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A Step-by-Step Guide to How to Sell Your Texas Home

Hayley AbernathyMay 30, 2024
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When it comes time to sell your Texas home, the process may feel daunting. If you’ve never done it before, unknowns may loom large in your mind. On the other hand, if you have sold a house in the past, you know first-hand what a Texas-sized undertaking it is.

The good news: like any big project, selling your home is completely doable when you take it one step at a time. And when you enlist expert help and use smart selling strategies, a nice profit may reward your work!

Whether you’re a first-time seller or have been down this road a few times, we explain the process below so you are empowered and ready to successfully sell your Texas home. To get expert insights and tips, we also spoke with real estate agent Donald Wright from the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, who has over 21 years of experience and is consistently a top producer in the region. 

Selling a home in Texas, step-by-step

Let’s walk through each stage of the selling process so you know what to expect.

Step 1: Find a real estate agent

For one of the biggest transactions of your life, help from a real estate agent is crucial. While a small percentage of home sellers in Texas opt to sell their homes by owner, the vast majority of home sellers in Texas (and 89% of sellers in the United States in 2023) work with an agent to list their homes for sale. That’s because working with an experienced local agent is the best way to maximize your profits and make a timely sale. 

What does a listing agent do for you?

In addition to handling most of the paperwork and legwork of a home sale, a good listing agent will: 

  • Advise you on the best ways to prep and stage your home 

  • Use expert local knowledge to help you price your home strategically

  • Photograph your home

  • List your home on the market

  • Market your home to agents and buyers

  • Manage showings

  • Receive and respond to offers

  • Advise you on negotiating a deal

  • Stay by your side all the way through closing

Think of your listing agent as your expert advisor and thinking partner throughout the process so you can get the most from your home sale. 

How do you find a good agent?

In the past, home sellers might use phone books and eventually Google searches to find agents in their area, then interview several of them to learn about their services and determine whether they might be a good fit. However, that time-consuming process is becoming outdated. 

That’s because, when you use Redy, top agents compete and pay for the privilege of listing your house. You simply share some information about your home, and then within a couple of days, you’ll receive detailed offers on our platform from agents in your area who would like to work with you. Each one will specify their fees and terms so you know precisely what to expect, and – the best part – they’ll also offer you an upfront cash incentive with their proposal! 

Then, you simply review the agent proposals online, at your convenience, and select the best fit for you. All you have to do is sign up for a free account to save time and money when you connect with an agent through Redy.

How does a listing estate agent get paid?

Once your home sale closes, the listing agent receives a percentage of the final sale price in commission. While the amount of commission varies slightly depending on your location and is technically negotiable, usually about 6% of the total sales price is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent at closing. 

Tips for choosing a good listing agent for you

Here are some considerations when picking a RealtorⓇ to assist in the sale of your Texas home: 

  • How many years of experience do they have in the local market?

  • Do they have plenty of positive reviews online?

  • How do their current online listings look? 

“Make sure that whoever you list your home with is going to do a good job of presenting your home,” advises Wright. “One thing that (sellers) don’t look at a lot of times – whoever the agent is – they don’t look at other homes that they have listed. It’s important to look at their work.”

For example, when you look at an agent’s listings, do the photos look professional? Do the homes look inviting? Are the listings descriptive and detailed? If not, cross them off your list. 

The paperwork begins . . . 

Once you’ve decided on the right agent for you, they should ask you to sign a listing agreement specifying their commission rate, how long you’ll work together (if the house doesn’t sell before then), and their fiduciary duties to you. 

At this point, your agent may also ask you to fill out the required seller disclosure form for Texas, which details your home’s condition and any defects. Sometimes agents attach this information to a home’s listing for buyers’ agents to access, or they leave the disclosure form in the home for showings. Either way, Texas law requires you to provide this completed form to a potential buyer before entering into any contract.  

Pro Tip: Always disclose

If you’re not sure whether to disclose a particular issue with your Texas home, always err on the side of listing it. Otherwise, if a buyer finds out later about a pre-existing issue that was not disclosed, you could be held liable for resulting costs. 

Step 2: Prep your home for sale

Now that you have your agent, it’s time to get your home show-ready! A good listing agent will walk around the property with you and provide specific advice on how to get it ready for prospective buyers. If you need professional help to make repairs or changes during this phase, your Realtor may also have recommendations to help. 

The goal of your prep? Show buyers a home that is clean, inviting, and move-in ready (as much as possible), in which they can picture themselves living. To that end, you may need to:

Declutter and depersonalize: Remove personal photos and knick-knacks and maximize space by reducing furniture and clearing off horizontal surfaces. If buyers are focused on your stuff, they won’t be focused on picturing themselves in the home.

Refresh and repaint: “One of the cheapest things to do to homes that brings the biggest return is just painting (the interior),” says Wright – especially if you have kids and pets. Painting prep can be a hassle, but a buyer is more likely to see a freshly painted home as turnkey. 

Make necessary repairs: Even small repairs left unfixed may give the impression your home hasn’t been well cared for. So, for example, now is the time to fix the door that doesn’t close properly or replace that cracked piece of molding.

Boost your curb appeal: Give your yard a manicure. Other than that, a few flowers and mulch go a long way: “If you just put mulch outside and some pops of color by the front door as someone's walking up to it,” says Wright, “that makes a huge difference.”

