12 min read Dec 17, 2021

Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor (2022)

Paperwork for selling a house without a realtor

Paperwork for Selling a House By Owner | Documents Needed to Launch Your Home Sale | Documents Needed While Your Home is on the Market | Documents Needed at Closing | Free Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

Paperwork is one of the top 3 concerns for home sellers when selling their homes themselves. Rightly so. Every state and property type add nuances. But if you are organized, or use an advanced FSBO platform like Houzeo.com, paperwork can be relatively straightforward.

If you are sell your house by owner, you’ll require FSBO paperwork for each stage of the house selling process. We have compiled a comprehensive checklist with the documents you will need to sell your home.

» In this guide, we’ll look at paperwork needed at various timepoints of the sale:

Houzeo has created a 100% online platform to digitize the paperwork required when selling a house without a realtor and made process seamless. All the necessary documents are created as milestones for the seller to finish. The customer dashboard gives the seller an overview of the tasks they have to complete to list their house on the MLS.

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Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

When you are ready to launch your home sale, you need to research the market to find an estimated market price of your property. To find this price, you can review real estate listings or run comps in your locality.

Let’s review all the paperwork for selling a house without a realtor.

1. Documents Needed to Launch Your Home Sale

FSBO paperwork before you list

  1. Deed or property title
  2. Property tax bill
  3. Mortgage statement
  4. Property survey
  5. CMA
FSBO DocumentWhat is it?Why do you need it?
Property Title ReportA document that contains results of title search, legal owner and description of the property. Typically available on county records websiteServes as protection against unforeseen issues with the property you wish to buy
Property tax billTax paid on the property owned by an individual typically available on the county tax records websiteLocal government can pay for programs and services such as roadwork, law enforcement, etc. with the revenue generated from property tax
Mortgage statementA statement showing how much you’d need to pay off your mortgage in fullProvided by the money lender or mortgage servicer, this statement shows how much mortgage you are yet to pay. This document helps you figure out how much you owe, and stand to gain from your house sale
Property surveyA plan showing the legal boundaries of your propertyA property survey can help in determining property’s border lines and other restrictions or easements like misaligned fencing
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)An estimate of your home’s market value based on sales of similar propertiesPricing the home accurately is crucial. To ensure home isn’t overvalued, you can do a CMA and arrive at an appropriate listing price. Doing a CMA is completely free

💡 Explore More: How to sell your house by owner (2022 Updates)

Optional FSBO paperwork before you list

  1. Certificate of compliance
  2. Original sales contract
FSBO DocumentWhat is it?Why do you need it?
Certificate of complianceA document proving your property exists and is in compliance with local lawsHelps potential buyers know whether your property has violated any state or subdivision laws. Local county officers or municipality provide this certificate if the property complies appropriately
Original sales contractThe original contract from when you bought the house, which includes the sale price and disclosures made by the previous sellerAn original contract confirms the chain of ownership. Buyers can ask for it since it includes the previous sale price and shows disclosures made by the previous seller

Other FSBO paperwork you may need before you list

FSBO DocumentWhat is it?
Past utility billsThis is not mandatory, but a buyer may request utility bills so that they get an idea of what they may have to pay
Inspection reportA buyer can request an inspection report after they’ve made an offer. However, you can get one done early to identify necessary repairs and also as a marketing tactic to confirm the present state of your home
Receipts for improvements and repairsReassuring potential buyers that you’ve invested in the property can facilitate a smoother sale. This isn’t requested explicitly, but implies that the house has been looked after, or recently renovated
Maintenance service records for appliancesWhen including appliances in your home sale, the buyer may want to see maintenance records, warranties for knowing the current state of the devices
Septic system inspectionSome localities require the septic be inspected within a certain time period of a sale
Water quality testSome municipalities may require this test

Some people even share estate settlement documents like a will, testament or documentation for any pending litigation on or directly affecting the property. Another rarely shared document is the divorce decree if the home was formerly or currently owned by an ex-spouse.

2. Documents Needed While Your Home is on the Market

This new phase of your home sale comes with another stack of FSBO paperwork. Terms of sale, disclosures, and inspections pertaining to the house. There’s still a bunch of paperwork for selling your house without a realtor.

The multiple listing service (MLS) is an online database of properties for sale. Real estate brokers use the MLS to share information and easily connect sellers with buyers. If you want to maximize the exposure your property gets, you need to list on the MLS. These listings are also available on Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com and reach more than millions When you list your house on the MLS, you increase the chances of selling your house quicker at competitive rates.

💡 Explore More: How to List on MLS For Sale By Owner (with video guide)

FSBO paperwork to list on the MLS

Once you decide to sell your house for sale by owner, you need to market it in the right channels to attract potential buyers. This can be done when

  1. Listing Agreement
  2. Agency Disclosure
  3. MLS Input Form
  4. Seller Disclosures
FSBO DocumentWhat is it?Why do you need it?
Listing AgreementA binding contract between buyer and seller, this agreement is the final version of the initial purchase offerThis agreement includes final sale price, terms of the contract, the closing date, earnest money deposit, and other elements of the sale
Agency DisclosureThe original contract from when you bought the house, which includes the sale price and disclosures made by the previous sellerAn original contract confirms the chain of ownership. Buyers can ask for it since it includes the previous sale price and shows disclosures made by the previous seller
MLS Input FormThe data entry form so that you can enter the listing information about your propertyTo create an MLS listing and syndicate this listing on various MLS’
Seller DisclosuresA form that lists known defects and issues with the property. This notice is anecdotal and doesn’t substitute any inspection report or surveySeller disclosures vary by state to state*, but they can protect you from being sued when buyer finds these material defects. Disclosures usually include negative conditions about properties like asbestos, environmental hazards, etc

