Categories Uncategorized

4 Questions To Ask Your Broker Before Listing and How Do Their Answers Compare to An All Cash Buyer?

When deciding to sell your home there are two primary avenues you can chose from to complete the transaction. As a homeowner you can either list with a local real estate agent, market, and sell your home on the open market, or you can choose to sell to an all-cash home buyer. To help you decide which route to select, we have compiled a list of the top 4 recommended questions to ask your real estate agent before listing and have provided you answers to the same question according to how an all cash buyer closes on a home. Let’s take a closer look.


  1. What Are Your Fees?


Agent fees are negotiable; however, a listing agent will generally request a 6% full service fee be included in the listing agreement. This includes 3% commission for the seller’s brokers and a 3% commission for the buyer’s broker. These fees are unavoidable when listing on the market since this is the main source of income for the real estate agents.


Gulf State Homebuyer’s charges no agent fees. Since we are working directly with the homeowner, we are able to forego additional fees, providing sellers the highest return on their homes. 


  1. Can You Explain The Process of Selling To Me?


When listing a home with an agent, the process of selling can be long and exhausting. The first step is agreeing on the terms and conditions of the contract. Once the homeowner has hired an agent, the agent will then put together their marketing strategy for the home. This can include open houses and can take months to effectively attract a buyer. Once the agent finds a buyer, the property will enter into escrow. During this time, the buyer will complete their due diligence process and obtain funding. It is not until escrow closes that the transaction is finally complete.


The process of selling to Gulf State Homebuyer’s is much simpler. Once you contact us, we will complete a home evaluation. If you decide to accept the offer, we will complete all necessary paperwork, leaving you with the simple steps of signing on the dotted line and collecting your cash.


  1. What’s the Best Price You Think My Home Can Sell For? Can You Guarantee That Price?


Using market comparables a real estate agent will outline the expected closing price for your home (the list price). They will take into consideration your homes amenities, location, and quality, and compare it with the homes that have recently closed and ones that are currently listed in the area. The agent will then market the home at the agreed upon price with the intention of closing at that value. Remember though, this is not a guarantee by the agent – the actual closing price will vary depending on your agents marketing strategy and the market demand. Don’t forget as well, there will be additional closing costs accrued at escrow. These fees will be deducted from your profit at the end of escrow.


Similar to that of a real estate agent, Gulf State Homebuyer’s will complete a valuation of the home using comparables. The primary difference when selling to an all cash buyer however – we will close on that estimated value. There is no need to market; instead, we provide an offer at the price we are willing to close.


  1. How Long Do You Think It Will Take To Close On My Home?


Depending on the status of the market and the accuracy of the listing price, the length of time a home is listed can very. (Note: Most real estate agents will not openly admit that they overpriced a home to get a listing! However, this can have a negative effect on the sale). Currently in Baytown the average time on-market for a home is seventy days. This time only includes time listed and does not consider the time it took to prepare the listing and how long it takes to close escrow. Depending on the closing contingencies, the time to close escrow can very as well. A finance contingency will generally need at least sixty days. This means that you can expect it to take at least four to five months to close on your home.


Gulf State Homebuyer’s will close in five days. We provide quick valuations, and if a seller is interested in accepting the offer, the final closing date is determined by the needs of the seller. However, on our end at Gulf State Homebuyer’s, we can close quickly!


As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to selling to an all cash home buyer. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us. There is no commitment to sell – we will simply start with a conversation and if you are interested, move forward with an evaluation.

Categories Tips

Top Renovations for 2019 Is it Time to Move


This year has brought attention to new and improved upgrades for homes around the United States. Some of the top renovations for 2019 are changing the way homes interact with homeowners, while others are just popular changes in the home that home buyers are seeking. Historically in homeownership, upgrades were related to new paint jobs and remodeling; however, this year the residential real estate market is also seeing an increase in more expensive upgrades related to technology and appliances. In this article we will outline the top four renovations for 2019, and the pros and cons of upgrading versus moving!


2019 Renovations


  1. Hands Free Technology: This has been a trend that has grown over the last ten years. SMART technology is transforming the way that homeowners live, creating opportunities for almost all aspects of their home to be voice activated. Hands free technology is making living simpler and more enjoyable.


