it yet), just created an elaborate craigslist ad that looked like a website (used a webpage template from my windows computer under Publisher), and sold it within two weeks to the first person who looked at it, for full price. The key I believe to both of them was that I priced them competitively – I could have asked for more, but I wanted to sell quickly. In both cases, we had bought a fixer and had put a lot of sweat-equity work into them, and we made all that money back. Of course, it’s a lot different in this market, but pricing even 5K under what you think is competitive might mean the difference between getting a quick sale and waiting it out. The longer it’s on the market, the more likely you will have to negotiate on the price anyway, so getting it sold fast at a slightly lower list price really helped both of my houses sell.

Oh – another thing I did with both: I created a binder with all the information I had above, plus copies of our electric and gas bills, taxes, photos from the renos, pictures of neighborhood events, locations of grocery stores, libraries, etc. In each room, I hung a stationary card from a ribbon either from the light fixture or the top of the door that welcomed them into the room and listed the features and all the things that were new or replaced – new carpet in 20XX, replaced water heater in 20XX, etc, especially things that they couldn’t see, like wiring/plumbing replaced, etc. I got a lot of good feedback on that, buyers said they looked forward to reading each card as they went into the rooms.


Laurie – You are so right about pricing your home well in order to sell it quickly. In general, the longer a home sits on the market unsold, the less you’ll get out of it.

We had a pamphlet on our dining table that listed all the upgrades we had added to the home since buying it. We had pictures of our updates {before, in progress and after} looping on our laptop as well.

I love your idea for the update notecards in each room! Fantastic!!!


Dana – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. This is the most thorough, articulate, and detailed post on FSBO that I’ve ever seen, I suggest you do your magic “tweak” and leave some numbers out and submit it to some of those real estate sites that offer advice to homeowners – Zillow, Trulia, etc…heck, I’ve heard they’re paying people $1000 to write a couple of paragraphs on their sites!

As others mentioned, I appreciate the frankness and sincerity in which you presented the information. We’re in the middle of moving and selling a house (that’s how I came to your site to follow HH’s work on the underdog) and this is exactly the kind of information that I’ve been searching for and haven’t been able to find, even in books. The little details about the signs and how to place them and some of the marketing details show that you really knew what you were doing, thanks for sharing this with your readers.

I have a couple of questions and I’d appreciate your insights:

Did realtors or people coming to the showings give you any suggestions or comments, and did you make any changes or updates based on such comments?

We have moved out already (making major renovations to a house that’s 25 years old) and already found a new home, the house we plan to sell will be empty, do you think it would make a difference, if we were to go the FSBO route, if the house is shown empty staged ?

Thanks again for the highly informative post and keep us updated on the Underdog, would love to hear what HH is tackling on his own and what he’s leaving for the pros?


Thank you so much for posting this blow-by-blow account of selling your home. I bought my first house in 2007 and, while I am not quite ready to sell (nor does the market make it enticing to do so!), I have often thought about how I would go about it when the times comes. I have heard about FSBO but never had a real understanding of what it entailed. Your post makes me think it might be something I would do and now I know how to prepare!


Chuck – I’m so happy that you found it useful. To answer your questions…

1 – Did realtors or people coming to the showings give you any suggestions or comments, and did you make any changes or updates based on such comments?

H*T – We’ve heard of sellers leaving feedback sheets for potential buyers to fill out after they view the home. We did not do this just because we have never been ones to fill that stuff out when we look at buying homes. Instead, we left a contact sheet out for the realtors/buyers to write their name and phone #/email address on. After each and every showing we followed up with the realtor/buyer personally to see what they thought of the house….positive and negative. It was a great way to keep in touch with interested buyers {we actually had several buyers wanting to make offers on our home throughout the process but their current homes were on the market and not selling so they weren’t able to purchase another home…we’d check in with them every month or so} and get ideas on how to make things show better. After one couple stated that ‘it must be hard for you to leave a house you’ve made so personal’ I removed some items that were specific to us. A temporary vinyl monogram decal for one {since not everyone’s last name starts with M} and a few books that I’d been using as decor. I left our family wall photo alone – pics and all – though because I really felt it showed how to use this one odd sliver of wall in an appealing way. After I removed these items, we never heard another word about our home being too personal. That’s really the only thing we changed. We did donate a ton of toys, clothing, misc to Goodwill before listing the house and we stored all the kids’ outdoor/garage toys in my dad’s barn to declutter the garage and shed.

2 – Do you think it would make a difference, if we were to go the FSBO route, if the house is shown empty?

H*T – Whether you show your house empty or fully staged, I don’t think that should be the determining factor in deciding to sell your home with a realtor or by owner. In general, I think most homes show better empty so you may be better off. The instances I can think of in which a somewhat staged house would fair better would be if several furniture pieces or basic decor items {like rugs or a flatscreen TV} would be staying with the sale of the home, if there was a particular odd space/room that benefitted from being furnished to give it a purpose/show how furniture could be successfully arranged, OR if the interior design/decor itself was of great quality or taste. For example, one of our secondary bedrooms {not the master} was large but long and narrow. I placed a bed on one side of the room and then a little seating area with a train table and bookshelf for toys on the other to break up the room into two zones: one for sleeping and one for playing. This showed buyers that this large room could serve as more than just a sleeping space.

3 – Would love to hear what HH is tackling on his own and what he’s leaving for the pros.

H*T – If you ask me, I think HH is just about capable of anything. But due to time and energy constraints {he still has to work full-time, travel, sleep and see his family}, he can’t realistically do it all. In most cases, HH is hiring out and DIYing a little bit of each project….doing what he can to save money but leaving other stuff to the pros. We are hiring out for radon mitigation, roofing, skylight installation, ridge beam installation, spray foam insulation, plumbing, window/door installation…that’s just what we’ve decided so far. Minus the ridge beam manufacturing and installation, HH seriously considered DIYing the other stuff {he has the know-how} the only problem was TIME. Oh sweet time. Plus, we did get the Underdog for cheap and have $$ to hire out for some things. Some things that we’re DIYing are demolition, overhead electrical service burial, framing/reframing, HVAC stuff {including heat pump installation}, kitchen build and install, flooring install, maybe some concrete countertops…

There are also those projects that we’re splitting between DIY and the professionals such as electrical {we’re paying my cousin-in-law/electrician to do some work but HH is helping out to reduce costs} and drywall {HH will probably hang the drywall then have someone else come in to tape and mud}.

Those are just the projects we’ve discussed. I’m sure there will be more that turn up as we go.

Thanks for the great questions! It’s always good to hear from a man. I told HH he should start his own blog. “House*Tweaking on Testosterone.” It’d probably outdo H*T by a mile. HH says he doesn’t have time. Maybe after the reno…


Thank you for an honest and forthcoming post. This was so refreshing to read…especially that you put in facts and figures such as what you paid, what it appraised at, what upgrades you put in and what it sold at. Most people leave that information out and you have no idea where to begin or where to end up.

Thanks for sharing such a great post!


You mentioned contracts, do you have any free websites to get them from? Just starting the process and had 1 showing today. Thanks


Just wanted to say thank you for this post! I follow your blog, but actually found this past post on Pinterest. Nearly three years later it’s still really applicable and full of such great information. We are debating FSBO or listing with an agent and this was helpful to hear all the things we should be thinking about that we will have to do if we do it on our own. Thanks again!