Selling a house in Texas can be simple as long as you understand the process, prepare your home to sell and ensure the right papers are ready to be signed. You can sell the home on your own but it is better to be represented by a real estate agent or lawyer.
Prepare your home for sale. If there are any repairs needed, such as replacing woodwork or painting, then be sure to finish it before showing it to an appraiser and opening for general viewing. First impressions are very important to a home buyer and an appraiser. Make sure the outside and the inside are in the best condition that you can afford. Make sure windows, curtains and blinds are clean. Spray the home with a fragrance or air freshener. Make sure there is plenty of light inside the home during the day by drawing open the blinds and curtains. Make sure lights are on if showing the home at night.
Hire a realtor. In Texas it is very important to have a person representing you as the seller. Along with making the buyer feel more at ease, the real estate agent will act as your communicator with the potential buyer. The realtor will draw up figures for you and some of the legal paperwork for both parties. For instance, one of the papers that is needed to sell a house in Texas is the Seller's Disclosure of Property Condition Notice. This will explain any problems, recent maintenance and any defects with the home so that the buyer is aware of the house's condition.
Decide how much you want to sell the home for. Your real estate agent will draw up the amount that other homes have sold for in your neighborhood. There are usually room sizes and other features that will be included in the information about the home. You will be able to decide on a price to sell the home for. It will depend on what added features you may have compared to the other homes such as a pool. You will also need to figure into the price what improvements are needed compared to the other homes.
Have your home placed on the housing market. Your realtor will place it on a listing of homes for sale that potential buyers will learn about through their real estate agents. You will then receive bids and you can accept or reject the offer. If you reject the offer, then your agent will send your counter-offer to the buyer's agent. The buyer will decide whether or not to agree with the amount. If the buyer doesn't want to pay as much, then you can write up an agreement called the Liquidation Damage Clause. In Texas, this is to protect the seller by keeping money that was put down in good faith if the buyer backs out of the deal. There are a few exceptions in this case; the main one would be if the buyer doesn't pass requirements for a loan. In this case, they didn't decide to back out, the lender wouldn't allow them the opportunity to buy it.
Once a bid is accepted, then the house is appraised. The fee for this goes into the closing costs for which the buyer is responsible.
Go for signing and close on the home. Once a buyer agrees on the price you are offering and finds a lender to give him a loan, then you wait for the underwriters to finish their paperwork. When the paperwork is complete, the seller and buyer will sign the title. In Texas, the title can have a few stipulations that the buyer may not agree to such as a lien that is decided upon their lender. Therefore, it is best to bring the realtor or a lawyer to the signing of the title of the home for both parties. For closing, Texas requires the seller to pay transfer taxes, any left over property taxes, a third of the cost for appraisal, a title transfer tax and pay the agent's commission.
Finish selling your home. In Texas, the seller is not allowed to back out of selling the home once the contract is signed with the realtor. This agreement is called specific performance, which binds the seller to the contract to sell and must follow through unless she cannot find a buyer.