Home sellers should maintain good records. There are many documents that are produced for each real estate transaction. The nature and amount of paperwork can vary from one transaction to another and depend on where you live.
Some homeowners have wondered if they need the property deed to sell their house. As of this writing, a signed deed is one of the items that is required before a house can be sold in the state of Texas. Not having this information may make the transaction more difficult.
Selling a home in Texas will take time. Most sales are completed in a matter of weeks or months. There are certain steps that must be taken in order, several of which will involve certain specialized industry professionals. You could even encounter unwanted delays or other issues along the way. Patience, determination, and a solid game plan can help you succeed.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the paperwork that you’ll need to sell your house:
1. Any disclosures that are currently required by your state.
Each state has certain disclosures that must be made available to potential home buyers. As of this writing, Texas home sellers must disclose any known material defects that exist in their house. The standard Texas home seller disclosure form also has a section about whether or not the owner knows if lead paint was present in their residence at any time.
The disclosure form must be provided to the buyer on or before the purchase contract’s effective date. It should be filled out completely to the best of your knowledge. You do not need to hire a professional inspector or contractor to examine the home to confirm those issues or possibly find other problems. Informing buyers if a person who lived at the home at one point had HIV or AIDS or died in the house due to natural causes or an accident is not mandatory. Being honest and open with interested parties about any material issues or other concerns can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
2. Mortgage loan paperwork.
If you have an existing loan on your home, you’ll be asked to provide buyers with a copy of those documents. You may already have a copy of this information in your records. If not, you can request a copy from your lender as needed.
The loan paperwork should show important details, such as the loan payoff, the amount owed, fees, and other pertinent data. The payoff amount and the current balance may not necessarily be the same. Your bank, credit union, or other lending institution should be able to tell you the exact amount, including interest, that will be needed to satisfy the loan obligation.
3. Homeowner insurance documentation.
Although proof of homeowners’ insurance isn’t always necessary, it is a nice thing to have. Prospective buyers can use that information to estimate what their insurance costs may be for the same property. It will also tell them about any prior claims that were made for any repairs or damage to the home.
You can make a copy of this information to provide to the buyer that you agree to work with. Don’t leave anything important out. Be prepared to answer any questions that they may have.
4. The original sale contract.
Some transactions may require you to come up with the original sale contract for the house. You would have signed that document when you first purchased the home. It will reveal details to your buyer, such as the amount that you paid, proof of ownership, the terms that were agreed upon when you bought the property, mandatory disclosures and any other associated information.
You can keep the original contract and make a copy for the home buyer. Ensure that all pages and supporting documents are included as needed. Answer any inquiries that the buyer has regarding this contract honestly.
5. Personal ID.
It’s not uncommon for home buyers and sellers to be asked to supply personal identification. New scams pop up every day, so it’s usually a proactive measure on the behalf of lenders, title agents, realtors and other professionals. The last thing that anyone wants to do is to enter into a fraudulent agreement or contract.
A state-issued identification card or driver’s license is typically all that’s required for home sellers to provide. Some parties may ask for a copy of a bill or other official piece of mail that was sent to you in your name. You can also supply a copy of a recent bank statement to verify your identity.
6. Property tax records.
Most buyers will also want to know how much they can expect to pay in property taxes. That’s why it’s important to supply them with a copy of your most recent property tax records. This can be either a bill or a statement.
Most residential property taxes are billed either once or twice a year. Your local county assessor or other respective government office should have records for all property taxes that were paid on your home for a given number of years. They can also supply buyers with a prorated property tax amount so that they can budget accordingly.
7. The final purchase and sale agreement.
The home buyer’s realtor or attorney will work with your attorney or agent in preparing the final purchase and sale agreement. It may take a few days for this document to be prepared. Both the buyer and seller should receive a copy of this paperwork.
This agreement will include all important information regarding the transaction. Some of the line items that are often included are the purchase price for the home, the closing terms, the amount of earnest money that was paid and any required disclosures that were provided. Everyone involved in the sale must agree to the terms that are contained in this final agreement.
8. The property deed.
Home sellers will need to supply their buyer with the property deed. This should be the original deed to the home. A copy may be acceptable in some situations.
If you don’t have the original deed, you can ask the title company that you worked with when purchasing the house for a copy. You could also go to your local county recorder’s office or enlist the aid of a retrieval company to obtain that documentation. Just keep in mind that you may need to pay a small fee to obtain this copy if you don’t have the original deed in your possession
Talk to your real estate agent if you have any questions or concerns regarding this documentation. They should have enough experience to inform you about what you’ll need to have and what you can expect. They can also guide you in the right direction if any specific items are currently missing or lost.
Fortunately, all of that paperwork will be soon forgotten not long after a purchase agreement has been made. All remaining paperwork will be signed and filed at closing. The buyer will be given the keys to your former residence and you’ll be paid the net proceeds from the sale. That money can be spent or saved as you see fit. You won’t have to worry about keeping such meticulous records again until it’s time to buy another house.