Paperwork Needed to Sell a House By Owner

Paperwork Needed to Sell a House By Owner

Paperwork Needed to Sell a House By Owner

Are you looking to forego working with a realtor and covering the commission fees of your real estate agent and the seller’s agent? If so, you can sell your house under a for sale by owner (FSBO) listing. 

Yet, the process can get complex. You will still need to work with a real estate attorney to help with legal document requirements. You will need to understand all the required paperwork for selling a house by owner. 

Selling a home is a big decision with many steps to follow. The paperwork ranges from getting a comparative market analysis and inspection report to a disclosure statement and a purchase agreement. 

To learn more about the paperwork for selling a house by owner and the documents you won’t need, keep reading about selling your home in an FSBO sale. Are you ready to find out more? Read on! 

Documents You Don’t Need if You’re Selling by Yourself

The main documents you won’t need when selling a house by yourself include any contract or agreement paperwork you would have otherwise made with a real estate agent. You won’t need any paperwork for the real estate agent commission fees. 

Furthermore, if you are selling a house as an FSBO sale in its as-is condition, you may not need a home inspection report. If you’re not getting any upgrades done on your home, you likely won’t need to keep receipts from contractors or warranty on repaired appliances like HVAC systems. 

So, don’t worry about having any receipts for home improvement projects or appliance warranties unless you have purchased any new appliances recently. Sellers also do not need to disclose any past utility bills unless they want to. Sometimes, buyers ask about utility bills to see what costs to expect.

You may also lack access to a comparative market analysis if you haven’t hired a real estate agent. Usually, realtors provide sellers with that analytics paperwork. 

While there are certain documents you won’t need, you will find numerous paperwork requirements when selling a house by owner.

Paperwork for Selling a House by Owner

The major documents you will need when selling a house by owner include:

  • Purchase offer with the purchase price
  • Original sales contract
  • Final purchase and sale agreement
  • Seller disclosure forms
  • Lead-based paint disclosure
  • Property survey
  • Title search and preliminary title report
  • Appraisal report
  • Closing documents

FSBO sellers need to have a purchase offer on hand, including any counteroffers and the final home sale price offered. The original sales contract may change depending on a home inspection or other contingencies from both home buyers and home sellers. 

The final purchase and sale agreement will include the agreed-upon home sale price, contingencies, the final closing date, and closing costs. Every real estate transaction will also require a seller disclosure form where you will list any material defects you’re aware of for the property.

Further, federal law requires you to disclose known lead-based paint in any housing property. Specifically, it applies to all properties built before 1978. Afterward, lead-based paint was outlawed from use in construction projects.

If you sell to a buyer who requires a home inspection, you will also need to include a home inspection report. That will show the safety and quality of the house’s overall state. Lastly, the appraisal report will exhibit the property’s fair market value.

On top of the documents already covered above, you will need a transfer of ownership form to complete a home sale. That paperwork is called a Form A transfer. After filling out and signing the form, your real estate lawyer will need to send the document to the land title office.

The house-selling process also requires a statement of adjustments document, which outlines the buyer’s and seller’s financial requirements. It also includes the payoff amount you would receive at closing. 

The standard purchase and sales contract also requires you to remove the mortgage loan charges and any liens from the property before the buyer completes the purchase at closing. As such, your attorney or closing agent will need to send a letter asking your lender for a payout statement.

The payout statement will show how much you still have to pay on your mortgage to discharge the loan. Once the lawyer gets the proceeds from the sale, he or she will send the final payout amount to your lender to close out the mortgage.

You will also need to sign an “irrevocable direction to pay” form when you have a real estate attorney helping you with the sale. That form will allow the lawyer to pay a portion of the sales proceeds to other professionals. However, when selling a house under an FSBO sale, you won’t need to cover any fees from a real estate broker or any real estate commission fees.

Can You Sell A House Without All The Paperwork?

Can You Sell A House Without All The Paperwork?

What’s the best way to go around much of the paperwork needed to sell a house? You should consider finding a real estate investor or a cash home-buying company. That way, you can sell your house as-is without requiring home upgrades or receipts. You also won’t need appliance warranties, a mortgage loan approval from the buyer, or a home inspection report. 

With a cash buyer, you can avoid working with a real estate agent and won’t need any contracts with real estate brokers or agents. You also won’t need to pay any commission fees. 

For instance, if you are pursuing the house selling process in WI and you want to avoid much of the paperwork, contact cash home buyers in Wisconsin.

When selling a house by owner, you will need to set a timeline for the sale. Before listing your home on the housing market at your preferred listing price, you should declutter and organize the rooms. You can also get a pre-sale home inspection done, but that may not be needed when selling to a cash buyer.

If you want to attract typical buyers, you should deep clean the house and stage the rooms. Afterward, hire a professional photographer to take photos of your home for listing on Zillow, Trulia, RedFin, and other house-selling sites. 

Most importantly, when selling to cash home-buying companies, you won’t need to waste money and time on home improvement projects. 

Pick the right home value or asking price to attract buyers. Put your home on the market and market the property online through social media sites and professional real estate websites. FSBO sellers will need to plan open houses without the help of a realtor. You can have the buyers’ real estate agents show them your home. 

The home sale process when selling to a cash buyer is more straightforward and does not require the same amount of paperwork when compared to working with lenders and realtors.

What to Do if You Don’t Have the Necessary Paperwork

If you don’t have the necessary paperwork to sell your house or you don’t know how to get that paperwork, you should hire a real estate attorney, a title agent, or an escrow agent. These professionals can help you complete all necessary closing documents for the real estate transaction.

For instance, several states require a real estate lawyer to handle the home purchase paperwork, conduct a title search, and complete the closing on the house. 

Further, the attorney will help draft a purchase and sales agreement and ensure you meet all legal requirements for the real estate sale. The attorney may also order a title search from the title company. 

Lawyers work to protect their clients in a transaction like this. However, you will need to cover the $150 to $350 hourly rate for the attorney. You may also find an attorney who has a flat fee for preparing real estate closing documents. 

If you want to forego a home inspection report and home improvement contingencies after an inspection, sell to cash buyers who often waive these contingencies. They also have the cash on hand and don’t require a lender or a mortgage approval form. Without a lender, you will likely no longer need an appraisal form either.

When you don’t have the necessary paperwork or don’t know how to get it, hire a real estate attorney to help.


Now, you should know about all the important paperwork for selling a house by the owner. Our tips for first-time home sellers include selling a house in its as-is condition. That way, you can avoid the home inspection report and any upgrades to the house, including receipts of home improvement projects or warranty updates on new appliances.

When selling a house by owner, you won’t need to work with a realtor and can avoid typical commission fees or real estate agent contracts. Cash buyers are the best choice since they don’t require home inspections or real estate agents. 

As such, if you want to sell a house fast in Fox Point, reach out to cash buyers. We buy houses Milwaukee residents love, so contact us today!

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