Step 3: Set a strategic and competitive listing price 

In partnership with your agent, you want to set a price that will encourage buyers to visit your home but also maximize your profits at the deal’s close. Most likely, your listing agent will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA) to analyze how similar homes in your neighborhood have recently performed on the market. From there, you and your agent can set a price that’s higher, lower, or similar based on your home’s condition and features in comparison.  

Once again, your agent’s market knowledge is invaluable during this crucial step. Wright shares a story of the importance of local market knowledge. After buying a home via Wright in 2020, a client returned to him for help selling it a few years later. The man had accepted a new job out of state, and his employer required him to use a relocation company to help sell his home in Texas. That relocation company required him to interview two other agents before deciding to list the home with Wright. 

Those agents, recalls Wright, “recommended a price that was about $250,000 less than what I recommended.” The client chose to list with Wright and, ultimately, “They sold the home for close to what I recommended. And so just by doing their homework . . . they got literally $250,000 more than what they would have gotten with another agent.”

Step 4: List your home online

The price is set, and it’s time to go live! 

Your agent will list your home on your area’s local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the online database that real estate agents use to share information about properties. This database populates well-known home search sites that potential buyers are likely using to shop, which means good exposure for your listing!

Ask your agent to see the listing before it goes live. You can provide another set of eyes to check its accuracy. You also want to ensure it includes: 

  • High-quality photos

  • A compelling description of your home’s features

  • Benefits of the home’s location

  • Plenty of specific details

Step 5: Market & show your home

Now that your listing is live, your agent will market your home to put your listing in front of many prospective buyers and buyers’ agents. In fact, Wright says that in some of the DFW-area’s hottest neighborhoods, agents share homes with one another before the listings have even gone live. In some cases, homes sell before the listings are ever published on the MLS! 

Assuming your home does not sell before officially going up for sale, your agent may do the following to market it: 

  • Place a yard sign on the lawn

  • Host an open house

  • Share the listing on social media (and ask you to do the same)

Once word gets out, your agent will schedule showings for you. Your biggest responsibilities during this time are to: 

  • Keep your home clean and tidy

  • Stay ready to vacate the premises quickly when a showing pops up

Pro Tip: Consider temporarily rehoming pets

If you have a house pet, it may be wise to send it to stay with a trusted friend or family member during this phase of the home-selling process. That will give you less clean-up before showings, reduce pet odor in the house, and simplify the logistics of showings overall. 

Leaving a pet in the home during showings may be a liability for you and a distraction for potential buyers who need to focus on seeing the home. You don’t want a buyer worried about possibly getting hurt by your pet or accidentally setting your pet free instead of envisioning themselves as the new owners of your home. 

Step 6: Take offers & negotiate a deal

Got an offer? Or, even better, multiple offers? Congratulations! With your agent’s help, take a close look at all the details before signing a purchase agreement.  

In addition to price, you need to consider: 

  • What type of financing the buyer will use (if any)

  • The proposed closing date

  • Any contingencies, such as an inspection contingency or the sale of the buyer’s current home

Pro Tip: Require a pre-approval letter

Typically, your agent will help vet potential buyers so any deal you strike has the best chance of closing. If your agent hasn’t already mentioned it to you, ask them to request the buyer’s mortgage pre-approval letter or other proof of funds before you sign a contract. (Keep in mind that a pre-approval letter and a prequalification letter are not the same thing.)

A good agent knows the pulse of the current local market, so during the negotiating process, they can advise you on whether an offer is competitive. And, should you be so lucky as to end up in a multiple-offer scenario, your agent can help you navigate and leverage the situation to get the most from your sale. 

Step 7: Navigate the inspection period

If your contract included an inspection contingency (very common), the home inspection will usually be conducted quickly after signing the purchase agreement. The buyer will hire a home inspector, who will spend a few hours compiling a thorough report on the condition of your home. This allows the buyer to back out or ask for concessions if a very expensive concern is revealed. 

Pro Tip: Don’t panic about issues revealed in a pre-purchase inspection

Most homes are going to have some things that show up on an inspection. If your buyer asks for concessions or repairs based on what the inspection reveals, you are not required to agree. However, you don’t want the buyer to walk away. 

Although a real estate agent is not a home repair professional, this is another area where you should lean on their experience. They can tell you whether a buyer’s requests are reasonable, and if you decide to make repairs, they can likely direct you to qualified professionals who can do the work promptly to prevent delaying the sale. 

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Step 8: Close the deal

Once you are under contract, you’re almost to the finish line! 

Apart from the inspection itself, in the days before closing, you can typically expect: 

  • Negotiation of repairs or credits based on what the inspection reveals

  • An appraisal ordered by the buyer’s lender, paid for by the buyer

  • A final walk-through by the buyer and their agent

  • A closing statement you need to carefully review prior to closing day

Finally, you’ll gather with the buyer and, usually, with both real estate agents at a title company to sign all the papers, hand over the keys, and reap the reward for all that hard work – your payout!

A Partner Every Step of the Way

Hopefully, now that you’ve seen the step-by-step process of selling your home in Texas, the journey shouldn’t feel too difficult. When you partner with one of Redy’s experienced real estate agents, you’ll have invaluable guidance and peace of mind along the way. Create your free account today to get started!

Hayley M. Abernathy is a freelance writer and editor based in Knoxville, Tennessee, covering real estate, home design, agriculture, mental health, and lifestyle topics.

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