What Are the Documents You Need to Prepare Before Putting Your House on the Market?

If only selling a home is a bit like putting an item on sale on Facebook and eBay, right? But some people put up their homes for sale only to have to wait for years before it gets sold. There’s no easy way to selling a home. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort both from the homeowner and the real estate agent. You also have to prepare a lot of paperwork that will help potential buyers decide to make an offer for the house. And as soon as you think you can shake hands and close the deal, you’ll realize other documents are missing in the final sale requirements.

So what you need to do is list down all the documents you need to prepare. You should have all these things ready, so you won’t need to look for them later. If one or two are missing, you should apply for their re-issuance from the appropriate government office. The paperwork you need to sell your home varies state by state. It’s best to talk with your real estate agent to make sure these are all the documents you need.

Proof of Identity

You need to show proof of identity to your real estate broker and any potential buyer. It shows that you are who you say you are. The identification card should have your full name, address, and photo. Your driver’s license and passport are proofs of identity. The broker may also ask you to provide a utility bill or credit card statement to show proof that your legal address is in this house you’re selling.

Property Title Deeds

You also need to prove that you own the place. Or, if you’re selling it on behalf of a friend, relative, or partner, you need a power of attorney to prove you are authorized to do so. If the house is on a mortgage, you will only have a photocopy of the title. The original is with the mortgage holder (a bank or another financial institution). If you cannot find the original copy of the land title, you can get another one from the local Land Registry office. However, requesting a re-issuance of a land title will take time.

Home Inspection Reports

Some homeowners don’t get home inspection reports thinking the buyers won’t ask too many questions about the home’s electrical and plumbing system. But homebuyers are smarter these days. They know and understand their rights. To avoid complications and delays in the process, ask for an electrical installation condition report (EICR) and complete home inspection report. That will tell you which parts of the house need repair. It will give you a good idea of what things the buyers may find are not to their liking.

Mortgage Statement

If you haven’t paid the mortgage in full, call the lender or financial institution. Ask for a copy of your mortgage statement. It will show the total amount you paid and the loan’s balance. You will have to settle your balance first with the lender before you can sell the house. This depends on the conditions of the mortgage. You need to know the loan’s payoff amount, so you can calculate the estimated home sale proceeds.

Insurance Records

You have to be transparent to your buyers about the state of your home. The homeowners’ insurance report will have a record of all the claims made for your property. It will also assure the buyer that your property is covered by an insurance policy. This will give them an idea of how much the homeowners’ insurance will cost when they move into the property.

Homeowner’s Association Documents


If your property is part of a development, then there’s a homeowner’s association running it. The association has certain guidelines that the neighborhood have to follow. Things like mowing the lawn and renting out the house are subject to these rules. Potential buyers should be aware of these rules because they’ll have to fall in line once they move there. Other documents they need are articles of incorporation, bylaws, rules and regulations, homeowner’s dues, copies of the minutes of the meetings, and declaration of conditions and restrictions.

Manuals and Warranties

Are you selling the home with all the appliances? You need to provide the manuals and warranties. The new owners need to know which state these appliances are under, so they can make the appropriate decisions to sell or keep them. In particular, they need the warranties for the garbage compactor and disposals, dishwashers, stoves, washers and dryers, and refrigerators.

You should always be in contact with your real estate agent. The agent might ask you to prepare more documents before you put the house in the market. You also have to start preparing other documents once a buyer makes an offer and before you close the deal.

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