10 Legal Steps BEFORE Selling Your House: Buy My House


Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not a lawyer.

And even if you were, you’re probably still not crazy about the hours of legwork that happens during the real estate process.

Sure, moving into that beautiful new space to call your own is the end goal— but that’s the best part of the real estate process. The rest is usually just a miserable headache. 😣

We’re breaking down those legal, nitpicky, and complicated tasks that make or break a sale, like For Sale By Owner, so you don’t miss anything on your agenda.

As for all legal advice, it’s essential to consult a lawyer for specific real estate transactions. Here at House Buyers of America, we do things a little differently— in a way that doesn’t require all this heavy lifting. We buy houses so you can sell your home fast and step away from the tedious legal process. No more wondering “How can I get someone to sell my home?”

And while we’re here to help, we can’t formally provide legal consultation for your real estate needs. Instead, you can give us a call, we can make you an offer, so you can sell your house in 7 days or less without any of these complications.

But enough about us for a second– let’s discuss what you need to know about selling your home yourself and how to navigate the legal waters of the real estate process in the process.

The Legal Must-Dos for Real Estate Transactions

1. Hire a Real Estate Attorney.

Just like we talked about before, you shouldn’t do anything before consulting a real estate attorney. In a traditional real estate process like this one, it could save you thousands of dollars in headaches, like forgotten paperwork, resolving property disputes, and most importantly, making sure you're on the right side of the law throughout the entirety of your transaction.

How do you find a good one, you ask? Hint: Don't just pick the first name you find online.

Reach out to family, friends, or community members who've been through the home-selling maze themselves. Check out reviews, compare fees, and even schedule a few consultations to find someone who really clicks with you.

Only then can you really start the real estate process with the fullest confidence that you’re doing everything in line with your state’s laws.

2. Figure Out Your Zoning Laws and Property Lines.

If you think these are minor details, think again!

Trust us, you won't want to face fines or get caught in a "neighborly" dispute over a tree branch hanging on the wrong side of the fence or through another property dispute.

Be sure to check with your local authorities that your property is in line with zoning laws and you know exactly where your property starts and ends before listing your home so you’re presenting accurate information and adhering to all your state’s guidelines.

3. Get a Property Appraisal.

Setting the right sale price for your home can make or break the sale, and literally be the difference between not making as much money for your property as you wanted to.

Through a property appraisal, an appraiser will evaluate your home based on its condition, location, and similar sales in your area. Through it, you’ll receive a detailed report, which will eventually help you figure out how much you’ll list the home for.

This is where things can get dicey— your property appraisal says one thing, but the market says another. How do you know when too much is too much? Or when too little is too little?

(Already dreading the rest of the legalities in this article? We’ve got you! We buy homes so you can sell your home stress-free. No; really. We’ll give you a free quote in 10 minutes.)

4. Get a Title Search.

Consider this a background check for your home, not only to ensure you really own it but to make sure nobody else has claims on it, like liens for unpaid taxes.

Usually, your real estate attorney can handle this for you, but it's also possible to do it yourself through your local county's property records if you’re ready to spend the time and legwork to do some real digging. Without this, you might not have all the info on your home you thought you did, and have surprises at the closing date that could cost you thousands of dollars to fix.

Related: 3 Methods to Sell Your House Quickly

5. Disclose Property Defects.

Most states make it a legal requirement for you to disclose property defects and other issues with your home, be it mold, a leaky roof, or electrical problems.

But in order to disclose this, you’ll need to know it for yourself, which means money spent on plumbers, electricians, and a whole plethora of specialists to make sure you know about the problems in order to disclose them. Transparency is the name of the game here, and unfortunately, so is money to confirm it!

6. Obtain Required Permits.

Is your basement finished? Did you finish your deck? What about that pool you added a few years ago?

All of these changes likely require some sort of permit. While laws vary from state to state, the majority of states where you are will require you to have disclosed this information beforehand and gotten a permit before working on building it.

Do your due diligence and visit your local government office to make sure you’re up-to-date on your permits, or you might risk your home’s sale because of it.

