5 Tips for Understanding (and Completing) Your Seller Papers
The selling paperwork for a home will look different depending on the province of the property's location. However, there are certain principles that sellers should understand before they sit down to organize it all no matter where they're selling. These documents can be both complex and time-consuming but the more prep work a seller does, the quicker their escrow will be. The extra effort may even make it easier for a seller to get the price they want.
Think Like a Buyer
Buyers are often so overwhelmed when they visit homes that they forget about properties immediately after seeing them. Too much information, and they'll tune it out. Too little information, and they may think the seller has something to hide. So it helps for sellers to boil down essential facts in the most memorable way possible. Property taxes, utility bills, renovation information: these are all practical documents that give a buyer a sense of what they'd be getting into.
Do the Research
A real estate agent is usually the best person to turn to when it comes to knowing what is required for a home sale. Each province has their own ideas of how a seller should present their property. In some areas, sellers will need to dig out the original property assessment on their home. In others, they'll need to hire a surveyor to state their professional opinion on the state of the property. Sellers may also need to stand in line at their local municipal office to obtain the tax assessment.
Put It in Writing
A Standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale form is usually prepared by the seller and agreed to by the buyer. In this document, the seller will list any exclusions or inclusions they plan to make based on formal negotiations. In Canada, all fixtures of the home are presumed to belong to the buyer unless specifically stated. All chattel in the home is presumed to belong to the seller, unless specifically stated. If a seller wants to take a chandelier or the buyer wants the old tools in the shed, it has to be listed on the form to prevent any disputes.
During escrow, the title company will be investigating the actual ownership of the seller. This is not as straight-forward as it may sound because disputes can pop up from any number of directions. A lender could have a lien on the property, a neighbor could feel entitled to the row of trees in the backyard, or an ex-spouse might claim that they own half the property. Instead of someone popping up after a buyer moves in, the title company does their legwork during escrow. Sellers should be as honest as possible to make this process go as quickly as possible.
Common Documents and Selling Papers You Need When Selling Your Home
Along with the selling papers, your buyer will need to receive all the documents relating to the home and the property. Gather the following and have them ready as early in the process as possible in case you need to track any of them down:
- Deeds: documents which transfer ownership to another person.
- Surveys: legal descriptions of the land and its history and a map detailing the property's boundaries.
- Property Tax Receipts: used to demonstrate that payments are current.
- Renovation Contracts: buyers will want these in case discrepancies or problems arise.
- Transferable Warranties: buyers need these in the event of a claim being necessary.
These papers and more are essential for a home sale, as many of them need to be transferred to the new homeowner when you sell.
Escrow can be delayed for any number of reasons. Title investigators go on vacation, inspectors get called away from emergencies, and weather can delay those last few renovations a seller has agreed to complete per buyer request. One thing a seller can do though to speed up the process is to make sure that the original paperwork and the final paperwork match exactly. Even small discrepancies can lead to long delays where all the paperwork needs to be redrafted.
Selling papers aren't as easy as hitting the bare minimums. Unless a seller is in a highly desired area, they may need to go the extra mile when it comes to proving the worth of their Chapparal home. These tips are designed to help them understand how to structure the data so they can transfer the home as efficiently as possible.