Dallas Fort Worth & Texas Seller FAQ
How long does it take to put my house on the market or list my home in DFW?
If your house is ready to go after the listing agreement is signed, we can usually have you listed within 3-4 days. However, if you plan to make improvements to your property before listing, then it will take as long as those improvements do.
Once your home is ready, we will order the professional photographs for your home. Once we receive the professional photos of your property, we will have it listed within 24 hours. We will immediately create your single property website, submit your listing to hundreds of websites like Redfin.com & Zillow.com. In short, we work very quickly.
Which items stay with my house, and which items can I take with me?
According to the standard promulgated contract used in Texas, here is a list of items that stay with the home:
appliances, valances, screens, shutters, awnings, wall-to-wall carpeting, mirrors, ceiling fans, attic fans, mail boxes, television antennas, mounts and brackets for televisions and speakers, heating and air-conditioning units, security and fire detection equipment, wiring, plumbing and lighting fixtures, chandeliers, water softener system, kitchen equipment, garage door openers, cleaning equipment, shrubbery, landscaping, outdoor cooking equipment, and all other property owned by Seller and attached to the property.
Unless specifically excluded, all of these items will stay with the house. Unless specifically included in the contract , your washer, dryer and refrigerator will go with you.
How long will it take to sell my house?
It depends on the number of variables including the current inventory of similar homes in the market, listing price, availability of home for showings and whether it is in a good shape for showings. We can usually give you an estimate when we list the home based on all of this data.
Do I need to clean my house before I move out?
There is no standard requirement in the contract about cleaning the home before moving out. But keep in mind that the buyers will usually ask for home cleaning in writing in the purchase contract and will also ask for receipts for cleaning. All the personal items need to be moved out before the closing date. The buyers will also conduct a final walk through on or before the closing date to ensure that the home has been vacated by the seller and that the cleaning has been completed.
What are the typical closing costs for a buyer in Texas?
What are the typical closing costs for a seller in Texas?
What are the fees associated with selling my property?
While all contracts are negotiable, the standard fees are outlined here.
What is T-47 form in Texas real estate?
What is the T-47 survey affidavit in Texas?
What is the T47 affidavit form in Texas real estate?
What is a T-47 residential real property affidavit in Texas?
The T-47 also knows as Residential Real Property Affidavit (also known simply as the T-47) is a notarized form that complements a survey in a real estate transaction. This form is required when the seller wants to utilize an existing survey for the transaction and wants to provide it to the buyer.
The purpose of the affidavit is to affirm the existing survey and that no changes have been made to the property after the survey was done. It allows a seller to verify that a prior survey is still an accurate depiction of the property.
Why Should I (the seller) Fill in a T-47 When I Sell My House
This can save you (the seller) a few hundred dollars as it allows you to reuse your existing survey and not order a new survey for your home.
What is the GF number on the T-47 form in Texas?
After the title company receives the contract documents, the company will issue a receipt of the transaction – a copy of which is sent to each party. At this time, the title company creates a guaranty file number (GF Number) which is the number used to identify the file. The GF number is important especially when communicating between different parties like lenders, title company, listing agents and buyer’s agents.
How do I fill out a T-47 affidavit?
Most of the fields of this affidavit are self explanatory. Here are some fields that usually need explanation:
GF No: Please see the explanation above. The title company can provide you the GF number.
Description of Property: The description is the legal description of the property. Texas uses the Lot & Block system of description. It is in your purchase contract in Paragraph 2. and also listed in your Listing Agreement in Paragraph 2. Or, you can look that up in tax records by visiting the appraisal district for your county.
Here is an example of the legal description of a property in Texas:
Lot 24, Block C, The Grove Addition, Collin County, Frisco
Where can I get a T-47?
Here is a link to this form
Who needs to complete the T-47 affidavit in Texas?
The seller is responsible for filling out this form. This form needs to be notarized.
Who needs the T-47?
The title company needs the T-47 in order to utilize an existing survey provided by the seller. The title company may ask the seller to purchase a new survey if the existing survey is not legible or if the seller has made changes to the property after the existing survey was done. E.g. seller has added a swimming pool to the property or the seller has moved the fence
When should I fill in the T-47?
Seller should complete this form before listing the home to ensure compliance with the contract deadlines.