7. Review and Update Tax Records.

Taxes aren’t just for early spring; when it comes to real estate transactions, there are taxes here, there, and everywhere. Keep in mind the taxes you’ve had to pay from your home, including:

  • Property tax
  • Capital gains tax
  • Income tax or rental tax
  • Mortgage interest deduction
  • Home equity loan interest
  • Wear and tear
  • Estate or inheritance taxes

Nobody likes tax surprises, right? Make sure all your property taxes are up-to-date before listing your home, and either go through your tax history from your tax office or hire a tax specialist to do it for you. You’ll want a clean tax record before getting your house on the market to avoid any hold-ups.

You never know— if you wait too long or have too many hold-ups, your buyer could easily back out.

8. Prepare and Stage the Home.

Using furniture to hide defects? No, no, no. ☝️ That could get you in big trouble.

And while sure, open houses aren’t technically a legally binding requirement when selling your home, it’ll be pretty important that you do it if you want some good offers on your home. A well-staged home can be the difference of thousands of dollars, so you can’t take this step lightly if you want the best value from your home.

Related: How to Get Fast Cash For Your Home

9. Create a Home Sale Contract.

You’ve found a buyer, you’ve gone through the listing process, and now, you need to transfer the ownership of your home over to its new owner.

You’ll likely have an easier time if you have a real estate agent and a real estate lawyer because doing this by yourself can be overwhelming. This is a big step and requires lots of time delving deep into the language of legalities, so make sure you’re not being distracted with anything else for anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to get your contract sorted out.

One little piece of work could risk the entire sale, going from “sell my house!” to “Please don’t take my house, I messed up something in the contract!” with the snap of fingers.

10. Preparing Legal Docs for Closing.

Before your big closing day, you’ll need to prepare certain legal documents, like the deed, the bill of sale, and transfer tax declarations so this big move can be official. Your real estate attorney should guide you through the process, but it’ll still mean you need your full attention for the home closing process.

House Buyers of America Takes the Legal Legwork Out of Real Estate

Now, if all this seems like a lot, it's because it is.

Most of your friends and family are probably going the traditional route when it comes to selling their homes. And while the traditional route is the most popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best.

There are alternatives to selling fast, like working with House Buyers of America!

Gone are the days of spending hours slaving over legal processes and paperwork. You deserve your selling process to be fast, seamless, and positive, so you can enjoy your new home faster! With us, you can:

  • Sell your house as-is (that means no cleaning and no open houses– a fixer-upper’s paradise)
  • Get cash for your house (no more waiting on lenders, potential buyers, and banks)
  • Sell your home fast (we mean, in as little as 7 days, if you’d like!)
  • Have a friendly real estate professional help you along the way the whole time
  • Ditch the paperwork (leave that to us!)

Call 855-564-9158 or fill out our online form and land a cash offer in just 10 minutes for your home, and leave all your legal worries, piles of paperwork, and annoying documents for us to worry about… we buy homes and answer all your “buy my house” dreams so you can have a seamless cash sale and bask in your beautiful new home!


Get an offer with a click of a button

Sell your home directly to House Buyers of America and can skip all the hassle and months of uncertainty. Simply enter your address – and get our offer with a few simple steps.

