You may not realize in the hustle and bustle of the home listing process, but there are a few crucial documents you should have on hand when selling your home. Don’t get caught empty handed, spending hours frantically searching for a piece of paper you stashed at the bottom of your “junk” drawer. Avoid putting yourself in this position, and get these documents prepared ahead of schedule. It could be the difference between selling your house or not.
Warranty information: You will want to have on hand any existing warranty information on the house, including the furnace, various appliances, the roof, and any other items still under manufacturer’s warranty.
Property survey: A property survey is done to verify the property’s boundaries, structures and measurements. It also outlines any rights to enter or infringements on your property. It doesn’t matter if the survey is old, having a copy can almost be considered a selling feature, as it will save the homebuyer upwards of $1,000.
Records of major renovations or repairs/Municipal notices of local improvements: If you had any work done to your home that required a building permit, it is extremely important that you hold on to it. When home inspectors come into your dwelling and see recent work not part of the original structure, you will need the building permit as proof it complies with the strict standards of the building code. It is also important that you keep record of any major repairs done to the home such as the roof, the structure, the floors, the furnace, the septic tank, the electrical wiring.
Make sure you include municipal notices of local improvements. This gives a buyer heads up of potential construction in the area or beautification plans for unsightly buildings or objects.
The deed to your property and the original sales contract: The deed is used to show your legal ownership of the home, and is used as the signed legal instrument used to transfer ownership to the new homebuyer. You will also need the agreement of purchase and sale from when you originally purchased the home.
Mortgage information: If applicable to your situation, it will be important to have records about what is owed on the mortgage, any penalties that have been incurred, and how much equity there currently is in the home. The mortgage information can include a copy of your mortgage as well as the most recent status of the mortgage from a printout of your bank online or from the bank or lender. The mortgage is needed to see what the penalty for early payment may be or to see if you can “port” the mortgage to a new property.
Any fixed costs for the property: This includes property tax statements; if you don’t have this on hand you can find it at your local municipal office. It may also include home owners’ insurance costs or seasonal expenses – snow removal, grass cutting, landscaping – which only applies to properties where the buyer will not be taking on these tasks themselves. Providing them with information on what you are currently paying and which companies you employ can be very helpful to new home buyers.
The Condo Status Certificate: This is only applicable if you are selling a condominium unit. You can get this certificate from your condo management office. It essentially informs a prospective buyer of condo fees, any large increases due to come into effect, any liens the unit may have, among other information.
It also contains the condominium’s by-laws, insurance, management contract, rules, annual general meeting minutes, and any legal information pertaining to the sale of the condo.
Utility bills: You will need to provide the homebuyer withy any utility bills for the last 12 months. This can be extremely influential in their buying decision.
Don’t be caught unprepared. All of the items listed above are highly important documents for selling a home. There are so many things to take into account when preparing to sell your home and this is one step that many overlook. If you’re interested in more tips on the home selling process, check out this post on landscaping tips to sell your home.