How To Sell Your House By Owner Rhode Island (2024)

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how to sell your house in rhode island

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The average home in Rhode Island costs $460,800 as of January 2024. With realtor fees averaging around 5.5%, commission fees on the average house would be $25,344. 

Selling a property as an FSBO (For Sale By Owner) can be overwhelming for sellers, which is why so many opt to use a realtor. 

If you are keen to sell without the huge fees that come from listing with a real estate agent, you could also consider selling to a cash buyer. But, for those wanting to list as an FSBO in Rhode Island, here’s our expert guide :

How to Sell a House By Owner In Rhode Island

1. Determine a Price for Your House

Determine a Price for Your House

When selling a property as an FSBO, you’ll want to ensure you set an accurate price. Whatever price you decide to list at, you will need to consider the home’s location, size, and any unique features and upgrades it possesses. 

It is important to remember that the listing price forms part of the selling strategy that draws buyers to your home. It is not necessarily the final sale price.

ℹ️ Expert Advice: To accurately determine a price for your home, carry out a comparative market analysis where you use similar properties in the local area as well as market trends to set a price.

The Importance of Pricing Right

Accurately pricing your home is critical. Overpricing can lead to your property lingering unsold for too long, making it seem less desirable to buyers.

We’d advise setting the price at the right market value or slightly below as this tends to boost interest in the property as well as the number of offers you’ll receive. If your home is priced too low, the natural dynamics of the market, powered by competing offers, can push the price up to its real market value.

With it currently being a seller’s market in Rhode Island, thanks to low inventory across the state, this is a powerful approach to pricing as an owner selling their property. In such conditions, sellers might even price their homes up to 10% above market value to take full advantage of the high demand.

2. Pick the Best Time to Sell

The housing market in Rhode Island is experiencing high demand right now, and property inventory in the state is low. Homeowners are reluctant to sell due to high interest rates which is causing a lack of homes available to buy. 

In the last year, property prices have steadily risen as homes continue to be sought after in Rhode Island, but there is expected to be a drop by the end of 2024 as interest rates begin to decrease. 

If you are looking to sell your property, the best months for a quick sale tend to be May, June, and July, although if speed is the most important factor, you could also consider a cash buyer such as Moss Home Solutions instead. For the past three years properties have been on the market between 18-22 days in these months compared to highs of as much as 38 days in January 2023. 

If pricing is more of a priority to you, you may want to consider taking advantage of the rising property prices in the beginning half of 2024 before any economic changes might dent them. Typically, July tends to be the month that offers the best price throughout the year though.

3. Prep your Home Ready for Sale

Prep your Home Ready for Sale

To ensure your Rhode Island property stands out to prospective buyers and gains competitive offers, you’ll need to think about any work that needs to be completed to prep your home for sale, as well as how much it will cost you to do that. 

Here are some areas you may need to consider:

Declutter and Clean

Begin by decluttering; remove personal belongings to create a blank canvas, allowing potential buyers to envision their lives in the space. Take the opportunity to give the entire house a deep clean too, including the windows and carpets.

Address Minor Fixes

Address any minor defects, such as dripping taps or wall imperfections, to convey a sense of care and maintenance.

Fresh Coat of Paint

A new coat of paint can do wonders for a home. If possible, opt for neutral tones as this helps to make a space feel more spacious. It is also more appealing to prospective buyers.

Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. Enhance your home’s exterior with well-kept gardens, vibrant plants, and a tidy facade to make a positive impact right from the start.

Professional Staging and Photography

Investing in professional staging and high-quality photography can have a serious influence on the speed and price at which your home sells. This is one step not to skimp on.

What to do if my home is in a distressed state?

In some scenarios, there are properties that have fallen into disrepair for various reasons, for example, flood or fire damage, or just not being well maintained. 

If your home requires significant repairs, prospective buyers may struggle to get a mortgage for it, and it may be too costly for you to be able, or want, to carry out. In this instance, the only course of action would be to sell to an investor who can buy the property with cash.

4. List your Home

Selling your Rhode Island home by yourself requires a focused marketing strategy to attract buyers. Essential tactics include:

  • Using professional photography captures your home’s highlights, boosting listing appeal.
  • Use compelling headlines and descriptions to emphasize unique features on your listing, setting your property apart.
  • Using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to list your home increases exposure by distributing your listing across multiple real estate platforms.
  • Utilize the FSBO website and platforms for their vast audience, ensuring your home is seen by potential buyers.
  • Yard signs attract local attention with clear contact information, providing an affordable marketing option.