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For those seeking an assured quick sale, a cash offer might be the golden ticket. How Much Work is Needed to Sell There’s a lot of preparation that goes into selling a home the traditional way with a real estate agent. There’s packing, renovating, fixing up the house, listing photoshoots, home staging, and open houses—the list goes on. The only way to avoid these obligations is to opt for a “sell house for cash” program. These programs, like the one we offer at House Buyers of America, provide you with a fair cash offer based on the current condition of your home—no cleaning or prep work required. We work with you every step of the way based on your unique selling situation. Who Cash Home Buyer Programs Are Right For If you want a simple and hassle-free home sale, selling a house to a cash buyer might be your best available option. House Buyers of America is here to help sellers in those situations. 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Of course, while working with an iBuyer is usually the best way to sell your home quickly (for cash or otherwise), there are still several other options that might be worth exploring: Related: The Top 6 Reasons You Should Sell Your House “As Is” For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Listing This method allows homeowners to bypass real estate agents. However, the onus of managing paperwork and attracting buyers falls squarely on the homeowner. This route can often be more time-consuming than anticipated, especially if the market is slow. Real Estate Listing This method has its merits, but the time and effort involved in maintaining the house for viewings, alongside agent commission fees, can make it less appealing for those wanting to Sell Your House Fast. Doing “Whatever It Takes” Selling a house requires effort, whether you're working with an agent, promoting it on social media, or hosting open houses. But remember, more effort doesn't guarantee a faster sale. The below statistics demonstrate why this is the case: The entire length of time it takes to sell a home is more than just the number of days your house is on the market. Before your house can be listed for sale, you must do your research to ensure selling your house is the right decision and also find contractors. That takes time. 86% of home buyers finance their homes, meaning they must wait for their mortgage loan to be approved before finalizing a purchase. That adds additional time to the closing process. It takes 30 days, on average, for a mortgage to be approved, and 50 days for the sale of a house to be completed (from initial offer to closing). On top of that, if the house needs a lot of work and the buyer is getting a construction loan—like an FHA 203K loan—you can expect another 90 to 120 days for that to be approved. Why The Traditional Route Might Not Be Fast Enough Traditional house selling methods often require time, sometimes stretching from 6 months to a year. This can be problematic for those seeking a rapid solution, making a "sell my house fast" approach a more appealing alternative. Our team at House Buyers of America is passionate about providing homeowners with a convenient and rapid-fast alternative that puts cash in their pockets sooner rather than later. House Buyers of America's Sell Your House Fast Process Have you ever thought, "I need to sell my house for cash now"? House Buyers of America's process is efficient and designed for speed. This approach is particularly beneficial for those eager to progress to their next life phase without the added stress of a prolonged selling process. The Experience of Selling Your House to House Buyers of America When you work with House Buyers of America, you're working with a seasoned, reputable company. With their history of buying thousands of homes since 2001, their process is streamlined, efficient, and trustworthy. 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Making the Right Choice for Your Needs While traditional methods might work for some, many find the efficiency and ease of a "sell house for cash" approach preferable. If a hassle-free, swift sale is what you're after, House Buyers of America might be your ideal choice. FAQ Why might someone want to sell their house swiftly? Reasons vary, from job relocations to financial challenges or even unexpected property inheritances. Is selling my house for cash a reliable option? Yes, especially when you want to sell your house fast without the regular market uncertainties. What advantages do iBuyers like House Buyers of America offer? They provide a streamlined process, no realtor commissions, and swift cash offers, among other benefits. Does the condition of my home affect the cash sale? Not with entities like House Buyers of America, as they offer to buy homes "as is." How long does it take to get a cash offer for my house? 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Cities and Counties in Maryland Where We Buy Houses Aberdeen Adelphi Annapolis Baltimore Bel-Air Beltsville Bowie Burtonsville Bushwood Catonsville Chesapeake Beach Chevy Chase Chillum Clinton Colesville College Park Columbia Crofton Darnestown Edgewater Eldersburg Elkton Essex Fells Point Fort Washington Frederick Gaithersburg Glen Burnie Greenbelt Gwynn Oak Halethorpe Havre De Grace Hyattsville Indian Head Lanham Leonardtown Lexington Park Lochearn Marlow Heights Mechanicsville Milford Mill Monkton Monrovia Montgomery County Mount Rainier Nanjemoy Olney Oxon Hill Pikesville Potomac Prince George's County Randallstown Rockville Rosedale Walkersville West River White Plains And more! We’ve worked hard to establish the best platform for quickly selling your home in Maryland. With our “We Buy Maryland Houses” program, you can quickly get your home off your hands, all for a very fair price. We’d love to chat more about finding ways to sell your Maryland property and help you achieve your long-term financial goals. Why You Should Use House Buyers of America Selling a house is stressful enough, even if you live in a very competitive state for housing like Maryland. When you add in the trials of trying to sell your house during a personal financial emergency or the emotions of an estate sale, it can be overwhelming. Let House Buyers of America buy your house; as suggested, we buy houses in Maryland and we put a lot of pride into our work. Here are just a few ways House Buyers of America can make a real difference: No Commission Yes, you read that right. House Buyers of America takes no commission when buying your home. This frees up at least 6% in the value of your home, significant savings that you can apply to your next home. With Maryland’s high real estate values, that means you could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars. With no commissions, you can be assured that you get a fair price for your home. Related: Three Tips to Sell Your House Fast for Cash Fast House Buying House Buyers of America promises to get you an offer within 10 minutes over the phone. