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A Guide to Understanding the Legal Aspects of Selling a Home

For Sale Sign

When selling your home in Texas, it’s important to learn about real estate laws and potential legal issues that may arise during and after the sale. These tips for selling your home will help ensure a smooth transaction.


Seller’s Disclosure

Under Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code, sellers of single-family properties are required to complete a seller’s disclosure. In this document, the seller provides information on any past or present issues with the home that could potentially affect the sale price or the buyer’s decision to go through with their offer.

Sellers must use the seller’s disclosure form to provide the buyer with any knowledge of known problems and major defects with the home. These typically range from minor problems such as leaks and clogged drains to more serious issues like arsenic hazards or cracks in the foundation. When selling your home, a real estate agent can help you find ways to address or work with these issues.

Sellers in Texas are expected to provide the disclosure form on or before the day that the purchase contract goes into effect. This means that a buyer can agree to a contract before they receive the disclosure. If the buyer receives the disclosure before the contract is finalized, their representative will work with your agent in negotiating a fair price based on the home’s condition and value.

If there are known flaws or defects with the home, you can offer to pay for repairs or reduce the sale price in order to close the sale. An experienced real estate agent will help you come up with the best possible strategy during negotiations.

Breach of Contract and Fraud

Some sellers will refrain from disclosing certain issues with the home then later deny having ever known about them. Failure to disclose can expose you to litigation and legal battles after the sale. To protect yourself from litigation, it is advisable to disclose all known defects to the best of your ability.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for breach of contract is four years from the time you signed the contract until the buyer files a case. If the buyer’s attorney can prove fraud, the statute of limitations is four years from the time they should have reasonably known or discovered the fraudulent act. However, the state may agree to extend the statute of limitations in case of fraud.

Property Titles

It’s common for buyers and their representatives to perform a title search so that they can be certain that you are the lawful owner of the property and you are legally allowed to sell it. A title search is a thorough investigation of the chain of ownership of the property. It can uncover any liens, debts, clerical errors, and outstanding payments attached to the property that the buyer may become liable for once they take possession of the home.

A title search will also bring forward information of previously unknown heirs who can lay claim to the property. Your agent will assist you with a title search and explain any implications that it may have on the sale.

Property Disputes

It can be difficult to sell your home during an on-going dispute with the neighbors. Common property disputes often have to do with property boundaries and fencing issues. Any active disputes should be disclosed to the buyer. It’s also important to inform the buyer of co-use deals on any part of your property that is shared with other people, such as a shared driveway.

It is best to resolve property disputes before putting your home up for sale. Failure to disclose property disputes can potentially lead to legal issues in the future. Working with an agent will help you determine if there are any property disputes that you need to disclose or address prior to closing.


In Texas, you are not legally required to work with a real estate attorney when selling your home. However, an attorney can help you review and draft contracts as well as negotiate the most favorable terms. They will also help you address unconventional arrangements like owner-financed deals or lease-to-own agreements. They will also help you anticipate any legal issues that may arise out of title issues or property disputes.

Sell your home for top dollar in Texas with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Caliber Realty. As a full-service real estate brokerage firm, they will help you find qualified buyers for your home while ensuring legal compliance throughout the selling process.

Get in touch with the real estate professionals at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Caliber Realty when you call 979.694.8844 or contact them here to schedule a consultation.

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