Paperwork & Contracts Needed to Sell My Own House

Paperwork & Contracts Needed to Sell My Own House
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Trying to sell a home without proper contracts and paperwork can prevent a sale. Homes sold without a realtor require just as much paperwork as homes sold using a realtor. Without a realtor, sellers simply have to do more legwork. Many sellers go to lawyers to have them draw up contracts and look over sales terms to make sure the title transfers smoothly. Before selling or buying a house without a realtor, both parties should make sure they have all required contracts and paperwork.


A seller must have a clear house title before transferring the title to a buyer. A title search, usually performed by a lawyer, proves no liens exist on the house. Sellers must provide at least the title, and preferably a copy of the title search, to buyers, according to The title search does, however, come with a fee.

Buyer's Financial Paperwork

Although not required for a home sale, sellers often require loan preapproval letters from potential buyers. This, along with a copy of the buyer’s credit report, helps sellers assess buyer finances. An offer placed by someone without buying power means nothing.

Proof of Inspection

Some states require seller-paid inspections before selling a house in which sellers must provide proof of professional inspection to the buyer. For example, some states require a free and clear termite inspection before selling. Other states have no inspection requirements, but leave the option of inspection open for potential buyers.


The sales contract provides all the terms of the sale. It outlines exactly what the buyer is paying for and the responsibilities of each party. For example, it outlines what stays in the home and what leaves, such as curtains and patio swings, and provides a move out date. Usually, people selling their homes without a realtor go to a lawyer to draw up this contract.

Bill of Sale

The last document signed at a home closing transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer. This bill of sale states the down payment amount, loan terms and closing costs. Both the buyer and the seller sign the bill of sale.