You Should Know the Legal Steps to Sell a House Without a Realtor
It isn’t easy to believe that people can conduct a real estate transaction without an agent. The two are so interlinked that it’s challenging to separate one from another. But you can buy and sell a house without a realtor if you know a few things like the paperwork required, the property’s estimated price, and steps to be followed. Even when you sell your home by yourself, there are specific requirements you have to fulfill. Here are some important legal steps to sell a house without a realtor where no transaction will be considered valid, binding, or complete. Read on.
Get the Documents in Place
Since you will be selling the house by yourself, the responsibility of ensuring that all the documents are in place will depend on you. You can do this by yourself or take the help of a lawyer. Some of the documents you will need are an original sales contract, property appraisal, property tax receipts, home repair and maintenance records, pasty utility bills, transferable warranties, purchase offer and counteroffer forms, and homeowners association. Each of these has its great importance. For instance, an original sales contract will tell the buyer what the terms and conditions of the property were when you purchased it. A property appraisal will assure the buyers that you are asking for the right price.
Be Honest Regarding the Disclosures
It is compulsory to disclose any defects in your property to the buyer before you sell it. Even when you sell the house by yourself privately or as–is, you will still have to provide details regarding its condition. If you don’t, you might be sued and even convicted of a criminal offense. There are two categories of defects: patent and latent. Patent defects are those that the buyer or their inspector can easily see during a property inspection. Some examples of these are missing fixtures, soggy gutters, and cracks in the wall. Latent defects are those that cannot be seen during the inspection. These include gaps in basements, leaky pipes, and wiring issues. These cannot be seen during the review but make the house unfit or dangerous for residency. The buyer will not be aware of these and might incur many costs while being repaired in the future. However, suicide or death is not a defect and will not have to be disclosed.
Ensure a Smooth Closing Process
It is crucial to ensure that the closing process is smooth. Hiring a lawyer who will oversee the process is the safest way of doing this. They will ensure that the documents like sale deeds, land titles, utility statements, and annual tax statements are in place. However, you are obligated to inform your lawyer of the closing date at least two weeks in advance. Finally, you will hand over the keys or the ownership of your property to the buyer in the presence of your lawyer. You and the buyer can agree on the location of the closing process. Your buyer may either choose to pay you by cash or issue a cheque.
Homeowners Insurance Mandatory or Not
Although you do not need homeowners insurance by law while selling your house privately, it’s advisable to have one. Visitors during open houses and ultimately the final buyer might require you to have insurance. It will also keep you covered financially in case someone is injured on your premises while visiting it. You should also not cancel the homeowners’ insurance until you have sold the house since you will be liable for losses till the transfer of property is complete.
These are the mandatory legal steps to sell a house without a realtor,without which the transfer of property will not be considered complete. The entire process will be easier and convenient once you have the required documents and other necessities in place.