A Step-by-Step Guide to Real Estate Transactions in Texas

June 14, 2023

There are many steps in real estate transactions in Texas. The steps you take will depend on the type of transaction you are entering into. Purchasing and selling homes are some of the most common types of transactions in Texas, and the process of leasing or renting is very similar. Below, one of our Texas real estate attorneys outlines the steps of selling and buying a home and how to get the help you need throughout the transaction.

Contact a Texas Real Estate Lawyer

Selling or buying a home is a complicated process that involves a great deal of negotiation and legal documentation. You are not required to work with a Texas real estate lawyer, but legal assistance will make the process much easier for you. A lawyer can help you navigate the process, draft and review important contracts, prepare and submit all documents, ensure you do not miss deadlines, and protect your best interests at all times throughout the transaction.

Find a Lender and Real Estate Agent

Finding a lender or real estate agent in today’s world has become easier because the Internet has made it so easy to find countless options. However, the sheer number of options you have has also made it more difficult to find the right real estate agent or lender for you. You must compare several lenders and real estate agents. Compare their experience, their rates, fees, or commission, and more. Also remember you do not have to rely on the Internet. You can ask family and friends and use trusted resources, such as Texas Realtors, to find someone you can trust.

List or Find Your Home

Your real estate agent will use resources such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other online platforms to help you find a home or list your current residence for sale. If you are purchasing, your real estate agent will also research the current conditions of the market and location, the neighborhoods you are considering, and any must-haves you would like in the home.

A real estate agent can also help you determine a reasonable price for your home if you are selling. Still, it is important to obtain a recent appraisal so you understand what the property is worth. You may also need additional time to repair or replace certain conditions prior to the sale. You will also have to consider staging your home, and regardless of whether you are buying or selling, you will have to make time for showings.

Sign the Contract and Open Escrow

You will have to consider many options about the contract. These include contingencies, home renovations,  and the overall timeline. It is critical that you consider these factors before signing the final contract. You may also have to negotiate for certain repairs to be made before the move-in date. Negotiations can take time, so you should always make sure you are communicating well with your agent.

If you are purchasing a home, you will also have to open an escrow account. Escrow is an important process, but it is also one that is complex and largely misunderstood. An escrow account assures each party that the sale will go through because the funds are being held safely. Escrow accounts are typically used for good faith money deposits, taxes, and homeowners insurance.

Complete Repairs or Inspections

Home inspections are also an important part of the process for buyers. You should hire an inspector who can analyze all conditions on the property and inform you of any issues they find. If there are issues present, you can negotiate with the seller to make the necessary repairs. Or, you may choose to handle the repairs yourself in exchange for an adjustment in the price.

Meet With the Title Agent

The role of the title agent is often overlooked because they are only a small part of the process. Still, they are also important. Title agents conduct a search on the title of the property. There are many encumbrances that can be on a property, including utilities, unpaid taxes, and other fees and liens. The title agent will find any of these issues and make sure no stone is left unturned. After determining that the property is free of these encumbrances, they will issue a title commitment that ensures the home is marketable and that it can be protected by title insurance.

Submit Necessary Paperwork

You will have to review a lot of paperwork and send information to your real estate agent, as well as the lender and title company. To avoid unnecessary delays, you should respond promptly to these requests.

Deposit Closing Funds

The title agent or company will also provide the closing disclosure, which outlines all of the closing costs. This can be a confusing part of the process, so make sure to speak to your real estate agent or lawyer about this documentation. After reviewing the disclosure, you should wire the funds to the title company before closing.

Review and Sign Closing Paperwork

After the title work is complete and the lender has approved the deal to close, you will meet with a closing agent from the title company. There is a lot of paperwork to review and sign, so it is important to remain patient and not rush through the process.

Receive Your Keys or Funds

After all of the paperwork has been signed and you have done your due diligence, the keys are yours, and it is time to move into your new home. If you have sold your home, you can receive your funds and take the next necessary steps.

Call Our Real Estate Lawyers in Texas Today

The real estate process can become complex, and every step within it is important. At Integrity Law Group, our Texas real estate lawyers can provide the legal advice you need and make sure the process is as smooth as possible for you. Call us now at (832) 521-4201 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case.

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