Selling a house in Texas sounds intimidating, especially when you have never done it before. There are plenty of rules and processes to know, including several things to do before you would even get to sell your house. On the bright side, there are a few ways you can set yourself up for success to put you in a position to sell your Texas home sooner rather than later. So if you’re getting ready to sell your house in Texas, our in-depth guide will help you navigate the process with 6 easy steps to sell a house. Learn how to decide which ways are best for you to sell your house, how long it takes to sell, and much more!
A Complete Guide On How To Sell Your House In Texas
Selling a House in Texas
However, you end up selling your house in Texas; it will be a process. But to begin, let’s go over some general housekeeping items to keep in mind when selling a property. These will apply to any selling strategy you end up using to sell your Texas home.
- You will need to pay property taxes up until the day you officially sell your house.
- You may owe capital gains taxes after you sell your Texas property.
- You are required by law to make certain disclosures to the buyer before closing.
- You will need to disclose HOA documents as part of your home sale if they apply.
You are probably familiar with the amount of your property taxes, so that cost won’t come as a surprise, but if you recently inherited the property you may not.
Paying capital gains taxes would be something you should look into as well. Capital gains can be expensive if they apply to you. Most people are exempt from paying them, but for others, capital gains taxes can take a big chunk of change out of their profits. Make sure to do some research and find out if you will be subject to capital gains taxes when selling your Texas property.
As far as disclosures go, the law requires that certain disclosures be made before a buyer closes on a house. The point of these is to declare various issues with the home that could affect its value or desirability.
The Texas statute is straightforward about the details that property sellers must share with prospective buyers. You will be asked to check whether your home has specific elements: for example, a swimming pool, an HVAC, or a satellite dish. Then it will ask you to explain in detail whether you are aware of any “known defects” with the items you have identified. You will also be asked whether you are aware of any prior problems or repairs to certain aspects of the property. History of radon gas, termite infestation, and previous structural damage are all things that would pose issues to a buyer before signing a purchase agreement.
Furthermore, if you are a part of an HOA, you will need to disclose the association rules, any amendments they’ve made, and the financial documents to the prospective buyer. That way, they are aware of HOA bylaws and monthly fee obligations.
These are details that are either not touched on or are often overlooked when learning how to sell a house in Texas.
How Long Does It Take To Sell a House
This is always the burning question when learning about how to sell a house- how long does it take to sell? Of course, there isn’t a clear answer to this question, but you can look at some general information to give you a better idea of how long it takes to sell a house in Texas.
Currently, the average days on market in Texas is 47 days before an offer is accepted, then escrow takes between 30-60 days. So you would be looking at 77-107 days from start to finish until your house officially sells. Keep in mind that is if your house is in a condition to be listed right away.
The majority of houses in Texas were built between 1970 and 1999; also, 32% of homeowners have been putting off at least one home improvement job for 12 months or more and 57% of homeowners feel their house is still a “work in progress.” So it is highly likely that your home will need some repairs or renovations.
Another factor to consider is the time of year you would sell your home. The best month to list your house in terms of the selling price is in July, but in terms of speed, the best month is May.
But this year, the average days on market have fluctuated more than previous years before. So it’s tough to know how long it would take to sell your Texas home.
But there are ways to sell your house quickly, which we’ll go over further below.
Step-by-Step Guide to Sell a House
Now that you know more about disclosures, possible taxes, and how long selling a house takes, you can start following these steps to sell your house in Texas.
Step 1: Decide How You Will Sell Your Texas Home
This seems obvious, but you do have options when it comes to how you want to sell your property. That choice will affect everything else that happens, so it is very important to make the right decision for you, your family, and your specific situation.
The first option is to list the house with an agent. This is a very popular strategy since a realtor will have experience selling houses and handling all the marketing, paperwork, and negotiations for you. A good agent will guide you when it comes to the Texas housing market, prices, and how you can stand out.
For their services, usually, you sign a listing agreement allowing them to sell your property within 3-6 months and agree to pay them a 5-6% commission fee on the final sale price of your house. You will likely be financially responsible for various repairs, closing costs, and fees throughout the process.
Next, you can choose to sell your home without an agent, which is commonly known as For Sale By Owner or FSBO. The benefit is that you wouldn’t have to pay a commission for the listing agent, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. The buyer’s agent, though, will still receive a commission, but you can negotiate that amount before the transaction is completed. It is important to know that you will be responsible for all aspects of your home sale, including scheduling, marketing, open houses, negotiating, and paperwork. Unless you are skilled in-home selling, this can be an overwhelming process, and it’s very easy to miss an important step that will end up costing you.
