Important Paperwork You Need When Selling Your House

computer next to stack of paperwork needed to sell a house

When you go to sell a house, there is a lot to think about. What repairs do I need to do? How much can I sell my house for? How long will it take to sell? One of the most stressful parts of selling your house can end up being all of the paperwork. You will see so many different documents along the way that it is easy to get confused on which one is which. Today we want to save you that stress by answering “what paperwork do I need to sell my house in Houston?”

Read on to see the list of paperwork you need to sell your house from the Brilliant Day Homes Team!

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Paperwork For Listing Your House

Comparative Market Analysis

Comparative market analysis done on Houston house

We have discussed in detail about the comparative market analysis, or CMA in the past. The CMA is a document that lists all of the recently sold similar properties near your house. This is what you will use to actually determine the value your home. Make sure that you actually run a CMA and don’t try to just use the rarely accurate Zillow Zestimate.

Listing Agreement

Your listing agreement, or listing contract is what you will sign when you decide to work with a real estate agent. A listing agreement is a private contract, and is not made available through the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC).

A typical listing agreement will have a set length of time that you give the real estate agent exclusive rights to list and market your home. This time can be negotiable but theses are rarely for less that 3 months, and in many cases go to 6 months. This is because when you list your house on the market, agents understand that the average time to sell a house is 3-6 months. Don’t forget that the listing agreement is legally binding.

Seller’s Disclosure (Texas)

Houston Texas Seller's disclosure document

The Texas Seller’s Disclosure document is a list of all know defects with the house you are selling. This is basically just telling the potential buyers what they are getting into. While the buyers will likely have an inspection at some point, inspectors are unable to catch every problem. If you fill out a seller disclosure, you MUST disclose all problems that you are aware of. If it is determined that you intentionally hid a defect, it can be considered fraud.

Records of Any Upgrades/Maintenance

Hopefully you have kept records of any major renovations or maintenance you have done on the house. If you haven’t been diligent about this, it isn’t necessarily the end of the world. Having a record that shows you serviced your AC each year, or the receipt for installation of a new roof can go a long way toward making the new buyer feel good about the house.

Any Warranties

Going along with the records of maintenance, if any major systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical) have been updated, or had work performed, there will usually be a warranty. Some warranties are transferable, and may require you to do a bit of work to get it in the buyers name. This is especially important for times when houses have had foundation work. If you are selling a house in Houston, a damaged foundation can costs 10’s of thousands of dollars to repair. A good warranty on the work will put a potential buyer at ease.

Preliminary Title Report

A preliminary title report will show your potential buyers that the house is owned by you, that you are up to date on your taxes, and that there are no liens against the property that can impede the sale process.

Paperwork After An Offer

Residential Contract (Purchase Offer)

Houston Texas real estate contract

The standard TREC residential contract (Texas) is normally what is going to have your offer on it. In addition to the offer price of the purchase, the contract will have the specific terms that the buyers are putting forth. This will include the amount of earnest money, the option period time, any contingencies, as well as any other stipulations the buyers want to put in. Now this isn’t necessarily the final version of the contract. In many cases, a seller with counter the offer with the terms they prefer. There can also be modifications to the contract, and also any addenda (additional material to the contract).


If you are selling to someone who is getting a mortgage on the house, they will need an appraisal. An appraisal is how the bank that is lending money to the buyer is able to make sure that the house is worth the money they are loaning. If the bank gives a buyer $500,000, and they buy a $100,000 house with it, the bank could be in serious trouble. If at some point the buyer couldn’t pay their mortgage, and the bank ends up having to foreclose, they would have no way to get the additional $400,000 back.

If your buyer is working with a lender to purchase your home, an appraisal will be required. If the house appraises for less than what is being offered, you may find yourself in negotiations with your buyer and their bank, or the sale may end up falling through completely.

Inspection Report

houston property inspection report

The inspection is one of the most important parts of the option period. The buyer has an opportunity to bring in an inspector and look for any issues with the house before they make the final commitment to buy it. The inspection report will show if there are any structural problems, infestations, or issues with the property that need to be dealt with. If there are problems with the house that weren’t mentioned in the disclosure, your buyer will negotiate on price or ask you to repair before the sale is finalized.

Purchase Agreement

This is a continuation and revised copy of the purchase offer. The purchase agreement is the final contract to buy the home. It lays out all of the details of the transaction and protects all parties involved. It will clearly lay out what is being paid, what is owed, and the timeline for the selling process.


A deed is a written document that gives ownership of the property. The deed is the last document in the home sale. This is what legally transfers ownership from one person to another. The deed will need to be filed and recorded as quickly as possible.

These are the main documents you will encounter along the journey of selling your house. Keep in mind though, that there are hundreds of different documents you could come across throughout the process, and putting a list together would end up as a book. We hope that this information was helpful and gives you some guidance.

If you don’t want to worry that you filled out the documents correctly, or are unsure you have the right documents…

Let Us Handle The Paperwork Instead

When you sell your house to Brilliant Day Homes, all of the paperwork will be handled for you! You won’t have to waste time wondering if you filed it with the right person, or if you filled it out correctly. We are experienced buyers who can help you through the entire process making sure everything is handled legally and timely. If you’re ready to sell your house in Houston, let us provide you with a great offer! We’ll handle all of the details to make the sale a success!

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Kevin Bazazzadeh

Kevin is the co-owner of Brilliant Day Homes, and primary author of the Brilliant Day Blog. He grew up around real estate investing and spent summers working on rental properties for his dad, who runs a home renovation company with Kevin's brother. He enjoys spending time with his wife Savannah, and children Isaac and Amelia. He also has a passion for volunteering and usually spends several hours each week doing so.

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