Is a survey required for closing in Texas
Yes. Survey is needed by title company to identify property boundaries and to issue the title insurance policy.
Who orders the survey in a real estate transaction
Survey is ordered by the title company.
How much does a survey cost in Texas?
A general home survey costs around $450 in DFW area.
Who picks the title company in a Texas residential real estate contract - buyer or seller?
What is a title policy in a Texas residential real estate transaction?
Title Policy provides Title insurance which protects people from losses that happen after they buy real estate. These losses might be unknown liens, defects, or encumbrances on the property that existed before the purchase. Examples of these are:
unpaid property taxes;
fraud or forgery of a previous deed; and
a spouse or unknown heir who makes a claim against the property.
Title insurance agents will try to find defects in the title that need to be corrected before the owner of the land sells it to you. Agents will check for problems with your title by looking at public records, including deeds, mortgages, wills, divorce decrees, court judgments, tax records, liens, encumbrances, and maps.
A title insurance policy also protects right of access to the property.
What are two types of Title Policies in Texas?
There are two kinds of title polices in Texas.
The owner’s policy protects your interest in the property. The policy protects you from the covered risks listed in the policy. The price of the policy is usually included in your closing costs. An owner’s policy only covers you up to the value of the property at the time you bought the policy. It doesn't cover any increase in your property's value, unless you buy an increased value endorsement.
An owner’s policy remains in effect as long as you or your heirs own the property or are liable for any title warranties made when you sell the property. Keep your owner’s policy, even if you transfer your title or sell the property.
The loan policy protects the lender’s interest. A loan policy covers up to the amount of the principal on your loan.
Loan policies are effective until you repay the loan. Lenders will require you to buy a new loan policy if you refinance your home. When the new loan pays off the existing loan, the old loan policy expires. You will get a premium discount on a new loan policy if you refinance within seven years.
What is a title commitment?
A title commitment is the document by which a title insurer discloses to all parties connected with a particular real estate transaction all the liens, defects, and burdens and obligations that affect the subject property. It lists all requirements that must be met before a title company can insure a title as “marketable” or a loan as having a certain priority.
Marketable title is a title free from reasonable doubt or defect, which can be readily sold or mortgaged. It is a title that assures a purchaser “quiet and peaceful enjoyment” of the property, yet marketable title may have certain encumbrances that a reasonable purchaser would be willing to accept.
This assurance of a title commitment by a title company provides a safe procedure for purchasers and lenders to close transactions before the actual title policies have been issued.
What does a title policy look like?
Here is a link to a sample title policy.
How long does the title policy last?
A loan policy lasts until the loan is paid off. An owner’s policy lasts as long as you or your heirs own the land. It also may provide warrantor’s coverage after you no longer own the property, depending on your policy provisions. Policy language has changed over time, so read the continuation of coverage provisions in your policy carefully to determine coverage terms.
Do you have to renew your title policy in Texas?
You pay for title insurance only once, when you buy the policy, unless you decide later to add more coverage. Keep your policy, even if you transfer your title or sell the property. Coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs own the land, and may last forever for any title warranties made when you sell the property.
Is there a way to save money on my closing?
You can shop around for cheaper escrow fees, or closing costs. These differ between different title companies.
Some title companies add extra charges for things like tax certificates and escrow fees, recording fees, and delivery expenses. Review any extra charges carefully. Ask for documentation of the true cost of these services. You may ask to see your closing papers in advance. You may also have an attorney attend the closing with you.
What if my home increases in value? Am I still covered?
You are covered for the value of your policy. If you add improvements to your home, or if your home increases in value over time, you can buy an increased value endorsement to cover the increase in your property’s value.
What does a title company do in a real estate transaction
Title companies in Texas perform two functions:
1. Issue title policy
2. Act as an escrow agent for the buyer and seller until closing.
What is a title defect?
A title defect is anything that can cause a title to be considered invalid or defective in some way. Some examples are:
Invalid documents due to forgery, fraud, undue influence, duress, incompetency, incapacity, or impersonation.
Failure of any person or entity to have authorized a transfer or conveyance.
A document affecting title that is not properly executed, signed, witnessed, notarized, or delivered.
Undisclosed or unrecorded easements not otherwise apparent on your land.
No right of access to and from the land.
A document executed under a falsified, expired, or otherwise invalid power of attorney.
