Property Listings: Essential Legal Docs & Disclosures
March 29, 2024

When listing a property for sale, sellers must provide various legal documents and make mandatory disclosures to potential buyers. These requirements aim to ensure transparency, protect both parties' interests, and facilitate a smooth transaction. This blog post will explore the key legal documents and disclosure obligations involved in property listings.

Legal Docs and Disclosure Obligations Involved in Property Listings:

Ownership Documents:

Before listing a property, sellers should gather documents that establish their ownership and the property's legal status. These may include:

  • Original Purchase Contract: The contract signed when the seller initially acquired the property, outlining the terms of the sale and ownership transfer.
  • Mortgage Statements: If the property has an outstanding mortgage, sellers should provide statements indicating the remaining balance and payoff amount.
  • Property Tax Records: Recent property tax bills demonstrate the seller's financial obligations and help buyers estimate future tax liabilities.
  • Homeowners' Association (HOA) Documents: If the property is part of an HOA, sellers must provide the governing documents, including covenants, restrictions, and financial statements.

Title Deeds:

A title deed, also known as a grant deed or warranty deed, is a crucial document that proves ownership of the property. It contains detailed information about the property's legal description, ownership history, and any encumbrances or liens. Sellers should obtain a current title report or title insurance policy to verify their ownership and disclose any potential issues to buyers.

Disclosure Requirements:

Most states mandate that sellers disclose known defects or material facts about the property that could affect its value or desirability. These disclosures are typically made through a standardized form provided by the state or local real estate authorities. Common disclosure requirements include:

  • Property Condition Disclosure Statement: Sellers must disclose any known issues or defects related to the property's structure, systems, appliances, or environmental hazards.
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure: For properties built before 1978, federal law requires sellers to disclose the presence of lead-based paint and provide an EPA-approved pamphlet.
  • Natural Hazard Disclosures: In certain areas, sellers may need to disclose potential risks from natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes, or wildfires.
  • Death or Crime Disclosures: Some states require sellers to disclose if a death or crime occurred on the property within a specified timeframe.

Property Condition:

In addition to the mandatory disclosures, sellers should provide documentation related to the property's condition and any recent improvements or repairs. This may include:

  • Home Inspection Reports: If the seller has obtained a pre-listing home inspection, the report should be shared with potential buyers.
  • Repair and Maintenance Records: Sellers should provide records of any major repairs, renovations, or system replacements, along with warranties and manuals for appliances and equipment.
  • Building Permits and Plans: If any additions or renovations were made to the property, sellers should provide copies of the approved building permits and construction plans.


This blog post offers insights into property listing legalities. For personalized advice and to ensure compliance with local regulations, we recommend consulting with a qualified real estate professional or attorney specializing in property transactions. They can address specific concerns. Also, consider visiting reAlpha's AI-based property description tool GenA's page [] to learn more about how AI can streamline your listing creation process.