Step 1 - go to: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/formslawscontracts/forms/forms-c
Step 2 - use this form if your home is just a regular home - 20-8
(06/30/2008) One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale)
(NOTE: After 03/01/2011, you MUST use 20-9 below, instead of this one.)
Step 3 - Use this from for the financing - 40-3
(12/10/2007) Third Party Financing Condition Addendum
(NOTE: After 03/01/2011, you MUST use 40-4 below, instead of this one.)
Step 4 - go to ANY title company you choose.. I like Amanda Tidmore at Providence title... but you can use anyone you choose.
Step 5 - have them help you to fill out the contract at the negotiated price.. BE SURE TO READ THE CONTRACT. BOTH OF YOU!!
Step 6 - If your friend has not yet qualifed for a loan... they need to go get their loan approved. I like Gina Jankowski at Prime Lending, but... again.. they can use anyone they want.
Step 7 - If your friend does a home inspection and there are any repairs... agree to those repairs in writing and use the form in step 8
Ste 8 - Only if your buyer requires you to make some repairs or needs make any other changes to the contract - 39-6 (02/13/2006) Amendment to Contract
Once all that is done... sit back, wait for the lender to do their thing... get title anything they need from you... and wait for the loan to close... You are all done!
Easy as pie.
Keller Williams - San Antonio
An important part of the negotiation will be agreeing on a price. This is where a third party can be helpful - yes, you can do it on your own, but be sure you gather the facts of the market. You can bet your buyer is doing his homework, so be sure to do your own.
Good luck to you,
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Nevermind the horror stories and all the "you shouldn't do it yourself, its dangerous" responses to your post. The REALITY is that it is perfectly legal, safe, and secure to sell your own home. You don't need a realtor, or an attorney for that matter. If you and your friend agree on a price, go to the Texas Real Estate Commission website http://(www.trec.state.tx.us), go to the Forms and Contracts, and download the 1-4 Family Residential Contract. It's easy to fill out (so easy even a realtor can do it) (I'm kidding Realtors, don't send me hate mail, :-)) initial each page and y'all sign it and take it to a title company to file (if you need a title company, take it to the same office you closed at when you bought the house). If you need help filling the contract out, the title company will help you do that too. They will review it for accuracy and let you know if you left anything out or need any other paperwork (and they have attorneys if you need it).
Your buyer's mortgage company will let the buyer know what they need, appraisals, surveys, etc., which a lot of them will order for you.
It's not dangerous, or scary, or anything like that. You're savvy enough to post questions on Trulia, I'm sure you can handle this as well. The only thing you may need a Realtor for will be comparables if you don't know what your house is worth (that's where they do got us by the cojones). DO NOT go off of Bexar County Appraisal District as was posted earlier, these values do not reflect the market and are usually off 10-20%. It takes 30 seconds for a realtor to email you these comps, so feel free to ask any of these realtors here for a CMA. Heck, shoot me the address and I'll tell you what it's worth.
Note: I am an investor, not a realtor. Which is why my answers are usually against the grain you'll see on these posts.
Selling your house without a realtor is very easy to do. Don't be scared. Use the TREC form, and lean on the Title Company for help if you need it. Congrats on the sale!
It probably makes sense to use a Realtor and pay them a flat fee to handle the contracts. There are so many steps in the home buying process and so many things that can go wrong. As a consultant and a Realtor I have helped prepare contracts for buying and selling clients for flat fees when that is my only involvement.
You may also consider consulting a real estate attorney to help with the process. Don't go it along though, there is too much that could go wrong without the proper expertise and knowledge.
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
Writing, Writing, Writing. Don't do anything that is not in writing, especailly among friends and family. I would recommend hiring a Real Estate Attorney at the minimum, and under no circumstances do anything "verbally". The attorney can prepare the documents and may be able to conduct the closing as well making for a smooth transaction.
You'll want to know what your home is actually worth as well. You can do this by comparing prices in your neighborhood with the appraisal district, but be careful of online "estimates". Texas is a non disclosure state, and as such, Final Sales Prices are not public record avalable to them, so many of their estimates can be WAY off. The appraisal district is a good source if your in a regular type neighborhood with regular sales activity. This activity keeps the ditrict apprised of trends, but be careful, THEY USE LAST YEARS DATA TO CREATE THIS YEARS APPRAISALS.
REALTORS subscribe to the local MLS and have access to current data, which could save you money if by pricing it right. When i sold my first home (before I was a broker), I knew very little and was working out a deal with the neighbors renting next door. They fell through, so I went ahead and hired an agent. My agent sold my home on Day 1 for $53,000 more than I had agreed with the neighbor!! That kind of got me going in the Real Estate Business. She was inspiring to watch to say the least.... Her name was Candy Hogan in San Diego, CA.
I'm in San Antonio, Texas now, and have 6 years of real estate experience as well as over 12 years of sales experience in general. All of the homes and negotiations I've particpated in has shown me the many pitfalls to avoid and how to stay friendly through the entire transaction. It would be terrible to start out as friends and have the transaction mar that in any way for you.
Many Brokers may be willing to do this for a small fixed fee in order to gain your business on the purchase of your next home! Something to look into at least.
best of luck,
Broker - Owner
Bluefax Realty, LLC
You have a lot of good answers and of course most of them point back to hiring an agent (you'll be hard pressed to find an agent who wouldn't say that). Obviously, that is the preferred method. You can do it yourself and if you go that route, I would definitely take the advice of having a real estate attorney draw up the paperwork.