*Regardless of the state, U.S. federal law also requires anybody selling a house built before 1978 to fill out a lead-based paint disclosure form. In California, you need to provide three disclosures to close a deal:

  • Transfer Disclosure Statement (share history of flooding, drainage, presence of gazebos, washing machines, smoke detectors, etc. )
  • Natural Hazard Disclosure Report (disclose hazards your home suffered, being directly on a fault line, wildland fire risk, or being in an airport influenced area)
  • Seller Property Questionnaire (disclose material facts about the property)

Offer negotiation

Negotiating offers is an inevitable phase when selling a house without a realtor. If you want to succeed in how to sell your house for sale by owner (FSBO), prepare yourself to field and negotiate offers.

Houzeo’s platform provides an option to negotiate offers within a few clicks. The relevant documents are also updated automatically. Houzeo has digitized the FSBO paperwork for selling your house without a realtor, and made the home selling process seamless.

  1. Counteroffer Form
  2. Request for Highest & Best Form
FSBO DocumentWhat is it and why you need it?
Counteroffer FormYour best offer is not just the highest one. It’ll be competitive across several parameters: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. When countering an offer, you can request any of these parameters to be updated per your preferences.

▶️ Learn more: How to counter an offer on Houzeo.com
Request for Highest & Best FormIf you have multiple offers, and a timeline by which you’d like to pick an offer, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all interested parties.

▶️ Learn more: How to request Highest & Best offer on Houzeo.com

Inspection Related

  1. Inspection Report
  2. Response to buyer’s repair request
  3. Appraisal Report
FSBO DocumentWhat is it?Why do you need it?
Inspection A home inspector evaluates the home top to bottom based on issues that can affect the safety or value of the property, and details them in the inspection report including photos.Issues uncovered by inspection could bring both parties back to the negotiating table, so this document can be the basis of a renegotiation for getting the seller to cover the cost of repairs
Response to buyer’s repair requestCan be typically done by email. If the buyer’s agent doesn’t want email, you can request the correct repair request response forms from the buyer’s agent or the listing agentIf any issues are found in the inspection, the buyer requests for repairs from the sellers.
Appraisal reportAn appraisal includes unbiased market price, details and photos about the property, comps, and the process appraiser used to arrive at a final priceWhen the buyer is getting mortgage, their lender will want to know the fair price of the property. In case the appraised price comes below that, the buyer needs to make up the difference in cash

💡 Learn More: America’s Best For Sale By Owner Companies (2022 Rankings!)

Other FSBO paperwork you may need

  1. Contingency removal form: Lists the pre-conditions of the sale. Essentially, contingency restraints can be home appraisal report or inspection report, without which further part of the sale is hampered. In California, your paperwork must include the contingency removal form. Contingencies are included in the purchase offer document.
  2. Homeowners’ Association (HOA) documents: HOAs help maintain a cohesive atmosphere in the community by establishing responsibilities amidst local area residents and the association. Residents agree to pay a maintenance charge to HOAs for management. The HOA documents contains this information, and regulations that you will be liable to, once you buy the property.

3. Documents Needed at Closing

You’ve received and accepted an offer.

Awesome!

You’ve gone through 2 phases of FSBO paperwork for selling a house without a realtor, so close to closing!

Closing Documents

FSBO DocumentWhat is it?Why do you need it?
Affidavit of TitleSworn statement regarding ownership of the property, this document provides certainty about chain-of-titleAffidavits of title protect buyers from inheriting the legal issues of the home’s current owner. 
DeedPhysical document that transfers ownership of the property from seller to buyerThe most important document required at closing. Without the deed, ownership of the property can’t actually be transferred
Property tax recordsInclude local tax data like the tax rate, property assessment value, and tax exemptions of the propertyWill help in knowing how much taxes you need to pay at closing, and how much the buyer will have to pay
Closing Disclosure or the HUD

Also called as settlement sheet, this statement contains all costs and credits of the real estate transactionClosing statement can be verified against the purchase agreement to verify everything in the transaction is as per agreement with the buyer
Settlement StatementThis statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction. This document is easier to understand vs. the HUD-1/Closing Disclosure, but they should tie.You can understand all the expenses of the transaction with the settlement statement
1099-S tax formTax form that specifies capital gains you will owe on the home saleRequired by law to record non-employment income earned by a taxpayer. You can check if you qualify for an exception

💡 Learn More: America’s Top Discount Real Estate Brokers

Free Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

The purchase agreement and seller disclosure forms can be found online for free. We’ve compiled a state-wise list of essential FSBO paperwork you will need when selling a house without a realtor.

If you can’t find free stuff, there are paid options like USLegal. Many legal forms, such as tax records, property surveys, and deeds, are usually found through local or state government offices, such as your tax assessor’s office, or the department of revenue. If you think what we discussed here is overwhelming, consider opting for a tech-centric, seamless platform like Houzeo.

Houzeo has harnessed technology and innovation to build an intuitive platform and offers listing services at a flat fee. The motivation behind Houzeo has been reducing significant efforts, time, and fees so that homeowners can experience a seamless home selling journey. The mobile app facilitates sellers and buyers to browse homes, list, review, and compare offers.

👉 Explore: Houzeo Reviews: Home Selling made easier with Houzeo.com!

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  • Counter an offer
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