How to Sell a House By Owner in Texas: Legal Considerations for Dallas Sellers
Here’s the deal: House sales in Texas have actually dropped a whopping 10 percent since earlier this year. Why is this so important? That’s because there’s literally a shortage of affordable homes on the market!
Are you trying to sell your house in Texas? Then there are a couple of laws that you should know before you put up your “For Sale” sign. Here’s how to sell a house by owner in Texas.
What Professional Real Estate Agents Do
First things first: let’s talk about what it takes to sell a house without a professional real estate agent. This is known as “for sale by owner,” or FSBO. In fact, FSBO Texas listings are much more commonplace nowadays than they were a few years ago.
Why is that? Because of online listing platforms that let homeowners use a so-called “Multiple Listing Service.” However, it’s not exactly easy to do a professional real estate agent’s job by yourself. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible though!
Thinking about selling without an agent? This is a great idea if you want to end up with a little more money in your pocket. Nevertheless, you should still think about what you’re letting go of before you make your decision.
Let’s take a look at what professional real estate agents do in the first place:
- Help the seller set a fair price for their home.
- Prepare the house for the market.
Get this: one of the biggest parts of a real estate agent’s job is to help the seller set a fair price for their home. That being said, the typical agent will have years of experience selling homes just like the one you own. That means that they know the market extremely well.
Not only that, but a local real estate agent is also an expert in interpreting comps, comparing recent sales, and examine sale patterns. On top of that, they can also consider your house selling goals and make them come to life.
How does a professional real estate agent prepare the house for the market? They take a look at your home and make a list of issues you need to fix before you can sell it. However, who needs to pay someone else when you can do it yourself?
How to Sell a House by Owner
Ever wondered what it takes to put your house for sale? If you’re trying to sell your home without a real estate agent’s help, here’s what you have to do:
- Stage your home before you list it on the market.
- Research the housing market and set a decent price.
- Collect information and write your listing.
Rule number one: Stage your home before you list it on the market. Don’t know where to start? Go through your home and begin with a deep decluttering mission. Why? Because it makes it super easy for future buyers to picture their family living in your house.
Need a push in the right direction? Get rid of any items that are too personal, like family photos. All you have to do is tuck them away nicely into a convenient, closet, garage, or storage space.
What about selling things you don’t need online? Better yet, you can host your own garage sale as well. What should you do to make sure your home is clean enough?
Hire a professional maid to do a thorough cleaning of your home. Lastly, have a friend give you their honest opinion. If you get the green light, then you’re ready for the next step!
Now: Research the housing market and set a decent price. Look at the latest home sales in your area to get an idea of what your price should be. Once you’ve chosen a price, the rest is easy. Just collect information and write your listing!
More Tips on Selling Without a Real Estate Agent
Want more tips on selling your house without a real estate agent. Look no further! There are a few more things you should do before you’re ready to sell your home:
- Get your house listing up on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) site.
- Advertise your home listing everywhere that you can.
- Have an open house event for your neighborhood.
Let’s be honest: there’s nothing more effective than getting your house listing up on an MLS site. Even though some sellers feel like it’s not worth their time, you’ll sell your home much faster this way.
How do we know this? Because MLS sites give you the most exposure for your home listing without using a professional real estate agent’s help. Not to mention grabbing the attention of future homeowners’ agents too.
Pro tip: Advertise your home listing everywhere that you can. Why does this matter? Because it also pays to put your advertisement on yard and sidewalk signs as well. You can consider listing your home on special For Sale by Owner sites as well.
Have you put your home up on an online real estate website yet? Most housing websites will let you post your ad at absolutely no cost. The best part? Your advertisement could potentially reach millions of buyers!
How about adding your home to regional classified websites? Amazingly, this is an affordable way to reach potential homeowners too. Did we mention that you could post a video tour on YouTube? You never know who will see it!
Finally, you can always have an open house event for your neighborhood. You can host this as soon as your listing goes live. To get ready for your big day, you can spend a few weeks touring other local open houses in Texas. Don’t forget to take notes!
