The Houston housing market is slightly competitive even in the fourth quarter of the year. The house inventory is increasing fast which has made the active number of listings above 35000. With the growing number of listings, the competition will only increase in the future. If you are planning on selling a house in Houston TX, it is best to do it now.
1. When is the Best Time to Sell a House in Houston, TX?
The home-buying season in Houston, TX starts in late spring and runs throughout the summer, peaking somewhere between May and June. These are the best months to sell a house in Houston, TX. To make the best of this magic window, list your home in April. This way, you can get more than the average value.
21% of the homes are listed on a Thursday as they sell quickly and are more likely to sell above the list price.
So the best time of year to sell a home in Houston, TX is May or June on a Thursday. Several other factors like holidays, the start of school, etc. should also be taken into consideration.
Is it a Good Time to Sell a House in Houston, TX?
Yes. Never try to time the market – in the long term, that’s a difficult strategy.
2. How Do I Price My Home Competitively?
Pricing your home competitively is critical to a successful sale. The good part is it is simple to arrive at a list price. An analysis of the currently active and recently sold similar Texas real estate listings in your neighborhood will get you close. And you can refine the price further to nail down the exact list price.
In a hot sellers’ market like Houston, TX you can price your home up to 10% more than the neighborhood prices because of limited inventory and competing buyers.
In a buyer’s market, you need to set your list price slightly lower than the competition as there will be more homes for sale and lesser buyers.
REMEMBER! The purpose of the LIST PRICE is to ATTRACT BUYERS to your listing. It’s not your SALE PRICE!!!
What happens if you under-price or over-price your listing?
|If you price it too low||You will get multiple offers. You’ll likely call for “Highest & Best Offer” or counter the best offers. And you will sell at market price.|
|If you price it too high||You will get little traffic. It’ll make you drop the price, and you will sell at the market price.|
Real estate agents create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine an ideal listing price. If you are opting to sell your house on your own then you can easily create your CMA and understand how to sell a house by owner in Texas works.
» How to Price Your Home For Sale: Learn to Price Effectively in 6 Steps
3. How to Sell a House in Houston, TX?
You have several options to sell your house in Houston, TX. For most sellers, we’ve compiled the best ones below:
3.1. Sell Your Houston, TX Home For Sale By Owner
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is a DIY method of selling property without any third-party help. This means that there is no seller agent involved in the process.
By selling FSBO in Houston, TX, though you save up on the listing agent commission, you have to handle everything – from listing to closing – on your own.
✍️ Note: Though the seller will save on listing agent commission, buyer agent commission will still have to be taken care of unless you find an unrepresented buyer.
» Best FSBO Sites: Check out the best For Sale By Owner websites in 2022!
🚩 Key Downsides of Selling Your Home in Houston, TX For Sale By Owner:
- No MLS Exposure: MLS is the most important tool an agent has. Selling FSBO means limited exposure, so there will be less competition for your property. That will likely reduce the selling price. One study found that homes on the MLS sold for 17% more than homes, not on the MLS.
- No Help If You Need It: If you need help with paperwork, inspections, negotiations, or closing, you’re on your own as a For Sale By Owner.
3.2. List With a Traditional Full-Service Agent
Full-service Realtors in Houston, TX will handle everything for you – right from listing to closing. But you’ll be paying a full 2.5% to 3% listing agent commission.
In the traditional sense, a seller has to pay 3% of the sale price to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer agent. And even if you find an unrepresented buyer, you’re still on the hook for the full listing agent commission.
🚩 Key Downsides of Listing With a Traditional Full-Service Agent:
- Hefty Commissions Will Cost You Thousands: Average real estate agent commission in Houston, TX is 5.5% to 6%. That’s thousands of dollars of fees in commissions.
- Limited Control Over Your Sale: Everything will go through an agent. That reduces the risk that you will do something wrong, but will also limit the control you have over your transaction. For almost everything, including if a counteroffer was submitted, the status of your closing, and how many showings you’ve had, you’ll have to reach out to your agent.
