18 Apr 2018

Mark Zawaideh

Selling a Home? Know the Necessary Paperwork


selling-paperworkUnderstanding what documents are needed to sell a property can make the process run smoother. Those working with an agent may benefit from the escrow company assisting in retrieval. However, any home seller should be aware of the types of documents that are typically necessary in order to facilitate the expedient sale of a home. There may be some slight differences depending upon the state in which one owns a home and other applicable factors.

What Documents Are Useful?

Sellers who list their home for sale with an agent need to gather important information on the home. There may be variations depending upon the type of community, type of property and whether the buyer is choosing to reside in a property or use it as an investment property. The following suggestions are a few of the documents that are generally needed when selling a home.

Deed and Title

A homeowner needs to show ownership of the property. A deed and title show the chain of title, and any encumbrances and liens on a property. A potential buyer wants to know that they are working with the rightful owner who is allowed to execute the sale of the property.

Financial Documents

What will a buyer need to know about any current loans related to the home? A homeowner needs to gather any mortgages on the property, in addition to information on any lines of credit taken out in relationship to the house. Buyers will want to see paperwork which verifies city and county property taxes. This will help them better estimate their annual tax bill.

Inspections and Survey Reports

Homeowners who have owned the property for only a few years may want to locate a copy of any inspection report. This can help them to ascertain the general condition of the home. Documents and permits in regards to upgrades and repairs are also helpful, including records of heating service and plumbing calls. A copy of the survey is helpful for buyers. They will want to know the official measurements of the land that they will be purchasing. Have the most recent survey available for a buyer.

Disclosures and Association Documents

Individuals that live in a property and have to abide by rules set by a Home Owners Association (HOA) should be willing to disclose important information on the HOA. This may include HOA documents which may show fees, rules, insurance and charter by-laws. A potential buyer may want to contact the association in order to perform due diligence. A seller can provide contact information for the buyer.

Check the original purchase paperwork to understand any legal disclosures. This may include acknowledgement and disclosure of flood zones, hazardous material sites and noise disclosures for those Farmington Hills homes in airport flight paths.

Lease Agreements

For those purchasing a rental unit, a buyer needs a copy of any lease agreement. In addition, information on the timeline necessary to provide notification to a tenant to vacate a property should be given to the buyer. Investors want to know about the rents paid and the level of consistency when it comes to current tenants.

These are only a few of the documents and types of paperwork that would be handy for a property owner to gather prior to going through the sale of a home. While some types of paperwork may appear obvious, other documents, while not mandatory, are helpful to potential buyers or investors.

Check with an Agent

There may be other documents that may be relevant depending on state regulations and local practices. It can be helpful to reach out to a real estate agent or lawyer to find out more specific details on the types of document required. A buyer needs the original sales contract showing the purchase price of the property, certificates pertaining to compliance and occupancy, tax records, homeowners' insurance records, documentation on any important improvements, and warranties and manuals on major appliances or recent renovations. Some find it useful to work with a reputable agent, as they will be able to direct a seller as to the types of documents needed at various stages of selling a home.

Permits and Certification

It is important that buyers receive any permits and certification that may be required for certain repairs and upgrades. This may pertain to electric work, plumbing and even fences over a certain height. In addition, a seller may need to disclose any unpermitted work or remediation services they have used in the past, such as with mold or pests. These types of documents would be necessary for homeowners in certain situations to provide to potential buyers. Know what is required at the state and local level before selling a home.

Topics: Seller Tips