What Paperwork Is Needed to Sell a House without an Agent?
Selling your home without an agent is usually done with one ultimate goal in mind – to maximize the profits made in the sale of the house. If you are considering taking on the sale of your home without the services of a real estate agent, you may stand to see thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in increased profit.
Choosing to sell a house without an agent can seem overwhelming when added to the to-do list. With a little organization, however, this shouldn't be necessary. Here is the paperwork needed to sell a house without an agent.
Make a Checklist
Those who have successfully sold a home without using the services of a real estate agent may remember the intimidating amount of paperwork that is required, as well as the many documents that may be forgotten. There is nothing more aggravating during the house selling process than a prospective buyer who asks to see some paperwork that you don't have ready for them. Not only is it inconvenient for the buyer to wait for the documents that they wish to look at, but it may also be inconvenient to you, the seller, to add another task to the list. Some buyers are incredibly motivated and may not be particularly attached to the house that you are selling, and the wait may cause them to move on and make an offer on another home.
Many successful home sellers still opt to make a checklist that includes not only the necessary paperwork for the actual sale, but also every document or piece of paperwork that any prospective buyer may ask for in the process of looking at the home. Completing their checklist before putting the house on the market prevents any possible embarrassment or delay during the process of the sale and also speaks to their degree of organization and preparedness, which never looks bad to buyers.
Here is an example checklist of the paperwork needed to sell a house without an agent:
- Print off Blank Copies of Your Offer and Counteroffer Forms
- Residential Property Disclosure form
- Residential Sales Contract
- Third-Party Financing Addendum
- Lead-Based Paint Addendum (if built before 1978)
- List of Chattels
- Rental Agreements (of anything rented in the home)
- Invoices (of past renovations or repairs)
- Copies of Electric and Gas Bills
- Property Tax Information
- Home Inspection Certificate
- Bank Information
Breakdown of Paperwork Needed:
Print off a few blank copies of offer and counteroffer forms in case multiple offers come in or an offer needs to be changed. Offers are discussed verbally before these are filled out, and in the case of only one offer, these forms may not be necessary at all. Offer forms do come in handy, however, in many cases such as when you cannot first discuss offers or when many similar offers come in.
You will also need to present prospective buyers with an accurate and truthful residential property disclosure form. Fill the form out with all known structural or mechanical defects that the home may have. It is essential that this paperwork is filled out to the best of the homeowner's knowledge, to prevent any possible lawsuits or terminations of sale.
The absolute most important piece of paperwork that you will need is a residential sales contract. This document includes the terms of the sale which consists of the agreed upon purchase price, the amount of the down payment, both the dates of purchase and possession, and any conditions that have been placed upon the sale of the home. Once an offer is accepted and the contract is signed, it is considered to be a legally binding contract.
If there are financial conditions or mortgages involved, you may need to provide a third-party financing addendum. This document may protect you, the seller, from significant loss by allowing for the termination of the sales contract should the buyers fail to meet their financial obligations, or should their mortgage application be refused.
If you are selling a home built in the U.S.A. before the year 1978, you will be required to provide a lead-based paint addendum. Additionally, regardless of the age of the house, you are required to provide the buyer with information outlining their rights concerning the presence of lead-based paint in the home. If they so choose, the buyer may have an inspection performed that targets issues caused by the use of lead-based paint, however, this must be done within ten days of notification.
To Increase Buyer Motivation:
Although some documents are not mandatory in the sale of a home, they can make or break your buyer's motivation. Buyers demand to know details. They are not only concerned with the significant immediate financial investment that they are making, but also with the long-term costs associated with homeownership.
Be sure to make up an accurate list of chattels for the home. The inventory of chattels should include anything separate from the actual house but still included in the sale, such as electric light fixtures, blinds or drapes, any owned equipment, and appliances, or accessories that will be left with the home such as swimming pool skimmers or vacuums.
If any appliance or equipment in the home is rented, it is essential to provide information regarding the cost and terms of the rental agreement, as well as any information regarding any performed services in past years.
If you happen to have any invoices regarding renovations or repairs that have been made to the home, these are often found to be very helpful in the selling process. It is one thing to tell a prospective buyer that work has been done to the home, it is another to assure them with invoices not only that the work has been done, but when, and by whom in case of defects that are noticed in the future.
Be sure to also have on hand some copies of any hydro or electricity bills that you may find, property tax information, and your home inspection certificate if applicable, as well as your bank information.
After the Sale:
Once your sales contract has been completed and signed and the buyer's loan is approved, you will need to ensure that a title search is completed before the change of title documents can be processed. It is the buyer's right to specify the title company or lawyer to be used, but it is smart to have one at the ready, should the buyer request it.
The paperwork needed to sell a house without an agent can be an overwhelming process. However, at TN Homebuyers, it’s our goal to help you through the process as smoothly as possible. In fact, we do not require any paperwork if you choose to sell your home to us. For information on selling a home without an agent or how to sell a home with TN Homebuyers, give us a call today!