14 Jun 2019

Mark Zawaideh


Selling a property involves many documents. Understanding what materials you require will help the process run smoothly. 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 to facilitate the expedient sale of a home. The required documents vary slightly depending on the state in which one owns a home. Other factors play a part, as well.

What Documents Are Useful?

Sellers who list their home for sale with an agent need to gather valuable information about their home. The necessary documents depend on various factors such as the type of community in which you live, the kind of property you own, and whether the buyer is choosing to reside in the property or use it as an investment property. The following suggestions are some of the documents generally needed when selling a home.

Deed and Title

People often use the terms deeds and titles interchangeably. However, there are some differences in what they entail. When a homeowner has the title to a property, then this means the person has the right to the property in question. It may indicate they have the right to all of the property in question or just a part of it. They also have the right to transfer whatever part to which they have access, but not more than what they possess.

A deed is the actual legal paperwork used to transfer a title to someone else. It is the proof of the title. A seller transfers title to a property with a deed. Deeds are the actual written document that states your ownership, whereas the title is a conceptual position of ownership.

When you sell a house, you will need the title, or you won’t be legally able to give the deed to another person. The deed and title show the chain of title and any encumbrances and liens on the property. A potential buyer wants to know that they are working with the rightful owner before making a purchase.

Financial Documents

Several financial documents are pertinent to the house buying process. The buyer will need to know several things about the finances surrounding the house. Some of these include:

  • Do you have a current mortgage on the home?
  • If you have a mortgage, how much is remaining?
  • Were there any second mortgages taken out on the house?
  • Were any lines of credit taken out on the house?

If a homeowner answers yes to any of the above questions, then he or she must gather the paperwork reflecting these transactions.

In addition to the financial documents concerning the house, buyers will want to see paperwork that verifies city and county property taxes. This information will help them better estimate their annual tax bill.

Inspection Reports and Repair Receipts

Inspections are an essential part of selling your home. Inspections let sellers know if there are any problems, thus allowing them an opportunity to make repairs. These can be a valuable tool for negotiating, provided the homeowner can show they have made any necessary updates and repairs. As you gather your documents together make sure to include any inspection reports, permits for building work, receipts for upgrades and repairs, and any record of HVAC and plumbing services.

Survey Reports

A survey is another essential tool for sellers. A property survey includes measurements of all the boundaries of your land. Most property is oddly shaped, which merely means it’s not in a perfect rectangle. A survey contains the exact map of the shape, angles, and measurements of the area. A property survey also includes information about easements or encroachments, if applicable. An easement is a part of the property that another person is allowed to access for a specific purpose. For example, a person may need to have access to a small area of another person’s property to get to the main road to leave his or her home.

Encroachment happens when something like a fence goes unto another person’s property. For example, a person will want a fence to be in a straight line, but the adjoining homeowner’s property may veer over where that line would be. It would look aesthetically awkward to change the fence angle. Both easements and encroachments are notated in the deed.

Disclosures and Association Documents

Sellers that reside in a property and have to abide by Home Owners Association (HOA) rules should be willing to disclose relevant information about the HOA. The information may include:

  • HOA regulations and guidelines
  • HOA fee information  
  • Insurance information
  • Charter by-laws
  • Contact information for the HOA

A potential buyer may want to contact the association to perform due diligence.

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

Lease Agreements

If you are selling or purchasing a rental unit, then you will need additional documents. The seller will need to provide a copy of the lease agreements as well as how much time current tenants have before he or she must vacate the property. It’s also helpful for investors to know how consistent the tenants have been in paying their rent. Sellers can print out information using whatever software they use to show the rent collection data.

These are only a few of the documents and types of paperwork that would be handy for a property owner to gather before 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.

Hand of business person holding house card (1)


Permits and Certification

If a seller obtained work permits or certification to complete certain repairs and upgrades, then these documents will be important to the buyer. Whether it’s electrical work, plumbing repairs, or even fencing construction, the permit paperwork is useful. In addition, a seller may need to disclose any work or remediation services that did not require a permit. For example, they may need to disclose if they contracted the services of a mold or pest removal company. These documents may be necessary for homeowners in certain situations. It’s essential to know the requirements of the state and local laws before selling a house.

Check With an Agent

Other documents may be necessary for the closing of property depending on state regulations and local practices. It’s helpful to reach out to a real estate agent or lawyer to find out specific details on the exact types of documents required. A buyer needs the original sales contract showing the purchase price of the property, certificates about compliance and occupancy, tax records, homeowners' insurance records, documentation on any important improvements, and warranties and manuals on major appliances or recent renovations. Working with a reputable and trustworthy agent is critical.

Mark Z Real Estate Experts is ready to assist you with the house selling process. Contact us today for more information!

Topics: Home Improvement Tips