What Documents You Should Keep!

When to begin? We suggest, long before the closing table. Once you place an offer on a property begin a file system. This can be either physical folder or digital copies, as long as it's a safe place to keep important documents related to your real estate transaction. You may need to resurface these documents post-closing if an issue occurs. Remember to keep the ones that include ALL signatures and/or initials. A document signed only by one of the parties involved will not assist you should you need it.

Broker Agreements

Usually found at the beginning of a contract outlining the working relationship agreed upon between you and your selected buyers broker.

Purchase Agreements 

Since this is a legally binding document it is high on the list of documents to keep. It will outline all the key aspects of your real estate transaction, including price, deadlines and contingencies. If there are other forms mentioned in the agreement pertaining to your transaction be sure you keep them, including but not limited to; counter offers, addendum, supplements or additional contingencies lined out.

Seller's Property Disclosure    

You will want to retain any written statements made by the seller that disclose important or relevant information about the property. Sellers are required to disclose about any known issues and defects. 

Home Inspection Report

This report provides a thorough analysis of the current condition of the home and flags any potential problems that might arise in the future. 

Appraisal

For financed properties, a home appraisal is an important part of the mortgage process. They provide a third-party opinion of the value of the home. Very handy if you need to dispute the assessed value figured by the county. For instance, if your property tax goes up, you may be able to leverage your appraisal report to have your assessment re-evaluated.

Title Commitment and Owner's Title Insurance Policy

Title insurance provides coverage for past problems related to the title chain of a property. These can include hidden risks due to forged signatures, missing mortgage discharges or even probate issues, some which are unknown at the time of closing. In the rare chance that a dispute arises, it is best to have your policy available to protect your claim to title.

Home Insurance Policy

Mortgage lenders require that you obtain homeowners insurance. After all, the lender has significant interest in your home and wants to see the asset protected. Insurance can cover a large variety of issues - from theft and vandalism to fire or wind damage.

Warranties

If you purchased a newly constructed home, a builder's warranty comes from the builder for 1 year. Even for a used home a home warranty can be purchased as part of the agreement to cover malfunctions of certain items like heating and cooling systems, plumbing or appliances. If something fails during your home ownership, you will want to refer back to your warranty coverage plans. Utilizing a warranty can help bolster repair expenses.

Closing Disclosure

If you are purchasing the property with a mortgage you will receive a closing disclosure often referred to as CD. Legally you must receive this multiple page document 3 days prior to closing. This document provides details about your loan and closing costs. Plus, you may want to hang onto it for when tax season rolls around as some aspects of your loan maybe tax deductible.

Standard Warranty Deed

Your deed will be recorded at your county registry. This document states the transfer of ownership from the seller to you and in what name.

What happens if you loose the file?

Good news is some of these items you can track down through different sources. If you selected the right brokerage to assist you in purchasing your property they will have most documents readily available, typically short of the properties appraisal and your homeowners insurance policy.