Do I Need to Sign a Contract When Selling My Property?

September 6, 2018

Selling your home or any property is a major milestone and decision in life and is one that is usually accompanied by a great deal of stress and worry. But, having a basic understanding of what happens during this time can help mitigate that stress. The process of selling is not a simple one-off transaction but rather a series of steps that one must pass through in order to have a successful and smooth sale.

Invariably there will be mountains of paperwork, negotiations, and verbal wheeling and dealing. Throughout all that, you may be left wondering when you actually need to sign a contract to sell your property and how to go about doing so in the state of Texas.

First of all, Texas, like any other state, has its own real estate laws that you must follow when selling a home. The vast majority of people will sell their property with the help of a licensed real estate agent or broker. In order to make this process official, you will need to sign a “listing agreement,” which gives the agent the right to market and sell your house.

The typical listing agreement will cover things such as the commission to be paid to the agent, the type of listing and whether the agent will have exclusive rights to sell it or not, the duration of the listing, the listing price, items included or not included in the sale (for instance, any appliances), along with the duties and obligations of the seller and the real estate agent.

Ideally, the agent will then work to sell your home so that they may earn their commission, and you may get one or even multiple offers on the property.

A potential buyer will make a written offer with the purchase price, down payment, and any contingencies which would allow them to back out (including things like a satisfactory inspection report, ability to secure financing, ability to sell their own primary residence, etc.). It is up to you, the seller, to accept or reject the offer outright, or to make a counteroffer, perhaps seeking less contingencies, a higher purchase price, or so forth.

While there may be verbal negotiations that take place, a legally binding contract, called a purchase agreement, is not formed until both parties have come to agreement and signed the purchase agreement. At this point, the property can go into escrow where a neutral third-party will handle the final transaction.

Texas does not require that sellers work with a lawyer when selling a property, but you may decide for your own benefit that you want a lawyer to review the final contract or to help with the closing details. A real estate lawyer will also be able to advise the seller about the legal requirements of a given contract and can advise about any ambiguities, issues not addressed, or potential pitfalls.

If you need help with the contracts and legal aspects of selling your home or an investment property, then the team at Fears Nachawati is here to help. Our experienced team of real estate lawyers has helped people all across the state of Texas to smoothly and successfully close out their real estate transactions and avoid the pitfalls which have hampered countless other deals, costing more money in the long-run.

Don’t wait until your real estate contract goes awry, contact our team today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss what we can do for you.

Schedule a free meeting with a member of our team by calling us at (866) 705-7584, or by visiting the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

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