5. Arrange Viewings

Arrange Viewings

Setting up home viewings can significantly enhance the appeal of your property to prospective buyers. Here are three ways you can effectively share your home:


Offering potential buyers the opportunity to visit your home is crucial. Accommodate their schedules, ensure your property is immaculately maintained, and use these visits to showcase the special attributes of your home.

Open Houses

Hosting open houses is an effective way to draw in multiple interested parties at once, creating a sense of urgency among potential buyers. Utilize a variety of marketing channels to advertise these events, present your home in its best light, and solicit feedback to improve your marketing approach and adjust your pricing if necessary.

Virtual Tours

Use virtual tours to extend your home’s reach. This allows potential buyers to explore your property online at their convenience, or if they are unable to attend in person. Virtual tours are especially appealing to out-of-state buyers or those with busy schedules, making your Rhode Island home accessible to a wider audience.

To sell your property as an FSBO means viewings will be a crucial step in the process. If you aren’t keen on the idea of holding an open house, or dealing with the hassle of multiple viewings, selling to an investor for cash can eradicate this step entirely as they will often buy the home as it is.

6. Review Offers

Handling offers on your Rhode Island home requires careful attention, especially in a bustling real estate market. Here’s a guide to effectively manage and negotiate incoming proposals:

Expect Varied Proposals

In a competitive environment, be ready to review a variety of offers. This means being prepared to analyze each proposal thoroughly.

Look Beyond the Offer Price

The highest bid isn’t always the best. Consider other factors such as:

  • The buyer’s financing method (cash, conventional, FHA, VA loans) influences the solidity of the offer.
  • Proposed closing dates should sync with your schedule or the acquisition of your next home.
  • Conditions attached to the offer, like home inspection outcomes, financing approval, or the sale of the buyer’s previous home, can affect the transaction.

Engage in Negotiation

Stay flexible and consider making counteroffers. A well-negotiated compromise can fulfill the requirements of both buyer and seller.

Seek Expert Advice

Consulting with legal or real estate experts can help you understand the differences in each offer, ensuring you make informed decisions. It is important to note although it is a legal requirement and you do need to hire an attorney to close the sale in Rhode Island, they cannot negotiate a better offer. You would need to enlist someone to do this on your behalf.

7. Close the Sale

close the sale

Closing the sale of your Rhode Island home is the culmination of your selling journey, transitioning your property from listed to sold. It’s a process filled with important steps to ensure a smooth and lawful transaction. Here’s a streamlined guide to closing your sale effectively:

Accepting an Offer

Begin by formally accepting an offer, ensuring the sale price, contingencies (like home inspections or buyer financing), and the closing date are clearly outlined in a contract.

Clearing Contingencies

Work with the buyer to resolve any contingencies, including home inspections, buyer’s financing approval, and any necessary repairs, to move forward with the sale.

Appraisal and Title Search

Address any appraisal discrepancies or title search issues to ensure the property’s value is confirmed and there are no outstanding liens.

Legal and Financial Steps

Engage a real estate attorney to oversee document preparation and compliance, and manage the settlement of closing costs.

Closing Day

Sign all final documents, including the deed and settlement statement, with all parties present. Ensure clarity on all documents before signing.

Transfer of Ownership

Officially hand over the keys and property to the new owner, marking the completion of the sale.

Post-Closing Responsibilities

Manage any final tasks such as mail forwarding and utility bill settlements, keeping copies of closing documents for your records.

Requirements to sell a house by owner in Rhode Island

When selling your house by owner in Rhode Island, it’s important to gather and manage a specific set of documents and meet legal requirements to ensure a smooth transaction. 

Here’s a table outlining the key documents and legal necessities for FSBO sellers in Rhode Island:

Document/Legal RequirementDescription
Property Disclosure FormSellers must disclose property defects and conditions as mandated by Rhode Island law, including material defects.
Sales AgreementContract detailing sale terms, including price, closing date, and contingencies like financing and inspections.
Lead-Based Paint DisclosureRequired for homes built before 1978, this disclosure complies with federal law on lead-based paint presence.
Title SearchVerifies the seller’s right to sell the property and checks for any liens or title issues.
DeedLegal documents transferring ownership, must be prepared, signed, and notarized in Rhode Island.
Real Estate AttorneyAdvisable to ensure transaction legality, document preparation, and state law compliance.
Closing StatementLists all transaction costs, prepared by the closing agent for both buyer and seller at closing.
Proof of Homeowners InsuranceNecessary for buyers before closing; sellers should keep their policy active until ownership transfers.
Utility RecordsProviding utility bill records can assist buyers in estimating future expenses, though not legally required.

Pros and Cons of FSBO in Rhode Island

Selling your house by owner in Rhode Island, or FSBO, can offer significant advantages and pose certain challenges. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about how to sell your property.


