Definition of "Bill of sale"

Sherry Williams real estate agent
Sherry Williams, Real Estate Agent Bay City Realty

A Bill of Sale is a formal document of the sale of goods or the transfer of title for personal property and chattel from one party to another.

In sum, a bill of sale is a sort of receipt. It can be complex or simple, depending on the asset being sold or transferred and the conditions behind. A soda that you buy at a quick-mart, will warrant you that simple paper receipt detailing the seller’s information and the description of the product and its price. But when it comes to real estate, the bill of sale gets more complex.

Generally registered at the county office to make it official, the bill of sale fully describes the asset sold, localizing its lot lines and features, and basically states that the property has been paid for – showing receipts of payment and that no outstanding lien exists on it. In possession of this written bill of sale – that can be of something like 3 to 10 pages long, the buyer has a receipt for the right to sell the property at a later date.

Unfortunately, however, there are cases when the bill of sale is not enough, as an old undiscovered lien from a homeowner years before you might surface at a later date. That’s why is important, when buying a house, to have title insurance to make the legal proceedings faster and less expensive, and clear yourself of lien problems, redirecting them to the home seller.

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