Homestead Exemptions and Option Fees

Welcome to 2020! The Houston market has ramped up quickly in the new year, we are seeing quick sales which is great for both buyers and sellers. When we list a home, we want it to sell quickly for our clients and if we are trying to locate that perfect property for our buyer clients, we want the process to be fruitful and smooth. Low days on the market generally yields faster sales!

As a reminder, if you purchased a home in 2019, now is the time to ensure your homestead exemption is filed. Each county appraisal district handles the filing process a tiny bit differently but most allow you to file electronically. As a reminder, DO NOT PAY SOMEONE TO FILE THIS FOR YOU. The districts do not charge any fees for this filing and any service claiming to do so on your behalf is taking your hard-earned money! If you need any help with filing or would like to understand more about why it is generally advantageous to file yours, feel free to reach out to me. 

Also, if you find yourself being a 2020 buyer (hint hint, I can help with that), this is a snippet from the Texas Association of Realtors® on delivering your option fee in a timely manner and abiding by the timeline set forth in the sales contract.

"Delivering the termination option fee to the title company puts the buyer at risk of not having an unrestricted right to terminate the contract. Paragraph 23 of the TREC One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale) requires the option fee to be delivered to the seller or the seller’s agent—not the title company—within three days after the effective date of the contract. If the option fee is instead delivered to the title company, this provision has not been satisfied. Paragraph 23 also specifies that strict compliance with the time for performance is required. If the termination option fee is delivered to the title company but the title company does not provide it to the seller or seller’s agent by the deadline, the buyer does not have a valid termination option." 

You read that correctly, if the fee is NOT delivered in time, you do not have an option period to terminate in, no matter what is written in the contract. Texas is a lucky state that allows a more free-range option period. You want to take advantage of the time you're paying for!

I hope that your New Year is off to a fantastic start. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions on real estate, or if you have a scenario that might be best discussed. I'm always happy to help! 

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Post Category: General, Home Inspections, Property Taxes

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