What Paperwork Do I Need To Sell My House Myself?

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“What paperwork do I need to sell my house myself? If you want to sell your home, you can hire a realtor or represent yourself as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO).”

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What Paperwork Do I Need To Sell My House Myself?

People who want to sell a house without a realtor report that setting the right price is the biggest challenge, but understanding and preparing the paperwork is also significant.

This guide (What paperwork do I need to sell my house myself) offers FSBO tips and helps you understand the paperwork involved in selling a home without a realtor.


Is There A Reason Why Some Sellers Avoid Working With A Realtor?

An individual might sell their house alone instead of hiring a realtor for multiple reasons.

There are a few reasons why they might want to sell. First, they may already know the buyer, such as a parent choosing to sell to a child because they don’t need as much space. A homeowner’s friend might be interested.

In these situations, the real estate lawyer can assist with the paperwork while the seller can generate excitement, locate potential buyers, or negotiate deals.

There are also other reasons why home sellers go the FSBO route. Even though most people pay a six percent commission to their realtor when selling a house (split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents), it can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Since the buyer’s agent will expect a three percent commission, a seller hiring a discount agent will still pay around four or five percent in commissions. As reported by NAR, the average home sale for FSBOs in 2021 was $225,000, compared to $330,000.

Parents and friends may offer deals to loved ones buying their homes or those homeowners undervalue their properties to sell them quickly, which results in this differential. It might make sense to hire a Realtor if they can sell your home for more money than their commission and still make a quick sale.


A Home Seller’s Guide to Paperwork

What paperwork do I need to sell my house myself? A real estate transaction requires lots of paperwork, whether you sell it yourself or hire a Realtor. You sign each piece of paper as a legal statement that you agree to the terms of the sale. A buyer must also sign numerous estate settlement documents before they can take ownership of the property.

Both parties will sign the offer form to confirm that they agree with the terms and conditions, while other real estate documents are required at various stages of the selling process. It depends on whether there is a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). The buyer may have to sign documents acknowledging their dues and rules.

These documents must be in place to show that the seller ratified the sale. If the buyer can prove the seller lied during the selling process or knew the information they did not share during the selling process, he or she may be able to use this paperwork in court. In the end, paperwork protects everyone—including the house.


Can I Sell My House Myself If I Have The Proper Documents?

What paperwork do I need to sell my house myself? Putting your home on the market without an agent can allow you to avoid the real estate commission.

  • A document from your lender indicating the amount you owe on your mortgage
  • Home maintenance and repair records
  • Form to disclose possible lead-based paint issues
  • Real estate brokers provide comparative market analyses
  • A rough estimate of the house’s sale costs is included on the net sheet
  • Title inspection preliminary
  • Conducting a pre-listing inspection of the home before placing the home for sale.
  • Analyzing the house’s showings and determining the listing price from the appraiser’s report
  • Report on home inspection
  • Closing remarks


Typical Paperwork Required When Selling a House by Yourself

People often think of paperwork as one of their biggest concerns when researching how to sell a house by owner. The FSBO paperwork can get overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with the real estate process. It is dozens of pages long and filled with complicated legal terms that all parties must sign.


Typical Paperwork Required When Selling a House by Yourself


Here are the FSBO documents you need to understand, including the paperwork you need to sign and the forms a buyer needs to receive – and sign proving they have received them.


Disclosure Form for Residential Properties

Sellers must disclose all known issues related to a home and land before they can legally sell the property. For example, if the seller discloses a leaky roof to the buyer, the buyer is likely to believe that the home has a quality roof, only to have to pay to replace it once they move in if the issue goes unnoticed.

The seller disclosure form is a critical component of FSBO paperwork, demonstrating the seller’s honesty and ethical behavior.

The type of property disclosure statement varies by state. You can find the right one online (and learn about the disclosure laws). You can fill out various forms that ask questions about your house’s foundation, roof, electrical system, pool, and other features.


Agreement of Purchase

When a seller accepts a buyer’s offer, they draw up a sales contract, which reviews the terms of the sale. It is also called a purchase agreement. In addition to the property description (its address, size, type, etc.), the purchase agreement will include the price, closing date, and any contingencies associated with the sale.

A real estate attorney can provide you with a sample contract, or you can use the original sales contract you bought when you bought your house as a template. When you accept an offer, you need this FSBO paperwork, so it’s helpful to have a purchase agreement ready to sign as soon as possible.


Reports and deeds related to title

No title reports or deed documents are needed when selling your home. The title company usually retains those documents until the buyer is required to use them.

Even if you don’t work with a Realtor, working with a title agent is still necessary. They will run a title search to ensure you have the right to sell the property. They will also prepare the property deed for transfer. Both parties must sign paperwork and fees to cover their costs from the title company.

When selling FSBO, it might be possible to work with the buyer’s agent to complete the title process.


