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Seller Certifications

In order to close the purchase and sale process, you need to be sure that all the necessary paperwork has been provided and that any contingencies described in the purchase agreement have been satisfied. The proof that everything needed to complete the sale has been provided is referred to as Seller Certification - where the seller certifies the provision of necessary documentation or the completion of their assigned tasks.

Necessary Documentation

Before you sell your property, it is important that you provide the buyer with all the documentation they require to close the purchase and sale process. The three documents you absolutely must provide are the deed, survey, and contingency removal.


The deed is a very important document that is absolutely necessary in the sale of a house. A deed is a written and signed document which transmits ownership from one party to another. It is the seller's responsibility to secure the deed before the close of the sale. The deed on the house must be present for the closing of the sale to take place.


A survey shows the dimensions and outline of the lot and any structures or systems that are on the lot (gas and water mains, septic systems, wells, etc.). The buyer's lending institution will probably require that you secure a new survey of the property prior to financing. The seller should be able to provide a survey of the lot being sold. If you don't have one handy, the town where the property is located should have a copy. Before a new survey is engineered, however, you should go over the existing survey to verify the characteristics of the location and any problems that may exist regarding the local zoning regulations and/or setbacks (distances from the road/neighbor/well/etc. that the building must be). It is a good idea to clear up any problems about property lines that may arise in the future.

Disclosure Requirements

By law, the seller must disclose any defects or problems that exist in the building or on the property before accepting a purchase offer. If the roof leaks, if the septic system fails, or if the toilet won't stop running when flushed, the seller must make the potential buyer aware of these defects before accepting the purchase offer. These defects will either be accepted by the buyer (usually in relation to a reduced price), or they become contingencies in the purchase offer that must be addressed before the sale can be closed.

Contingency Removal

Contingency removal refers to certification that each of the contingencies stipulated in the purchase agreement have been addressed successfully. This is kind of a check-list that the buyer and seller can go over prior to the closing of the sale to confirm that the issues have been taken care of to the buyer's satisfaction.

Contingencies will often develop in regard to a "subject to building inspection" contingency in the purchase offer, as building inspections will often uncover termites, rotted sills, and other common defects that the owner may have been unaware of. Further negotiation may be necessary regarding the acceptance of the seller's certification, particularly if the seller tries to address the contingencies in the most minimal way, or if the buyer has unreasonable expectations. Your Todd Sandler Realtors agent has the necessary experience to smooth-out the sticking points of the negotiating process regarding purchase price, contingencies, and any other stipulation that could potentially sour the deal, and make sure you get the maximum value for your property.

Other Documentation

Buyers may request other documents at the same time they request the deed and survey. These documents may not be essential to the closing, but they may help to ease the buyer's mind about the purchase. Keep in mind that you are not legally bound to provide this information, but if the documents are important to the buyer, you may want to provide them. Some of the documents the buyer may request are as follows:

Expense records may be of interest so that the buyer can get an idea of what your building maintenance expenses have been. For this reason, the buyer may ask for a copy of the following bills:

- heat
- electricity
- water
- sewer

The buyer might also request a copy of the your mortgage, in order to determine if there is a cl_ause in the mortgage that states it is "assumable." An assumable mortgage is one that allows the buyer of a house to take over, or assume, what is left on the mortgage. This is a very convenient way for the buyer to lower their responsibility for a down payment, which can make your property more attractive than a competitive property.

Tax records can also be useful to the buyer. These will show the amount of annual tax, and information on the last assessment.

Your Todd Sandler Realtors agent can help you to obtain all the documentation you will need to make sure that the negotiating and closing process goes smoothly.

Todd A. Sandler, Inc., REALTORS
536 N. Main St. (Rt. 28)
Randolph, MA  02368
(781) 961-1185