The third option is selling your residence directly to a real estate investor. Selling your property on the open market comes with so much uncertainty, but this method would eliminate all of the unknowns. You would work directly with a local investor who will look over your house and make you a competitive cash offer. It would be up to you how fast the transaction moves, but you can sell your property in a matter of days if you wanted. Then you get the cash and can move forward. This scenario is very beneficial, especially for houses with conditions that may make it tricky to sell on the open market, such as mold, water damage, hoarders, or a tax lien.
Step 2: Set The Price
If you went with listing your home on the open market, the most important decision you will make is how you price your listing. If you want to get plenty of offers quickly, you will have to find the right balance between current conditions in the Texas market and expectations. If your property is overpriced, it could set your timeline back.
Start by looking into what is already going on with the housing market in your neighborhood to get a sense of what you should ask. You should also look at the county or city markets but don’t be afraid to zone in on your specific neighborhood—the more narrow your search, the better sense of your property’s actual current value.
Check out the homes currently for sale to see what they are listed for, and make sure to look at the houses that recently sold. This will give you a perspective on the difference between what your neighbors think their house is worth and what buyers actually paid. Figure out how the recent sale prices worked their way down from the initial listing price and learn from their mistakes.
Step 3: Consider Decluttering and Curb Appeal
You may think your house is already perfect, but that doesn’t really matter when it’s up for sale. The truth is that it’s no longer important what you think but what prospective buyers think. They will be asking, “can I see myself living here?” and “ is this house move-in ready”? So it will be your job to give them that.
You can start by decluttering your home. You may love your decor, but it could be very distracting to buyers. Remove any oversized furniture and any accent pieces to give buyers visual and physical space. Put away any personal items and photos so buyers can visualize living there. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to tone-down your decor and keep things as neutral as possible.
But it’s not just about preparing your house; it’s also about preparing your property. Consider your curb appeal. What does your home look like when an interested buyer drives by? Does the lawn need mowing? Could it use some new siding or a fresh coat of paint? Does the landscaping need to be trimmed and weeded? Think about what you would need to do to make that person driving past your property decide to stop.
Step 4: List Your Property
When you list your home, there are a few things you should consider doing in order to make it stand out. First, hire a home stager and professional photographer to make sure your home visually pops. They will showcase rooms in such a way that each will stand out to buyers. Even if you only hire a photographer, that would be to your benefit. The difference in home listings with professional photos vs. ones with amateur photos is extremely significant.
Plan an open house to entice potential buyers to take a closer look around. Work with your agent to make sure there are open-house signs leading people into the neighborhood and that the open house is advertised so that people show up. Always make sure to have the house ready for visitors in case someone calls to look at the property. Though it may be an inconvenience to you, always say yes to any potential buying opportunities.
Step 5: Evaluate Your Offers and Negotiate
Hopefully, at this point, you have a few offers to choose from. You can choose the buyer who seems the most likely to get approved by their lender. Or you could let multiple buyers bid against each other in an attempt to drive up the sale price.
It will be important to keep an eye on factors such as lending pre-approval, proof of available funds, possible concessions, how they intend to pay, any buyer’s contingencies (for example, the buyer must sell their current house first), or timeline requirements. Just remember that some buyers will look better on paper, but you will want to put in the due diligence to double-check everything. Making any wrong choices means you may lose time and possibly money.
Step 6: Accept An Offer
You’ve accepted an offer! Which is great, but you’re not quite done just yet. The next thing to happen is the buyer gets a chance to inspect the property. If they are happy with the home inspection, they will finalize their financing arrangements and initiate the underwriting process. Their lender will now do their due diligence on the buyer and home contract in order to approve the loan.
Once the mortgage lender is satisfied, all that is left to do is sign the titles and escrow documents. After that, you are officially done.
And that is how to sell a house in Texas!
Following all these steps to sell a house, unfortunately, won’t guarantee a fast home sale. So if you’re concerned with how long it takes to sell because you need to sell quickly, then your best strategy is to speak to a homebuyer like Four 19 Properties.
Four 19 Properties can close on average in 7-14 days without dealing with the hassle of listing your home. Four 19 Properties doesn’t charge commissions and even pays closing costs – saving you thousands of dollars. Another benefit to working with an investor like Four 19 Properties is that they purchase houses in as-is condition. So that leaky roof, don’t worry about it, those unfinished construction projects leave those to Four 19 Properties to deal with.
Selling to a local home buyer like Four 19 Properties is definitely an option to consider when selling your house in Texas.
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