Legal Forms You May Need to Sell Your House


If you don’t have a real estate agent handling all the sale documents for you, then you’ll need to keep track of what you need. You’ll have to start with a residential sales contract. This is what will spell out the deal between you and whoever’s buying your house. It has to contain certain key pieces of information like the sale price along with all the contingencies. All the terms of the finances need to be in there along with the information regarding the closing costs. The details of the home inspection need to be in that contract as well as any information about what appliances you’re leaving in the home. You’ll need to choose your closing date and have that in the contract, too. An average is about 30 days. In that contract, cover all the occupancy agreements between the parties. This should clearly state when you’ll be leaving. If you’re going to stay past the closing, then what you’re going to pay for should be in the contract. You need to have a property condition as well as a lead paint disclosure. 

A property disclosure is what you use to mention anything in the home that’s in need of repair or any issues. You want to be honest and disclose what you know because it’s against the law not to. The year that your home was built determines the type of form you’ll have to use to disclose whether or not there is lead paint in the home. You can get this information from the EPA. If your house was built before 1978, then you’ll have to follow the federal law guidelines for that including making sure the sale contract specifically states that the home has lead and you’ve given the buyer all the required information such as the buyer’s rights. 

There are certain addendums you want with a contract when you’re selling by the owner. One of these is third party financing. This is what gives you the ability to break the contract if the potential buyer’s financing falls through. If a buyer is assuming the mortgage, then you need a loan assumption addendum. In this, you’ll need to make sure that you cover who’s going to pay the loan assumption fee. 

There can also be processing and closing fees. If you’re providing the financing, then you need a seller financing addendum. This document covers things like the credit terms, taxes, payments, late payments, title insurance and what’s due. You may need a promissory note if helping a buyer with the financing. This is basically the same thing as an IOU. The buyer is agreeing to repay the loan in a certain number of payments known as the terms. The note should have on it what will happen if the buyer doesn’t stick to these repayment terms. A promissory note can be refinanced by the buyer at a later date by using a bank or mortgage lender. 

You may need to use a notice of termination. This is a form that’s used when you need to terminate the sale. This can happen for any number of reasons but it has to be a legitimate one. If the sale was contingent upon the buyer’s financing and it fell through, it can be used that way. Or it can be used in the event the settlement date can’t be kept or if contingencies weren’t met. 

You don’t have to send a notice of termination if the situation is covered by one of the automatic terminations spelled out in the contract. A quitclaim deed is generally used with people that you know where you’re simply passing the property over to someone else. 

When you use a quitclaim deed, you’re not usually making or taking any money in exchange. However, a quitclaim deed can also be used if there’s a problem with the title of the home. For instance, if your name is listed on the house as John A. Doe and you’re actually John B. Doe, then you’d use a quitclaim to correct that. A problem with the deed usually happens when the deed is filed. 

Another reason for issuing a quitclaim is if someone else has a stake in the property because something wasn’t correct in the filing of the title – such as a couple divorcing and the spouse failing to give a quitclaim relinquishing his or her interest in the home.


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