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Prepare to Sell Your House With These Important Legal Documents

Selling your house can be exciting, but hectic. As you ready your home for sale, you also need to plan moving everything you own. You also need to prepare for a real estate transaction that requires a lot of paperwork.

Many people find that compiling documents in advance may result in a faster and more efficient home sale. We’ve compiled a handy list of documents you may need for each phase of the process.


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What documents do I need before I list my home?

You should take time before you list your home on the market to make sure that you have all the documents that you need in order. Here are some of the most important documents you may need before listing your home:

  • Original Sales Contract and Appraisal — Before you list your property, find the sales contract and appraisal documents from when you purchased the home. This is a starting point in determining the value of your property and the opening list price.
  • Home Sale Worksheet — A Home Sale Worksheet can help you get organized and track all the information you need as you prepare to sell your home. 
  • Maintenance Records — You may want to locate any maintenance records that you have for your home in the event that an interested buyer wants more information about the work that was performed on the property.
  • Manuals and Warranties — Do you have manuals or warranty documents to provide a prospective buyer with additional information about equipment and appliances that will be part of the sale?
  • Homeowners Association — You may want to locate documents that are available from your neighborhood association, as many buyers want to know the regulations they will need to follow when they move to the subdivision.

What documents do I need once an offer is made on my home?

Receiving an offer on your home is a very exciting moment, so be prepared  to move quickly. These are the documents that may be required after an offer has been made:

  • Real Estate Purchase Agreement — A Real Estate Purchase Agreement is the legal document that is required when a buyer makes an offer on your home. Typically, the buyer will submit a purchase agreement as part of the offer. You may negotiate with the buyer and submit your own purchase agreement in response.
  • Contingency Removal Form — You may need this form to identify anything that the offer is contingent on. For example, some buyers may make an offer contingent on the successful sale of their own home.

What documents do I need after accepting an offer?

Once you and the buyer have come to an agreement regarding the purchase of your home, you will want to prepare the documents needed before closing. These are a few of the documents that you may need during this period:

  • Home Inspection Report — Buyers often have a home inspection performed after they have agreed to purchase a home. The buyer orders the inspection and often attends the appointment. If you have a copy of the Home Inspection Report, you can gather the insight you need to amend the Real Estate Purchase Agreement if necessary.
  • Appraisal Report — In addition to having a home inspection, buyers may also want an appraisal of the home. The Appraisal Report will provide an assessment of the home’s value, which may have an impact on the final sales price of the home. The Appraisal Report is particularly important if the buyer is taking out a mortgage to purchase the property.
  • Amendments to the Real Estate Purchase Agreement — In the event that the inspection or appraisal have an impact on the terms of sale, then you may need to make amendments to the Real Estate Purchase Agreement.

Are there any other documents I need to prepare for the sale of my house?

There are additional documents you may need depending on the circumstances of your home sale:

  • Warranty Deed — A Warranty Deed is required in order to transfer the interest of a property for an agreed price. By using a Warranty Deed, the buyer knows that they are not assuming any debts or liens associated with the home, and you provide proof that you can sell the property.
  • Contract for Deed — A Contract for Deed may suffice if the buyer is not using traditional financing to purchase your home.

Get your documents in order and sell your house with confidence

The sale of a home can be both sad and exciting. It can also be complicated because you may be trying to buy a home at the same time you’re selling one. Getting your documents in order in advance can help make the process more manageable and partnering with a real estate lawyer can help you feel confident and prepared. Reach out to a Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorney for fast and affordable advice and to get help customizing your Rocket Lawyer real estate documents. 

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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