FSBO home sellers wanting to successfully sell their home should make their home easy to buy. This is done by having the correct for sale by owner forms to both market to buyers and prime buyers to write an offer. The documents are the tools you need to sell your home and the tools the buyers need to buy it. Here, I will go through the documents to have to make your home easy to sell and more importantly, easy to buy.
FSBO Paperwork Before You List
The minimum requirement for preparing to list your home FSBO is to complete any state or locally required residential real estate sales disclosures. Truly, there is not much else you are required to do which must be done.
1. Residential Sales Disclosure Form Required By Your State
Not all states require home sellers to complete a residential sales disclosure form. You can easily learn if your state requires home sellers to complete a residential real estate sales disclosure. Simply search online. A great query would be: [insert your state] residential real estate sales disclosure.
Quadwalls.com is based in Indiana. So, if you are selling an Indiana home as a FSBO we will save you some time. Click here to learn more about the Indiana sales disclosure rules and get the form.
Also, some counties and municipalities have additional sales disclosure rules. A title company or real estate attorney in your area will know whether there are additional, local sale disclosures which must be completed.
2. Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Federal regulation requires home sellers to disclose known lead-based paint and/or lead based paint hazards in housing units. This requirement applies to all housing types in all states if any part of the structure was built before 1978. Sellers should provide buyers with the EPA’s “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” information pamphlet, too.
The tool for making this disclosure form information pamphlet can be found on the EPA’s website.
FSBO Paperwork For Marketing Your Home
Having the correct documents for sale by owner home sellers need will make your home sell more quickly and easily. Sales professionals know something you know, too but have likely never thought about. An important strategy in selling a thing is making it easy to buy that thing. Here, I will discuss documents you should have ready to provide buyers so they can get the information and tools they need to make an offer to buy your home.
1. Completed Property Disclosures
FSBO home sellers should have all of the required disclosure forms completed before marketing the home. This is because you want to provide these documents to prospective buyers. First, buyers are interested in this information and it will help them make a decision. Secondly, in many states which require sales disclosures an offer is not valid unless the buyer(s) has also signed the disclosure forms.
2. Title Work Documents
It is a good idea for home sellers to have a title search on their home and make this available for prospective homebuyers to read. In the real estate business we call this a preliminary title report. Call the title company you want to use for your home sale. Tell the title company you are preparing to sell your home FSBO and would like a preliminary title report. They will then send you one once they have reviewed the title to your home. This can take as long as 10 business days to get back.
3. Survey Location Report
A survey is a good thing to have, but it is not required. Most lenders do not require a survey location report. However, some states may require an up to date survey location report be completed in order for a home sale to occur. Regardless, some buyers might want a survey.
A survey location report can make your home more marketable because it answers questions for the buyer. The report provides some assurance to help buyers better understand exactly what they are buying. Survey location reports do have a cost which varies based on your property. Additionally, it can take several weeks to have one completed. To get a survey contact a land surveyor in your area.
4. Covenants, Restrictions, and HOA or POA Rules
Prospective buyers want to know whether your property has any covenants, restrictions, or HOA (homeowner’s association) or POA (property owner’s association) rules. And you want prospective buyers to know the rules, too. There is nothing worse than finding a buyer, accepting an offer, only to see the transaction terminate five weeks later due to a property use restriction that does ot work for the buyer. All along the buyer could have known this immediately.
Gather up current copies of any covenants, restrictions, and HOA or POA rules and have these available for buyers to review. Covenants & restrictions and HOA/POA rules can be found by contacting your HOA/POA board, your county recorder, or a title company.
5. Purchase Agreement
A purchase agreement is a tool used by buyers to make an offer on a property. When doing a for sale by owner you do not have an agent and the buyer might not have an agent either. By having a purchase agreement which you can provide prospective buyers you can help them make the next step and by giving them the tool needed to write an offer.
6. Counter Offer Forms
You might want to counter a buyer’s offer price or terms. You can provide the buyer with a counter offer which only amends the items you are countering. This is much better than the alternative of causing the buyer to re-write, and reconsider their offer in full.
FSBO Paperwork After You Accept An Offer
Upon accepting an offer you will want to have several documents ready to keep the transaction valid and moving forward. You and your buyer both want to continue making progress in the process. These forms will help with this.
It is common for a transaction to need an adjustment. Adjusting a term or a deadline is not the end of the world. Truly, it happens all the time. With the right tool amending a transaction is easy to do. That tool is an amendment form. Therefore, FSBO sellers should have copies of blank amendment forms.
2. Inspection Responses
Home inspection response forms allow you and the buyers to clearly and constructively negotiate any property repairs. Often, homebuyers will have a home inspection. After that, the buyer might ask for some repairs. Inspection response forms are an excellent tool to clearly describe in detail what will be done, when it will be done, and by who.
3. HOA, POA, And Covenants & Restrictions
Yes, I am repeating this section, but I am doing it for a different reason. Some states require a seller to provide a buyer with a copy of covenants, restrictions, and documents regarding rules and regulations of a mandatory HOA or POA. A seller’s failure to do so invalidates the buyer’s offer. Let me give you a real world example from the state of Indiana.
Quadwalls.com was founded in Indiana. Indiana has a statute requiring sellers to provide buyers with mandatory membership HOA or POA rule and regulation documents. In Indiana, the buyer writes into the offer within how many days the seller has to provide and how many days the buyer gets to review the documents. Again, failure to do so invalidates the offer.
So, my advice to you is when in doubt, play it safe. Email your buyer a copy of any covenants, restrictions, and HOA or POA documents whether membership is mandatory or not. A great time to do this is when you email the buyer the signed accepted offer. Email is great, too, because it acts as a record. Ask that the buyer respond by simply acknowledging the documents were received.
FSBO Closing Documents
Home sellers do not need much in the way of for sale by owner closing paperwork. Nearly all of the closing documents will be provided by the title company and the buyer’s lender. This is what you are paying the title company to do. However, there are two documents which you as a seller should be aware of as you prepare to close the transaction. This is because each of these will come from you.
Many states with real estate disclosure rules will require sellers to sign the disclosure statements again at closing. The purpose is to reaffirm your statement that the property is in the same or better condition than when you completed the seller disclosures. In Indiana where Quadwalls.com is from this is true. So, do not forget to bring a copy of your seller disclosures to closing and sign those. Then, give the buyer a copy.
2. Final Walk Through Form
I encourage home buyers to complete a final walk-through of the property. Some buyers decide not to do so. Regardless, you should have a record stating a) the buyer had an opportunity to complete a final walkthrough, b) whether the buyer did or did not take the opportunity,and c) if the buyer did complete a final walk through the time and date this happened. The buyer should then sign this document.
When you have the documents for sale by owner home sellers need, you have made your home easier to sell and easier to buy. This will greatly increase your chances of successfully selling your home FSBO and avoiding real estate commission fees.
When preparing to list your home make sure you know the required disclosure rules for your state or local area. Get the correct forms and get those completed. Next, as you market your home, having more information and tools will help you sell your FSBO home. These include property disclosures, title work, a survey, covenants & restrictions and any HOA or POA rules and regulations. Also, having a purchase agreement will be helpful to buyers ready to make an offer.
Upon accepting an offer it is good to have blank amendment forms and property inspection response forms ready to go. This will keep the transaction moving forward. As you prepare to close the transaction make sure to reaffirm your seller disclosure forms if required in your state. Also, document whether or not the buyer completed a final walk-through despite having the opportunity to do so.
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