Real Estate Transactions and Documentation: Top Documents to Keep

by Nigel Hilton

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Acquiring a home is an exciting affair. It is easy to get caught up in it that you forget to prepare adequately for life after the purchase. The company that helps you get your home is legally required to store records of your documents. The idea is that should you lose yours; there is a fallback. It is still an excellent idea to keep your documents.

Sometimes, you may have to file claims against your seller or get the help of your realtor in Kansas City or your home town. The good news is that you never need to, but should that happen; you should be ready. The following are the documents you need to keep:

Buyer’s agent and purchase agreement

After you get an agent, they prepare a contract that you sign, making the agent your representative during the transaction. The agreement will explain the details of your relationship with the agent. It contains details such as who will pay the commission for the agent, how long they will represent you and when you can end your contract. Keeping this agreement comes in handy should you have issues with the agent later.

The purchase agreement is the document confirming a closing date, price, and other important terms to the transaction. The seller and the buyer have to sign it. Keeping this document allows you to interact with and abide by the provisions of the contract. You can know if the seller, for instance, does not fulfil their duty.


Also called riders, these documents change the purchase terms. If, for example, a neighboring fence eats into your property and you want that fence removed; your sales contract will have to be changed. Often, riders are related to appraisals and home inspections. Keeping amendments helps you find issues of non-compliance later on.

Seller disclosures

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The law requires that the seller reveals information, such as any problems the home has or might have had in the past, which can reduce its value. Laws change with the state, but seller disclosures include things like renovations, pest infestations, or paints with lead. Keeping seller disclosures helps you should a problem come up after moving into your new house. They form bases for future lawsuits against your seller, helping you hold them accountable.

Home inspection reports

A home inspection is typically recommended at some point during the buying process. Your inspector provides you with details of the condition your home is in and any problems that might come up. Inspection reports often include photographs of any issues the inspector finds. You need the report to know what repairs you might need to allot a budget for in the future.

Closing disclosure

Many mortgage lenders will give you a closing disclosure about three days before you settle. The document explains the terms of your loan, its type, and the rates attached to it. It also details other fees and the closing costs. Keeping your closing disclosure helps in the future when you need to file taxes while taking advantage of things like mortgage points.

The decision to preserve transaction documents is a brilliant one. It is an assessment of what might happen in the future and a determination to prepare for it. It is a healthy suspicion of human nature and the tendency for many to want to wiggle out of responsibility if there is no accountability. Keeping your documents safe is self-protection and preservation in many ways.