Documentation for a loan

If you still owe the house, contact your bank and get your mortgage statement. You will also have to contact your mortgage lender to get a payoff quote—a document that outlines exactly how much you owe the bank and how to pay that amount and close the account.

You don’t want to continue paying for a house you don’t own. Your paperwork is here to help you complete the property sale so you can avoid it.


Bills for utilities and property taxes

When you sell your home by owner, you might need to pull up utility bills and property tax records for multiple reasons. The loan, interest, taxes, and insurance can affect a buyer’s debt-to-income ratio. Mortgage lenders may ask about property taxes to ensure the buyer has enough money to purchase the property.

A buyer will then need to determine how much their monthly expenses will be, considering that everyone uses water and electricity differently. Utility bills can provide a good indication of their monthly expenses.

Lastly, you can use them to cancel your accounts so you don’t have to continue paying for water and electricity you weren’t using. Including the property tax records in the closing paperwork would be a good idea for transparency.


Rules and Agreements of Homeowners Associations

In communities with homeowners associations, the prospective buyer must sign a contract that abides by these rules and also pays monthly dues to purchase a home.

Your closing statement will include a line item for any HOA fees you paid ahead. You will likely get the money back if you do. It will appear on your final statement when you have paid the HOA fees.


Planning and Permitting

When you buy a home, it is important to include a survey of the property blueprints, permits, and other documents about its improvements. This is especially important if the house’s layout differs from when the previous owner purchased it. If you plan to make any improvements, you must prove they are authorized and inspected for safety, as unpermitted work is illegal and dangerous.

If you disclose unpermitted work, the buyer might avoid suing you for misleading and dangerous home sale disclosures.


Warranties and receipts

Not all paperwork is legally binding if you sell a house without a Realtor. You may need to include documents to help the buyer in their new home. For example, you may include receipts for recently purchased appliances and warranties (if they transfer to the buyer). The buyer will know who to call if the washer breaks right away once they move in.


The Deed Transfers Ownership of a Home from the Seller to the Buyer.

Title companies or real estate attorneys will likely request that your lender provide a mortgage payoff statement to the buyer. Keeping all maintenance records is also essential. For example, if you had an HVAC upgrade or a washing machine repair, you’ll need to provide that information to the buyer.

A seller disclosure form is also required for FSBO real estate sales. The form should inform buyers about any significant issues in the home that need addressing, such as lead-based paint. It would be best to show that the property has no liens. You can do this by performing a preliminary title search.

Having your property tax records for a home sale is unnecessary, but you’ll be able to see any taxes due on your home before closing day. Unfortunately, you might not find it easy to obtain a comparative market analysis because brokers and agents usually do it for you.

If you have a pre-listing home inspection, you can ensure that any significant problems with your house are fixed before you put it on the market. A seller’s net sheet will show you the profit you will likely make from the home sale while accounting for other house-selling costs.

Your listing price must align with the home value based on the appraisal you receive from the buyer’s lender or the buyer.


Seller’s Checklist of Paperwork

FSBO checklists can be helpful if you are selling your first home alone. We’ve gathered just what you need here at Attorney Real Estate Group. We consulted our top real estate agents to gather the documents you need. You can use this checklist to sell a house without a Realtor in no time.

  • Disclosure documents for sellers
  • Contract of sale
  • Reports on titles
  • Deed
  • Documents related to the loan
  • Data on local taxes
  • A list of past bills (water, electricity, gas, internet, sewer, trash)
  • Plans and blueprints
  • Obtaining permits
  • Warranties and receipts


Exceptions to Paperwork

Many real estate agents prepare additional documents to help the seller understand the process. Sellers prepare net sheets, for example, showing the home cost minus the closing costs. A seller receives this free paperwork to help them understand the sale, but it is optional for FSBO sales.

It gives them a concrete idea of how much money they have made. It is up to you whether you want to prepare these documents for your records or to simplify the process of paying taxes.


The Buyer Will Still Want To Conduct An Inspection.

Your buyer will only agree to complete the purchase with the assistance of a listing agent. Ask your buyer to hire a home inspector and an appraiser before signing any documents.

Ensure your home’s sale is fair by providing a home appraisal report outlining its value. It is often a requirement for mortgage approval that the appraiser conducts a competitive market analysis comparing your home with similar properties recently sold in the area.

A mortgage is usually necessary before purchasing a house to have a home inspection. The inspector checks the foundation, roof, and water heater to ensure they are in good shape.

Know that your buyer’s purchase agreement may include appraisals and inspections, common elements of any real estate sale.


The Bottom Line

Once you have collected all the necessary paperwork, you can list your house as FSBO. There are several documents to remember, from the purchase agreement to the closing statement, but everyone contributes to the transparent and ethical nature of the home sale.

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