Advice for Consumers

I’m the back-up buyer. When does my option period start?

A seller accepted my back-up offer on a home that’s currently under contract to another buyer. I paid for a 10-day option to terminate, but when do my 10 days start? I don’t know if I’ll even get the chance to purchase the house.

You have the option to terminate at any time while you’re in the back-up position. The option period specified in Paragraph 23 of the contract—10 days, in your case—doesn’t start until your contract becomes the primary contract, which is the date you receive notice from the seller of the termination of the first contract. 

Have a question about buying, selling, or leasing property in Texas? Ask us. Not all submitted questions will be answered.

3 ways to prepare for homeownership while renting

You may not be quite ready to buy your first home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing now. Here are three actions you can do while renting that will put you in a better position when you’re ready to buy.

Take a homeowner’s budget for a test drive. While you can’t predict all homeownership costs down to the last penny, you can come up with a rough estimate of how owning a home will impact your budget. A Texas REALTOR® can help you figure out how much home you can afford, the potential mortgage payment you’d make, your local property taxes, and repair costs you might want to consider as a homeowner.

Check your credit report. Before you apply for a loan, you should request a free credit report to find out what a lender would see. If your report has errors, you can correct them before they affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. And if you find legitimate flaws, you might be able to take steps to improve your credit before purchasing a property. Your Texas REALTOR® may be able to help you find resources to repair your credit.

Create a realistic wish list. There’s probably not a home that will offer every single amenity you desire, but you should have a general idea of what you’re looking for. So while a home with fewer than two bathrooms may be non-negotiable, perhaps you’d see the potential in one with a smaller kitchen or a not-so-appealing exterior paint job.

It’s never too early to talk to a Texas REALTOR® when you know you’re going to buy a home. A Texas REALTOR® can answer your questions about the homebuying process and help you avoid surprises along the way.

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