- Slow & Manual Process: Most real estate agents in Texas do things manually. A simple price change is several steps – the agent has to talk to you over the phone, create a price amendment, get you to sign it, then they sign it, and only then can they update the price on the MLS.
3.3. Best Option: FSBO with a Flat Fee MLS Listing
The average Realtor commission in Houston, TX is around $16,300 (based on the median home value in Houston, TX). Listing with a high-tech website like Houzeo.com saves you the listing agent commission. In addition, it gets you maximum exposure to the MLS and provides help whenever you need it.
✅ A Flat Fee MLS Listing Service Combines the Best of Both Worlds:
- Save Thousands in Commission: Instead of paying a 5% to 6% listing agent commission, you just pay a $340 listing fee.
- Maximum Exposure: You get full exposure to the MLS, Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, and hundreds of other websites.
- Help When You Need it: Services like Houzeo.com offer the “Contract to Close Coaching Package”. So if you need help during the transaction at any time, a licensed broker is there to help you sell!
- Full Control Over Your Sale: You retain full control over when to sell and who to sell. Houzeo captures all leads and displays them on your dashboard. All offers and showings are summarized online, along with the buyer’s or their agent’s contact info. It doesn’t get easier.
- Fast Listing & Changes: Houzeo is 100% online, and allows you to request changes instantly. Contracts are auto-generated, and turn-around times are fast!
- A-la-carte Options: Need a yard sign, ShowingTime, lockbox? You can purchase them easily from your Houzeo dashboard!
Best Flat Fee MLS Listing Company In Houston, TX
Why Houzeo is #1: Houzeo provides the best combination of max savings, max exposure, cutting-edge tech, and 5-star customer service.
Packages: Houzeo offers 4 Flat Fee MLS packages.
- Bronze Package – $299: It is best for selling a lot. Your listing gets syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Redfin, and more.
- Silver Package – $349: This includes everything competitors like Fizber.com charge $399 for. In addition, you can make unlimited changes to your listing.
- Gold Package – $429: It is Houzeo’s signature package and includes all the technology Houzeo is known for: Houzeo Showings, Houzeo Offers, and Digital Transaction Management.
- Platinum Package – $999+: It includes the assistance of a licensed broker to help you with negotiations, disclosures, and closing.
Custom Yard Sign: To maximize exposure, Houzeo offers custom “For Sale” yard signs. It costs $49 and comes free with a selfie!
👉 Our Take: We recommend the GOLD plan. You’ll have access to Houzeo’s cutting-edge technology, making managing showings and offer negotiations easy!
- Quick listing
- Nationwide coverage
- Mobile app availability
- Savings on commissions
- 100% online – easy listing, fast changes, online showings, and online offers
- Listings get syndicated to Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, and 100s of other sites
Houzeo is available nationwide.
» Flat Fee MLS Houston, TX: Research Best Flat Fee MLS Companies In Houston
How do I Sell My House Fast in Houston, TX?
Here are three options to sell your house fast in Houston, TX:
|1.||Selling Home As Is in Houston, TX||Selling a house “as is” means that you sell without any upgrades or repairs. An example could be wholesaling real estate. This technique can help homeowners save some money.|
» Selling a House As Is in Houston, TX: A Comprehensive Guide
|2.||Selling Your House for Cash||The sellers who are in desperate need of money usually prefer cash companies to sell their houses. Though the process is quick, a home seller might end up having less money than the market price of the property.|
» Companies that Buy Houses for Cash in Houston, TX: Discover Best Cash Home Buyers in Houston, TX
|3.||Offering Your House to a Flipper||Home flippers in real estate are buyers that buy a property in its existing condition, repair it, and sell it at a higher price. Selling your house to a flipper will help you save both time and dollars.|
» How to Flip a House: An Introductory Guide for Beginners
- ✍️ Pro Tip: Consider selling your Houston, TX home to an iBuyer
iBuyers are companies that will buy your home for cash outright and close quickly.
» iBuyers Reviews: Selling Your House for Cash in 2022
4. How to Prepare and Market Your Home for Sale?
A clean and well-prepared home combined with the correct marketing strategy can help you attract a large number of buyers.