The one thing I always worry about with someone selling their own home, particularly to someone they know, is liability and what happens if something goes wrong. I didt know it until I became an agent myself, but there are protections in place for consumers when using a licensed Realtor (r). We carry what's called E&O Insurance (Errors and Ommissions) that covers us in the event of lawsuits and the state of Texas maintains the Real Estate Fund which helps cover consumers in the event of lawsuits. Both relate to agent represented sales and would not cover you if you managed the sale yourself.
Whatever route you do take, I would be sure you price your home properly. Have it appraised or get an agent to run a Comparative market analysis for you. Of course the agent will do it for you in order to gain your business, so be up front with them on your position that you're looking to sell yourself.
If your friend does purchase your home, be sure they are working with a reputable lender as well. Getting the contract accepted is great, but only if that lender can get that loan all the way to closing.
And although it is legal here in the State of Texas, I would avoid any form of dual agency (intermediary), where one agent represents both parties. It's a personal choice and there of plenty of agents who practice it. I've written about it several times on my site, but to sum it up, I personally dont think it benefits anyone but the agent in a transaction.
Hope that helps!
Matt Stigliano, Realtor (r)
Second, you should have received a survey to your property when you purchased it in 2007 and it is valid unless you have changed the footprint on the property. So there might be no need to get a new one.
There are a number of factors you and your friend should discuss now. Things like: when would the sale close; do you have to move out at closing or can a lease be negotiated until your new home is ready for move in; what if your house increases in value or decreases; if your friend is getting a mortgage they will require a current appraisal.
There could be other factors that I have not listed/thought of tonight.
A phone call for a discussion is free. Call a broker.
Good Luck, Holly! I hope it all works out for you.
Everyone presents some great answers and advice. Some other things you may want to consider. Is your aquaintance being represented by anyone? If they are, you may end up paying their Realtor(r) who represents them, not you. Additionally, if they are not represented, how do you know if they qualify for a loan for your home or are they going to pay cash? If they say they are going to pay cash, how do you know they have it?
As mentioned earlier, you need to know about inspections and surveys and different disclosures that are necessary for you to tell any buyer. Are you negotiating repairs and do you know how much your home is worth compared to others in your neighborhood? What if your buyer falls through, what are you going to do? There are so many questions, and I have only presented a few of them for you to consider.
You can hire a Real Estate Attorney to help you draw up paperwork, but I would sincerely implore you to hire some type of representation for yourself so that they can explain the entire process to you. A good/GREAT :), Realtor is a true asset to you and does more than put a sign in the yard.
I certainly hope my (and any of the othesr) answers to you have been helpful and wish you the best of luck.
If you need anything, feel free to call.
Smart Moves Realty
Realtor(r), ABR(r), e-Pro
One agent can represent both buyer and seller, but that limits what the agent can disclose to each party - so it's really better if they each have their own representation.
You might see what an real estate attorney would charge to do the paperwork for buyer and seller and then negotiate a fee slightly higher with a Realtor that will help you with the entire transaction - not just the paperwork. Better for you, your friendship and your investment.
It will be well worth whatever fee they will charge you.
Should be a few hunderd.
Whatever you do, DON"T fill out the forms yourself, don't download the forms, don't go to Office Max and buy a boilerplate form.
Why risk your biggest investment for a few hundred and potentially cost you thousands.
As Tom said, you can probably hire an agent for a flat fee to assist you in the drafting and administration of the contract and it won't cost more than $300 to $500, but ultimately you're still responsible for following the terms of the contract.
Also, a third party can run interference for the problems that will inevitably arise. In todays volatile market, poop happens on alomost every deal. A professional, like Doc and the others below, and myself, have seen most of the problems and know how to deal with it... Plus, if it is a friend you are dealing with, those problems can ruin a friendship if not handled properly.
I know a few good lawyers who are fair, but honestly, they will only do paperwork. They won't advise regarding inspections, appraisers, surveys, mortgages, etc... I still think you should find an agent who will represent you as the client, and your buyer as the customer... and if they want representation, they can pay for their own agent... It's a big deal, and many a Seller has ended up regretting not hiring a pro... For instance - I just sold a home today that was listed with a discount broker for 9 months that had failed to sell. The Seller hired a new agent who discounted the commission - now, he has made 10 payments on a vacant property, then hired me and I sold it in 14 days, for the price I said it would sell for... Lesson? Hire the pro the first time.. you will never regret it.
Lawyers have a saying that any Lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client. Without a competent neutral party, you risk ruining a perfectly good friendship over some detail that wasn't covered. Your friendship is worth more than that.
If you don't want to pay a REALTORÂ® to write up the contract and make sure that all the legalities and details are in place (many of us will do that for a flat fee or small percentage, since we don't have to stage and market the property), at least get a Board-certified Real Estate Attorney to write the contract documents and handle the closing details for you. You might also get an Appraisal from a competent appraiser so that there is no question about the property value.
There is a reason that REALTORS follow the same procedure on each transaction. You'll want your friend to get a fresh survey, because yours doesn't protect them. We encourage every Buyer to have a home inspection by a good licensed Inspector, again so that some small item doesn't ruin the friendship. In Texas, it is more than just a good idea to get Title Insurance. Even though there aren't many claims, it only takes one to ruin someone financially. When there is a lot of money involved, attitudes change abruptly.
Think of the amount of money and the depth of the friendship, and then, protect both with competent help.
Doc Stephens, REALTORÂ®
Don't count on the title company to represent either of you.
They don't like to get into the middle.
Financing in 50 states