With the advancement of technology, properties for sale can be viewed online with just a touch of your fingertips. In a few clicks, you can check out the numerous properties’ details, photos, the seller and their contact details without having to leave the comfort of your own home. With such ease, there has been a rise in real estate interest, which eventually leads to investment and purchase.
But despite all the advantages that technology brings, there are still some aspects of the property buying process that can’t be automated—the drafting, checking, and signing of legal documents just a few of them. In order to save time (and your hard-earned money) and to make sure everything that goes with the purchase will be put into writing, it’s better to keep yourself informed on the documents you will need.
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1. Intent to Purchase Real Estate document or Letter of Intent
Once an ocular inspection of the property has been done and the title of the property has been checked with the Register of Deeds, a letter of intent to purchase a property must be made and sent to the seller. A non-binding document, the Letter of Intent documents the buyer’s tentative terms and conditions in regards to price, reservation fee or initial deposit, and financing details. Also included in a Letter of Intent is the detailed description of the property you are interested in.
If the seller accepts the terms and affixes his signature on the Letter of Intent, the seller is expected to reserve the property for you unless the conditions and terms on the letter have been breached.
An earnest money or down-payment must then be paid, securing your hold on the property within the time frame agreed upon between you and the buyer.
2. Contract to Sell
The Contract to Sell, a document that binds both you and the seller, is where all the final terms and conditions are stated. This will be issued to you by the seller after you have given your down-payment. In this contract, you are assured that the buyer will exclusively sell the property to you and will take it off the market. However, until the full payment for the agreed price of the property has been made, the ownership of the property remains with the seller. The Contract to Sell must be attested by a Notary Public.
3. Deed of Absolute Sale
After you have given the full payment of purchase price to the seller and settled other fees with the proper government agencies, a Deed of Sale will be created, filed with the Register of Deeds, and issued to you. It is a notarized document that legally transfers the ownership of the property from the seller to you after all of the conditions have been met and executed. Indicated in this document are the names and signatures of both parties, the Transfer Certificate of Title number, the technical description of the property, and the agreed selling price.
4. Certificate of Titles
You will be provided a photocopy of the new title that certifies you as the new owner of the property indicated. This document is issued by the Register of Deeds of the city or municipality where the property is located. A Transfer of Certificate of Title will be given to those who bought houses and lots, while condominium unit buyers will be given a Condominium Certificate of Titles.
5. Tax Declaration
As the new owner of the property, you will request a Tax Declaration from the Assessor’s office. You will need to present the new title and a photo of the purchased property for it to be processed. Once this has been released under your name as the new owner of the property, all tax obligations will now be under you. Along with the release of the new Tax Declaration is the success of the transaction of property purchase.
If you're ready to purchase your new home, here's a list of properties for sale that might include your dream home!