Selling a house sounds daunting, especially when you’ve never done it before. There are so many processes and rules to know and there are so many things to do before you even get to the part of selling the house. The good news is that there are a few smart practices you can do that will put you in a position to sell sooner than later. Here is a guide to selling your house.
How Do I Sell A House In Texas?
Step 1: Decide How You Want to Sell
This seems obvious but you actually have options when it comes to how you want to sell your house. That decision will affect everything else that happens so it’s very important to make the right choice for you and your specific situation.
Your first option is to list the home on the market with a real estate agent. This is a very common strategy since a real agent will have experience in home selling and will handle all of the paperwork and negotiations for you. A good real estate agent will give you guidance when it comes to the local housing market, prices, and how you can stand out. For their services, an agent usually gets a five or six percent commission fee on the final sale price of the home. You’ll also likely be responsible for various closing costs and fees throughout the process.
Next, you can sell the house on your own without an agent, which is commonly referred to as For Sale By Owner. The benefit is that you don’t have to pay a commission to the listing agent, which could potentially save you thousands of dollars. The buyer’s agent will still receive a commission but you can negotiate that rate before the transaction is complete. It’s very important to know that you will be the one responsible for all aspects of the home sale, including scheduling, marketing, open houses, paperwork, and negotiations. Unless you’re very experienced in-home selling, this can be an overwhelming situation and it’s very easy to miss a critical step that will end up costing you.
Third, you can sell your house directly to a real estate investor. Selling your house on the open market comes with so much uncertainty, but this method eliminates all of the unknowns. You work directly with an investor who will look over your property and make you a competitive cash offer. It’s up to you how fast the transaction moves, but you can sell your house in a matter of days if you want. Then, you get the cash and you can move forward. This option is very beneficial especially for homes with conditions that might make it hard to sell on the open market, such as water damage, a tax lien, or hoarders.
Step 2: Set Your Price
If you decided to go with listing your house on the open market, the most important decision you’ll make is how you price it, to begin with. If you want to get a lot of offers quickly, you have to find the right balance between expectations and current conditions in your local market. If your house seems overpriced, it could really set you back.
Take a look at what’s already happening on the housing market in your neighborhood to get a sense of what you should ask. You should look at the county or city markets but don’t be afraid to focus on your specific neighborhood. The more granular you get, the better sense of your home’s actual current value.
Check out the houses that are currently for sale to see what their asking price is, but also look at the homes that recently sold. This gives you a good perspective on the difference between what your neighbors think and what buyers actually think. Chart out how the recent sale prices worked their way down from the initial listing price. Learn from their mistakes.
Step 3: Consider Curb Appeal & Declutter
Even though you might think your house is perfect, that doesn’t matter once it’s up for sale. It’s no longer important what you think but what the buyer thinks. Can they see themselves living here? Do they see a house that’s ready to move into? It’s your job to give them that.
Start by giving the house a really good decluttering. You might love your decorations but they’re likely very distracting to buyers. Takedown any accent pieces in order to give buyers the visual space they need to see their own belongings here. While you’re at it, tone down your decor and try to keep things as neutral as possible.
It’s not just about prepping your house, it’s also about preparing your property. Think about curb appeal. What does your house look like when a potential buyer drives past? Does it need a fresh coat of paint? Does the lawn need mowing? Does the landscaping need an overhaul? Think about what you need to do to make that person driving by your house decide to stop.
Step 4: List Your House
There are a few things you should consider when you list your home in order to make it stand out. First, hire a professional photographer and home stager to make sure it pops visually. They’ll make every room stand out and draw the eye in the best way possible. Even if only hire a photographer, that will pay dividends. The difference between a home listing with professional photos and one with amateur photos is extremely big.
Schedule an open house to entice buyers to take a closer look around. Work with your agent to make sure there’s enough signage and marketing to ensure that people show up. While you’re at it, be available for drop-in visits and people who want to see your house when you’re not there. Say yes to any opportunity that comes up for a potential buyer.
Step 5: Review Your Offers & Negotiate
Hopefully, now you have a few offers to choose from. You can pick the buyer who seems like the most likely to get fully approved by their lender. Or you can let multiple buyers bid against one another in an attempt to drive the sale price up.
You’ll want to keep an eye on factors such as lending pre-approval, proof of available funds, potential concessions, how they intend to pay, buyer’s contingencies (i.e. the buyer must sell their current home first), or timeline requirements. Some buyers will look better on paper, but you’ll want to put in the due diligence to double-check. Making the wrong choice means you’ll lose time and potentially lose money.
Step 6: Accept the Offer
You’ve accepted the offer. That’s great but you’re not done yet. Now, the buyer gets a chance to inspect the home. If they’re happy with the inspection, they will finalize their financing and enter the underwriting period. Their lender will now do its due diligence on the buyer and home contract in order to give the loan approval.
Once the bank is satisfied, all that’s left to do is sign the titles and escrow documents. With that done, the house is sold.