One thing remains constant with any real estate transaction. Paperwork. Whether buying or selling a Lake Havasu home, the process inevitably involves a ton of paperwork. Your real estate agreement. The sales contract. Your Earnest Money Deposit. Disclosure forms. Insurance. Title transfer. Closing documents. All of this and more require signatures. Some of these real estate documents should be kept for the duration of the time you own your home. Others, you can let go. But which ones require safekeeping so you have easy access to them in case you need them in the future?
Real Estate Documents Home Buyers Should Save
Your Buyer’s Agent Agreement
When you hire an agent to represent you for your Lake Havasu home purchase, you sign a buyer’s agent agreement. This contract spells out the terms of your agreement with the agent, including who pays commissions as well as how long you agree to allow the agent to represent you (typically 90 to 120 days). Why keep it? As a reference for services the agent agreed to perform in case of a dispute after closing.
Your Purchase Agreement
This agreement spells out the terms agreed to between both parties (the seller and the buyer). This includes contingencies, pricing, closing date, etc. If either party does not adhere to this agreement, they could be held liable for the costs incurred to rectify the situation.
If your inspection unveils issues that the seller agrees to take care of before closing, an addendum to the original purchase agreement will be signed. These real estate documents become extremely important to the buyer if a seller does not take care of the agreed addendums or if you find problems with the repairs that were supposed to have been performed.
Your Seller’s Disclosure
By law, the seller must disclose any issues they know about with the property. This includes anything they were aware of that happened before they owned the property. If you find a problem not addressed on this real estate document after you take over ownership of the property, the seller could be held liable for damages. Without your disclosure, though, proving any misrepresentation may become difficult.
The Home Inspection
No matter the age of the Havasu home in question, I always suggest that a buyer get a home inspection done. Even newer homes may come with problems. An inspector notates issues (both big and small) that they see during their inspection. They also include photos of the problem(s). This provides a useful guideline for when you decide to address these issues.
Your Title Insurance
You keep copies of your life insurance, car insurance, and medical insurance, right? Well, you need to keep a copy of your title insurance, too. This insurance protects you in case someone tries to claim ownership of your property after you sign your closing documents.
Your Closing Disclosure
Three days before your final closing, you should receive a closing disclosure from your lender. This document includes the actual costs of fees (loan origination, title transfer, etc.), amount of your loan, terms, and interest rate. You will want to give this to your tax preparer when you file taxes since some of the costs associated with buying a home are tax-deductible.
The Deed to Your Property
Finally, keep a copy of the deed to your property. Sure, the title transfer gets filed at the county recorder’s office. However, the actual physical copy of the deed is sent directly to the buyer. So, if you ever need to show proof of ownership, this could be the most important of the real estate documents you need to keep on hand.