Texas or the State Of The Lone Star is one of the hottest markets when it comes to real estate. There is always a demand for affordable housing here as there are quite a few employment opportunities here and the hot weather is the main attraction. People who love outdoor activities are mighty impressed with their barbeque culture along with some live music.
Not surprisingly, Texas real estate prices appreciated by around 20% last year, and the State Of Lone Star became a sellers’ market. In a bid to control inflation, mortgage rates were increased which is why sellers need to put their properties on market ASAP before the trends turn against their favor.
1: Methods of selling a home in Texas
Selling a home in Texas is rather convenient if the homeowners go the FSBO way. It is observed that high technology is used every step of the way to sell a house. Also, more than 75% of the FSBO homes are sold in under two weeks. This is an encouraging fact for all those who are planning to sell the house by owner.
Apart from this, sellers can choose to hire a real estate agent who will charge a fixed 6% commission on the sale of the property. This cuts deep into the profit margin earned by the seller and ultimately is not very cost-effective. Here is everything you need to know about selling a home in Texas.
2: Why should sell house by owners opt for the FSBO method
As mentioned earlier, the FSBO method is very popular in Texas. The majority of the population goes online to search for properties, look for buyers, or to get access to experts like real estate attorneys, home inspectors, and escrow companies.
First of all, sellers can control the transaction. There is also the factor of ‘speed to market for which the FSBO method is popular. While the traditional method of real estate agents taking care of all the aspects of the sale is alluring, it is a lengthy and manual procedure.
If sellers opt for the FSBO method with a Flat Fee MLS listing, their chances of selling the house at a desirable price are higher. Companies like Houzeo list the property for $349+. They also have pay-per-package services which can be availed by sellers. Other than listing, they provide pricing consultation, offer review, closing assistance, and professional photography, among other things.
3: Does the sell by owner method work for everyone?
While there are a lot of pros associated with selling a home by owner in Texas, there are a few downsides to it too which should be considered before taking a plunge.
Going FSBO without actually listing the property on MLS can be a deterrent in attracting multiple buyer interests. And it would then affect the sale and homeowners might sell their property for less than the market price.
Another drawback in the sell the house by owner category is that most of the paperwork, disclosures, affidavits, and permits are taken care of by the owner. There is no one to help if these documents get caught in red tape. However, most of the documentation is online, thanks to the technological advancement by Flat Fee MLS listing companies. But there is a lot of legwork and coordination with experts to release disclosure documents and affidavits. Experienced FSBO sellers do not find this problematic but first-time FSBO sellers might get daunted with this process.
4: Steps to sell the house by owner in Texas
Following are the main steps to sell the house by the owner in Texas.
Getting the pricing right is crucial to making a successful sale. It is necessary to understand that your listing price is not your final price. Sellers entertain offers based on the price listed on MLS which is further negotiated and then the selling price is decided after consulting all parties involved.
It is important not to go high or too low with the initial price. It should be just right. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is done by an expert to help sellers with their pricing.
B: Time of sale
Generally, May-June is the period which is very popular amongst the sellers and buyers. This means that ideally, the property should be listed a couple of months before the actual time of sale.
While this practice has been followed traditionally, today’s market conditions demand a much more dynamic approach. Hence, it is recommended to not wait for the ideal time but instead make the most of the time you decide to list the property.
C: MLS listing
Listing on MLS is a non-negotiable option for FSBO sellers. Is it compulsory to list every property up for sale on MLS? No. But it always guarantees maximum buyer interest which further leads to a successful sale.
Companies like Houzeo, Beycome, and Flat Fee Group are popular for their competitive pricing, hi-tech apps, digitization of documents, online showings, and closing assistance. It is prudent to do your research and choose a service that does not have hidden charges and is transparent and effective in its approach.
D: Repairs and other prep work
A paint job in neutral colors, re-arrangement of furniture, decluttering, and increasing curb appeal can go a long way. Also, sellers need to make basic repairs to get Property Disclosures cleared before making the sale.
Social media marketing is the need of the hour because online spaces like Facebook Marketplace and Craig’s List are used by buyers to search for affordable properties. The private social media account of the seller should also be used to market the house put up for sale.
Clicking high-quality pictures is an essential aspect of selling a house. Most Flat Fee MLS listing services attach photographs with the listing which makes a whole lot of difference in getting prospective buyers interested in the property.
F: Important disclosures
Sellers are contractually bound to fill out the following disclosures in Texas without which they can’t go ahead with the sale.
- Sellers’ disclosure
This document concerns the structural defects that the house might have that would affect the selling price of the house.
- Fire Alarm installation
It is compulsory to install a fire alarm in Texas and this disclosure ensures that the system is installed and is in working condition.
- Lead-based paint disclosure
This is for constructions built before 1978. Since lead-based paint is a health hazard, a disclosure is needed to clarify the same.
G: Showings and offers review
Sellers who pay for full-service real estate agents do not have to worry about conducting open houses as that service is included in the commission paid to the agent. But FSBO sellers have to manage showings on their own. Flat Fee MLS services like Houzeo have enabled the sellers to organize this online. In a few clicks, sellers can conduct open houses which saves a lot of their time and effort.
The final step of this process of course is closing. Mandatory closing documents in Texas include the HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure and a statement of closing costs. First-time FSBO sellers might find it challenging to negotiate terms at the time of closing therefore, having a virtual full-service agent might help in this situation.
5: Alternatives to the Flat Fee MLS
If you want to sell a house without a realtor in Texas but are not sure about the Flat Fee MLS listing method, then you can go for a discount agent or low-commission real estate agent.
Also, homeowners who fall under the ‘cash for homes in Texas’ category, can directly find cash companies. The specialty of Cash for homes in Texas is that they are fast and of course, the payment is in all cash which helps the owner in case of an emergency or distress sale.
To sum it all up, the level of difficulty in selling a home in Texas by owner is not much if you have the necessary papers in order and manage the closing well. Flat Fee MLS listing websites are a good option to go FSBO with. They have A-La-Carte packages which are both convenient and cost-effective.