Putting a For Sale sign in front of your home or business is only a small part of the process of selling your home or commercial property. Blackfox Title will assist you in the residential closing in Texas, from the moment you reach an agreement with a buyer to the time you receive the proceeds of the sale. This page is designed to give you basic information about the process and to help you get started.
The first step in selling your property is finding a buyer and reaching an agreement on the terms of the sale. In most situations, sellers should enter into a written agreement with the buyer establishing the terms of the sale, which is commonly referred to as the “contract of sale” or just “contract.” In the contract, the seller agrees to sell the property and the buyer agrees to purchase the property upon the terms and conditions contained in the contract.
Common terms and conditions include:
If you are represented by a real estate agent, the agent will probably prepare the contract for you using forms promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission. If you do not have a real estate agent, you will need to prepare a contract yourself or make other arrangements. If you need further assistance with this, Blackfox Title can provide you with the necessary contract forms.
A note about appraisals: Many sellers come to us and ask if they should obtain an appraisal at the beginning of the process to validate the asking price or sales price. You are certainly welcome to obtain an appraisal if it makes you feel more comfortable, but you should be aware that if the buyer is obtaining a loan, their lender will most likely require that a new appraisal be obtained by the lender. Your appraisal will not be useable by them. For that reason, most sellers do not obtain a separate appraisal. If you have a real estate agent, they will typically help you find an asking price based on their records of comparable sales in the area.
The escrow and closing processes for a sale begin when the contract and any earnest money are delivered to Blackfox Title. The contract provides directions on how to prepare for the closing and governs the issues that may arise as part of the closing. On refinances or loan transactions, the process is typically initiated when the lender submits an order for a title commitment.
Once a contract or order for a title commitment is received, a file is established and assigned to an escrow officer. If you are obtaining a title insurance policy, the title to the property is examined through Real Property Records maintained at the County Clerk’s office. This examination provides the basis for our title commitment and ultimately the title.
When we establish our file, we will email you a Seller’s Closing Packet. We can send a packet that is completely digital upon request. This packet requests additional information we need from you to prepare for closing, such as contact information for any lender you have, a copy of any prior survey you have, whether or not all sellers will be at closing, and whether there will be a power of attorney or mailout for closing. If you have an existing survey of the property (or if you had one when you purchased it), please provide it to us as soon as possible. We often can re-use existing surveys (as long as no structural changes have been made to the property), which will save you or the buyer approximately $500 or more at closing.
While we are working on the title examination, you should be working with the buyer to provide them access to the property for inspections and appraisal (if their lender is requiring an appraisal). If any repairs to the property must be completed prior to closing, you also should be working on those repairs.
When the title examination is complete, a title commitment will be prepared. The title commitment is our “commitment” to issue a title policy on the property following the closing
If the title examination has revealed a title issue that must be addressed prior to closing, this is the time when those issues should be cured. Depending on the nature of the title problem, the cure could include anything from obtaining and recording correction documents or missing documents from prior transactions to probating the last will and testament of a previous owner. If you have an attorney, you may wish to seek his or her assistance in resolving any title issues.
Once the inspections are completed and the title requirements are resolved, the buyer, seller and/or lender can contact us to schedule a closing date and time. Several days prior to the closing, we will prepare the documents necessary to close the transaction. For cash transactions, there may only be a handful of documents necessary to close; however, when there is a loan involved, the number of documents required to close the transaction can increase significantly. Please note that if a lender is involved, we cannot prepare any of the closing documents until we receive closing instructions and documentation from the lender. The documentation related to loans varies greatly depending on the lender and the type of loan the buyer is obtaining
In every closing, one of the most important closing documents is the Settlement Statement, HUD-1 form, or Closing Disclosure (CD) that is prepared by Blackfox Title pursuant to the instructions of the lender, the contract between the parties, invoices received for services provided (i.e., pest inspections or surveys), and the instructions of the parties or their realtors. The Settlement Statement identifies all of the costs related to the transaction and explains who will pay for each item. It also establishes the dollar amount that each party will receive or pay at the closing. On transactions involving a loan, the Closing Disclosure must be submitted to the lender and approved before the closing can take place.
Following Closing Disclosure approval, the parties and, if applicable, their realtors will meet at the offices of Blackfox Title on the day and time scheduled for the closing. Typically one hour is allotted for each closing, with the seller generally having fewer items to complete than the buyer. In transactions not involving an institutional lender, the closing will often take less than the allotted time. The closing is a time to sign all of the required documents, make any last-minute adjustments to said documents, and answer any final questions the parties may have. If buyers and/or sellers are unable to attend a scheduled closing, alternate arrangements can be made for the use of a power of attorney or the mailing/emailing of documents. If such arrangements are necessary, please alert Blackfox Title as early as possible in the process so that we may plan accordingly.
If you are paying money at closing, any amount over $1,500.00 must be certified funds, such as a cashier’s or certified check or an electronic wire. This is not a particular rule of our title company, but is a regulation mandated by the Texas Department of Insurance. Wire Instructions from Blackfox Title will be provided for you before closing. Please read our wire fraud memo and take all necessary precautions.
Immediately following the closing, Blackfox Title’s funding department will provide scans of the documents deemed by the lender to be “funding conditions.” The lender will review these documents and authorize the funding of the transaction. This process typically takes 3-4 hours after closing, but with some lenders it could take several days, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the loan. When funding authorization is received, Blackfox Title will pay all invoices associated with the transaction, pay the seller’s lender (if necessary), release any proceeds that are payable to the buyer or seller, record all relevant documents at the appropriate courthouse, and in general finalize the transaction. Proceeds can be picked up, mailed, electronically wired, and, in certain cases, deposited directly into checking or savings accounts based on instructions provided by the parties at closing. Usually, it is at this point that the deal is officially closed and ownership and possession of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer
Within several weeks of the closing, the title policies associated with the transaction are issued and sent to the appropriate party. Also, the original documents are forwarded to the buyer, seller or lender by the County Clerk’s office after they are recorded. Blackfox Title will also send docs electronically through email to appropriate parties.
In Texas, it is customary for the seller to provide the Owner’s Title Policy; however, this is negotiable. Policy premiums are set by the State of Texas and are nonnegotiable. Click here for information about title premiums.
Virtual Closings, also known as RON(Remote Online Closings) are offered to all our Sellers and all of our Cash Buyers. Closing can be completed through an approved RON software. The notary will conduct the closing and notarize documents through this online software, similar to a Zoom call. You will need to have access to a computer or smart phone. Make sure to have a tested, solid connection before closing. Please let us know if this is the preferred method of closing.
The recording fees referenced in our quote are estimated based on typical transactions. Actual fees at closing will be calculated depending on county, number of signatures, type of documents, and number of pages
An example of recording fees could be $19 for the first page and $4 for each additional page. Below is a link to review Tarrant Counties Recording Fees as a reference.
Tarrant County Recording Fees.
Blackfox Title does not profit from recording fees. It’s an expense that is passed to the Buyer/Seller/Borrower in the transaction. The fees in the Closing Disclosure are an estimate and any recording fees captured that were overestimated will be refunded to the appropriate party.
Sellers must pay any fees necessary to resolve title issues such as pay-offs on loans, amounts owed under judgments that are abstracted in the County Clerk’s records, or any taxes that are due and payable
These figures are estimates only based on typical transactions and using the customary split of closing costs. Actual splits between buyer and seller may vary based on the terms of the contract.
In transactions that are more complicated (such as double loans, commercial transactions, etc.), fees may be higher.
All fees are subject to change and can vary significantly due to the facts and circumstances of each specific situation.