Many people have no idea the sheer amount of paperwork involved in selling a house. This list gets exponentially larger if you’re planning to list your house with a realtor in Lancaster, PA. This includes the paperwork you’ll need to in order to even begin to list your house, the paperwork you’ll need once you receive an offer, the paperwork you’ll need in the event that something changes while the house is under contract (almost ALWAYS needed when selling through an agent) and finally the paperwork you’ll need to complete for settlement itself. While it’s definitely a lot, the right real estate professional can walk you through this every step of the way! Below we’ll outline our list, but depending on the exact location of the property (i.e. HOA, municipality, etc.) the requirements can vary.
This is the document your real estate agent should provide upon meeting with you the first time in Pennsylvania. It goes through your rights as a consumer in a real estate transaction and describes the ways you can be represented by a Lancaster Real Estate Agent. Remember, this is not a contract with an agent!
Your listing agreement will give your agent the exclusive right to sell your house in Lancaster. Before signing this listing contract, make sure you understand what it’s saying including what’s included. This agreement will outline your expenses, commissions, any marketing the agent may cover, the timeframe of the listing, etc. Remember, if you don’t understand something here, make sure to ask!
Seller’s Property Disclosure
When you list a house, you’ll be required to disclose any and all defects and problems with the house. This information is will need to be answered on the Seller’s Property Disclosure statement. Keep in mind it’s important to answer all questions as truthfully as possible. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences including law suits!
Improvement and Repair Documentation
Potential buyers are going to want to know about what was done to the property, in what years, who did the work, any sort of warranties etc.. It’s recommended to keep a folder of all of your home repair documentation so you know where all of it is and you can provide it to your real estate agent when needed.
You may decide to provide a home warranty as an incentive. You will need to fill out this documentation through your home warranty company and decide what level of warranty you’re willing to provide before the house goes on the market.
Paperwork After An Offer
The purchase agreement is offer and contract to buy the home. It lays out all of the details of the transaction and is typically in a format that’s standard across the State (and provided by the State board of realtors). It’s meant to be in this standard form so that both agents know what to look for and it protects all parties involved. It will clearly lay out what is being paid, what is included or what’s not included, the timeline of the transaction, and any details relating to the sale.
There’s a good chance that your buyer won’t be paying for the home in cash and instead will be getting financing from a bank or mortgage company. If that’s the case, an appraisal will be required to get an opinion of value on the home. If the house appraises for more than or the same as the purchase price, you should be in good shape. However, if the home appraises for less than the purchase price you will likely need to either renegotiate or end the contract entirely. If you sell your home to a company like We Buy Lancaster Houses, however, we never require an appraisal in order to buy your home!
There’s a good chance that the buyers of the home will want a home inspection. Though they pay for the home inspection themselves, the inspection report will show what issues there are with the home including structural problems, code compliance issues, insect or mold problems, or any other issues with the property that need to be dealt with. If there are problems with the house that weren’t mentioned in the disclosures, your buyer may ask you to repair them or to renegotiate the purchase price.
While we all hope that the settlement process goes exactly how it was laid out initially in the Agreement of Sale, it rarely happens that way. Sometimes something happens during the home inspection that requires the terms of the agreement to be changed. Other times, something happens with financing and the bank needs to push back the settlement date. In these situations you’ll need to sign an addendum to the purchase agreement which will outline the necessary changes. Sometimes there are multiple addendums needed in order to get the transaction completed.
The deed will be handled by the title attorney or title company and you’ll need to sign it at settlement. The deed traces the previous owners of the property and transfers your legal rights to ownership to the buyers.
Let Us Handle The Paperwork For You!
The above list of paperwork is not a fully comprehensive list, but outlines the main items that you will need to sell your house in Lancaster if you go the traditional route to sell your home. That said, when you sell your house to We Buy Lancaster Houses, all of the paperwork will be handled for you! You won’t lose sleep wondering if you have the right documents in place or if you’ve done things correctly. We are very experienced buyers and can help walk you through the selling process every step of the way. If you’re ready to sell your house in Lancaster, we’d be happy to get you a fair cash offer! You can trust us to handle the sale of your home with integrity and make the process as easy as possible.