Selling your home will involve a lot of paperwork. The requirements may vary somewhat depending on where you live, but the following are some of the most important documents you’ll likely need:
Documents From Your Purchase of the House
You’ll need the original sales contract from the time when you bought the house. That’ll let the buyer know who the previous owner was, the sale price at the time, and any disclosures that were made then. You’ll also need to provide the appraisal that was conducted before you bought the house.
Documents Related to Maintenance, Repairs and Current Problems
You should’ve kept records of maintenance and repairs during the time you owned the house. Those can give the buyer an accurate idea of the condition of the house now and any repairs that might be needed in the future. If you had any new appliances installed, you should give the buyers the warranties.
You’ll also need to provide a potential buyer with homeowners insurance records. These should include any claims you submitted so the buyer will be aware of any significant past damage and repairs that were made.
Once a buyer has made an offer and you’ve accepted it, you’ll need to follow mandatory disclosure laws and provide information on any known damage or hazards. That could include everything from lead paint and water damage to broken appliances and disputes over the property line. Failing to provide this information could lead to a lawsuit later.
Documents Needed to Complete the Transaction
A purchase offer spells out the agreement between the buyer and seller. The real estate agents or attorneys representing the buyer and seller will later draft a final purchase and sale agreement that includes specifics on the sale price as well as other terms, such as the closing date and contingencies.
The buyer will most likely have the house inspected to find out about any problems. If anything serious is discovered, you and the buyer will need to decide whether you’ll make repairs before closing or lower the asking price.
If the buyer will need to get a mortgage to buy the house, the lender will require an appraisal to determine its value. The appraiser will provide the buyer with a report, and a copy will be made available to you.
The deed is a document that officially transfers ownership from the seller(s) to the buyer(s). It will include the names of all parties involved in the transaction and a description of the property itself.
Working With the Right Real Estate Agent Is Key
Selling a house is complicated. Your real estate agent should be able to guide you through the process. When interviewing agents, look for someone who has the knowledge and patience to walk you through all the steps and the documents that’ll be required and to answer all your questions.