Key takeaways

  • Selling a home comes with a lot of documentation, most of which you’ll gather before listing the property on the market.
  • One important document is the seller net sheet, which will detail your all-in costs and potential profit.
  • Keep records of any major home improvements or repairs. This is not only helpful for the buyer, but also for your agent in pricing the home.

Selling a home is a complex process that requires a long list of documents from start to finish. From the initial listing agreement to mandatory disclosures, here are the key pieces of paperwork in the transaction.

Documents needed to sell a house

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, it can be helpful to understand the documents involved, some of which you can gather on your own and some of which will be provided by the professionals who facilitate the transaction. Here’s an overview of what you need to obtain, what you might see, and what you might need to sign during the transaction:

Documents related to your purchase of the home
Homeowners insurance policy documents
Homeowners association documents
Records related to major home improvements, maintenance or repairs
Manuals and warranties
Pre-listing inspection report
Listing agreement, if working with a real estate agent
Comparative market analysis (CMA)
Seller net sheet
Preliminary title check
Seller’s disclosures
Mortgage payoff statement
Buyer’s offer and purchase agreement
Home appraisal report
Closing statement
Proof of sale document

Pre-listing documents

Prior to listing your home for sale, track down the paperwork related to your ownership as well as any changes you made to the property while living there. This includes:

  • Documents related to your purchase of the home: This will include the closing documents and a copy of the deed.
  • Homeowners insurance policy documents: Keep a copy of your policy handy during the transaction, and be sure to maintain your coverage until the closing has taken place.
  • HOA documents: If your home is in a homeowners association, gather up any documents related to the HOA, such as CC&Rs or due schedules to disclose to the buyer. The title company involved in the transaction will order a review of these and information like the HOA’s financials, as well.
  • Major home improvement, maintenance and repair records: Aside from helping the buyer understand upkeep and any improvements to the home, these records can be used to more accurately price the home or dispute a low home appraisal.
  • Manuals and warranties: This isn’t a requirement to sell your home, but it’s customary for the seller to provide the buyer manuals for the home’s major appliances and systems, plus any warranty documentation if the seller has one.
  • Pre-listing inspection report: If you want to know what repairs a buyer might ask you to make, you can pay for a pre-listing home inspection. This report can help you prepare for these expenses, or even motivate you to make the repairs yourself before your home hits the market.
  • Listing agreement: If working with a real estate agent to sell your home, you’re required to sign a listing contract. Here’s more on exclusive right to sell agreements.
  • Comparative market analysis: “A licensed agent prepares a report of sold, pending and active listings in order to provide the seller with a sense of fair market value for their property,” says Tim Garrity, partner and broker of record at Copper Hill Real Estate in Philadelphia.
  • Seller net sheet: Sometimes referred to as the seller’s estimated costs, this document breaks down all of the costs associated with selling a home, as well as what the seller stands to profit when all is said and done. “It provides the seller with a sense of what they could potentially walk away with,” says Garrity.
  • Preliminary title check: Preliminary title searches help both the real estate agent and seller understand what’s owed on the property, as well as whether there are any issues impacting the title that could hold up the sale or reduce the home’s value. “Similar to CarFax for cars, a title search helps buyers and sellers understand more about a property before deciding to buy or sell,” says Garrity.
  • Seller’s disclosures: This mandatory disclosure form provides information to buyers about any significant issues or defects related to the home. The requirements surrounding such disclosures vary by state.
  • Mortgage payoff statement: The closing agent will request a mortgage payoff statement from your lender.

Listing documents

Once you list your home and receive offers, you’ll see the buyer’s proposed purchase agreement. This includes information regarding the method of payment (mortgage or cash), closing date and any contingencies, such as a financing or home inspection clause.

During this time, you’ll also receive the home appraisal report. If you had an appraisal done recently prior to listing, provide that documentation to the buyer, as well.

Closing documents

At the closing, you’ll work with the closing attorney or settlement agent to finalize the sale. You’ll see many documents, including an itemized closing statement of the closing costs and financials related to the deal, with any seller concessions you agreed to; the deed; and a proof of sale document.


  • Yes, you’ll need the deed to sell your home. But if you cannot locate this document, it’s possible to obtain a duplicate from your local recorder’s office.
  • You’ll need a variety of documents in order to sell your home. Some of the most important include your mortgage loan documentation, mandatory disclosures and the deed.
  • A proof of sale document is a record of the property’s transfer in ownership from the seller to the buyer.