Are you planning on selling your house on your own in Texas? If so, do you know what kind of documents you’re going to need handy in order to close the sale? You might be surprised to find out just how many documents you need, especially as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) seller. Selling your house by yourself can be a stressful and complicated process, especially if you’re a first-time home seller, and if you don’t have the documents you need to sell your house, you can cause yourself a lot of delays, hardships, and even lost buyers.
You can probably think of some obvious items like the property title and proof of insurance, but have you also considered where your original sales contract is? Do you have all your homeowners’ association paperwork in order? Do you have every receipt of capital improvements? And what about professional appraisal documentation? These are just some of the specialized documents you’ll want to have to sell a house.
Of course, if all of this sounds too stressful, you can always just sell your house as-is for cash to a direct buyer. No need to struggle over finding lost documents or worrying about what you’re missing. But if you are determined to do a home sale on the open market, here are the documents you need to sell your house on your own in Texas.
Know The Documents To Sell Your House On Your Own
What is For Sale By Owner?
Before we get into the documents you need in a For Sale By Owner sale, it’s important to be clear on what an FSBO sale entails.
What does For Sale By Owner mean? Essentially, you are forgoing the services of a real estate agent or Realtor in order to handle the sale of your house or property by yourself. When you are selling your house by yourself, you are agreeing to handle all of the aspects of the sale, from listing the house to marketing the house to hosting buyers and open houses to negotiating the final sale price. You are responsible for handling all of the costs involved as well as making sure your house is in the best possible position to sell fast.
The reason a lot of people do an FSBO sale is that they want to avoid paying a real estate agent commission fee. A real estate agent or Realtor is going to handle a lot of the aforementioned aspects of the home sale process, but they also get a commission fee for their time and services. That often amounts to five or six percent of the final sale price. So if you end up selling your house for $250,000, the commission fee is going to be around $12,500 – $15,000. That’s a lot of money to lose, especially if you still have to pay off your remaining mortgage balance.
Keep in mind that even if you sell your Texas house yourself, you’ll still have to pay a buyers’ agent commission fee, assuming they work with a real estate agent. So you’ll still be paying some kind of commission, even if it’s half as much as you would be. Also, FSBO sales tend to end up making less money on the open market than they would have otherwise through a real estate agent. That’s because, when it comes to housing market sales, real estate agents often know about rules, loopholes, and negotiation tactics that homeowners do not.
You can also sell your house by yourself and avoid the housing market by selling to a cash buyer like Four 19 Properties. We work directly with homeowners and buy Texas houses for cash. So for those looking to avoid paying commission fees and who also want to sell their house fast, this is an ideal scenario.
Process of Selling a House By Owner
If you decide that you want to pursue selling a house by yourself in Texas, there are some specific processes you’ll want to be aware of. Beyond establishing the best and worst time of year to sell your house in Texas, here are the things you’ll need to do to put yourself in a position for a quick sale.
If you’re going to engage in a For Sale By Owner home sale, the first thing you need to do is look at your house from an outside perspective and really be honest about what needs repairs, where you have issues that need to be resolved, and where you could consider making some upgrades. Think about the things that buyers are going to notice when they look at your Texas house. It can be major issues like a leaky roof and it can be small issues like scuff marks on the cabinets. Everything matters to some degree when selling a house by yourself on the open market. Once you have that list, then you have to figure out what you can afford to fix.
If you can make repairs where possible, go ahead and do that. Consider that you’re going to improve your chances of selling a house by yourself when it has fewer problems attached. Do consider the costs involved and whether or not you’ll be able to recoup them in the home sale. If you don’t think you can justify spending the money to repair something, perhaps it’s not worth it.
Otherwise, give the whole house a nice touch-up. Consider the curb appeal out front and make sure everything is clean, the lawn is groomed, the landscaping looks fresh, and the driveway is clear. Inside, give the rooms a fresh coat of paint where you can and give the whole house a decluttering in order to make it feel fresh and less personalized. Market buyers don’t want to see you in this house, they want to be able to picture themselves here. If all of this requires hiring professional cleaners, that’s a cost to consider as well.
Now it’s time to do some marketing. You’ll want to buy some “For Sale” signs that you can put in the yard and around the neighborhood. You’ll want to make brochures and flyers that highlight all of the benefits of your house and it’s location, including nearby amenities, proximity to schools, and other things that appeal to Texas homebuyers. Find out all of the websites where you can advertise your house and make sure it’s posted. There are a lot of FSBO-based sites out there, as well as Craigslist, Facebook, and other social media networks. And then it’s time to schedule a couple of open houses so you can filter potential buyers inside for a closer look.
When you do find a buyer, it’s negotiation time. You’ll want to be very clear about what your financial breaking point is and try to stick to your guns. Make sure you’re comfortable with whatever strategy you choose, whether that’s to be an accessible negotiator willing to trade back and forth or whether that’s with a hardball stance you won’t budge from. There are pros and cons with all approaches, so just make sure you can handle it if someone walks away from the table due to your negotiation tactics.
And if you can certainly avoid this entire process as well as any potential headaches that come with putting your house on the open market and selling it yourself by instead selling your house as-is to a cash buyer like Four 19 Properties. You don’t need to make repairs or clean up the house at all. We’ll even make a fair offer if there are financial issues like pre-foreclosure or tax liens. Just contact us today and, once we have all the information we need, we’ll make you a no-obligation offer. If you accept, we can begin the closing process within days. You’ll be able to walk away with cash in your hands and not worry about selling your house by yourself or paying any kind of commission fees.
Documents Needed to Sell a House By Owner
If you do decide to sell your house by yourself on the open market in Texas, you’re going to want to make sure you are buttoned up on all the documents you’ll need for buyers, lenders, and government agencies. Here are some of the most important documents you need to sell your house.
The property survey is a legal document that proves the specific boundaries of your property. It’s very important to have this document handy as it can sometimes be unclear where property begins and ends and this will provide the buyer with a lot of clarity. The buyer is often tasked with ordering this, but it’s often a good idea to have it handy.
If you’ve done any kind of work on the property, you should have all the receipts to back that up. If you don’t have everything, contact the contractor or company that did the work and ask them to send over any documentation they have that you can keep. This goes for any major repairs as well as any small work done like painting or exterminations.
Warranties are also a very vital document to have handy when selling a house by yourself. You’ll want to be able to prove to buyers that the major appliances are protected in case anything goes wrong, and it helps give a little peace of mind for any skittish buyers concerned about buying a house in an FSBO sale.
The certificate of occupancy is very important for proving that your house is compliant with the many building codes in your municipality. You’ll need to go to your local municipality, have them pull the permits, do any required inspections or repairs, and then get the documentation.
Any loan documents that are applicable to the property are good to have, especially if you have multiple mortgages or home equity lines of credit.
Also, make sure that you have all the relevant tax bills handy. This will give the buyer a good sense of what they can expect to pay in property taxes.
The title is a critical document that proves you are the legal owner of the property and will be necessary to transfer to the buyer once the sale is closed.
If you belong to a homeowners’ association, you’ll want to provide all documentation related to that. The buyers will want to know what kind of rules and requirements come with living in the house or condo.