Home sellers need to ensure they protect themselves

Selling your home can be a complicated process, so you’re probably ready to breathe a sigh of relief once you finally have a buyer.

Be wary, however, that you don’t let your enthusiasm cloud your judgment: You need to take a few steps to make sure that you protect your interests against any disputes that might arise now or in the future.

What should sellers remember to do to protect their interests?

Generally speaking, sellers need to keep copies of everything they sign and any paperwork related to the sale that they can access. This includes:

  • Any evaluations or appraisals that were done on the house
  • Copies of any home inspection you had done
  • Receipts for any repairs you made as part of the deal with the buyer
  • Copies of any formal communications between you, your agent, your title company and the buyer
  • Your closing papers and contact information for everyone involved

Your attorney may have other suggestions, but start a file for your records right away.

What else should you do when you sell the home?

You’ll need to stop all the utilities, like the electric, gas, and water services that are based on usage. You also need to cancel cable contracts, service contracts for your lawn and maintenance contracts for your security system, furnace, and other parts of your home before you move. You also need to contact your insurance agent to stop the homeowner’s insurance on the property, but this should only be done after the formal title transfer or the recording of the deed. 

Selling a home is a very big step. Make sure that you have experienced guidance throughout the process.