What Documents Are Needed to Sell My House FSBO?

Selling a house For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is a big deal, especially for sellers who are new to the process. While FSBO typically offers more control and potential savings on commissions, it also requires a comprehensive understanding of all legal documentation involved. Here’s an outline of the paperwork required for a FSBO sale, so sellers can ensure a legally compliant and smooth transaction.


Preliminary Documents for Listing and Marketing


Before listing your property, certain documents are necessary to establish the legality of the sale and to begin marketing the property to potential buyers. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Professional Appraisal. While not mandatory, a professional appraisal document can give an accurate valuation of your property, providing critical insight for potential buyers.


  • Disclosure Documents. Most states (including Florida) require sellers to provide certain disclosures to buyers, like the presence of lead paint or asbestos, or other known property defects.


  • Home Inspection Report. While home inspections are typically initiated by potential buyers, sellers can order a professional home inspection to identify and address any potential major issues beforehand. It’s an optional investment, but one that can pay off in terms of a faster, smoother selling process.

The Sales Process


Once you’ve listed the property, the next phase involves documents that facilitate the actual sale and negotiation process. The documents you’ll need for this stage include:


  • Purchase Agreement. The purchase agreement is a legally binding document in any real estate transaction. It outlines the terms of the sale, including price, contingencies, and closing date.
  • Counteroffers and Addendums. In many FSBO sales, negotiation leads to counteroffers and addendums to the original purchase agreement. These documents should be drafted carefully to avoid any legal loopholes or misunderstandings.

Closing the Sale


The closing stage is where the sale is finalized. The process involves a series of documents that legally transfer ownership and settle all financial aspects of the transaction, including:


  • Title Commitment. The title commitment is a critical document in the closing process, offering a detailed report of the title’s status and outlining any exceptions or issues that must be resolved before the transfer of ownership. It ensures the title to the property is free and clear for transfer to the new owner.
  • Lien Search. This process ensures there aren’t outstanding liens or claims against the property, and it protects the buyer from assuming any undisclosed debts or legal obligations related to the property.
  • Estoppel (if applicable). If your FSBO property is part of an HOA or COA, an estoppel is a critical document in the closing process, protecting both the buyer and seller. Estoppels provide details about HOA or COA fees owed at the exact time the document is drafted. It guarantees the buyer is fully informed about the exact amount of HOA/COA fees, as well as any other outstanding debts or obligations associated with the property that must be settled before closing. Put simply, the HOA/COA estoppel ensures transparency regarding financial responsibilities, facilitating a smoother transfer of property ownership.
  • Closing Statement. The closing statement, or HUD-1 Settlement Statement, details all the financial transactions involved in the sale. It includes the selling price, loan balances, pro-rated property taxes, and any fees or commissions.
  • Transfer of Title and Deed. Transferring the title and deed legally changes ownership of the property. The deed should be prepared by a legal professional to ensure accuracy and compliance with state laws. This is traditionally handled by the closing agent.
  • Tax Documents. Selling a property has tax implications. Documents such as the 1099-S form are required for reporting the sale to the IRS.

Additional Legal Considerations


Aside from the standard documents detailed above, there are other legal aspects to consider that may apply depending on your specific circumstances:


  • Power of Attorney. If you won’t be present at the closing, a power of attorney can be arranged to authorize someone else to sign on your behalf in compliance with state laws.
  • Home Warranty Documents. If a home warranty is offered as part of the sale, the corresponding documentation should be prepared.
  • HOA Documentation. For properties in a homeowner’s association (HOA), you’ll need to provide the buyer with the HOA’s rules, regulations, and financial statements.

Boss Law – Your Legal Partner in FSBO Sales


Selling a house FSBO requires meticulous attention to legal documentation—as you can see above, there’s a lot to keep track of. At Boss Law, our team of property law experts is here to help sellers in mastering the complexities of FSBO sales. With our support, you can confidently manage each sale, equipped with the necessary documents and legal guidance to ensure a successful transaction. Call us today at (727) 877-3188 to get your next sale started on sound legal footing.


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