Getting ready to sell your house in Texas? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!
Now is a good time to be selling a house in Texas! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Lone Star State rose 3.11% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 4.55% over the next year.
Of course, even the best Texas properties will struggle to sell if you don’t price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don’t know how to handle the negotiations.
Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Texas!
JUMP TO SECTION
1. Finding a Texas realtor
Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you’re looking to sell your Texas home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.
The best Texas listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.
In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $205,943 home — the median home value in Texas, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $67,961. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.
2. Deciding when to sell
Sale prices can fluctuate significantly as a result of several different factors. Seasonality greatly influences your home’s price point and how long it stays on the market.
Understanding real estate trends will help you strike when the iron is hot.
Best time to sell a house across the U.S.
Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center
Best time to sell a house in Texas
|Best Month to Sell for Speed in Texas||May & June||31 days on market||12 days faster than average|
|Best Month to Sell for Price in Texas||June||$261,000 median sale price||5% more than average|
When it comes to timing the market, the more information you have about your specific area the better. Your agent will have the latest up-to-date information about when to sell in your town depending on your goal.
Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Texas
3. Pricing your home
Pricing is so important when trying to attract potential buyers for your property. If you price too high, your home may languish on the market. On the reverse side, if you price too low, you may wind up short-changing yourself in the final deal.
In order to set a competitive price for your home, we highly recommend keeping tabs on current market conditions in your area of Texas and take a look at the recent performance of similar properties in your neighborhood.
The Competitive Market Analysis, or CMA, is a great resource and tool when selling a home. It can be used to help determine the list price of the house to give you an upper hand in getting the most for your property.
A CMA is generally prepared by your real estate agent — and Clever Partner Agents provide this service for free. During your home assessment, they will examine factors including your home’s style, square footage, number of bathrooms, and your home’s location. Although this can be accomplished over the phone, your realtor will be able to provide a more accurate assessment by physically coming to your home.
4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home
Make All Necessary Renovations to Your Home
Prior to listing your home, we highly advise you to allocate a budget for necessary repairs and improvements on your property before showing your home to potential buyers. You could greatly increase the value of your home by doing so, and snag a better offer in the end.
Since Texas experiences extremely hot summers (and warm weather for most of the year overall), having an updated HVAC system in your house is very important; and you can count on prospective buyers asking how old your unit is. Investing in a new and updated HVAC system will pay off in the long run in the sale of your Texas home.
Since flooding is common in Texas homes (due to tropical storms and occasional hurricanes), you’ll want to make sure your roof is in perfect condition. Use this time to replace any missing roof shingles and deal with any other structural problems your roof may have.
Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House
Advertise Your Property’s Web Listing
Aside from taking care of minor repairs and renovations, you’ll want to work on a stellar web listing for your property to gain buyer’s interest. Make sure to get professional photos of your home taken, and write up a great property listing description.
Once your site listing is live, you’ll want to maximize its visibility online; add your listing to the local MLS, share it on social media, and advertise your home on other listing portals and realtor websites. If you’re struggling for inspiration, your real estate agent can surely give you some pointers here, so be sure to get their opinion.
Show Your Home to Potential Buyers
Before showing your home, you’ll want to stage it to reflect your property’s best attributes. If you have a phenomenal kitchen that has been recently renovated, put out a fresh bowl of fruit on the counter, or bake some delicious smelling treats that’ll surely draw them in.
When showing your home, you want potential buyers to feel welcome. Although they are guests in your home now, they could end up being its next owner. Make them feel at home as much as possible; try leaving a bowl of candy or fresh treats by the front door for them to snack on when they first arrive. Graciously welcome them into your home before leaving them alone to view it on their own.
In addition to private showings, open houses are another great way to generate buyer interest. Sunday afternoons are a prime time to hold an open house and typically run for a minimum of two hours.
Before scheduling your open house, be sure to check the weather forecast; you’ll receive more buyer leads during sunny weather. People tend to stay indoors during rainy days, so keep that in mind when choosing the perfect day for an open house.