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell a home in Maryland, Virginia, D.C., or any of our other markets. That means no more waiting on real estate agents to list your home and then receiving an offer from a potential buyer in weeks or months. Close in as Little as 7 Days Some companies will tell you “We buy Maryland houses in 7 days,” but they don’t have adequate capital or a fully staffed office to accomplish this. House Buyers of America’s goal is to buy houses in Maryland in as little as 7 days because we try hard to ensure we buy it as quickly as possible. We have plenty of capital—enough to buy many more houses than we’re buying now. Plus, we have a fully staffed office ready to handle any new deals. Our commitment to a speedy sale is a hallmark of House Buyers of America. Any Condition, AS IS This is not a gimmick. We buy houses AS IS in Maryland, in any condition—from a tear-down to relatively new houses. Whether it needs tons of repairs or no repairs at all, our purchases are not made based on the condition of the home. Our offers are made in cash for any condition and on an AS IS basis. When Should You Use House Buyers of America? Clients of House Buyers of America range across demographics, ages, and financial situations. We help make it possible for Maryland homeowners to achieve their financial dreams. As a result, there are certain reasons why our customers tell us why they sell their houses to us. Job Transfer Did you just get a promotion that requires you to relocate? Or maybe your local office is closing down and you have to relocate to another city quickly in order to keep your job. Whatever your job transfer needs are, we offer cash for your home and we can close quickly. Buying a New House Perhaps the thought of juggling the sale of your current home and purchasing a new one at the same time in the same local market might be creating a lot of stress. Have you considered having to have your home staged and then factor in coordinating where to live after you sell? What should you do? Put a home sale contingency in an offer to purchase a new house and risk making your offer much less competitive. Or should you buy a house first and then risk not being able to sell your current house, leaving you stuck with two mortgages? This is the age-old real estate dilemma. If you’re in this situation, you’ve come to the right place! With House Buyers of America, you get a guaranteed sale of your house and we’re flexible on the closing date (and no closing costs). After the purchase agreement is signed, your home sale is covered and you can start looking for a new home without worrying about selling your existing home. Divorce Divorce can be a huge disruptor, emotionally and financially. In most cases, the divorced couple needs to sell their house fast so they can divvy up the assets and make a clean break. Many in a divorce situation look for a “sell my house fast Maryland” company so they can sell their house without having to go through the arduous process of a traditional sale. Finding a real estate agent, renovating, cleaning, and staging the house, agreeing on a list price, negotiating the terms of the contract, etc. This is normally a stressful enough task, but if you add divorce into the mix, it feels impossible. Why not pick up the phone and get an offer in 10 minutes? Or simply fill out our online form and get an offer quickly. No need to renovate, stage, select a Realtor, and deal with people traipsing through your house and losing all of your privacy for 6-12 months. Real solutions are well within reach. There is an alternative: House Buyers of America! Financial Distress Are you in a financial bind with thousands of dollars locked away in your home? Most people do not realize they can directly access the accumulated equity of their home in their hands in as little as 7 days until they contact House Buyers of America. We offer fair prices for when you need an immediate cash infusion to stave off foreclosure, bankruptcy, or whatever life throws at you. Medical Emergency, Retired, Downsizing Some of our clients are elderly and have stayed in their homes for years, but have stumbled into a medical emergency and need the equity in their homes to pay for hospital bills. When this is the case, whether you are a homeowner or a care provider, you might need to sell your Maryland home quite quickly. Others simply want a hassle-free solution for downsizing into a smaller home and want equity in their legacy home. Estate Sales House Buyers of America have also helped thousands of people who have suddenly inherited an unwanted or unneeded property. When dealing with an estate, many heirs can’t decide or agree on when to sell the house or who will take care of the paperwork, so the house is left sitting vacant and deteriorating for months or years. Estate sales can bring out the worst in people and families often get torn apart in the process. The traditional real estate process can be complicated and often doesn’t work well for estate sales. The unique estate laws that apply in Maryland can also create some additional complications. So why not try a simple, fast, and hassle-free solution that all of your family members can agree on? Get an all-cash offer in as little as 10 minutes by contacting House Buyers of America. A Fresh Start We’ve talked about several reasons you might want to sell your Maryland house to a cash buyer. Then there are those unfortunate circumstances in life that require a complete and total liquidation of your assets when you need a speedy exit from your current home and town. By getting an all-cash, guaranteed offer from House Buyers of America and getting your house sold in as little as 7 days, you get that fresh start without waiting. That’s why we continue to be the choice of people looking to “sell house fast in Maryland,” as well as other nearby states.