4.1. Getting Houston, TX Homes Ready to Sell
Preparing your house for showings is the best way to increase the chances of selling it fast. Some standard preparation pointers can be taken care of while selling your home in Houston, TX. These are:
- Declutter & Depersonalize: Tidy up your place and remove the element of personalization. This means removing personalized items such as photos. It will allow potential buyers to visualize their future in the house.
- Make Repairs: If there’s anything glaringly wrong, take care of it early. For instance, a squeaky doorknob will not be overlooked by potential buyers. It is best to get such defects fixed.
- Repaint Neutral: Paint your house in neutral colors, as it appeals to a larger pool of people. This will help in attracting more buyers.
- Improve Curb Appeal: Go for clear landscapes, fresh flowers, or exquisite paintings because the first impression is everything!
- Implement Staging: The best way to sell a property is by hiring a staging professional. They would be able to utilize the spaces and furniture cleanly and attractively. Staging costs in Houston, TX vary across cities and counties.
» How to Sell My House Fast in Houston, TX: Know How to Sell Your House Fast in Houston and for the Most Cash!
4.2. Powerful Ways to Market Your Home in Houston, TX
Almost 95% of home buyers search and review homes online. So, being online is the #1 priority for the sellers. A good online marketing strategy combined with other marketing tactics can make a difference in getting your house sold.
Here are some powerful ways of marketing your home when for sale in Houston, TX:
|1.||List on the MLS||Homes listed on the MLS sell faster and for 17% more. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a listing agent and pay that extra commission on selling a house in Houston, TX. You can work with discount real estate brokers in Texas to get MLS access. A Flat Fee MLS Company like Houzeo can be a very good option to list your home in Houston, TX. |
Houzeo will help you save the hefty Realtor commission and get your property maximum exposure. All of this, just for a small flat fee!
✍️ Pro Tip: Research the best For Sale By Owner websites to sell your house FSBO
|2.||Get a Yard Sign||Opting for a yard sign can be a good investment when selling real estate in Houston, TX. It can help in attracting buyers from the neighborhood. On a crowded street, an attractive yard sign can drive the attention of potential buyers. |
Houzeo’s yard sign can help you with this. Houzeo custom yard sign comes FREE with a selfie and it is available for $49 only!
✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from a yard sign, chances are you’ll save on the buyer agent commission as well. In a nutshell, it is worth the $49 investment.
» For Sale By Owner Yard Signs: Check out the 7 best FSBO Yard Signs!
|3.||Share Your Listing on Social Media||Share your property listing on social media. This will include your contact info apart from the listing details. If you share your listing on Zillow or Redfin, all the leads your listing generates will be sold to buyer agents who’ll demand a competitive buyer agent commission. |
Houzeo, on the other hand, doesn’t sell your information or leads. All buyer leads see your contact info, so you might save on the buyer agent commission.
✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from social sharing, chances are you’ll save on the buyer agent commission as well.
|4.||Hire a Professional Photographer||As a seller, you can hire a professional photographer to create a portfolio of your house. Professional pictures can greatly impact the selling process by attracting more buyers. |
In Houston, the charges for a real estate photo shoot start at $225.
✍️ Pro Tip: A professional photographer can collate a portfolio that otherwise may not be possible if you take up the job.
» Real Estate Photography: Create Your Best Listing Photos
|5.||List on Craigslist||Craigslist is still the biggest classified ad platform. And it’s still effective today. Here’s how to sell a house on Craigslist.|
» Creative Ways To Market Your House For Sale: Discover Unique Tactics of Marketing Your House
5. Manage Showings and Offer Negotiations
Once you have prepared your house for sale in Houston, TX, showing it to buyers is the next step.
5.1. How to Manage Showings When Selling a House in Houston, TX?
Once your property is ready for showings, it is critical to manage the showings effectively. You can either opt for online showing tools or host an open house.
Online Showing Tools
Online showing tools provide home buyers and buyer agents with a frictionless way to request and schedule showings.
