For Sale By Owner Checklist

More and more individuals are looking to sell their home on their own through a “For Sale by Owner” listing to avoid paying commission to a real estate agent or a broker, but often don’t know where to start.  Our Firm can provide you with the legal and practical guidance you need to protect yourself legally when you decide to sell your home yourself.

This “For Sale By Owner Checklist” outlines the initial items that you would want to prepare and organize before you offer your property for sale to the public.

  • Prepare a Property Information Sheet. Prepare for Buyers’ questions.  You should compile a Property Information Sheet for your property with things that potential Buyers will want to know, such as the following:
        1. Number of rooms and estimates of their sizes
        2. Age of your furnace, A/C, roof, and other important items
        3. Lot size estimate
        4. Any items you are including in the sale (e.g. appliances or furniture)
        5. Any items you are excluding in the sale (e.g. window treatments)
        6. List of leased items (e.g. water softener or propane tank)
        7. The year the house was built
        8. The builder of the house (if known)
        9. What school district is the property in
        10. Sewer and water or well and septic information
  • Obtain copies of HOA documents (if applicable). If your property is a part of a Homeowner Association, you should contact the Association and obtain the appropriate documents to disclose to the Buyer that they will be a part of the Homeowner Association.
  • Obtain copies of Condo documents (if applicable). If you are selling a condominium, you will need to obtain the Condominium Disclosure Documents. If your property is part of a subdivision, you will need to obtain copies of any restrictive covenants of the subdivision to disclose to the Buyer.
  • Have a copy of the Real Estate Tax Bill available. Also, have copies of the Real Estate Tax Bill to show to your potential Buyer.
  • Have copies of Building Plans available (if applicable). If your house is new, or in the process of being built, have a copy of the Building Plans for the Buyer to review.
  • Prepare Required Legal Disclosure Materials
    • Real Estate Condition Report or “RECR”. You could start by getting a Real Estate Condition Report completed for your residence. The Real Estate Condition Report asks various questions regarding the condition of the property that you as the owner have to answer to disclose certain information to the Buyer. Your attorney can provide you with a copy of this form.
    • Condominium Addendum to Real Estate Condition Report. If you are selling a condominium, you will also include a Condominium Addendum to Real Estate Condition Report. Your attorney can provide you with a copy of this form.
    • Lead Addendum. If your house was built before 1978, you will also need a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure to go with the Real Estate Condition Report. This discloses to the Buyer that the house may or may not have lead-based paint. Your attorney can provide you with a copy of this form.
  • Have blank Offer to Purchase forms available. Have some blank Residential Offer to Purchase forms on hand in case your potential Buyer is in need of one. If you are selling a condominium, you will need the Residential Condominium Offer to Purchase form in lieu of the Residential Offer to Purchase form. Your attorney can provide you with a copy of this form.  The Buyer customarily submits the Offer, and an Offer should not be accepted until our office reviews it.
  • Keep a list of Prospective Buyers. When you list the property, make sure to keep a list of prospective Buyers who come through the house. If you eventually decide to list with a Broker, it is important to have a list of everyone you showed the house to so that the Broker won’t charge you commission since you showed the property to the Buyer before the Broker was involved.

The sale of real estate is a significant legal transaction.  You should consult with trusted advisors throughout the process. Our office and its attorneys have extensive experience in representing sellers of property when a broker is not engaged.  If you would like to avail yourself of our services, we would be pleased to do so.  It would be important for us to meet with you prior to the property being marketed to ensure that you have completed all of the pre-sale marketing due diligence.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact its one of our real estate attorneys at 262-334-3471 or [email protected].

Originally published: April 17, 2019

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law, Schloemer Law Firm makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or completeness of this content. You should consult with an attorney to review the current status of the law and how it applies to your unique circumstances before deciding to take—or refrain from taking—any action. If you need legal guidance, please contact us at 262-334-3471 or [email protected].