Eight Real Estate Documents to Keep After Buying a Home

Legal Article

Eight Real Estate Documents to Keep After Buying a Home

One of the most common questions homebuyers have after purchasing a home is what documents you should keep on file and what documents are safe to get rid of. Your closing company must keep a record of your closing documents. However, your closing company’s records should be considered a backup of your own documentation. Keeping your own documentation is especially key if you must file a claim against the seller or your professional representation team—your real estate agent, home inspector, or mortgage lender. While most homebuyers will not have to file a claim, you will be unable to successfully file a claim without the following pieces of documentation.

Buyer’s Agent Agreement

Once you pick a real estate agent, you will sign a buyers agreement that acts as a contract between you and the brokerage. This agreement will state that the agent represents you while you are purchasing your home. Additionally, this agreement will state the terms of the relationship between you and your agent as well as who pays the agents commission, the length of the agreement, and the terms for canceling the agreement.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

You should keep this document as it will come into play if you have any issues with your real estate agent after the transaction closes.

Purchase Agreement

A real estate purchase agreement or contract is a vital document in every real estate deal that outlines the price and terms of the transaction. Further, this document covers every element of the sale from earnest money to well disclosures. The nature of the document is to ensure that all expectations are clear, working to protect both the buyer and seller.

Purchase agreements vary from one state to the next. In certain regions, purchase agreements are relatively short and are used to simply open the negotiation process. However, in other states, the purchase agreement can act as a full legally binding contract.  Thus, when looking to utilize a purchase agreement—especially in a state where a purchase agreement acts as a legally binding contract—it is imperative that you enlist the services of a real estate attorney.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

The provisions that both parties agree to in this contract must be follow throughout and after a home purchase. Thus, if the seller fails to meet the agreement or claims that you broke your portion of the agreement, you must keep this document to show the courts otherwise.

Addenda and Amendments

Addenda and amendments alter or change the initial terms of an agreement. For example, if a real estate survey shows that a neighbor has an encroaching fence that you would like removed, the sales contract must be amended.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

Addenda and amendments are normally necessitated by home inspections or appraisals that can change the original terms of the signed contract. Thus, if both parties consented to amend the agreement because a home repair is needed yet the seller does not make these repairs, you will need the addenda or amendment to have your property fixed.

Seller Disclosures

Property disclosures can help show the conditions of the home you are considering buying such as condition of the property, safety of the neighborhood, and other important details. The four common disclosures present in most real estate contracts are below standard disclosures, natural hazards, lead paint disclosures, and a sold “as is” exemption.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

If major issues occur after moving into your home that is related to any of the disclosures you received, you may need these disclosures as a foundation for your law suit. Without a paper trail, you will have a difficult time holding the seller accountable.

Home Inspection Report

A home inspection involves a neutral third-party inspecting your property and producing a report that has detailed notes on the condition of the home and any optional fixes that may need to be made soon.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

This specific document lists every potential issue that the home inspector encounters. By keeping this report, you have a record of all repairs that you will need to make in the future.

Closing Disclosure

A closing disclosure is a document that mortgage lenders must give homebuyers at least three business days before settlement. The document will state the loan terms, loan type, interest rate, closing costs, and other relevant financial information.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

The closing disclosure lists all the costs associated with the closing and your mortgage. This document is also needed to file your taxes since you can take deductions for mortgage points.

Title Insurance Policy

Title insurance protects homebuyers from competing claims on a property. To initiate this process, the insurance company runs a title search of public records. This search looks to find loose ends such as liens against the property or fraudulent signatures on ownership documents.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

If the previous owner tries to claim this property after you have purchased it, you will need this document.

Property Deed

Once you have the deed to the property, you are the sole owner of the home. A deed is a legal document that confirms or conveys ownership to a home. In most cases, you will receive the title after your documents are recorded in your county’s public records office.

Why you Should Keep this Agreement

Physically having the property deed is the only way to show that you own a property. The deed is directly sent to you. Thus, no one else will have this document if you needed to prove that you actually owned the home.

Final Thoughts

With over 20 years of experience, Antonoplos & Associates real estate attorneys have the knowledge and experience required to assist clients with real estate litigation in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Furthermore, because our attorneys have a strong background in real estate, construction law, and business law, we can assist clients with a variety of real estate litigation issues.

Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information

Finally, for more information regarding real estate documents to keep after buying your home, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Additionally, for general information regarding real estate law, check out our blog.