A Guide For Buyers & Sellers (Texas Real Estate Commission)

10 Steps To Consider
Before You
Sell Your Home

§ 1031 Deferred Exchange

Carefully consider each of the 10 proven STEPS

The specific way you progress through a real estate transaction varies depending on the real estate laws and customs where you live, but there are many steps that are standard, even though they might not be accomplished in the same order in every location.

You'll feel more confident about your home selling journey when you understand what is required of you and every other person who is involved in the transaction. Use this guide to get organized.

There are some important steps that all home sellers should take before they put their homes on the market.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

I've known sellers who signed a contract to sell their house before they knew if they were qualified to buy another. Either their financial circumstances had changed since their last purchase, and they could no longer qualify for a loan, or they weren't able to sell at a price that allowed them to buy the type of replacement house they wanted. They ended up renting or buying something that was far from ideal. Market sets the selling price.

Before you decide to sell the house, get pre-approved by a lender you trust and research the housing market in the area where you wish to live so that you have a good idea how much it will take to buy a replacement.

How To Start Researching
Start looking for two types of real estate: houses that seem to match the one you'd like to buy and houses that seem similar to your current home. How do the two categories compare in price? Can you handle the difference if you're planning a step up?

  • Pick up free For Sale publications outside the grocery store, or wherever you find them in your town.

  • Search the Internet for homes for sale in your area and read real estate ads in your local newspapers. Contact me to find house locations, as you drive around, you will come across homes for sale.

2. Check Your Mortgage Payoff   

Make a call to your lender to check the payoff for your current home mortgage. You'll need this figure to complete Step 6.

3. How Much Is the House Worth

  • Determine your home's fair market value. Your Real estate agent should help you determine value as a courtesy, but you might prefer to order an appraisal.

  • Do both of the above if you want to be sure the price is right.

4. Estimate Your Costs to Sell

  • Real estate commission.

  • Attorney, closing agent or other professional fees.

  • Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, home owner association fees, and fuel tank rentals.

  • Any other fees typically paid by the seller in your area (surveys, inspections, etc.).

  • If you are unsure of costs, ask me. As a real estate agent, I deal with transactions every day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.

5. Determine Your Costs to Acquire a New Home

Total your costs to acquire a new home: moving expenses, loan costs, down payment, home inspections, title work and policy, paying for a new hazard insurance policy--all expenses related to buying a home. Your lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply for pre-approval.

6. Your Estimated Proceeds Calculation

Deduct your mortgage payoff from your home's fair market value.

Deduct your costs to sell from the remainder to get an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.

Will your closing proceeds cover your costs to acquire a new home? If not, do you have cash or other funding to make up the difference?

7. Necessary Repairs to Make

Make all needed repairs unless you want the house to be regarded as a fixer-upper. I'm not referring to cosmetic updates, but to items in need of repair. Anything that's obviously broken gives potential buyers a reason to submit a lower offer.

8. Get the House Ready to Show

Most houses need at least a little spiffing up before they are shown to potential buyers. Great curb appeal, fresh paint indoors (and sometimes out), organized closets and cabinets, sparkling clean windows and appliances, and a clutter-free atmosphere are essential if you want the house to appeal to buyers.

9. Get Psyched Up to Let People In

As your real estate agent I suggest you leave when the house is shown. Why? Because lurking sellers make buyers nervous--they don't feel comfortable inspecting the house when they feel they are intruding.

Unless there's a real reason for it, I will not be present for all showings. That's the kiss of death for the best showing rates. Other agents want privacy with their buyers and they don't usually have time to work around my schedule.

Make the house accessible. That means it's always ready to show. Many agents won't bother showing a house that takes 24 hours to get into.

10. Get Ready to Move!  Contact Me!




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Office: 979-764-2100 Ext 131

404 H University Dr. E
College Station, TX 77840



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