5. Fielding offers and negotiations
So, you’ve found an interested buyer for your property. Although you’re one step closer to closing, you’re not over the threshold just yet. Once a potential buyer has submitted an offer on your home, you are able to propose a counteroffer if you feel revisions need to be made.
The counteroffer process can go back and forth indefinitely until you reach an agreement or one party or the other quits and ends negotiations. A buyer can also authorize his or her agent to accept delivery of the signed offer.
If the buyer's agent's name isn't entered and the box remains unchecked, the offer won't be considered delivered until the buyer physically receives it. That time period could push the contract into expiration, which is why many agents prefer to receive delivery on behalf of their buyers.
Let’s not forget one key point: as the seller of the property, you are by no means obligated to respond to an offer. If the offer is extremely low or comes with unreasonable contingencies, you can either turn down the offer, or ignore it entirely.
Even though getting multiple offers when you sell your home can seem exciting, it’s best to consider all elements of the offer. This includes price, contingencies, and ability to close. You can successfully handle multiple offers on your house and sign the best contract by taking all of this into consideration.
Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette
6. Appraisal and inspections
Appraisals are a vital aspect of the home buying process. A real estate appraisal establishes a property's market value; the likely sales price it would bring if offered in an open and competitive real estate market.
Appraisals are detailed reports compiled by licensed appraisers. An appraisal is the only valuation report a lender considers when deciding whether to lend the money. In some instances, the buyer pays for the appraisal at the time of the loan application. Other times, the appraisal fee is added to the settlement statement and paid at the closing table.
Sellers in Texas have no contractual obligation to make any repairs whatsoever. All homes are sold “as-is”. However, a seller can refuse to work with a buyer on repair issues at risk of the buyer terminating the deal and seeking another home in better condition, or with a better price/condition relationship.
Tree damaged roof shingles, a leaking A/C coil, rusted out A/C drain pan, and plumbing leaks are all common buyer repair requests made by Texas home buyers. Be sure to deal with all these possible issues beforehand to speed up the closing process.
7. Paperwork and required Texas disclosures
Texas law requires that you make certain disclosures to the buyer before closing. The purpose of these is to reveal various problems with the property that could affect its value or desirability.
The Texas statute is very specific about the information that home sellers must disclose to prospective home buyers. You are asked to check whether your property has specific elements: for example, central air conditioning, a swimming pool, or a satellite dish. It then asks you to explain in detail whether you are aware of any “known defects” with the elements you have identified.
Additionally, you are asked to disclose whether you are aware of any prior problems or repairs to particular aspects of the property. History of termite infestations, previous structural damage, and evidence of radon gas are the sorts of potential issues a buyer would want to know before signing a purchase contract.
A lot of paperwork goes into selling a house. While it's good to be familiar with all the documents you might need to close on your home, always consult your agent or attorney before signing or filing paperwork. They can walk you through all the paperwork and ensure you have everything you need for your situation.
Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Texas
8. The closing process
The closing process itself can span a couple of days or even a week. In contrast to attorney review states, the transaction is generally not consummated with all parties sitting at the same table.
In Texas, an escrow state, closing consists of several steps. First, a buyer's lender sends final loan documents to the escrow agent and the final closing date is scheduled. The closing itself convenes at the office of an escrow agent, closing agent, or title company. The seller generally signs their closing documents first.
The buyer then signs all closing documents, including the hud-1 and the final loan documents. The buyer pays the remaining funds for their down payment and closing costs to either the escrow agent, closing agent, or representative of the title company (via cashier's check).
The deed gets recorded with the appropriate municipality and the transaction is complete. Finally, the buyer receives the keys and, unless indicated differently in the contract, officially takes possession of the property.
Learn More: How Much Are Seller Closing Costs in Texas
Next steps: Sell your Texas home and save thousands
Whether you’re looking to list your Texas home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it’s never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.
Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.
Top ways to sell your home in Texas
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