Selling your home is a complex process, as there’s plenty of stuff that has to be done. You have to find a real estate agent, decide on the home sale price, organize a pre-sale home inspection, and stage a home. If you’re considering listing your home on the market, it’s best to prepare yourself ahead of time, and this includes all the necessary paperwork to close the sale..
This guide aims to provide you with an extensive list of all the documents you’ll need during a house sale, from the initial listing agreement to mandatory disclosure statements, home appraisal reports, and everything in between you might need to stay ahead and streamline the process as much as possible.
Key Documents Required to Sell a House
Regardless of whether you’re selling a house FSBO or through a realtor, you need to gather certain documents that will be shared with the buyer so that they may review all the documents and raise any questions. Here’s what you need:
Personal Identification Documentation
As with any other transaction, you’ll need to verify your identity, for a variety of different reasons. Realtors need to verify whether you’re the owner or a co-owner of the home you’re selling. Identification is necessary when signing nearly any legal document, and modern real estate is fraught with fraud, which only underscores the importance of verification.
Personal identification refers to a state-issued driver’s license or identification card with a photo of you. However, you might also need proof of residency, in which case a utility bill or a bank statement might help.
Different states regulate real estate in varying ways and may impose different identification requirements, so it’s best to have these documents on hand.
The deed is among the most important documents you’ll need when selling a property. It’s a physical document that proves that you’re the owner of the property you’re trying to sell, as well as the name of the previous owner.
However, most home sellers tend to misplace or outright lose the deed to their home, which isn’t surprising given that the document is rarely used. You can always obtain a replacement at the local recorder office, which is tasked with storing information and details about various property sales and property ownership.
Conveniently, many of these offices have an online page where you can access their records and request a replacement deed. It’s also a good idea to ask for a title report, detailing whether there are any liens and outstanding debts against the property.
Realtors and brokers typically require that home sellers continue homeowners insurance records until the closing to ensure uninterrupted coverage. This isn’t mandatory, but it’s considered a red flag if no one asks for this type of insurance.
The insurance policy also has very little to do with the sale requirements and more due to the requirements of the mortgage loan associated with the property, if any. Some states also require this type of insurance with the property purchase agreement.
Mortgage Payoff Statements
The title company or the real estate attorney might request that you provide a mortgage payoff statement from your mortgage lender. This document shows information about your mortgage if you have one. It details your account, the amount owed, and other associated charges.
In case you still have a mortgage, the mortgage statement also includes your payoff amount and any you’re legally required to produce this paperwork if you have a mortgage. The payoff amount is the amount you must satisfy to pay the loan, and it differs significantly from your current account balance, as it also includes interest through the date of payoff.
Property Tax Documents
You’ll also be required to submit documents about previously paid property taxes. In most cases, the most recent tax record will suffice, as it provides potential buyers an approximation of how much they’ll pay in property taxes. Please note that you might also have to pay unpaid property taxes based on the days between selling and closing dates; this depends on the local rules and regulations.
Every state in the US has its laws about mandatory disclosure forms, which are documented disclosures notifying prospective buyers of known issues with the house for sale. If you’re selling, you should prepare a disclosure document.
Despite their differences per state, each of these regulations follows a similar format, and their purpose is to notify the home buyers of issues associated with the home that could adversely affect the health and safety of residents.
Most mandatory disclosures are associated with defects like the presence of asbestos, environmental toxins in the area, the potential history of violent crimes on the property, past legal disputes, potential neighborhood nuisances, pest risk, and the presence of lead-based paint.
Disclosures also include homeowners association rules and regulations, financial documents, due schedules, articles of incorporation, and financial documents. These are typically ordered by the title company or the real estate attorney before closing, which alleviates the responsibility of obtaining this document from the sellers and homeowners.
Maintenance Records and Home Inspection Report
Maintenance records are important, but they’re not mandatory. Still, major repairs and issues with the property must be disclosed to the new owner, preferably in writing, to avoid creating any liabilities once the real estate transaction has concluded.
On the other hand, home inspection reports are mandatory. These are performed by professional inspectors who examine the property for potential issues and document them. Sellers can opt to condition their home pre-sale, as addressing these issues might affect the property’s price.
Inspectors survey the property checking the home’s structure, its roof and foundation, HVAC, walls, windows, and doors. Presenting this document to the buyer will help them understand the condition of the home they’re buying. Additionally, offer manuals and warranties (if any) for major appliances that could help future owners.
Home Appraisal Report
Assuming that the buyer is financing the purchase, the lender will require an appraisal report that states your home’s value against the current market value. If the prices don’t match because the listing price is higher than the market value, and you’re not willing to negotiate the price, the deal will fall through because the lender won’t approve the loan.
The closing statement is usually provided by the title company or the real estate attorney and states all the debts credited to the buyer and the seller, providing an amount to close on the buyer side and the amount due to the seller.
What Happens If You Don’t Have The Right Documents to Sell a House?
The closing on the house alone takes anywhere from a week to two months to complete, so if you happen to miss the right documents, you have enough time to secure all the necessary documentation.
While preparedness is strongly encouraged, missing the right documents isn’t so terrible as long as you remain proactive and actively work towards obtaining said documents. Selling your home fast in Dallas to cash home buyers is typically more streamlined and less stressful.
Cash home buyers offer a worry-free service that eliminates the stress associated with house sales. In most cases, sellers just need to inquire, receive, and negotiate an offer and collect the necessary documentation within a reasonable timeframe.
What to Do If You Don’t Have the Documents Required to Sell a Property
This depends on the type of document you’re missing, but in most cases, you can still obtain the documents during the sale process. The best approach is to contact a real estate attorney, as these professionals can help procure or recreate the necessary documents.
Local authorities can help you with the missing permits, certificates of occupancy, and any other documents that are typically issued by the local government. Your mortgage lender will provide you with copies of your mortgage documents, and the insurance company can help you furnish your insurance records.
In some cases, missing documents can be legally remedied by affidavits or legal declarations, though this depends on the local laws and regulations, as well as the nature of the missing document.
Note that many issues associated with producing and furnishing the aforementioned documents can be alleviated by selling your home to Dallas cash home buyers. These companies usually offer online estimates of the property, followed by appraisals, and then, sale for cash payment.
The good thing about selling your home to cash home buyers is the fact that they often buy property that requires renovation or even if it has structural issues. All of this affects the height of the cash offer, but if you’re looking to sell an outdated property, such as an old house, you’re more likely to make a faster sale with cash home buyers than buyers looking for a residential property.
Selling your home will require you to gather approximately a dozen documents necessary for closing the sale. Some of these will be required even during the pre-listing page, while others might be required during the closing phase.
If you’re looking to sell your home for cash fast and thus alleviate most of the stress associated with the whole process, we suggest contacting We Buy Houses for Cash Dallas.