Additional Advice on Selling Without an Agent
After you’ve listed your home and held an open house event, it’s time to get to business. Here are the last couple of steps you have to follow to successfully sell your house on your own:
- Hold tours of your home for potential buyers.
- Get ready to negotiate prices with buyers.
- Contact an escrow agent.
- Finish up paperwork and seal the deal.
Step one: Hold tours of your home for potential buyers. Expect to have a lot of bookings for private showings soon enough. That means that you need to find a cheap lockbox to keep your extra key in. Attach it to your front door for easy access.
Prepare to field many phone calls from the real estate agents’ of future homeowners. When they get in touch, make sure to check their real estate license number. Are they verified to sell homes in your state?
If so, then you can set up a showing time for your client to take a look at your home. Just make sure that you keep it to nights or weekends for convenience’s sake. A word of advice? Make sure that you’re not home during this time!
Step two: Get ready to negotiate prices with buyers. This means that you have to become your own agent. Be confident when you discuss prices with your buyer’s real estate agent. This can be nerve-racking – especially since you’re dealing with someone who does this 24/7.
However, negotiating prices with an agent can be stress-free as long as you follow these rules:
- You don’t have to respond to lowball offers.
- It pays to wait until the price is right.
Step three: Contact an escrow agent. This is the only surefire way to close your sale. Step four is simple: Finish up paperwork and seal the deal!
Sign a For Sale by Owner Contract Texas Style
Are you ready to sign a For Sale by Owner contract Texas-style? Take a look at what you need to do:
- Make property disclosures to your buyers.
- Accept a written offer from your buyer.
- Get through the escrow period.
Here’s the thing: Texas law requires you to make property disclosures to your buyers. That includes anyone who is selling a single-family house on their own. All you have to do is give the buyer’s a form that discloses every detail you can think of about your property.
Common property disclosures include:
- The specific contents of your home, such as appliances that need to be fixed.
- The number of functioning smoke detectors that you have in your house.
- Any legal lawsuits that have been filed against your home.
- Electrical defects and other structural issues.
- Conditions impacting your property (i.e. termite damage, asbestos, toxic waste).
- Fees from the Homeowner’s Association or restrictions to your deed.
How can you accept a written offer from your buyer? To keep it simple, your buyer is legally required by the State of Texas to make a written offer. This will include their price, down payment, and any other necessary information.
We can’t emphasize this enough: you have the right to reject any written offer from your buyer. However, if you choose to accept it, the two of you will sign a legal contract that says that you accept their offer.
The next step? Let the buyer know that you agree to their price and have signed the contract. Keep in mind: You need different paperwork to sell your condo in Texas!
Why You Should Ditch Your Real Estate Agent
Dying to know how to sell a house by owner in Texas? Here’s the kicker: if you have a house in Texas for sale without a real estate agent, you might have a harder time finding the right buyer. Despite this, it’s definitely not impossible!
As a matter of fact, you should no trouble ditching your real estate agent as long as you follow the steps that we outlined above. Still not convinced? Psyche yourself by looking at your listing like a potential buyer would.
That’s why Shark Tank investor and businesswoman Barbara Corcoran advises: “Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds.”
Do you like what you see? If not, all it takes is a little decluttering or landscaping to increase your curb appeal. Are you handy around the house? Slap-up a few more coats of exterior paint to reel in more customers.
What about adding an accent wall to your exterior? Buyers will love seeing a fresh coat of paint upon entry. Have you considered hiring an interior designer yet? There’s no wrong with getting a polished, professional makeover of your home for sale.
Besides, you’ll have so much money left over from leaving your real estate agent in the dust that you can afford to hire a professional cleaner too. That way, you’re home will be in top shape for open houses and listings. You got this!
Sell Your Home By Yourself Today
Are you still wondering how to sell a house by owner in Texas? We’ve got you covered! With our complete guide, you can go from wasting money on a real estate agent to saving cash on commission fees.
Is your house in Texas for sale? If you’re having a hard time selling your home on your own, you’re not alone. From staging your home to listing it on Multiple Sale Listing sites, you should have no problem selling your home as long as you follow the rules!
We wish you the best of luck with your sale!
Want to list your home? Contact us for a free consultation today!