Advice for Consumers

You can ban a new tax on real estate

In Lehman's Terms

Call it what you want: A real estate transfer tax. A sales tax on real estate. A real estate transfer fee. A home tax.

They’re all the same thing: A tax on the sale of your property. Thirty-seven states have such a tax, but Texas does not. And you have the opportunity to make sure Texas never has one.

Proposition 1 on the November 3 ballot gives Texas voters the chance to ban a real estate sales tax. Forever. You already pay high property taxes. A vote for Proposition 1 ensures you won’t have to worry about adding this tax, too. 

This vote is important for your personal finances but also for the state’s economy.

I’ve participated in economic development initiatives that encourage businesses to relocate to Texas. The message from these out-of-state businesses is always the same: They want to come to Texas for our business-friendly climate and because we don’t have a state income tax. But they worry that the state’s high property taxes will complicate the relocation of employees.

However, when I inform them Texas is one of 13 states that does not have a real estate tax, they again want to come to Texas.

Proposition 1 will ban taxes on the sale of real estate. It will also take the first step toward lowering property taxes in Texas. Voting for Proposition 1 saves property owners money now and in the future.

Mark Lehman is the vice president of governmental affairs for the Texas Association of REALTORS®. 

Selling property near water? You might need to put this in the contract

A law that goes into effect September 1 requires a change if you’re selling residential or commercial property that adjoins certain bodies of water. Here’s a list of the lakes and reservoirs included in the law.

The law requires that the seller notifies the buyer that the amount of water in the lake or reservoir could fluctuate. The required language, which could be inserted into your contract, is listed on the Texas Real Estate Commission’s website.

A Texas REALTOR® can help you determine if this law applies to your property and how to correctly provide the new disclosure. 

What is a Texas REALTOR®?

Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.

Only those who agree to abide by a code of ethics that goes beyond what the law requires may join the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Read the REALTOR® Code of Ethics

Texas REALTORS® do more than help you buy and sell real estate

They protect the rights of property owners. They fight proposals that would increase the burdens on buying, selling, and owning real estate. And they bring property-owners’ concerns to the Legislature, regulatory agencies, and local authorities.

Learn more about how Texas REALTORS®  can help you