Houzeo Showings, a cutting-edge solution by Houzeo, helps buyers and buyer agents choose a particular showing slot as stated by the seller. The tool also provides features like rescheduling, updating, canceling, requesting, and more.
Houzeo Showings: How it Works
|1.||Set Your Showing Calendar||Buyers and buyer agents should only be shown times when the property is available for showing. This saves time for all the concerned parties.|
|2.||Buyers can Request & Reschedule Showings||Make sure that buyers and buyer agents can request showings at available times. In addition, they should be able to reschedule and cancel on an ad-hoc basis.|
|3.||Receive Feedback||Feedback from buyers and buyer agents is critical for home sellers because it allows them to assess their property (priced too high, the backyard needs fencing, rooms need whitewashing, and more). |
Where the feedback is actionable, small remedies can go a long way in improving showings and attracting top dollar for your property.
🗓️ Houzeo Showings: See how the most powerful showing app works on mobile and web
Introducing the Houzeo Mobile App!
- View your listing
- Manage your showings online
- Review and compare offers
- Counter an offer
- NEW! Buyers can now search your property and save it in “Favorites”
Hosting Open Houses
92% of home buyers find open houses useful. If your house is located in a hot seller’s market like South Lake Tahoe or Malibu then more buyers would be interested in buying them. In such cases hosting an open house would be more feasible.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when hosting an open house in Houston, TX:
|1.||Ensure Your House is Ready||Buyers would not want to see a house with a leaky roof or broken doorknobs. Thus make sure you have fixed all the defects and made all the necessary repairs beforehand.|
|2.||Choose a Correct Time||People are busy on weekdays. Thus hosting an open house on weekends, preferably a Sunday, would be best. Also, you need to take care of the time of day. Usually, afternoons are the ideal choice.|
|3.||Post Open House Online||93% of buyers rely on the internet for their home searches. Thus, posting online will make potential buyers aware of the open house. You can also list your open house on the local MLS, and real estate websites like Zillow & Trulia, Facebook, etc.|
|4.||Give Visitors Their Space||During the open house, you might want to stay away from the property. This would give them the desired space to explore at their convenience. Also, it will help them in visualizing their future in the house.|
|5.||Get Your Neighbors Involved||You can invite your neighbors to the open house. Even if they may not be interested in purchasing your Houston home, they would spread the word.|
- ✍️ Pro Tip: You might attract unrepresented buyers, saving you the entire buyer agent commission.
5.2. How do I Negotiate Offers When Selling a House in Houston, TX?
A counteroffer and requesting the best and highest offers are the two crucial negotiation methods. Negotiating offers also means focusing on other factors like contingencies, concessions, responsibility, and more.
|#||Advanced Tactic||When to Use||How to Use|
|1.||Counter an Offer||Single or Multiple Offer Situation||Your best offer is not just the highest one but is also competitive across several parameters: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. |
When you want to counter an offer, you can request any of the mentioned parameters updated as per your preferences.
▶️ Learn more: How to counter an offer on Houzeo
|2.||Request Highest & Best Offers||Multiple Offer Situation||If you have multiple offers and a timeline by which you’d like to pick an offer, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all the interested parties.|
▶️ Learn more: How to request Highest & Best Offer on Houzeo
Most of the best real estate brokers in Texas or brokerages will give you complex forms to counter an offer, or to request the highest & best one. Houzeo has digitized these, so, you can counter or ask for the highest & best with just a few clicks!
6. What Houston, TX Real Estate Documents do I Need?
A lot of paperwork is needed to sell a home in Houston, TX. Though your Realtor takes care of all the paperwork on your behalf, you need to be aware of them.
6.1. Houston, TX Home Seller Disclosure Requirements
Sellers’ disclosure laws in Texas are governed by Section 5.008 of the Property Code. It says that home sellers of single-unit residential properties must provide buyers with a Seller’s Disclosure Notice.
A lot of paperwork is needed to sell a home in Texas. Though your realtor takes care of all the paperwork on your behalf, you need to be aware of them. Here is a list of Houston, TX real estate disclosures you need:
- Seller’s Disclosure Notice: A disclosure document that states any known issues in the house including appliances and any other systems.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: Specifically for homes that were built before 1978. Federal law requires the seller to disclose any dangers related to lead-based paint.
