What You Need to Know About Selling a Home in Texas
People say everything is bigger in Texas. Considering that Texas is one of the largest states in the country, it is safe to assume that the state leads the way in certain categories such as available housing.
Well, out of all of the states in America, Texas has the second most households with just under 10 million. While most people have a strong desire to look for their dream home, those same people eventually reach a point where they need to start thinking about selling a home.
When you reach this stage, it can be a daunting process. You may have lived in your home for decades and have no idea what it is like to put your house on the open market.
There are things you need to figure out such as who you trust to sell your home, what price you are going to accept, what fees to expect, and how much you need to negotiate.
Are you feeling overwhelmed about listing a home in Texas? If you are, this guide will help you figure out everything you need to know about selling your home.
Know Your Local Market
Before you put your house on the market, one thing that you need to do is to compare home prices in your local area to get an idea of how much money you can expect for your home. This helps you set realistic expectations for your home but also allows you to remain firm if someone comes in with a low offer.
However, an important note with this is to make sure you focus on your specific area. It is no secret that Texas is a huge state, so looking up general stats on the entire state will likely not do you any good for your specific situation.
An example would be using the general state stats for both a house in a smaller city like Lubbock and a larger city like Houston. With the latter being one of the biggest cities in the country, you can expect to get more money from a home in Houston.
So, let’s use Houston as an example here. In this city, the median price for a home last year was $330,800.
While this is a good start, you are going to have to dive even deeper than that. You are going to have to consider things such as what neighborhood your house is in, what the condition of your house is, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, any recent renovations, and more.
Looking into all of this allows you to be as well-informed as possible when dealing with professionals that will work with you to sell your home. Along with that, it allows you to hold a stronger position with buyers that may try to place an offer on your home.
Hiring a Real Estate Agent
The next thing you are going to want to do is hire a real estate agent to help you sell your home. While you do have the option to list and sell your home yourself, this is not recommended for a few reasons.
The main reasons are that you likely do not have the experience and negotiating skills that a real estate agent does. On top of this, you also would have to do all of the daunting paperwork yourself rather than handing it off to a real estate agent.
So, how do you know who you should hire? One way you can narrow it down is to look up real estate agents in your local area.
Let’s assume that your house is in Houston. In this case, you would look up real estate agents in Houston. Then, you can see which ones have the best references and reviews.
Once you narrow that down, you can then schedule an appointment with them to see if you have a good feeling about working with this real estate agent or not. If you like what you hear, you can discuss terms and then move forward with listing your home.
If you are not sure, one thing that you can do is conduct a License Holder Search to make sure that your potential Texas real estate agent is properly qualified and licensed to work in your area.
Before you finalize your agreement, make sure you know what you are getting into with a real estate agent. Some things to look out for will be discussed below.
Fees, Costs, and Terms
Like with any other business agreement, you are likely going to have to sign a contract and come up with agreeable terms to work together. There will be terms in this agreement that will cover both you and your real estate agent in the event things do not go according to plan.
One of these clauses is how long a real estate agent has exclusive rights to list your property. Remember, real estate agents work on commission. This means that if they fail to sell your home, they do not make any money off of having you as a client.
This means they need to put a clause such as a minimum period to exclusively list your house.
Another important part of this contract is going to be what their commission fee is for listing and selling your home. This is the percentage of the offer that you are going to have to pay your real estate agent along with potentially the buyer’s real estate agent.
It is important to note that in Texas, the maximum fees here have no regulation. That means that you need to do your homework on what you can expect to be charged for a commission. Most of the time, this number should not exceed 6% between both real estate agents.
If your real estate agent has an exorbitant commission fee, then you may want to question the ethics of the person you are doing business with. Likewise, if the commission is too low, then you may want to consider that their offer is too good to be true.
Make sure you review these fees, closing costs, and other terms in your contract with a real estate agent before signing the dotted line.
Disclosures in Texas
Every state has different legal requirements for what a homeowner has to disclose to a buyer, so you must know what you are obligated to do in Texas. Luckily, the Texas Real Estate Commission makes this easier for you by providing a Seller’s Disclosure Notice form that you are responsible for filling out as a homeowner.
There are about 10 different sections that a seller has to fill out on this form. Not all of them may apply to a specific seller, such as those that live inland in the state rather than near the Gulf Coast.
However, other sections are much more general, such as one that asks sellers to check a box next to the items that they have in their home. These items can be things such as an oven, dishwasher, smoke detector, rain gutters, central A/C, and more.
When it comes to smoke detectors, sellers are required to disclose if it is up to specific safety codes that the state requires. On top of this, sellers have to close any known defects that they have in their homes. This can be anything from the walls to the ceiling, roof, electrical system, lighting fixtures, and more.
There are a few sections in this Disclosure Notice that discuss flooding. Some things that come up are if there has been any flood insurance on this home if there have been any past flooding issues, how vulnerable the home is to flooding, and more.
Then, there are general disclosures required such as any additions that were made without the proper permits, if the home is part of a Homeowner’s Association, if there are any pending lawsuits that could impact this home and more.
Get Help Selling a Home
These are some of the biggest things you need to keep in mind if you are thinking about selling a home in Texas. You need to be aware of what your local market conditions are, how reliable a real estate agent can be, what fees and terms you will have to keep in mind, along with any disclosures that you are required to make on your home.
However, what if you want a faster selling process? What if you need the cash right away?
Get an offer on your home here to start the process.