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Legal Checklist for Selling Your Home

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 18, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Selling a house isn't just difficult emotionally. It can also be legally complicated, with putting the property on the market and negotiating and finalizing the sale. And in any complicated process, certain things can fall through the cracks.

So here's a legal checklist for selling your home, so nothing gets left behind.

1. Clear Title

This should've been done when you purchased the property, but you'll need to confirm to any potential buyers that you own clear title to the home, or disclose any liens on the property. This can involve hiring a title insurance company, especially if you've owned the property for a long time, or if you've taken out any mortgages on the property.

2. Advertise Right

States can have statutes regulating where and how a home can be advertised for sale. Obviously you want to attract buyers, but you want to do it legally.

3. Make Disclosures

As mentioned above, there are certain things you'll need to tell a buyer before the sale is completed, lest the sale be revoked. This can involve hiring a neutral home inspector, and most disclosures must be made in writing.

4. Transfer Properly

Conveying property is a little more complicated than handing over the keys. Deeds must be filed and the kind of ownership title on the property may vary. Make sure all the proper paperwork is in order before the sale is finalized.

5. Pay Taxes

Selling a home can involve a major money exchange. So naturally the IRS will want to know about it. Make sure you report it properly on your tax return, and you might be entitled to a nice tax credit at the end of the year.

6. Hire an Attorney

This should probably be number one on your list, as an experienced real estate lawyer can make sure all of these steps (and more) are all taken care of. Contact one today if you're thinking of selling your home.

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