A document not properly filed, recorded, or indexed in the public records.
Ownership claims by undisclosed or missing heirs.
Defect arising from an improper prior foreclosure.
Undisclosed restrictive covenants affecting your property.
Lien issues can also cause title defects. Some examples of lien issues are:
Any statutory or constitutional contractor’s, mechanic’s, or materialman’s lien for labor or materials that began on or before the policy date. Talk to an attorney about your rights.
Lien for labor or materials furnished by a contractor without your consent.
A previous owner failed to pay
a mortgage or deed of trust
a judgment, tax, or special assessment
a charge by a homeowners or condominium association.
Other liens or claims that may exist against your title that are not listed in the policy.
Notify your title company immediately if someone files a lien or claims an interest in your property. Failure to do so could jeopardize your claim. Contact the underwriter listed on the policy and follow their claim-filing procedures.
Is it like homeowners insurance?
No, title insurance is different from other types of insurance. It does not insure against fire, flood, theft, or any other type of property damage or loss. It protects against losses from ownership problems that arose before you bought the property, but were not known at the time you bought the property. It does not guarantee that you will be able to sell your property, or borrow money on it.
What is the difference between a title commitment and an owner's policy?
Who pays for title insurance policy in Texas?
Buyer typically pays for title insurance policy when buying a new home. Seller typically pays for the title policy when selling a resale home. Everything is negotiable between buyer and seller.
What is the cost of title insurance in Texas? Can I shop around?
Rates are based on the property’s sale value. Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) sets title insurance premium rates. All title agents charge the same premium for property of the same value.
The basic premium rate includes the cost of title examination, closing, and issuing the policy. You pay a title policy premium only once, at the closing of the sale.
Title agents add charges for tax certificates, escrow fees, recording fees, and delivery expenses. These charges vary between title agents. Ask for a list of charges and review the charges carefully.
What is the non realty items addendum in Texas residential real estate transactions?
This addendum is used to include non realty items like furniture, washer, dryer, refrigerator etc. in the contract. Buyer offers to pay separately for these items in this addendum.
Is the refrigerator a realty item in Texas residential real estate transactions?
In Texas, a refrigerator is considered non realty items and is not included in the contract.
Is the washer/dryer a realty item in Texas residential real estate transactions?
In Texas, these items are considered non realty items and are not included in the contract.
What is the difference between the option fee vs earnest money in Texas real estate?
Earnest money is offered by buyer to seller to show good faith and is refundable.
Option fee is paid by buyer. to seller to have an "option" or ability to back out of the contract after a predetermined number of days.
What is the option period in a Texas residential real estate transaction?
Option period allows a buyer to complete the inspections of the home and negotiate repairs with the seller. Inspections could include general home inspection, plumbing inspection, foundation inspection, swiming pool inspection, termite inspection etc.
What is the typical option fee amount in a Texas residential real estate contract?
It is negotiable. In practice, it can vary from $25 per day to $50 per day.
When is option money due in a Texas residential real estate contract?
Option fee is due to the seller within 3 days of the effective date of the contract. Day 1 starts the day after contract is signed.
When does option period start in a Texas residential real estate contract?
Option period starts on the day after effective date of the contract.
How long is the option period in a Texas residential real estate contract?
It is negotiated between buyer and seller. Buyers typically ask for 3 to 7 days.
What happens after the option period ends in a Texas residential real estate contract?
The lender orders the appraisal for the property and works on approving the loan. Property status is changed to Active Contingent in MLS.
How can I extend the option period?
Buyers and sellers can agree to extend the option period using an amendment and by buyer paying additional option fee to the seller.
What is active option status in Texas MLS?
This indicates that the property is under contract and is in the option period waiting for the buyer to complete inspections and repair negotiations.
What is earnest money in a Texas residential real estate contract?
Earnest money is paid by buyer to the seller to show good faith when making a purchase offer. This money is kept in an escrow account operated by the title company.
Is the earnest money required in Texas?
No, earnest money is optional and is not needed for a purchase contract.
How much earnest money is required in a Texas residential real estate contract?
It is negotiable. Buyers usually offer 1% of the purchase price as earnest money to the seller but some buyers offer much more in case there is a multiple offers situation.
Is the earnest money refundable in a Texas residential real estate contract?