  1. Utility and Appliance Upgrades: Green is in! And homeowners that are not implementing green technologies in their homes are the ones struggling to sell to millennial home buyers. From eco-friendly appliances to new and improved HVAC systems, going green is one of the hottest trends in 2019.


  1. Kitchens and Bathrooms: These two upgrades make the top renovations list year after year. This year homeowners will be continuing to implement open spaces in the kitchen, along with replacing old stainless-steel appliances with sleek black ones. In the bathrooms, homeowners are investing in eco-friendly, natural feeling spaces.


  1. Creating Warm Spaces: This trend outlines a variety of upgrades and changes homeowners are anticipated to make this year. The simplest installment of this trend is via adding light wood flooring and warm color paint. The larger renovations include adding circadian lighting, which is a new technology that produces indoor illumination that mimics the natural light and warmth of the outdoors, and the installation of bigger windows, which provides more opportunity for natural light to flow into the home.


Unfortunately, many popular remodels may simply be too cost prohibitive to consider in an older home. Before taking the plunge into renovating your home, assess the pros and cons of upgrading versus moving.


Drawbacks to Renovating an Older Home

  • Renovating an older home can be costly, and upgrades are limited.
  • While conducting inspections for upgrades there is a high probability that the inspector will find additional problems in the home that may need your attention prior to the upgrade. These unexpected issues can prove to add unwanted costs to any upgrade.
  • Depending on your stage in life, adding the technology and green appliances may not be financially beneficial. If you are in your later years, your return on investment may be too far out.


Benefits to Renovating an Older Home

  • Many people have an emotional connection to their home. Completing the upgrades can help you stay in the same house.
  • You can have control over the upgrades, picking and choosing what is best for your future.


Drawbacks of Moving to a New Home

  • Selling your home can be timely, and if you are emotionally connected, it can be challenging.
  • You may have to pay for the move – agent fees and escrow fees can be costly.


Benefits of Moving to a New Home

  • Newer homes require far less maintenance.
  • You can move into a home with the latest and greatest technologies and home improvements. These upgrades can also assist in reducing monthly bills and will generally last longer than older appliances.
  • Change is good. It can provide a new positive outlook on life, and give individuals the chance for a fresh beginning.


If you are challenged with which option to select, we may have a solution that can help you decide. We here at Gulf State Homebuyer’s are currently purchasing homes, new and old, damaged and in prime-condition. Many homeowners are reluctant to move into newer modeled homes because of the fear of the time and money it takes to transition. However, we provide homeowners the opportunity to move with no unexpected fees, and in a quick manner. Our offers are competitive and generally prove to be the solution to help get people into the next home of their dreams.


There is no need to waste time and money on this year’s hottest upgrades when you can purchase a home that already has them! If you want to get your free assessment for your home and identify if moving is an option, contact us today.

Categories Uncategorized

Baytown Real Estate Market Update & The Government Shutdown: Should You Sell Your Home?


The predictions made for 2018 were not all accurate. In fact, contrary to many of last year’s estimates, the real estate market has remained strong for home sellers through to 2019. Let’s take a look at what is going on in the housing market this January, 2019.

  • Despite previous reports that interest rates were going to continue to increase through 2019, they have actually experienced a decline in the past week. According to Freddie Mac, home buyers mortgage rates are averaging 3.87% for a five-year adjustable-rate home loan and 4.45% for a conventional 3-year loan at a fixed rate.


  • On a negative note, the numbers are in for December 2018 and home sales plunged 6.4% according to the National Association of Realtors. This is drastic since, regardless the direction, home sales usually only shift in very low digits month to month. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, “The latest decline is harder to explain. Perhaps it is the decline in consumer confidence that’s been occurring in the latter half of 2018.” He continues, “The latest numbers do not reflect the lower, current mortgage rates comparted to the November figures, so it’s really harder to explain.”


  • Real estate experts and economists are projecting that in 2019 the housing market will continue to slow down. Home developers have reduced their amount of construction planned for 2019 due to the high number of homes that are currently available on the market. In Baytown alone, there are over seven hundred homes listed for sale (as of January 2019). However, this should not be a deterrent to individuals interested in selling – they can sell to an all-cash homebuyer. The benefit of selling to an investor is that the competition does not necessarily impact the sale. For example, we here at Gulf State Homebuyers provide competitive offers despite the high number of homes available on the market.