- Flood Zone Statement: A buyer’s lender may require the concerned property’s flood hazard disclosures report before providing the loan. This could be important in mortgages that are backed by the federal government.
- Fire Alarm Installation Certificate: Sec. 766.002 of Texas’ Health and Safety Code Title 9 Subtitle A Chapter 766 Subchapter A states that smoke detectors should be installed by local building codes. You need to disclose these when selling your house.
» Seller Disclosures in Texas: A Guide to Ace Houston, TX Disclosure Process
6.2. Mandatory Documents for Houston, TX Real Estate Transactions
Review these documents at length and understand their provisions. Here are some key documents you’ll likely need in the process of selling a house in Houston, TX:
- Texas Residential Purchase and Sale Agreement: It is a standard form of real estate contract that details the terms of transactions to which buyers and sellers agree. It contains aspects such as sale price, financing contingencies, property description, etc.
- The Deed: This document enables the legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Read this document carefully, verifying all details including the legal description of the property, the deed book, the deed book page, and the Property Identification Number (PIN), if any.
- Bill of Sale: Information about the seller and the buyer with the selling price. This is important as part of the process of selling real estate in Houston, TX because it contains all the base information about the property.
- Statement of Closing Costs: This statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction. The document is not complicated and can easily be taken care of.
- Certificate of Title: It allows you to state that you have the right to sell the property.
6.3. Possible Additional Documents for Houston, TX Real Estate Transactions
Some additional documents that may require during the closing process in Houston, TX are:
- Loan Payoff: You need to provide proper documentation if the disbursement of the loan amount has been completed. Else, you need to provide how much you still owe.
- HOA Forms: If the house is part of HOA, the seller needs to give the buyer all the documentation on restrictions, fees, financials, and more.
- Survey Papers: The documentation defines the location and the dimensions of the property. This is important while selling your own home.
- Repairing Proof: While selling a property in Houston, TX, if the seller has made repairs to the property before the sale, they need to furnish the relevant documentation.
- Power of Attorney: If the property is inherited, then the seller needs to furnish the details of the history and how the property was passed onto him/her.
- Home Inspection Report: This contains all the details about the inspection of the property.
- Home Warranty Papers: It contains all the coverage of the property, period, and cost of insurance.
- Correction Agreement: In case there are any errors in the documentation, you may be required to correct those errors.
- Title Affidavits: It is a notarized document that verifies that a seller is the owner of the house, there are no liens, and there is no simultaneous purchase deal.
Bring TWO Forms of Official ID
There will likely be a licensed notary involved in the closing process who’ll require you to swear on your identity. You would be required to furnish identity proof (like a passport, driving license, or any other authorized document) during the process. However, the closing process might also require you to produce secondary identity proof.
7. How to Close Your Houston, TX Home?
The closing process in the Houston, TX is handled either by a title company or an escrow. Your Realtor and settlement agents usually handle the legalities. But you still need to be prepared for a few things while closing on a house in Houston, TX.
7.1. Title, Appraisal, and Inspection
- Title: A clear title and a meticulous transfer are key to a real estate transaction. The title insurance protects you if there is any problem related to the prior ownership of the property. It makes you whole in case of a legal dispute related to the title.
- Appraisal: An appraiser does market research and evaluates the price of a specific property. The appraiser ensures that a correct price is offered by the seller and as per the market value.
- Inspection: An inspector inspects the property before the home-buying process is completed. They check for any defects/repairs in the property and raise concerns accordingly. This ensures that the buyers don’t have to shell out money in case there are defects in the property which the seller did not highlight.
7.2. Overall Cost of Selling a House in Houston, TX
It should be noted that Realtor commission and sale price are not the only two things that are involved. There are multiple costs to selling a house in Houston, TX that should be known to a seller and is crucial for a sale.
