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Legal Papers Required When Selling A House

Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In order to successfully sell a house in the United States, one requires a number of legal documents. Although each of these legal documents serves a specific purpose, such as providing information regarding the house or the mortgage, the documents are generally meant to protect the buyer, the seller and the real estate agent.

Listing Agreement

Before the sale of a house can even begin, the seller and the real estate broker must enter into a binding agreement that authorizes the broker to sell the house on behalf of the seller. This means that one can't just walk into a real estate broker's office and say, " sell my house ." They have to sign a listing agreement to that effect.

Purchase and Sales Agreement

Whenever a buyer wants to make an offer on a house, they must do so using a purchase and sales agreement. This agreement is without a doubt the important document in the sale of a house as it outlines the conditions for the sale and purchase of the home. The two parties involved in a purchase and sales agreement are the buyer and the seller.

In addition to the above agreement, there are other forms that are used to disclose information concerning the home that is on sale. For instance, if I wanted to sell my house which was built before 1978, the purchase and sales agreement would have to be accompanied by a lead paint and hazards disclosure. However, even if the home had been built after 1978, I would still required to inform the buyer of their rights and to allow the buyer to perform a lead based paint inspection of the home.

Title Documents

Documents such as property descriptions, information regarding the property's actual size and boundaries, tax map numbers of the section, block and lot where the property is located and restrictions and easements that are applicable to the buyers are all referred to as title documents. In addition, if the seller has sold any part of the original property, they should furnish the buyer with the details. The seller is also required to provide copies of the title insurance policy.

In order to be considered valid, the above named legal documents must be filled out correctly preferably with the help of legal professionals such as real estate attorneys, agents or paralegals. The professional helps the seller and the buyer to understand the technical requirements and regulations associated with the legal documents thereby enabling them to avoid pitfalls within the home selling process.