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If you’re hoping to sell your house fast in Texas, you may need to make some adjustments to your plans. While the Lone Star State has been one of the most attractive destinations for people looking to relocate during the pandemic, the housing market here is cooling quickly as buyers struggle with affordability due to higher mortgage rates. Read on for everything you need to know about different options for selling your home in Texas, quickly.
Selling your house fast
To figure out how fast you can sell your house in Texas, it’s important to research your local market — it’s a massive state, so you’ll want to think about what’s happening in the specific area where your property is located. For example, data from the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University shows that sellers in Houston face an average of 51 days on the market, which is just about even with the statewide average of 52 days.
If you’re trying to sell a house in Austin, though, homes are spending an average of 67 days on the market — over two weeks longer, and a huge uptick from the 19 days it took to sell a home just a year ago.
For Texas sellers in a time crunch, consider these four ways to speed up your sale.
- iBuyers: The iBuying frenzy has died down in many parts of the country, but if you live in a major metro area in Texas, you might still be able to take advantage of one of these instant offers. Offerpad is still buying properties in Austin, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Opendoor operates in those same areas, plus Corpus Christi and Killeen.
- Cash deals: All-cash offers avoid the need to wait for a lender to officially underwrite a loan. So, rather than wait for a buyer to secure financing, consider a company that buys homes for cash or look for a buyer with deep enough pockets to pay in full.
- Local agents: Even if you opt for a traditional listing, you can move faster than the typical 52-day timeframe. Make sure your agent knows speed is your top priority, and perhaps you can develop a pricing strategy to undercut the market. Look at the comps in your neighborhood to see how much similar nearby houses are commanding right now. If you price your listing lower, you’ll turn some heads immediately.
- Bargaining: Go into the sale process with a willingness to review every offer, even if it’s not for full list price. Holding out takes time, and depending on the market you may never see the full amount: In Houston, for example, sellers are typically receiving around 97 percent of their list price right now, according to data from Redfin.
How to sell your house in Texas
Selling a home comes with plenty of costs and questions. Consider these key points before you start looking for a buyer.
How much will selling cost?
Selling isn’t all profit — it costs money to sell a house. First off, you’ll need to pay the real estate agents involved in the transaction, which typically means 3 percent of the sale price to your agent and 3 percent to the buyer’s agent. On a $400,000 sale, the seller would pay $24,000 in real estate commission fees. Then, you’ll need to budget for a number of other closing costs:
- Title insurance: The seller typically pays for the title insurance policy in Texas. Rates vary depending on the sale price of the home. For example, a $400,000 property would have a title insurance policy of $2,413.
- Escrow fees: You may need to pay a portion to a company for managing the buyer’s earnest money deposit in an escrow account. Escrow fees typically depend on the purchase price.
- Seller concessions: If a buyer uncovers an issue he or she would like repaired, they may ask for you to pay for a portion of their costs to cover it. It’s becoming increasingly common to say yes, too: Sellers in Dallas agreed to concessions in more than 54 percent of deals in the beginning of 2023, and Houston sellers in 50 percent of deals, according to a Redfin report.
- Attorney fees: You’re not legally required to have a real estate attorney in Texas. But it’s smart to have a legal professional on your team anyway, to ensure you are protected in the transaction.
- Transfer taxes: Texas sellers are in luck with this typical cost: There are no transfer taxes in Texas, so you don’t need to worry about this adding to your bill.
What’s the local market like?
Texas is huge, so don’t just look at statewide data. Make sure you’re thinking about the buying and selling activity within just a few miles of your house. For example, while Austin’s market has been rapidly cooling off, Realtor.com named El Paso as one of the top 10 markets positioned for growth in 2023 with an estimated price increase of more than 5 percent. And real estate company Knock forecasts that Dallas–Fort Worth will be the top buyer’s market this year, thanks to a massive increase in inventory.
Will you be trying to buy a house at the same time?
If you’re trying to sell your house in Texas, you’re likely also trying to figure out where you’re going to live next. Before you get started, it’s important to understand that buying a house while selling at the same time can create some additional stress and headaches. Make sure you have a backup plan, like moving your stuff into storage or finding a short-term rental, if you find a buyer before you find a new place to call home.
Preparing your home for sale
To make sure your house wows any buyer who walks in the door, follow these four steps:
- Find a real estate agent: With all the questions that can come up when selling your house, it’s wise to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations on local real estate agents. Agents understand the market and know how to effectively promote new listings and attract buyers. Plus, their expertise can translate to Texas-sized dollar signs: Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that agent-assisted listings tend to get an average of $105,000 more than FSBO, or for sale by owner, listings. So that commission fee is usually well worth the investment.
- Figure out what to fix: A homebuyer is shelling out a lot of money — the last thing they want is a long list of issues they will have to pay for when they move in. Address anything major, like a roof repair or a broken AC system, before letting anyone tour the property. You might even consider a pre-listing home inspection, which can identify hidden issues that might turn up when a buyer gets their own inspection. Ask your agent about whether it makes sense to stage the home, too.
- Price it competitively: Home prices peaked in Texas in May 2022, and the runup in mortgage rates has tamed the market. With that in mind, it’s important to avoid overreaching. If you price the home too high, you’ll likely wind up having to drop the price later, and buyers may sniff out a potential sense of desperation. Your agent can help you develop a pricing strategy based on comps in the area that have sold in the last 30–60 days.
- Prepare your paperwork: As a seller in Texas, you’re legally required to share every detail you know about the property with the buyer. Texas law requires the completion of a seller’s disclosure notice. Additionally, if your home is part of a homeowners association, be prepared to hand over a range of documents about the financial health of the association and past meeting minutes from the board. Work ahead to gather all this information so that you’re ready to go as soon as you receive an offer.
Should I sell my house in Texas fast?
Comparing an iBuyer or homebuying company against a traditional sale can be confusing. On one hand, the fast options will get cash in your hands quicker. On the other hand, you’re highly likely to make a lot more cash if you’re able to be patient and get a real estate agent on your side.
You could always see what Offerpad and Opendoor are willing to give you for your house. Both companies give no-obligation offers that can give you a sense of how much money you could make. Then, take those numbers to a real estate agent to see how much more you might stand to make if you can wait.
Ultimately, this decision comes down to your personal circumstances. For example, if you’re moving next month for a new job, taking an instant offer may be wise to avoid potentially having to cover two monthly housing payments.
Ready to sell that Texas house? Start interviewing real estate agents to see how a few different professionals would approach your property. If you decide to sell to an iBuyer or homebuying company, be sure to do your research and make sure the firm you’re dealing with is legit. Look at online reviews, check the Better Business Bureau and read all the fine print on their website before signing anything.
If you live in one of the bigger metro areas in Texas, like Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio or Houston, you can probably sell quickly to an iBuyer. Offerpad and Opendoor are both actively buying properties in these markets, and Opendoor buys in Corpus Christi and Killeen as well. If you live in a smaller town, you may want to look into real estate investment companies that buy houses for cash.
The housing market in Texas is balancing out. Sellers had a big advantage here when interest rates were still low, but now that they’re higher, many buyers are rethinking their plans. Homes are taking longer to sell, and in many places around the state, prices are beginning to come down.
The median price of a home here stood at $327,000 in February 2023, according to the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. That’s a drop from the peak of prices in May 2022, when they reached $360,000. It’s also below the national median price of $363,000, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.