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Sellers checklist: All of the necessary papers you need when selling a home

Thursday, April 7, 2022   /   by Bob Cowan

Sellers checklist: All of the necessary papers you need when selling a home

The Documents You Need to Sell a House
Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Bob Cowan



Sellers checklist: All of the necessary papers you need when selling a home


Selling a home should be simple and clear. Unfortunately, it is rarely the case, as selling a home requires the completion of various documents.

If you’re ready to sell, here’s a checklist of all the necessary paperwork for a faster, smoother transaction.


Documents required prior to listing your home.

Before you sell or advertise your home for sale, make sure you have the following paperwork ready:

Original sales contract: This is the proof or record of your house purchase from the previous owner.

A professional appraisal from the time you purchased your home: You should also provide updated papers (if any) since the original appraisal, in addition to the previous appraisal.

Mortgage statement: You should also provide updated papers (if any) since the original appraisal, in addition to the previous appraisal. If you have an existing mortgage, you'll need a mortgage statement from your lender or loan provider. It should include the payoff amount, as well as any/all interest that you must consider until your loan is completely paid off. Knowing this can help you in more precisely calculating your estimated home sale proceeds with greater accuracy.

Homeowner’s insurance: You should offer documentation regarding any damages and subsequent repairs done on your house to maintain transparency in your selling transaction and to provide the buyer an idea of the cost of homeowner's insurance. Share proof of your homeowner's insurance as well as any claims record (list of all claims) from the time you bought your house.

HOA documents: If you own a home in a development, you're almost certainly a member of the homeowners' association (HOA). If this is the case, make sure to include any terms or costs that the buyer should be aware of before agreeing to a sale. Make copies of the articles of incorporation, rules and regulations, bylaws, and HOA dues amount statements, among other documents.

Home repair and maintenance records: Your home repair and maintenance records detail any work or enhancements you've made to your home over the years. Maintenance receipts, utility maps, and capital improvement receipts are all examples of relevant receipts and paperwork (e.g., kitchen and bath remodels, major additions like roofing work and a swimming pool). However, take note that capital improvements only include any work done that has enhanced or increased your home value. It doesn’t include routine and necessary maintenance and repair work.

Manuals and warranties: If you're selling equipment like a refrigerator, washer, dryer, or dishwasher, make sure you give the buyer the product manuals and warranties.

Previous utility bills: You can also send copies of previous utility bills to give the buyer an idea of how much utilities will cost them monthly or annually.

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Documents required to start selling your home

There are a few additional essential documents you need resolve before you officially start putting your home on the market, including the following:

Comparative market analysis: Your real estate agent should be able to give you with comparable market data, such as a summary or compilation of recent or current house sales in your neighborhood. As a result, you'll be more likely to come up with a viable price approach.

Listing agreement: You need to sign a contract with your real estate agent that officially declares them to have exclusive rights to market and sell your property within a designated time frame. They also have the right to use any existing content relevant to marketing the property, such as photos, written descriptions, and other copyrightable materials, under the terms of the contract.

Marketing plan: All of the actions, methods, or processes that are required to facilitate the selling of your house are included in the marketing plan. Open houses, traditional and digital marketing tactics, and other promotions will be carried out by your agent.

Seller’s net sheet: Your agent will fill out an organizational worksheet showing the amount you’ll net as the owner after their commission, taxes, escrow fees, and mortgage payment. Expect the sum to fluctuate (every time a buyer makes an offer), as it will be determined by the date of each offer, thus you may receive multiple copies of this document.

Documents to have on hand while your home is still on

the market

You must prepare the following documentation while your property is still on the market and you are receiving inquiries:

Preliminary title report: The preliminary title report, also known as a prelim, contains information about your property, such as any taxes you owe and any legal limitations or restrictions that apply to it. You will be able to present an official document to your agent and any possible buyers if you have this report ready.

Mandatory disclosures: To ensure a fair and transparent transaction, you must adhere to obligatory disclosure regulations. Prior to the official sale, you must also disclose any hazardous materials in your home. Disclosures include information regarding the presence of asbestos, lead-based paint, water damage, environmental hazards, problems with the neighborhood, disputes concerning fencing or property lines, etc. Such disclosures may not be required in some states where caveat emptor applies. However, if you want a smooth, transparent transaction without having to deal with legal difficulties later, make sure the buyer is aware of them.

Pre-inspection report: Hiring a home inspector to offer a pre-inspection report is optional, but it provides you with information on material faults in your home. You can either deal with them or notify the buyer in writing before they make an offer.

Documents required when you get an offer

You're likely to receive many bids while your home is on the market. Make sure you have the following documents on hand:

Purchase offer and counteroffer forms: The initial amount or price you receive from a serious bidder is documented in the purchase offer. The counteroffers are then documented in order to keep track of any conversations you and a buyer have had. The purchase offer becomes a contract that both of you will sign once you have reached an agreement. As you complete the transaction, you may need to make changes to this document.

Purchase and sale agreement: The buy and sale agreement is a legally drafted contract that specifies the home's sale price, terms of purchase, earnest money amount, closing date, and any contingencies. The buyer's and seller's real estate agents and attorneys collaborate on this form. Before moving further with the house sale, both you and the buyer must agree to the terms and sign the contract.

Documents to receive before closing

At this point in the transaction process you’ll also be on the receiving end of some documents.

Home inspection report: A house inspection contingency is usually included in the contract by the buyer. If they do, they'll hire an inspector to investigate and evaluate the property before closing. After the inspection is completed, the inspector writes a detailed report that is usually several pages long (and includes images) that details their findings.

Home appraisal report: If the buyer requires financing to purchase your property, the loan provider would require an appraisal report. In 30 days, you'll also receive a copy of this. If the appraisal comes back lower than the offer you and the buyer agreed on, you may expect your agent to notify you immediately away.

Documents required to finalize the deal

At this stage, you're on the point of being able to sell your home. Make sure you have the following items on hand for a seamless transaction:

Latest tax statement: To calculate any overdue property taxes, you must supply your most current tax receipts. Your most recent tax statement should tell you if you owe any taxes or if you're due a refund, depending on the time of the sale.

Closing statement: The amount you'll collect after taxes, closing costs, and any other transaction fees related to the property sale is detailed on the seller's estimated settlement or closing statement. The title firm or closing agent will supply this document.

Property deed or deed of sale: This legal document formalizes the transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. It specifies the seller's and buyer's identities, as well as a full description of the property in question.

1099-S form: You must determine if you are eligible for a capital gains tax exclusion. This should cover a maximum of $250,000 of the net profit on a home sale or as much as $500,000 when jointly filed. If you don’t qualify, you will need to file a 1099-S form. It serves as a report on any taxes owed to the IRS in the coming tax season from your property sale proceeds.

Selling a home is a complex, time-consuming procedure that necessitates the completion of various forms. Always with your real estate agent and a real estate attorney about the specifics of your property transaction to make things easier for you.

Also, only work with experienced local agents who can properly help you through the complexities of a house sale.

If you're selling a house in San Clemente get in touch with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Bob Cowan right away for a stress-free transaction.


  your home sold guaranteed, bob cowan, san clemente, april 2022

Platinum Living Realty
Bob Cowan
120 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92661
949-441-9918
DRE# 01970237

Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of April 16, 2024. This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.
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