List Your Home 'For Sale by Owner' Without Getting Burned

For Sale by Owner sign hanging on a fence.
For Sale by Owner sign hanging on a fence.

When Kira Lewis and her husband sold their first home in Dallas they went the traditional route, Realtor and all. When it came to sell their next home, the pair took one step away from tradition, employing a discount broker and doing much of the work themselves. By the time they got to their third home sale, "we were pretty much experts at the process," says Lewis. So they took the leap and went solo, listing the house as "For Sale by Owner."

With regular agent commissions around 6 percent of the home sale price, and a market still not up to par, more and more homeowners are eschewing full-service agents and going the "For Sale by Owner" (or FSBO) route for their home sale.

In fact, a National Association of Realtors survey showed that, in 2008, FSBOs accounted for 13 percent of home sales. But though sellers may escape paying commission, a sale by owner isn't as easy as throwing up a "For Sale" sign and sitting back. So how do you do it? Here are five tips.