Locate critical documents you received when you bought your home

Locating critical documents that were a part of the closing process when you bought your home will answer some of the REALTOR's questions when he/she lists it for sale. You want to make the process to sell your home as simple as possible to avoid listing mistakes to make the closing process less costly. Pulling some of these documents out of their hiding places will help in the following ways.

  • Warranty Deed - The warranty deed contains the correct spelling of your and your co-owner's names. This sounds like a small thing but many times this information will lead to other questions concerning your current marital status, the whereabouts of the co-owner if not a part of the current listing meeting, etc.
  • Survey - A current survey is required to close the sale of your property. The survey contains the surveyor's view of the property at the time of the survey was completed. It includes the latitude and longitude of the property, the set back lines and build lines for the property, the positioning of any improvements including fences, recorded easements, and bordering streets and alleys among other items. Title companies have gotten more liberal recently as to the age of the surveys they will accept. Copyrighted surveys are not reusable.

    At closing, the seller verifies that the survey contains all of the property's current improvements. If the Seller can't locate their survey or material improvements have been added, a new survey is required. Whether this new survey is paid for by the Seller or Buyer is a negotiable item. Many Buyers want a new survey for one very important reason.

    Title companies sell survey insurance for an additional $50 that among other things, insure that the boundaries on the survey are accurate. To obtain this optional insurance, a new survey is required. Buying this optional coverage is important, in my opinion, when buying country property where a fence will be built along the boundary. Another time to purchase this optional coverage is when you are buying a patio home where the home is built on one of the property boundaries.

  • Previous Inspections - Sellers have the obligation to provide copies of any inspections, where they have copies, to a prospective Buyer as a part of their required Seller's Disclosure.