Here’s a list to get you started:
- Escrow Fee: An escrow agent/company handles the closing process in Houston, TX. Escrow agents generally hold the concerned property in trust till all the negotiations, inspections, legal work, and closing processes are not completed. The escrow fee is thus to compensate the escrow agent for the services provided.
- Realtor Fee: The seller pays the real estate agent the realtor fees of approximately 5%-6% of the agreement value.
- Title Fee: In Houston, TX, you would require to shell out the title search fees which prove that you are the rightful owner of the property. This can be anywhere between 0.9% to 0.6% of the property sale price.
- Notary Fee: This fee is paid to the notary for important paperwork and establishing your identity.
- HOA Transfer Fee: Applicable only if your property has an HOA. It is paid by the seller for documentation and registration of the buyer. In Houston, TX, this fee can vary from $200 to $300.
- Home Inspection Fee: You can opt for a home inspection to identify any major defects and issues, like plumbing issues, water damage, mold, appliance malfunction, etc., in the house that you must resolve before selling it. This can be done before the property is listed on the market (pre-inspection) or just before the closing. This can vary between $75-$600.
- Recording fees: This fee is paid by the seller in order to record the real estate transaction. In Houston, TX, the fee to record a deed is $26 for the document’s first page and $4 for every additional page.
- Documentary Stamp: The documentary stamps refer to the excise tax levied on the documentation that transfers the property from you to the buyer. It is like paying tax on a property deed or some other official documentation.
» Seller Closing Costs Texas: Know the Exact Estimates
7.3. Who Pays Closing Costs in Houston, TX?
Various closing costs are involved when selling a house in Houston, TX. Most of them are customarily paid by sellers whereas a few of them can be negotiated.
|Closing Costs||Seller Responsibility|
|Realtor Commission||Realtor fees for the seller in Houston, TX is around 5% to 6%|
|Escrow Fees||Buyer and Seller pay their own|
|Title Insurance||Negotiable between the buyer and the seller|
|Survey Fees||Negotiable between the buyer and the seller|
|Home Warranty Fee||Sellers pay the home warranty fee|
|Home Inspection Fee||Home Buyers pay usually|
|Appraisal Fee||Buyers pay for a home appraisal|
7.4. How Much are Closing Costs in Houston, TX?
The amount of money you will spend on closings while selling a property in Houston, TX depends on a lot of factors such as Realtors commissions, fees & taxes, mortgage payoff, etc.
You can calculate seller closing costs in Houston, TX with Houzeo’s Advanced Seller Closing Cost Calculator for Texas. The calculations are based on the latest prices and it gives you a very detailed estimate of all the costs involved in the transaction.
» How Much are Closing Costs in Texas: Everything You Need to Know
Final Word: Selling a House in Houston, TX
Selling a house in Houston, TX is complex.
You have different processes like pricing, marketing, paperwork, and negotiations, to deal with. This combined with a hefty seller agent commission in Texas makes the process expensive.
A good option for the sellers is opting for Flat Fee MLS or FSBO platforms like Houzeo. Houzeo makes the job of the sellers much easier. Not only putting the properties on the MLS, but these platforms also provide a la carte services that can help the sellers go the extra mile.
What is Houzeo?
An overview of what the platform is all about
» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why the platform is the best in America’s competitive housing market.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you sell a house in Houston, TX without a Realtor?
Yes, you can sell your house in Houston, TX without a Realtor. You can bypass the traditional pathway by opting for a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) or discount brokers.
2. Do you need a lawyer to sell a house in Houston, TX?
No, you don't need a lawyer for selling a house in Houston, TX.
3. What are closing costs in Houston, TX for sellers?
Seller closing costs in Houston, TX depend on a lot of factors such as sale price, mortgage (if any), etc. You can use Houzeo's Advanced Closing Cost Calculator to calculate your closing costs accurately.
4. What is the average time to sell a house in Houston, TX?
It takes approximately 35 days to sell a house in Houston, TX.
5. How to sell a flooded house in Houston, TX?
Flood can reduce the value of your Houston house. The best way to sell a flooded house in Houston, TX is to remodel it first and then start the selling process.
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