8 Real Estate Documents You Should Keep - and Why!
Throughout the entirety of the home-buying process, you will encounter too many documents to count. And, while it may be tempting to keep all of them, it isn’t necessary. How do you know which documents to keep and which you can throw away? Here are eight real estate documents you should absolutely hold on to and why:
Buyer’s agent agreement
When you start your home search, you choose a real estate agent and sign a buyer’s agent agreement – a contract between you and the brokerage. This contract outlines the details of your relationship – who pays the commission, the duration of the contract, terms for terminating, etc. Always hold on to this contract just in case you have an issue with your agent before the transaction closes.
When it comes time to buy a home, you'll sign a purchase agreement – a contract signed by both you and seller confirming the agreed upon purchase price, closing date, etc. Hold on to this document as it contains the legal ramifications in the case you or seller fails to fulfill the duties outlined in the agreement.
Addenda, amendments or riders
The documents above either alter or amend the terms of your purchase agreement. As they change the terms of the original document, they are worth holding onto – especially in the case the seller didn’t complete repairs that were outlined in an addendum.
Sellers are required to disclose certain problems with the home that could affect its value – lead-based paint, pest infestations, renovations completed without a permit, etc. Keep these documents on hand in the event major problems come up with your new home after you move in – they could be the basis for a future lawsuit.
Home inspection report
During the buying process, you will complete a home inspection. At the conclusion of this home inspection, the inspector will hand you a detailed report outlining the condition of the home and any potential problems. File this documents away just in case you need to make repairs to the property in the future.
The closing disclosure is a document given to a borrower (at least three business days before settlement) from their mortgage lender outlining the details of their loan: loan term, loan type, interest rate, closing costs, etc. Keep this document on hand for future reference when filing your taxes.
Title insurance policy
Title insurance protects you against any competing claims to the home: liens against the property or fraudulent signatures. You should keep this document just in case another party (a previous owner) tries to claim the property.
When the house officially becomes yours, you will receive the deed – a document that confirms ownership of the home to you. Typically mailed to you after the title transfer documents are recorded at your county’s public records office, this document is the only way to show someone you are the legal owner of the home.
Do you have any questions about any of these documents? Are you interested in buying a home in the Austin area? Give our team a call. We are always available to help you.