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What documents should I keep after closing on a house and for how long?

November 7, 2019

What documents should I keep after closing on a house and for how long?

When buying a home, first time home buyers may be overwhelmed with the lengthy papers to sign. This paper trail follows you until closing. The paperwork signed up to this point can be intimidating. Many of the documents you sign are mostly for the lender’s benefit, so in the future the lender or seller may avoid a potential lawsuit. You might be wondering why should I even bother to keep any of this paperwork after closing. However, you should keep all copies of the papers you’ve signed from the beginning to the end of purchasing a home. You should keep these documents for reference in case you find discrepancy and need to file a claim. You would be surprise to learn that this happens fairly often. The paperwork you’ve signed are legal documents that are evidence of your agreement to buy and any material fact the seller discloses.

What paperwork should you keep?

You don’t necessarily have to have the original copies, but you should keep these 4 real estate documents in case you need to access them for reference. This is not a complete list but details the importance of keeping copies of all your real estate documents.

  1. Buyer’s agent agreement

It might not seem obvious why you should keep a copy of the buyer’s agent agreement given that the agent help represents you during the home buying process and should have your best interest in mind. A buyer’s agent agreement is a legal contract between the you and your real estate agent. This contract details the terms of the relationship between you and the agent – including agent commission fee, length of representation, and whether he or she represents you exclusively. The buyer’s agreement contract should be kept in case there is any discrepancy between you and the agent after closing.

  1. Purchase agreement

Before you actually purchase a house, every home sale starts with a purchase agreement. This document set the terms and conditions of the home purchase agreement between you and the seller. Some items that are written in the purchase agreement is the price of the house, negotiated terms between you and the seller, and the closing date. You should keep a copy of the purchase agreement in case after buying a home there are discrepancy. This legal agreement protects you and the seller in case there is a breach in contract obligation by either party.

  1. Seller disclosures

Seller must disclose all known material facts about the property that could affect a home’s value before agree to purchase. The seller disclosure can detail problems with the property, such as lead paint, plumbing issues, renovations done without a permit, or any existing lease on the property.

  1. Property deed

When you take title of the property, you will be issued a deed once you have paid off the property. A deed is a legal document that details your rights as a property owner. You should keep a copy of your property deed because it details who legally owns and have rights to the property.

You’ll want to keep these documents for future reference. In case you have misplaced or don’t know where to retrieve your homes real estate documents, call our certified field agent specialist at 714-632-3480 to discuss how we can help you.