Regardless of where you are intending to sell, you’ll need to have a certain amount of documentation. This is necessary to ensure the appropriate checks and balances – no area or person is immune from being scammed, and the fraud is rife in the real estate industry.
Documentation is necessary to ensure that you are who you say you are and that you all the financials are in order. Before you think about selling your home, you need to give a detailed run through all of the documentation you’ll need, at the stages, you will need them.
The Documents Required to Sell Property on Long Island
Documents You Need to Sell on Long Island – Overview
The major documents you need for selling a property on Lond Island will include:
- Report of Title
- Contract of Sale (Sales Agreement)
- Deed to the property.
- Professional Appraisal
- Mortgage loan information
- Property tax statement and information.
- Homeowners insurance information
- Lease agreement (if renting).
- All other reports or documents relevant to the property.
What are these documents, and where can you get them? The deed to the property is really the legal certificate of ownership. When you sell the house, you sign your name to it and give the deed to the buyer. The deed is then registered with the county.
The title report (not to be confused with the property deed) discloses the most important details pertaining to a property). The title report is essentially a full legal description of the property.
Small buyers will certainly want to see one. You should be able to find the title records either at the local courthouse or by contacting a title officer. However, it’s easier to work with a professional to locate them.
The sales agreement stipulates the terms and conditions of the original property sale (who bought it, when, at what price, etc). Once the sales agreement is finalized, it is legally binding. The Sales Agreement may also contain important disclosures about the property. The appraisal will likely have been conducted the last time the property switched hands. Every sales agreement can be more or less complex, but all will contain, at a minimum:
- All parties invoiced in the sale.
- What is being sold.
- The total contract amount.
- Special terms to the contract.
- The type of payment method.
Appraisals are usually paid for by buyers, but you should have been sent a copy. The appraisal is a professional evaluation of what the house is worth. The mortgage loan statement will indicate how much is left on your loan (provided you have not already paid for the house in full).
You should have most of these documents at hand. Between the real estate agent, homeowners association, local offices, your personal files, and your credit institution, all of the documents can be accessed.
Documents at Each Stage
Before you list your house for sale, you will need the following documents: Original sales contract, professional appraisal document, repair and maintenance records, mortgage statement, homeowners insurance, homeowners association documents, utility bills, warranties, capital improvement receipts.
When the house is on the market, you’ll need: Preliminary title report, mandatory disclosures, natural hazards report, transfer disclosure statement.
Once an offer has been made by a buyer, you’ll need: Purchase offer and counteroffer, final purchase and sales agreement, contingency removal form.
During and after the closing of the sale, you’ll need: Home inspection report, appraisal report, most recent tax statement available, closing statement, the deed to the property, 1099 tax form.
Other Required Documentation
Homes built prior to 1978 will require a document of lead-based paint disclosure. The buyer must sign a document indicating that the disclosure has been made. If the home is currently being leased out to a tenant, then a copy of the lease agreement will need to be supplied.
Certain transactions may contain affidavits. These are legal statements that testify to a certain statement about the property, such as a lien. In some states, an affidavit may even be used to transfer property upon death, though this is rare.
If you wish to stay in the property for a period of time after the sale is done, then you will need to use a ‘rider’. This is an amendment to the sales transactions where you outline that you will be staying for x amount of days after closing on the deal.
The majority of states will require you to supply a residential property disclosure form. This form indicates any flaws or defects in the home. If there are any defects, then the buyer will want to renegotiate on the price.
You will also need to supply various types of homeowners association (‘HOA’) documents. These documents will often include:
- The Articles of incorporation.
- The HOA Bylaws.
- General Rules and regulations.
- Homeowners dues amount statement.
- Copies of the minutes from HOA meetings (Minimum 2 years).
- Any Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions declarations.
The HOA is responsible for the general running and maintenance of the property and is a distinct legal entity with a President and Treasurer at each one. These documents should be easy to obtain from your local HOA representative.
How the Sale is Conducted
There are a variety of ways to sell a property on Long Island. Most often, a real estate agent is contacted, and they will be responsible for listing the property on a marketplace and finding a buyer. They will also have access to numerous documents that you do not have. But there are many other ways to do it. As useful as the real estate agent may be, the fees can eat up 5 – 6% of the house price.
Many people are opting to sell themselves (termed as ‘For Sale by Owner’ – FSBO). The rise of listing marketplaces such as Zillow and forsalebyowner.com has made this possible. If you are selling by yourself, then you will still need to hire an attorney. This provides additional protection so that you know the buyer has the funds and that all bases are covered.
It’s also possible to sell to somebody you know using alternative advertising strategies, though far rarer. Whichever method you use to list a house and find a buyer, you will still need to transfer the title deed. This requires an attorney to prepare the deed and all other relevant documentation so that it can be transferred over to a new owner.
It’s technically possible to transfer a title without using an attorney. You select the appropriate deed and get it signed before a notary in the local county office. Just keep in mind that there are many different types of property deeds to select from, and the language is difficult to understand.
The most common is the general warranty deed. Other types include special warranty and quitclaim. Most states will charge a fee for filing property deeds and for generating a copy.
Making Selling Easy
Gathering all of the documentation to sell a home can be quite a pain. If you want to sell a house without any hassle, consider using a local home buying service. These services:
- Can give a quick quote on the home.
- Have the cash at hand.
- Finalize transactions quickly.
- Charge little to no fees (in comparison to real estate agents).
- Specialize in real estate transactions and quick sales.
Using a home buying service such as Leave The Key can save you a considerable amount of stress. You won’t need as much documentation and you won’t need to do any additional verification procedures. These buyers are investors who already have the cash at hand (verification of financial procedures is often the most stressful part of selling a home).
A local homebuying service in Long Island can save a lot of stress, resulting in a quick, painless, and straightforward sale for a good price. You get paid, in cash, for a property that can contain faults or defects. Thes are serious benefits for people looking to move quickly and to get fairly compensated for their property.