Few other transactions involve as much paperwork as selling your home. This makes sense because it’s typically the largest transaction of your life. Since everyone involved: you, your real estate agent, your buyer and their real estate agent, the title company, buyer’s mortgage broker and all of the other assorted inspectors and professionals want the process to go smoothly you should do your part from the beginning by gathering your documents.
First start with the legal documents. Create a large folder that has copies of your home’s deed, property survey, and mortgage documents, if you have one. Insert a copy of your home’s floor plan and if you’ve had any major renovations or additions made to your home include copies of the plans and building permits. If you bought your home new you should have the builders original permits and plans, put them in the file also. If you have a map showing your property’s boundaries include it. You do not need the original signed documents. Keep them in your safe, fireproof lock box or wherever you keep your important documents. At this stage, photocopies of everything are fine. Give this file to your real estate agent.
Next create a second file of long-term and high-value guarantees, warranties, and invoices of purchases over $3,000. This file should include for example:
- Termite and pest guarantee
- Heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems information and warranties
- New or major roofing repairs warranties
- New or replacement window guaranties
- Major kitchen or bath upgrading or remodeling project files
- Anything else regarding your home valued at over $3,000
Finally, create a third file or three ring binder containing all of the instruction manuals and warranties on smaller household items. This should include installation and instruction manuals on the appliances that you will sell with your home, your hot water heater, alarm system, etc. Compiling and providing all of this information in advance shows prospective buyers you take care of your professions and are organized and prepared.
Put these two files on your kitchen counter or table in clear view for buyers to see when they visit your home.