If you have bought your first home, you probably remember pretty distinctly how the process went for you. You found a Realtor, who helped you find a house. You inspected the house and sent a repair amendment back to the seller. Finally, the lender approved all the paperwork and you signed it all until your hand cramped up.
Now, it is time for you to sell your home. The process can’t be too different than when you bought the house, right? You would be surprised.
Sellers have to go through the same basic steps as a buyer, but the details of each step goes from being slightly different to an entire different experience. Let’s go over the steps for you.
The first chore is to find a Realtor that you trust to sell your house. Believe it or not, most people do not even think about the buyer’s agent they used to purchase the house. Yes. Buyer’s agents can also list homes. Save yourself some time and go call your buyer’s agent to sell your house.
Your listing agent will then go over with you all the tasks that need to be done to get your house sold. You have to make your house look as presentable as possible. You need to clean the house and stage it for buyers so they can see the home as their own house (and not just visiting your house).
Once you have the house looking its best, you then have to allow buyers to access your home to see it. These showings will require you leave the house on a regular basis and can be a very inconvenient chore, but a very necessary one. Hopefully, you will get a couple of offers from buyers soon after putting it on the market.
After the contract is in place, your buyer will then need to do everything you did when you purchase the house. They will get the house inspected by one or several individuals to find out what needs to be repaired. You will then get a repair amendment, most likely be offended and then negotiate the repair list down to something manageable.
Once the repairs have been worked out, then you will get a silent treatment for awhile. The buyer’s lender has to do all their due dilliegnece to make sure the buyer can afford the mortgage. Of course, you remember the appraisal that has to take place to ensure the value is the same number as the sales price. The lender then has to get everything else from the buyer, which seems to take forever.
Once all the paperwork is done, you can then sign everything. Luckily, this time the signing process is much smoother and takes much less time. Congrats you have now bought and sold the same house.
Despite all the similarities and differences in buying and selling a house, there are several things that most homeowners don’t realize about selling a house in Texas. Here are five of them.
- You actually have the listing agreement with the broker – Many sellers do not understand this aspect of listing with a real estate agent. Brokers are the ones that homeowners are in a legal contract. The listing agent works as a agent of the broker, representing the broker in doing business with the seller. You can read more about this arrangement in the Information about Brokerage Services that all agents are required to give to their customers. This arrangement does not really come into play unless something goes amiss with the transaction.
- You have to disclose a Murder but not ghosts – In Texas, you don’t have to disclose a death on a property caused by natural causes, suicide or accident. You do have to disclose a murder on the premises. Murder is considered to be something buyers will want to know about a property (but not suicide?). Ghosts don’t have to be disclosed. Some buyers actually seek out haunted homes so you might consider disclosing it anyway. Please note that it is always a good legal practice to disclose any and all facts known about a property to prevent possible future lawsuits.
- Closing is not done at the same time as the buyer – Many out of state residents who move to Texas don’t realize that the two parties do not have to close at the same time. Both parties are required to close by the date listed in Paragraph nine of the contract, but they can do it at different times of the day. No need to worry about meeting the other party! In fact, you don’t even have to close at the same location with many parties doing it from their homes remotely.
- You still have to pay for your share of the property taxes – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just push this chore onto the buyer? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Sellers have to pay for the months they have lived at the house before selling it. Buyers pay for the amount of time after they take ownership of the property. Be sure to ask the title company how these taxes will be paid because it depends on the time of the year you sell your house. You also want to check with your mortgage company about getting the funds out of your escrow account that might not be used to pay your taxes.
- Almost everyone has a lien on their property title – I am sure this fact might scare you. A lien is a claim another party makes on a title of a property due to funds owed to the third party. What is the one lien most homeowners have on their property? It is their mortgage. Sellers don’t often connect the fact that the mortgage company has an interest in the property due to the loan you took out to purchase the home. Once the buyer pays for the home, this is paid off before you get your proceeds. If you are lucky enough to have no mortgage, you probably don’t have a lien on your house.