Documents Needed for Home Selling

Common Paperwork Types When Selling a HomeSelling a home often calls for a great deal of documentation. Some of this paperwork is generated and managed by a real estate agent, but others may require the seller to collect and maintain. With this list, sellers will know which documentation to watch for while selling their homes.

Selling Paperwork

When people decide to sell a home, they quickly realize that the process of selling can be very complicated. A real estate agent usually handles paperwork related to the actual sale, and includes:

  • listing agreement for the property, which indicates how the agent distributes payment for services
  • marketing plans to attract attention to the home
  • purchase contracts offered by buyers and signed by both parties
  • mandatory disclosures about the condition of the property
  • home buying contingencies placed by the buyer
  • occupancy agreements

Much of this paperwork may need to be completed more than once, if the seller ends up going through the process with more than buyer.

Inspections and Appraisals

In order to sell the home, most lenders require an appraisal to estimate the property's current value. Many home buyers also choose to request a home inspection, to ascertain the home's condition and identify any reasons that the home needs repairs or replacement prior to the sale. If sellers schedule these professional services before they list the home, buyers may be willing to accept the reports. They may also request them to be done over again. Sellers should organize records of all inspections and any repairs performed as a result, as a way to minimize confusion and delays during the sale.

Financial Documents

It is the responsibility of the seller to obtain all relevant financial documentation of the property. If the seller still has a mortgage on the property, they should keep updated records that show the amount still owed to the mortgage holder. Sellers also need to show the paperwork they signed when they purchased the home, documenting their ownership of the property, and the sale price for tax purposes. If the home has a current tenant, the seller must provide information about the tenant agreement and financial records concerning deposits or rent payments.

Ownership Records

During the course of owning a home, people receive a lot of documentation related to the property, whether it's in Garden City or elsewhere. Sellers who bought new construction should have detailed records of the structure, systems, and appliances. They must also be able to prove that they own the home, typically done through the transfer of the deed and title. Since the title must be free and clear for the seller to be able to sell the home, doing a title search in advance of listing the property may help the seller to clear up any problems before entering a sales contract. Obtaining these documents may take some time, particularly if the seller does not already have copies available.

Tax and Insurance Information

All homeowners are required to pay property taxes. A home sale usually cannot be completed if property taxes have not been paid. Sellers are required to sign an affidavit affirming that there is no lien on the home, which is often related to unpaid property taxes. If the home has sustained any damage that led to an insurance claim, sellers should be able to provide information about the insurance on the property, and the services they took to fix problems related to the claim.

Selling a home underscores the importance of good record-keeping by homeowners. With advance knowledge of the kinds of paperwork they will be expected to show, sellers can minimize stress and be better prepared to transfer ownership to a buyer.

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