Texas Association of Realtors Interactive Website Feed
You can click on any of the topics below and they will take you to the information on that topic. This also allows you explore the TAR public website which will give you access to a wealth of real estate information.
There are more than just logistical challenges when you move with children. Many kids feel emotional about leaving their friends or old home behind. Here are some common challenges kids face when moving and ways to help them feel more comfortable in their new place.
When your child is nervous about a new school …
Coordinate a tour of the school well before she starts so she can get familiar with the building. See if you can also introduce her to teachers and a few classmates so she’ll have connections on her first day.
When your child is upset about leaving friends behind …
Put together treats your child can use to remember his far-away friends. Include a photo album, frames, and other mementos from your child’s hometown.
When your child is worried the new city won’t have familiar activities …
Get your Texas REALTOR® to help you find out where your child can participate in the hobbies she enjoys. Whether she likes to play soccer at the park or take art classes after school, your Texas REALTOR® should be able to point you in the right direction for kid-friendly activities in your new location.
Check out more tips for smoother moves, including buying, selling, and leasing information, from texasrealestate.com.
As a homebuyer or seller, an accepted contract is exciting. But hang on … the deal’s not done.
Thankfully, if you’re working with a REALTOR®, he or she can guide you through all the potential twists and turns on the way to closing.
An option to back out
For starters, most purchase contracts include a termination option. The buyer pays the seller a fee for a specified period of time during which the buyer can cancel the contract. The buyer can exercise this option for any reason. In fact, he doesn’t even have to explain why.
A closer look at the property
Buyers usually hire inspectors during the termination-option period. Inspections that reveal items in need of repair may prompt a buyer to ask for a price reduction or repairs prior to closing. Or the buyer may simply choose to cancel the deal.
Transactions sometimes unravel when a buyer cannot obtain the financing specified in the contract or the property does not meet the lender’s requirements. For example, appraisals can come in lower than the purchase price, or there may be issues with obtaining insurance for the home.
The list goes on
Option periods, inspections, and financing are three common trouble spots for transactions, but there are many others. Problems with title insurance or the survey, disagreements about items that convey, issues related to homeowners associations, or damage to the property after acceptance of the contract but before closing are a few examples of issues that can arise.
You have a valuable resource
Communicating with your REALTOR® about each stage of the transaction will minimize surprises and increase the chances that your transaction will proceed smoothly.
When preparing to buy or sell a home, you might search online real estate portals or keep an eye on local real estate news, but there's a better source of real estate data.
Thanks to the Data Relevance Project—a partnership among local REALTOR® associations and their multiple listing services, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, and the Texas Association of REALTORS®—you can get a firsthand look at what's happening in your market.
The 2016 Texas Real Estate Year in Review Report includes information on 25 metropolitan statistical areas across the state, often with county-level data, as well. Learn how home prices have changed, the number of active listings, how long homes stay on the market, the amount of housing inventory, apartment rents and vacancy rates, and affordability figures—all for your area.
This data can help guide your housing or real estate decisions and make you a more informed consumer when it comes time to consult with a local REALTOR®.
First-time sellers beware: there are lots of myths out there about the right way to sell your home. While your Texas REALTOR® is your first line of defense against making these mistakes, here are three common selling myths busted:
Myth: I bought a house, so I know what it's like to go through a real estate transaction. I'll sell my home on my own and save money by not using a real estate agent. Truth: Texas REALTORS® don't work for free, but that's because they provide valuable assistance through the home-selling process. Selling isn't the same as buying, and a Texas REALTOR® can help you reduce your risk of making a costly selling mistake. Plus, they help clients with the ins and outs of property transactions every day and are plugged into your local housing market. If you DIY, that means you'll have to spend time marketing your home adequately, be available to show the home yourself, and navigate your way through a tricky transaction alone.
Myth: If I price my home higher than market value, I'm leaving room for negotiations. Truth: Buyers have no idea you're employing this strategy and won't understand why your price is too high. Many won't even view your home, much less put in an offer. When your home is priced improperly, it's more likely to sit on the market, making potential buyers think there's something wrong it. When that happens, you'll probably wind up with lower offers than if you had priced the home fairly at the start.
Myth: All I need to do is mow the lawn and hide my stuff in a closet and my home will be ready to show. Truth: Is a mowed lawn and hidden clutter all it takes to attract you to a home? It won't work for potential buyers of your property, either. Your Texas REALTOR® might go through your home with you and identify areas that could use some sprucing up to make your home more appealing. Or, he or she might recommend working with a home stager to make the best impression. Be open to those suggestions … your Texas REALTOR® knows what makes a property sell quickly for top dollar.
Sure, REALTORS® help you buy, sell, and lease property, but they also advocate for public policy that helps consumers.
For example, the Texas Association of REALTORS® recently announced its support for the property tax reforms provided in Senate Bill 2, now making its way through the Texas Legislature. The bill is a positive step forward in ending the common practice of local elected officials misleading taxpayers when budgets are adopted at the local level.
"When local elected officials hide behind increasing property values to justify larger budgets, taxpayers suffer. Senate Bill 2 goes a long way to fix this problem and provide more transparency and honesty in the local tax-rate setting process,” said TAR Chairman Vicki Fullerton.
The bill reduces the rollback rate for local taxing entities and requires an automatic rollback election if the local taxing entity exceeds the rollback rate. Despite some comments to the contrary, the bill does not limit the amount of revenue a local taxing entity may generate.
The association believes the bill will help give property owners transparency during the tax-rate setting process and encourage voter participation. To better understand the property tax process, visit hiddenpropertytax.com.