The earnest money is refundable if the buyer follows all the deadlines listed in the contract.
Who should earnest money check be made out to a Texas residential real estate purchase agreement?
Buyer should make the check payable to the title company. The earnest money funds are kept in an escrow account by the title company.
What is a WDI report in Texas?
WDI report refers to the Wood Destroying Insects inspection report provided by a licensed inspector to the buyer.
How much does a wood destroying insect (WDI) report cost in Texas
WDI can cost around $100 in DFW area
How do I get my house ready to sell in 30 days?
What sells a house quickly?
What months do houses sell best?
What should you not fix when selling a house?
What brings the most value to a home?
Is Zillow offers worth?
What home improvements should be done before selling?
How much should you spend to sell your house?
How much will I profit from selling my house?
Do you make money when you sell your house?
How much closing costs do sellers pay?
Who pays for title company buyer or seller?
How much does the title company charge to sellers?
Who pays the title company at closing?
Is there closing costs on homes for sale by owner?
Can a seller back out of selling their home?
Is it better to sell your house with or without furniture?
Do sellers have to fix everything on home inspections?
Can the seller changed his mind after accepting the offer?
Can seller sue buyer for backing out?
Can a seller back out after a low appraisal?
What can a buyer do if a seller backs out?
Do appraisers know the sale price?
What happens if a home doesn't appraise for sale price?
Is there a best time to sell my house?
Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
How much is my home worth?
What should I do to get my house ready?
Should I make repairs?
What are my obligations to disclose?
Are there standard contingencies in an offer?
Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?
What do I do if my house isn’t getting activity?
Is it possible to sell for less than my mortgage?
How will a foreclosure affect my credit?
How long will a bankruptcy or foreclosure stay on my credit report?
Is it possible to refinance after bankruptcy?
When is the best time to sell my home?
Should we sell before we buy another home?
What’s the First Step Selling My Property?
Should market condition have any bearing on listing my home for sale?
Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
What Do I Have To Do to Prepare My Home For the Market?
How much commission do you charge?
How much is my home worth?
Why is the assessed value different than what you say my home is worth?
How do you determine how much my home is worth?
Can I determine how much my home is worth from an internet website?
Should I sell my home myself?
Why should I hire a real estate agent?
Why shouldn't I price my house a little high, since I can always drop the price later?
What's the difference between fair market value and asking price?
Why Shouldn’t I price my home higher so I can leave room for negotiation?
How flexible should I be about the asking price?
What is the difference between a list price and sale price?
Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?
What improvements will help me sell my home?
Can you recommend service providers who may be needed throughout the transaction?
Should I make repairs?
Do I have to disclose information about my house?
Do I need to provide permits or anything for my deck, shed, fencing, or additions?
My House Has Had Some Problems In The Past, Do The Buyers Have to Know?
What should I do to prepare my home for showings?
What Do I Need To Do To Present My Home At Its Best?
How do you plan on marketing my home?
Should I be present during showings at my home?
Okay, An Agent Just Called me To Let Me Know They’ll Be Showing the House….What Do I Do?
What Can I Expect When I Return Home After My House Has Been Shown?
I Have A Pet, How Do We Show The House When I’ m Gone?
Will you be holding open houses?
What do I do if my house isn't getting activity?
How will I be kept informed of marketing progress to sell my home?
How frequently and by which methods do you communicate with your home seller’s?
What Happens When There Are Multiple Offers on My House?
We Have a Signed Agreement, and Then What Happens?
Is The Closing Date Considered To Be The Day I Sign My Closing Papers?
How do I respond to low ball offers?
What are seller concessions?
What are some common lender required repairs?
Should I provide a home warranty?
How does the inspection phase work?
What happens if the appraised value comes in too low?
What is meant by the term "contingency" in a sales contract?
Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?
What are the common closing expenses for home sellers?
After the closing, may we stay and rent our old home from the new owner until we are able to move into our new home?
When Do I Call the Utility Companies to Transfer Utilities from My Name?
What are the tax consequences of selling my house?
When Must I be Moved Out?
When Do The Buyers Get Keys?
How Clean Must I Leave My House for the New Owners?
Why is an appraisal price sometimes different than a market analysis price?
When is the best time to sell my home?
What are some of the costs of selling my home?
What information am I obligated to disclose about my property?
What are the some of the common contingencies in an offer?