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Bill of Sale: How to Make a Deal Correctly

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Bill of Sale

Any transaction should be accompanied by relevant paperwork, even if you sell a TV, car, or other large property. A bill of sale will help you document the transfer of rights and the terms of a deal. Read on to find out what it is and how to use it for a transaction to be considered legally valid.

What Is a Bill of Sale?

This document confirms the fact of a transaction and fixes its conditions. It is vital for both parties since the new owner receives confirmation of the transfer of ownership rights to them, and the seller ceases to be responsible for the object, for example, if the car has been involved in an accident. Most often, the bill of sale form is used for the resale of various vehicles, but it does not mean you cannot use it for other large properties.

In most states, this document is mandatory when making a transaction, particularly in New York, Washington, Alabama, and Hawaii. In Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, West Virginia, and New Hampshire, it is required to draw up such a paper and certify it with a notary. Only in this case will it have legal force. Even if your state does not require such a document, it is not superfluous to draw up one, as it protects you in case of litigation.

When to Use a Bill of Sale?

Creating a bill of sale is often needed when selling various vehicles and similar properties, such as trailers, especially if you buy a car or truck from private hands and not from a car dealership. However, the use of this document is not limited to this area. Most states also require them when selling pedigree pets, branded animals (such as horses), and livestock. You can create these purchase confirmations when selling TVs, construction equipment, and even tables. When smaller properties are considered, the creation of bills is up to you.

Although bills of sale are mandatory in most situations, there are cases where they are not required. If you sell real estate, this process is always accompanied by a large number of papers, which legally fix the transfer of ownership. Also, the provision of various services usually involves the issuance of invoices for payment and receipts; all this replaces bills of sales.

How to Get a Bill of Sale?

As a rule, the responsibility for writing out a bill of sale falls on the shoulders of a seller. So as a buyer, you just need to make sure you get the correct document. Companies and agencies automatically issue such sales confirmations. If you acquire objects from individuals, you might need to ask them or remind them to prepare the required paperwork.

If you act as a seller, you can find the required fillable bill of sale in the PDFLiner library. It contains over 100 templates for different states, situations, and conditions, as well as other forms and blanks that may be useful for resolving issues related to the sale of a property.

Bill of Sale

How to Write up a Bill of Sale?

The format of these bills may vary by state, so it is advisable to use the one that is approved in the region where the transaction is made. However, the differences in templates are minor. For a document to be valid, it should contain the following information:

  • Date of the transaction.
  • Description of the object. The details depend on what exactly you sell. For example, it can be the model and year of the car, mileage, license plate number, etc.
  • The document must record the value of the transaction. Even if you did not sell but donated the object, you still need to indicate the price (let it be reduced).
  • Payment method. Specify the buyer’s method of transferring money to the seller’s account. It can be a bank transfer, electronic payments, and even cash.
  • Participants of the transaction. Enter in your vehicle bill of sale the data of the previous and new owner of the object. All participants must put their signatures, thereby confirming their voluntary participation and acceptance of the terms.
  • Typically, such transactions are made without warranty (you can see the mark “as is” on documents). But if the seller still offers a guarantee, it should be indicated in the paper.
  • Other conditions. If there are any special terms of the transaction, for example, payment by installments or interests, they should also be written in the bill.

Copies of this document must be signed and sent to all participants in the transaction.

How to Notarize a Bill of Sale?

Notarization of such documents is required only in some states. However, it’s a good idea anyway, as it keeps you out of trouble and makes paper legal in any region. You can choose any notary to certify documents. Visit the office in person and hand over the completed form, as well as discuss other questions of interest to you, or send the file by email. The legislation allows specialists to certify documents online.

Conclusion

A bill of sale is an official document that records the fact of a transaction. It works differently in different states, so you need to check the legislation in your region. Even if such a bill is optional, creating one is a good way to protect yourself from scammers.

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