Selling house in texas
a step-by-step
guide

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How Selling Home in Texas Works

Texas has guidelines, regulations, and steps to be followed when selling house or real estate in the state. This guide is to help home sellers understand these steps and guidelines. It shows home sellers what they need to know and do when selling house in Texas. It will also help home buyers in knowing what to expect from sellers in Texas. The steps to follow are shown below. This is a short version of the guide. A full version is in a 10-page, free e-book, available upon request.

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1. Hire a Texas Real Estate Agent

When selling house, the first step is to find and work with a Licensed Real Estate Agent or Realtor. Selling house is complicated and challenging. As a result, it is recommended that sellers work with realtors trained in handling real estate transactions. To find out how your realtor can help you, read about what home sellers want from their real estate agents. A real estate agent has a duty to protect their client’s interests.

2. Sign Listing Agreement with Your Agent

When you find the agent you want to work with, you and the agent will sign a listing agreement. This agreement is where you authorize the agent brokerage to market and sell your house. Signing the listing agreement makes the agent become your listing agent. The agreement contains information about the house you are selling, listing price, including the following items:

Types of Listing Agreement

There are different types of listing agreement when selling house in Texas. Your agent will guide you to choose the type that fits your need.

Listing Period

The listing agreement will specify the duration or time period both seller and agent agree the house will be listed. Typically listing period is 90 days.

Broker Commission when selling house

In Texas, the standard broker commission when selling house is 6% of the sale price. The commission is usually paid by the home seller, unless there is some other agreement. Sometimes sellers try to negotiate down the commission. Negotiating down commission may negatively affect the performance of the agent that accepts reduced commission. This is explained in the e-book version of this guide.

3. Set your listing price

When selling house, this is the price you and your agent agree to sell the house for. By now, your agent must have prepared a Comparative Market Analysis of your house and recommended a competitive listing price.

4. Items Included in the sale

Texas real estate contract has a section where sellers will list the items they want to include in the sale. If an item is not listed in the contract, it is not included in the sale.

5. Net Sale proceed

When selling house, net sale proceed is an estimated amount the seller gets from the sale after deducting all expenses. After determining the sale price of the house, your agent will calculate your net amount for you. If you have not built enough equity in your house, you may end up with zero or negative net. If this happens, you may discuss with your agent to see if leasing out the house is a better option. Leasing out the house will allow you to build enough equity. If you owe more than the value of your house, you can also discuss with your agent about short sale.

To short sale your house

To short-sale your house, you will need an approval from your lender and also meet certain criteria and requirements. If you are approved for short sale, your lender will accept whatever amount the house is sold for. Most of the times, because the house was sold for less than what is owed, seller will still owe the lender the difference. However, since the lender approved the short sale, they may waive the deficiency and seller owes nothing. But seller has to prove that they are in financial distress before they can get the waiver. Deficiency waiver requires the help of a Realtor who understands the process, the required documents and how to prepare them. If you need help with short sale or foreclosure, we can evaluate your situation and help save your home.

Why short sale is better than foreclosure

As mentioned above, Short Sale is when your house is sold for less than what you owe on your house. Foreclosure is when you default on your mortgage and your lender takes the house back. Short sale may not have adverse effect on your credit if you follow proper process and file the right documents. With foreclosure, the negative entry your lender makes on your credit record will have more impact on your credit rating.

6. Marketing & Advertising Your house

The listing agreement has sections where the agreed listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is specified. In addition to listing in the MLS, your realtor may also advertise the house online, newspapers, etc.

7. Negotiating & Accepting offers when selling house

When selling house, while the house is on the market, buyers will be making offers. In Texas, the offer must be in writing to be acceptable or valid. As buyers submit offers, your agent turns them in to you, the seller, until you decide to stop accepting offers. You and your agent will carefully review each offer and you will accept the one that best fits your need. Once you sign the offer, it becomes a binding contract. This contract, along with other necessary documents, is submitted to the Title Company for closing process to begin.

8. Depositing Option Fee & Earnest Money

Once the seller accepts the offer, buyer deposits the earnest money and option fee into escrow account as specified in the contract.

9. Seller Disclosure Notices when selling house

When selling house, Texas law requires residential home sellers to deliver seller’s disclosure to buyers as specified in the contract. The disclosure notice provides important information about the conditions of the house, and seller’s knowledge of each condition. This includes the disclosure notice for Lead-Based Paint. Sellers normally complete these notices and gives them to their agent when signing the listing agreement.

10. Title Search

Title Company will order a survey of your house if you fail to provide the existing survey.
They will also research the title to your house to make sure the title is clear of any defects. If there are defects, you may be required to pay for clearing them.

11. House Appraisal

When selling house in Texas, an appraisal may be ordered, either by the buyer or the lender. Lenders normally require the house being sold to be appraised, to ensure the loan amount and sale amount are appropriate.

12. House Inspection

If inspection of your house is ordered, either by the buyer or the lender, your agent will coordinate the inspection. The inspector will submit a report of findings to whoever ordered it. The report will list any issues found. Buyer will review the report and make a decision.

13. Final Step in selling house - Closing

By the closing date, the escrow officer must have verified that contract terms and conditions, and required documents are complete. Seller turns in the house keys to the escrow officer. Seller and buyer sign their respective closing documents. Escrow officer gives the house keys to the buyer. Sale is now complete. Congratulations on your sale.

selling house Guide in a Process Chart

This selling house in Texas guide has been condensed into a process chart, for easy reading.

Summary

A step-by-step process of selling house in Texas, from the beginning to closing of the transaction, was discussed and explained. While this is not an exclusive process or steps in selling house in Texas, a great deal is covered. It is recommended that users verify with their agent for their particular situation. 

An expanded version of this guide is available in a FREE, 10-page e-book. To get your copy, complete the contact form below. We will email it to you.

Selling home in Texas guide - from preparation to closing

Photo of e-book on selling a house

Get our FREE 10-page e-book that gives a road map of home selling process in Texas, from preparation to closing. In this e-book, you will learn about: 

  • Becoming ready to sell a house.
  • Working with an Agent
  • Handling appraisal & working with appraiser
  • Handling home inspection & working with inspector
  • Setting sale price
  • Handling offers
  • And more

Request your free copy using the form below. We’ll email it to you.

Work with us

Your friendly Real Estate Agent and Realtor.

When it comes to selling a house, I’ll help guide you in the right direction.

One of my duties as a Realtor is to guide, advise and protect the interest of my clients. 

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