Save on Realtor Commissions and Research

By selling your home FSBO, you can avoid paying the typical 5-6% commission to real estate agents, which translates to substantial savings, especially given the average home prices in Rhode Island. 

Finding the right real estate agent can be time-consuming, which is something most of us don’t have. 71% of buyers only interview one real estate agent before selling, so remove the hassle of interviews and selection by listing by yourself. 

With that in mind, you should also be aware that selling an FSBO property is also time-consuming, and can be a hugely stressful process. If you are simply looking to sell your home quickly and avoid high commission fees, you could also look into selling your home to an investor who can pay cash and close in as little as a week.

Direct Control Over the Selling Process

You have complete autonomy over how your home is marketed, shown, and ultimately sold, allowing you to make decisions that you believe are in the best interest of the sale.

Flexibility in Negotiating Deals

Without intermediaries, you can directly negotiate terms with buyers, offering the flexibility to quickly make decisions and potentially close deals faster.


Requires Significant Time and Effort

Managing the entire selling process yourself means dealing with marketing, scheduling showings, negotiating offers, and navigating legal requirements, which can be time-consuming and complex.

If you are looking for a fast and convenient option, selling as an FSBO may not be the better choice. Before listing your property in this way, take time to consider whether you have the mental capacity to deal with the workload that listing as an owner can take.

Potentially Lower Market Exposure

Without access to certain marketing channels like the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that agents use, FSBO homes may not get as much visibility, potentially limiting your pool of buyers.

Potentially Lower Sale Price

A lack of experience can lead to owners selling their property in Rhode Island and accepting a lower price. Figures show that FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes, with the median sales figure being $310,000 which is considerably lower than realtor-assisted sales of $405,000.

Realtor vs FSBO Sale Comparison Table

AspectRealtor-Assisted SaleFSBO Sale
CommissionsTypically 5.5% of the sale price, paid to real estate agents.No commission, leading to potential savings.
Control Over SaleAgents handle most of the process, with less direct control by the seller.Sellers have full control over the selling process.
Negotiation FlexibilityAgents act as intermediaries in negotiations, which can add time to the process.Direct negotiation between buyer and seller allows for quicker decision-making.
Time and EffortAgents manage listings, showings, and paperwork, reducing the seller's workload.Sellers are responsible for all aspects of the sale, requiring more time and effort.
Market ExposureBroader exposure through MLS and agent networks.Limited to platforms available to FSBO sellers, potentially reducing visibility.
Risk of MistakesProfessional experience reduces the risk of legal or financial errors.Higher risk of overlooking important details without professional guidance.

Sell a house by owner for Cash in RI

Selling a house in Rhode Island for cash can be particularly appealing for those looking to bypass the uncertainties of the traditional property market.

Cash home buyers, including iBuyers or investors, are often prepared to buy homes that may not be in the best condition, although this may be reflected in the price they pay. Cash buyers can also close sales in a quicker time frame as they don’t need to go through the mortgage process.

People that may wish to consider using a cash buyer include:


Individuals who find themselves with a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions which has left their house overwhelmed.


If the home requires a significant amount of work, many prospective buyers will struggle to get a mortgage, removing as many as 90% of the market, and meaning you can only sell for cash. For those that don’t have the funds to repair the property, a cash buyer also offers an easy solution. 

Financial Distress

For owners that require a cash injection quickly, for whatever reason. Cash buyers don’t need to go through a mortgage process so can close sales in as little as 7 days. 

Cash buyers offer a reduced risk of deals falling through because of finance issues, and they often avoid the lengthy showings of traditional sales. Cash sales are usually a more direct negotiation process that keeps the situation simple and stress-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are home prices dropping in Rhode Island?

At the moment, house prices are continuing to rise in Rhode Island. This is expected to slow by the end of 2024 as interest rates drop and homeowners feel more confident to move again.

Do buyers pay realtor fees in Rhode Island?

Typically, the seller is responsible for paying the commission, which is then split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.

How long does it take to close on a house in Rhode Island?

The closing process can vary, but it generally takes 30 to 45 days from the acceptance of an offer. It will be considerably less if you choose a cash buyer.

Future Foundations

Selling your home FSBO in Rhode Island can save you on commissions and be gratifying with the right preparation and strategy. Setting a fair price, preparing your property, marketing effectively, and understanding legalities allow you to smoothly manage the FSBO process. 

The success of selling your home directly correlates with being prepared, informed, and proactive with buyers, leading to a profitable and rewarding sale.

We’re here to make selling your home easy. If you like the idea of selling your property fast for cash, with zero hassle get in touch!

Fast & Free Cash Offers. No Fees. No Commission.