Selling your home by owner is a wonderful way to save money, but it also comes with a lot of work for you, the seller. One of the biggest hurdles is gathering up all the proper paperwork needed to make sure the sale by owner is completed without complications. Although the paperwork for selling a house by owner is unique to each state, here is a general list of documents needed and a brief explanation of each. So, when you are ready to sell your property you won’t have to ask what documents do I need to sell my home fast for cash by owner.
Almost all states require this statement so a buyer can see if there are any major issues or defects with the home and property, things the naked eye might not see. Black mold, radon or radiation exposure, and structural problems are just a few items that might be found in this document.
Any Loan Documents
If you currently have a loan on the property you’re trying to sell, you will need to provide the mortgage papers for any and all outstanding balances. These could include a first or second mortgage and/or a HELOC (home equity line of credit).
Title To The House
Do you actually own the home? The buyer needs to know! This is why you need to show you own or have a controlling interest in the property by presenting the title.
Permits And Plans For Any Work
If you’ve added on to the home or extended the patio or performed any other upgrades, these typically need to be permitted by the city and/or county. A buyer will need copies of these plans and documents.
A Survey Of The Property
The last thing a new buyer wants is a squabble with their new neighbors. Knowing the exact boundaries, property lines and fencing, and other mappable details is crucial, more so for the buyer, therefore, in some instances, the buyer will cover the cost of obtaining a survey.
Warranties, Receipts, or Outstanding Invoices
Sellers can use the first two items listed as selling points. If the appliances have been upgraded or if the seller purchased a warranty on the structure, a buyer will be happy to hear this. Also, full disclosure is important. If a new fence was put in on the property and the seller still owes a balance, the new buyer needs to know.
The Latest Property Tax Bill
Although this can be acquired by the buyer, it is a best practice to provide a copy of the most recent tax bill on the property.
Current Utility Bills
Bills such as water, gas, electric, and trash removal are a few examples of bills you as a seller may need to provide or that the buyer may want.
Certificate of Occupancy
The purpose of this certificate is to prove that the home is actually able to be lived in without issues. It may sound silly, but this is a big one in many states. Typically you will need to pull the permit prior to having an inspection completed. Once completed, the seller may need to make repairs to make the home inhabitable. Odds are, though, if you are a seller currently living in your home, providing an occupancy certificate will not be an issue.
HOA stands for Homeowner Association. Many communities establish this to help keep property values at their prime. Rules are provided in these covenants and agreements, such as you must keep your lawn free of overgrowth or you can not paint your exterior bright pink! You can see why having an HOA comes with advantages. Be sure to provide copies of all HOA rules, regulations, and communication with the buyer.
Bonus Paperwork - Blueprints
This gives buyers more insight into the layout and size of each room in your home. One way to stand out to buyers is to play up anything about your home that may be historically significant, such as a framed blueprint or a newspaper article about the home.
What are the steps needed to sell a house by owner?
There are five basic steps a seller needs to take if they want to sell their house without a real estate agent or broker.
1. Home Value Assessment
Hiring a licensed appraiser to determine your home’s current value will cost anywhere from $300 to $700, depending on your location.
2. Home Preparation and Staging
This is a critical step in getting top dollar for your home. Hiring a home stager may be in your best interest since they know what the current trends are, how to clear up your house clutter, and what attracts offers from buyers.
3. Advertising The Home For Sale
The first step is to put up that For Sale By Owner sign somewhere highly visible on the property. Getting listed on the multiple listings services (MLS) is a sure-fire way to get your house noticed by buyers. And finally, open houses are always a great way to create buzz about your sale.
4. Negotiating With The Potential Buyer
Depending on the offer presented, you as a seller may need to haggle with the potential buyer. You need to make sure they qualify for the mortgage that covers your price. The seller will also need to thoroughly go over the sales contract and review the price, date of closing, any concessions or repairs needed before the close, and more.
5. Closing The Deal
This is typically where there will need to be a third party involved. Some states requires the completion of the sale take place at a real estate attorney's office or at the title company.
Saving money and experiencing the gratification of selling your house by owner
As you can tell, there are many aspects to selling a home by owner–and many, many documents needed! If you are detail-oriented and steadfast and willing to do the work to gather all the paperwork for selling a house by owner, there is no reason why you won’t succeed in your endeavors and eliminate the stress of selling your house yourself.