A complete guide to selling a house by owner in Texas

Good news to all sellers in Texas as the prices are expected to rise by about 4.5 to 5% more this quarter. It is interesting to note that though this is a seller’s market, there are numerous points to be considered before selling a house in the Lone Star State. The state has always been on the top as far as residential preferences are considered. Texas enjoys hot weather and so it is preferred by the population of all age groups to live, especially for its barbeque and live music culture. The inventory has always been rich with a high demand for housing, which has given scope for the market to be more dynamic. Now, sellers have a lot of options to carry out the transaction and aim for maximum savings. Here is a guide to selling your house in Texas.

1: Texas market overview

Since Texas has always been known for its excellent living conditions, it has traditionally been a market where middle-aged and senior citizens came down to settle post-retirement. But this notion is changing post-pandemic as Texas has attracted a lot of millennials, thanks to the rising work opportunities, hot weather, and exciting life and culture. There is something for everyone in Texas and therefore it is such a hot seller’s market since always.

Home sale deals closed at 23% more than the last year and that is great for sellers who can hike their listing price, close at a higher price, and ultimately save a lot of dollars. Here is how you can do this.

2: Best period to sell

Like almost all states, the best time to sell in Texas is around May-June. It is advisable to list your home in May so that the closing takes place by June. June has recorded the highest number of closings and it is touted to be the best month overall to sell. Winter and fall seasons need to be avoided by the sellers as there is not much buyer demand this time around. It is observed that properties listed in June stay on market for a lesser number of days and are sold in no time. This case was true till this year but due to increasing interest rates on home loans, it is yet to be seen how this impacts the market next year.

3: How to sell a house by owner in Texas

To know about how to sell a house by owner in Texas read ahead, Traditional real estate agents have always been the first option of the seller for a long time but the pandemic has changed this trend as well. Sellers now prefer to save around 6% of agent commission by going the FSBO route. If the seller is sitting on a hot property, in a demanding market then he might choose to oversee the sale on his terms, avoiding the real estate agents. But the danger with this approach is that while the seller enjoys autonomy, he might get stuck in red tape or there might be some legal complications while carrying out the sale. Without help, there is a danger that the deal may fall through. Also, it has been observed that the FSBO houses are sold for less than their worth.

Sellers who want to avoid this but also not make a huge dent in their savings then go for Flat Fee MLS services. An important feature of Flat Fee MLS Texas is the seller gets maximum exposure on MLS and also syndication to other sites. Secondly, the homeowner is in full control of the transaction but also gets expert help as and when needed. Following are top Flat Fee MLS Texas options.

4: Flat Fee MLS Texas

Following are a few Flat Fee MLS Texas which could be considered by an FSBO seller.

Houzeo

The best feature of Houzeo is that they give maximum exposure plus a lot of other services like syndication to other sites, social marketing, digitization of documentation like features to download permits and important forms, pricing and staging guidance, and finally closing assistance. Their mid-level plan priced at $329 is decent enough to cover most needs of FSBO sellers. Their premium plan which costs $999 gives services at par with a virtual real estate agent. There are no hidden fees at the time of closing. To know more about Houzeo do check out Houzeo reviews for complete information.

Congress Realty

Congress Realty is quite popular amongst FSBO sellers who are on a tight budget. Their flat fee is $299 which is considered affordable for basic facilities like MLS listing with four photos, home valuation, and Comparative Market Analysis if paid for. Congress Realty also offers full services of an agent if one takes their special plan where the sellers pay $299+0.5% commission.

Simple Showing

Simple Showing gives MLS listing and other services only a 1% commission. They have an agent matching service which is convenient for sellers who want to save up on commission but also need some guidance in this field. The best feature about Simple Showing is that it does home evaluations for free. The downside of choosing Simple Showing is that they have a limited reach in Texas.

5: Important factors to make note of, before selling

Selling needs a lot of hard work. There have been instances where despite the property being coveted and market hot, the sellers failed to get a good deal because it was not marketed well. Here is how you can avoid such mistakes.

  • Price point

Perfect pricing while the listing is critical. FSBO sellers can take the help of professional home evaluators for this. When you price your home correctly on your MLS listing itself, it is a smooth ride then on.

  • Repairs and renovation

A home inspection team comes in handy to get this right. There are a few sellers who prefer to put their homes on the market ‘as is in case the property is inherited or it is a distress sale. Otherwise, it is always recommended to make the house clean, clutter-free, and attractive. One can focus on high points of their property like the patio, curb, and swimming pool and use that as a selling point. This is also called staging.

There are also different permits required by the Texas state legal authority to be cleared before signing the sale agreement. It is necessary to get repairs done to avoid a legal issue later.

  • Marketing and presentation

Hiring a professional photographer goes a long way in the presentation of your house on MLS. Good quality photos play a huge role in attracting buyers. Also social media marketing, and syndication to other websites. Yard signs and a customized billboard are a few ways to market your property.

  • Disclosures and legal aspects

Seller’s disclosure notice, lead paint disclosure, flood zone disclosure, and alarm system installation clearance are a few mandatory disclosure forms. Other important documents include the title certificate, deed of sale, purchase and sale agreement, closing cost statement, HOA (Homeowners Association) form, and the bill of sale.

  • Closing

There are many closing costs that the sellers need to take care of. They have to be wary before diving into the sale and have full knowledge about these costs beforehand. Apart from the buyer agent commission the seller also needs to partly take care of escrow fees, title insurance, survey, and home inspection and home warranty fees.

6: Perils and pros of going FSBO in Texas

The biggest advantage of being an FSBO seller in Texas is the cost-effectiveness of the whole exercise as well as the autonomy one enjoys while conducting the transaction. Also, since Texas is a sellers’ market it is easier to be an FSBO seller here. Another pro would be saving up on hefty commissions.

FSBO sellers often get lost in the legal transactions if they don’t have help. Plus there is a danger that their house might sell for less if they don’t get the pricing right. Also, if they go for a Flat Fee MLS, it is possible that they might charge a lot of hidden fees at the time of closing. It is then recommended to read the fine print before paying for any Flat Fee Service or even a discount agent.

7: Conclusion

It is prudent to go FSBO in Texas to sell the property soon because, with the high-interest rates, there might be a fluctuation of interest from the buyer side. Flat Fee MLS services like Houzeo, Simple Showing, etc are decent enough. One could also go for discount agents but only after making clear that there are no hidden costs or unpleasant surprises later.

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