Documents Required to Sell a House by Owner

The real estate documents needed to sell a home by owner are no different than those needed if a licensed real estate agent is involved. Some of these documents will vary by state, but many of the most basic documents are needed regardless of what state you live in. A seller can obtain the documents, such as the purchase contract, by purchasing them online.


Real Estate Sales Contract

The first document for selling a home by owner is a real estate sale, or purchase, contract. This is the contract between the buyer and seller and will list information such as when the sale will take place, when the buyer can do an inspection, the purchase price, and when the buyer can take possession of the property. This is the most important document of the sale because any disputes will be settled by referring to what is written in the sales contract. Before signing the contract, it is advisable for both parties to have a real estate attorney examine it. Once this document has been signed by both a seller and a buyer, it becomes a legally binding contract.


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Residential Property Disclosure

Once a sales agreement has been signed by both the buyer and seller, the next document needed is the property disclosure. This form is filled out by the seller and lists any known defects in the property, such as flooding or mold. It is imperative that the seller fill this document out as completely and honestly as possible. Most lawsuits filed over the sale of a home center around the disclosure.


Lead Paint & Hazards Disclosure

The next real estate sale document is the lead paint & hazards disclosure. This form is required for any property built before 1978. The seller must supply the buyers with the EPA lead-based-paint pamphlet to notify them of their rights, regardless of when the home was built. The home buyer then has 10 days to perform a lead-based paint inspection of the home, if they want to.


Title Documents

Title documents will have to be ordered by the seller before the property closes. Title work is ordered once the buyer's loan has been approved by his lender. The title search will show that title to the property is clear of any liens and can be transferred to the buyer. Sellers should contact a reputable title company to have these documents ordered and processed. The title company then arranges the actual closing for the seller and buyer, and handles the transfer of funds once the sale is closed.


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