There are various circumstances in which you might want to sell your home without the assistance of a real estate agent. Perhaps you already have a prospective buyer lined up, or you simply wish to avoid paying the fees associated with hiring a realtor.

In the case of a for sale by owner (FSBO) transaction, the responsibility for navigating the entire real estate transaction falls squarely on the shoulders of the seller. With a little research and the right information, you can be fully equipped to successfully sell your home independently.

This guide aims to provide you with an overview of the paperwork for selling a house without a realtor.

Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

Selling your house without the assistance of a realtor is a feasible undertaking. To do this, you need the following documents.

1. Original Sales Contract

It's advisable to retain your original sales contract from when you bought your home. While not always mandatory, prospective buyers may request to review the contract you entered into when purchasing your property. This document can prove invaluable in resolving any potential title issues that could impede the sale process.

2. The Significance of a Property Survey

To provide prospective buyers with a comprehensive understanding of the property being sold, it's advisable to arrange for a property survey, especially if you lack current information. This document furnishes detailed information about the real property, encompassing:

1.     Boundary lines of the property.

2.     Property size.

3.     Details regarding any structures or buildings on the property

4.     Legal descriptions of the property.

Depending on your property's size and configuration, you may need to consider various types of property surveys, which can also include information on:

●       Land topography.

●       Hazardous areas.

●       Easements, which are areas of land with shared access,

Regardless of the type chosen, a property survey serves as a critical document to ensure that all parties involved have a clear understanding of every aspect of the property in question.

3. Mortgage Statements:

In a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction, it's crucial to ensure that your financial matters are well-organized. Mortgage documents play a pivotal role, especially if you still have an outstanding mortgage on your property.

To prepare adequately, you should compile all pertinent loan or mortgage-related information, which includes:

1.     Loan estimate.

2.     Loan application.

3.     Statements from your escrow account

4.     Closing disclosure.

This collection of information serves to clarify the allocation of proceeds from your home sale, indicating how much will be directed toward repaying your lender and how much will remain in your possession. You can easily obtain copies of these documents directly from your lender to facilitate the FSBO process.

4. Utility and Property Tax Records

Prospective buyers often request utility and property tax records to gain a better understanding of the costs associated with living in the house. These records provide a clear picture of the monthly bills a buyer can anticipate once they assume ownership of the property.

5. Certificate of Occupancy

The Certificate of Occupancy is a crucial document that certifies your home's suitability for human habitation. Local municipal authorities typically conduct safety inspections to ensure compliance with building codes. If your home requires any repairs, you may need to address these issues and undergo a re-inspection before obtaining the certificate. It's imperative to have this certificate in hand because you cannot sell a home that does not meet habitability standards.

6. Your Home's Deed

It's common to refer to your home's title as "the deed," but these are distinct components. The title signifies your ownership of the home, while the deed is the legal documentation that substantiates this ownership.

The deed is a vital document you'll need to demonstrate that you have the right to sell the property. After the sale concludes, you'll also be required to transfer the title to the new owner.

Consider obtaining "title reports," which can verify the status of your title. These reports typically encompass:

1.     The property's historical background

2.     Your rights as the title owner

3.     Information concerning any easements on the property

A title company can assist you in preparing this document. Additionally, you may choose to purchase title insurance to safeguard your property's title. If you opt for this, it's essential to have an attorney present during the sale's closing.

7. Warranties

If you've recently acquired any significant home appliances that will be included with the house sale, it's crucial to locate their documentation, including warranty information.

For appliances still under warranty, make sure to provide the warranty documentation to the new owner upon completing the sale. This ensures that they can benefit from any existing warranties.

8. Homeowners Association (HOA) Agreements

If your residence falls within a community governed by a homeowners' association (HOA), you're likely familiar with the specific rules and regulations in place, such as guidelines regarding:

1.     Quiet hours.

2.     Street parking.

3.     Pet ownership and responsibilities

It's imperative to include any documents that outline these HOA agreements among the paperwork for the new owner. Additionally, if you possess receipts for outstanding membership fees, including them can be valuable documentation.

Remember that notifying the homeowners' association about your impending move is also a prudent step. It's advisable to reach out to them sooner rather than later to ensure a smooth transition for both you and the new homeowner.

9. Disclosure Statement:

In your capacity as the homeowner, it's essential to furnish potential buyers with a disclosure statement that details any known defects or potential hazards associated with the property. This disclosure should encompass information such as:

1.     Structural issues, like a faulty foundation.

2.     Roof leaks.

3.     Pest infestations.

4.     Problems with appliances.

5.     HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system issues

6.     Mold concerns.

This process also prompts you to consider whether you should arrange for a house inspection to identify and address any undisclosed issues.

However, it's worth noting that certain non-property-related matters, like your neighbor's noisy summer pool parties, typically do not need to be included in this disclosure statement.

10. Inclusion of Plans and Permits

When selling your house, it's essential to provide documentation related to any work that has been conducted on the property requiring permits. This may encompass various types of projects, such as:

1.     Construction of decks.

2.     Home extensions.

3.     Installation of fences.

4.     Specific plumbing or electrical work

These documents should be included in your sale paperwork, particularly if the work significantly altered the property's structure or systems.

11. Sales Contract:

This legally-binding document, often referred to as the "purchase agreement," stands as the definitive record outlining all facets of the property sale. It serves as the guiding framework for both parties involved in the sales process and encompasses critical information, including:

Identities - Identifying the individuals involved in the property transaction, i.e., the buyer and seller.

The property - Comprehensive details ranging from the property's address, type of dwelling, and lot size Additionally, any information regarding appliances included in the sale should be documented.

Price - The agreed-upon sale price for the property.

Title - Specification of the type of title being transferred.

Closing - The designated date for concluding the sale, as well as any associated closing costs.

Legal terms - Information regarding the legal ramifications if the contract terms are violated.

Financing - Elaboration on how the buyer intends to finance the purchase and the amount of their deposit.

Contingencies - Any prerequisites or conditions that must be met by either party before finalizing the sale.

Final Words:

Selling a house without a realtor can be a rewarding endeavor, it also requires careful attention to detail when it comes to paperwork. Ensuring that you have all the necessary documents, from the original sales contract to disclosure statements and sales contracts, is essential for a smooth and legally sound transaction. These documents not only protect your interests as a seller but also provide transparency and peace of mind to the buyer.

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