  • More on Baytown: Home prices in Baytown over the last thirty days have averaged $185,000, which is up 2.4% compared to January 2018. This is above the median home value in Baytown, which averages $147,400. In the last year home values have risen 5%, creating opportunity for potential sellers.

The Impact of the Government Shutdown 

According to the numbers, it is an optimal time for a homeowner to sell. Home selling prices are still competitive and interest rates are still lower compared to anticipated predictions. However, there is one major event that is negatively impacting the housing market – the government shutdown.

Due to the shutdown lenders are having to make a challenging decision related to providing clients with new loans. When an application is submitted to the lender, they generally verify income through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Social Security Administration. However, both these agencies are experiencing delayed response times to lending inquiries. Due to lack of funding, the agencies are behind on work. Therefore, lenders are having to decide whether they want to provide loans without this critical informational. Unfortunately for home buyers and home sellers, this is causing lenders to withdraw certain loans that may seem too risky. Additionally, this does not include buyers who are seeking FHA or VA loans. These loans are underwritten by both of the identified agencies, so with limited assistance, approval time on these loans is longer than usual.

Moreover, home buyers with either the capital at hand or those that have been approved by a loan are somewhat hesitant to finalize purchases on new homes during the government shutdown. A recent study completed by the National Association of Realtors found that 25% of buyers are backing out due to their fear of government uncertainty.

The continuation of the government shutdown is making the real estate market (and the United States economy) unstable.  Depending on the length of the shutdown, interest rates could fluctuate, and, with all of the missing government assistance, many home buyers are limited in their ability to execute on a deal.

How to Take Advantage of the Market, But Avoid the Complications with the Shutdown

Remove the finance contingency on your home sale. Just because the government is shut down, it does not mean you need to hold off on selling your home. With an uncertain forecast for the real estate market, now is the best time to pull the trigger on your sale. Sidestep the finance contingency and sell to us – all-cash home buyers. We have the capital available to close on your home within five days.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the current market and selling your home, contact us today.

Categories divorce

Challenges with Selling Your Home During a Divorce


Separating from your spouse can not only induce emotional stress, but financial stress as well. If you own a home with your partner you will need to confront the issue of what to do with your property. There are two primary options to consider. Either, one spouse stays in the home, or you sell the home.

In general, the second option is best suited to assist in a smooth separation. Selling the home allows for assets to be divided equally and ties to be cut in the relationship. However, selling your home during a divorce may present some unexpected challenges.

Understand the Law

No matter the relationship you had with your significant other at the time of the decision to divorce, it is imperative that you understand your rights related to selling your home during a divorce. Often times, individuals believe that they do not need to fully understand this aspect because they have faith in their spouse that everything will close fairly. Unfortunately, you can never predict what the future will hold, so understanding your legal rights is sure to help in any unforeseen situation.

First, recognize that Texas is a “community property” state. That is, anything owned between the couple has dual ownership. Even if the home was purchased prior to the marriage, if any funds were used from joint accounts to make payments or repairs on the house, the home was transferred to community property. This means that the sale of the home must be approved by both spouses, and both signatures will be required on the paperwork. Additionally, this equates to equal shares in the profit from the sale of the home.

Secondly, if you do sell during a divorce, do not expect to receive the funds immediately. In the state of Texas, once a home has sold the funds will be help in your attorney’s client trust and divided once the decision of the court is finalized.

Agree on the Logistics

If both parties feel that selling the home is the best option for their futures, consider the following three aspects to selling before listing the home. These three decisions are the most difficult for couples to agree on and can extend the sale of the home drastically. It can even cause a change in broker if the relationship is hostile. Therefore, answering these three questions can both reduce time spent selling the house and reduce arguments between you and your significant other.

  1. Identify a Listing Agent. This is step one. Identify a listing agent that you are both comfortable with. Ask what the agents fees are and what their marketing plan consists of. Unexpected events during the marketing process can cause tension between a couple.
  2. Preparing the House to Sell. How much is each party willing to pay for repairs and staging. Both of these investments can help increase the value of the home once it is listed on the market. However, many times there is one party who is not prepared to invest either time or money in the property. Maybe they did not want to sell, or they are holding a grudge against their spouse. Whatever the situation, confirming the dollars permitted to invest and identifying what role each spouse plays in preparing the home for sale should be completed before listing the home.
  3. Settle on Selling Price and Terms. This is the stage in which most homes fall out of contract. Spouses often change their mind during the process, or were unaware of the actual value of the home pre-marketing. Coming to an agreement on all terms of the sale will be essential for a quick close. A couple questions to ponder include: What is the lowest selling price I will agree on? Will I accept an offer with a loan contingency? What closing costs am I willing to cover? Again, it primarily comes down to the finances. Having an in-depth understanding of closing costs and expectations during escrow can relieve headaches in the final steps of the sale.

