We answer frequently asked questions or FAQ about selling Houston real estate and real estate in the surrounding communities of Greater Houston including Cypress, Katy, and College Station.
A real estate agent is a person licensed by the state to practice real estate. A Texas real estate agent may assist clients in buying and selling real estate and in the management and rental of properties. A real estate agent must work under the supervision of a real estate broker. Texas officially calls a real estate agent, a real estate salesperson.
A real estate broker is an experienced real estate agent with a minimum of four years experience practicing real estate. In Texas, a real estate broker must have a four year college degree or an equivalent number of college hours and pass a comprehensive real estate brokerage exam. Real estate brokers typically work as Realtors and can supervise teams of real estate agents working under them. All real estate agents must work for a real estate broker.
A listing agreement is a contract between a real estate owner and a real estate broker to market a property for sale or lease. A real estate broker charges a percentage of the sales price or a fee when the property sells and closes. In Texas, all listing agreements must be in writing. Texas Realtors use a listing agreement drawn by the Texas Association of Realtors. See a Sample Texas Real Estate Listing Agreement.
In a seller lease back, the seller receives a short-term lease on the home they just sold to the buyer. The lease is usually for a period of a few days, but can go up to several months. The main reason seller lease backs are used is to protect the seller from moving out of their home and having the buyer fail to close on the sale. Seller lease backs can also be used when a seller is not yet ready to move, but the buyer wants to lock in the sale by a certain date. Sellers will often use this at the end of a school year to allow their children to finish the school year before moving.
A financing contingency allows a buyer to terminate the purchase contract and receive a refund of their earnest money if the buyer is unable to obtain mortgage financing within a defined period of time. The contingency period is negotiated between the buyer and seller and usually lasts between 7 and 21 days. The buyer does not have to be disapproved for the mortgage, they only have to believe they will not be approved. The buyer must give written notice to the seller that they are terminating the contract under the financing contingency during the negotiated period. A financing contingency protects a buyer from losing their earnest money if they cannot obtain a mortgage loan on their home purchase.
An option contract is a form of earnest money contract in Texas that gives the buyer the unrestricted right to terminate the contract during a set period of time after signing the contract. The buyer must pay a fee to the seller for the right to terminate the contract. A real estate buyer will normally have their inspections performed during the option period. The buyer will then have the opportunity to negotiate with the seller for any repairs that are needed during the option period.
The option fee and and option option period are negotiated between the buyer and seller. A typical option period is 10 days. The option fee can range from $100 to $300. If the buyer fails to deliver the option fee to the seller or listing agent within 48 hours of the contract execution date, they will lose the right to terminate the contract under the option clause.
An earnest money contract is the most common form of real estate purchase contract in Texas. When using an earnest money contract, a buyer agrees to deposit a small percentage of the sales price with a title company to be held until closing as a sign of their good faith intentions to purchase a home or other real estate. The amount of the earnest money deposit is negotiable between the buyer and seller.
A REALTOR is a real estate agent or real estate broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. All Realtors are real estate agents or brokers, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors agree to abide by the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Real estate agents must be a REALTOR to join a Multiple Listing Service commonly known as a MLS in order to market their listings to other Realtors and their real estate buyers.
A MLS listing is a real estate listing that has been offered for sale or for rent on the MLS system by a real estate agent who is a member of a Multiple Listing Service. A real estate broker who belongs to a MLS submits their listings to the MLS and offers a commission to any MLS member agent that submits an acceptable offer that results in a closed sale.
A Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as a MLS, are used by real estate brokers to market their listings to other real estate brokers. A real estate broker who belongs to a MLS submits their listings to the MLS and offers a commission to any MLS member agent that submits an acceptable offer that results in a closed sale. Sellers benefit by having their home listing marketed by thousands of real estate agents. Buyers benefit by being able to have one buyer agent show them any home on the market. Real estate brokers and agents benefit by having a level playing field where the smallest brokerage can compete with the largest multi-state franchise.
Centralized Showing Service provides Houston real estate listing agents a way to outsource their appointment scheduling and feedback systems on their real estate listings. Buyer agents call the CSS contact number to schedule showings on a subscriber's listings. CSS logs all real estate agents that show a listing agent's listing, schedules the appointments with the home sellers, provides access information to she showing agent, and requests and processes feedback on the listings from the showing agents.
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