Finding the Right Professional

Listing on the market can pose an array of problems in itself. It can extend the process of selling the home and can create resentment between splitting partners. An alternative option to consider when selling your home during a divorce is to sell to an all cash buyer.

As an all cash buyer, we have purchased multiple homes from families going through this strenuous time. We do not want to add to this stress, nor do we want to waste any parties time. Therefore, we can provide our clients with an upfront offer on how much we will purchase the home for. We can close quickly, allowing for this chapter of the divorce to be closed. Additionally, with years of experience, we understand the legal process. We have an attorney on staff that can help with the process.

Get started with the next phase of your life today. Contact us for a simple solution.

Categories Uncategorized

How to Evaluate Your Home’s Value


If you are not in the real estate industry, you are most likely unaware of how your home’s value is determined. Many individuals such as yourself believe that your home’s value is equivalent to the price you purchased the home with inflation. We hate to be the bearer of bad news but there are many other variables that must be considered when evaluating a home, and sometimes a home’s value can actually depreciate over time. To help you better understand what we consider when we value a home we have made a simple outline for you. So, if you are considering selling your home you can take a look around and see how your home compares.

The Real Estate Market and The United States Economy

The market is really what sets the price of your home. No matter the additions and upgrades you have installed, if we are in a bad market your home’s value may decline. But how can you tell how the real estate market is doing? A simple assessment of the United States economy can be your first indicator on how the real estate market is doing – generally, the economy is a direct reflection of the housing market. You do not need to be an expert in the field; instead, you can conduct a simple search on the internet and catch up on the national news headlines. This can be a great start to identifying how the economy and how the housing market is doing.

There is an exception to this assumption however. If you live in a highly sought out market, such as San Francisco, your home’s value may not be directly impacted by the market. But, if you live in an area such as Baytown, you can be sure that the local and national market will have an impact on your home’s value.

Market Comparables and Property Characteristics

Market comparables, or market comps, are essential when valuing a home, and if you can understand the data involved, you can even gain a better understanding of the economy via these comps. The first step is to understand, what are market comps? When your home is being evaluated, a professional will look at homes that have sold in your market or are available for sale in your market. This gives an understanding of price points for homes – more specifically, price per square foot. However, when completing this assessment there are many factors that need to be considered to determine if the comp is an appropriate one to utilize when evaluating your home. We at Gulf State Homebuyers consider a variety of aspects when evaluating a home, including: condition, year built, amenities and upgrades, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and more. Every additional luxury can add value to a home. For instance, for 2019, homebuyers are seeking eco-friendly homes that provide adequate open spaces. Therefore, if your home matches what the buyers are looking for, your home could increase in value.

A unique home to value is one that has been damaged, say by a recent hurricane or a fire. These homes can be a bit trickier since they require much more upfront capital to improve. When evaluating a home that has severe damages we take into consideration the value of the home prior to the damages along with the estimated cost for renovations, including time and money. We differentiate ourselves from the insurance companies in a major way however, in respect to our motives. We are not looking to give you as little as possible; but instead provide a fair valuation of the homes fair market value.

Getting a Professional Opinion

To get a true understanding of the fair market value of your home it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a professional. Individuals in the field are continuously working with homeowners, reading market updates, and assessing home trends, which provides them with the understanding of how to value your home at a competitive price. One of the worst things an individual can do is evaluate their own home and set the expectation of that selling price. Due to an emotional connection, many homeowners value their homes above their true value.

If you are considering selling and would like a free market evaluation, we here at Gulf State Homebuyers are happy to help. We specialize in purchasing homes in the Baytown area and therefore spend our days living and breathing the local real estate economy. We purchase homes all cash and provide an easy solution for residents to close quickly. We purchase homes of all types, including those that are damaged by fire or rain, homes that are heading towards foreclosure, and even homes that have unwanted tenants living in them. To get started with your free home evaluation, contact us today.