A transfer of ownership contract template (or a bill of sale) is used as documentation in the transfer of products sold by one person (the Seller) to the person buying the products (the Buyer).

A transfer of ownership contract template documents all relevant information in reference to the sale. The bill of sale acts as proof of purchase and as documentation that the transaction took place. It's also considered evidence of the product's condition at the time of sale if there is a dispute at a later date. The document normally includes the following:

  • The buyer's contact information.
  • The seller's contact information.
  • Any applicable warranty information.
  • The date and time of sale.
  • Any other relevant information related to the sale.

The bill of sale is normally used when selling any form of personal property, including cars, motorcycles, boats, and trailers. These sales, especially cars, should include a bill of sale to document in case of the accidental purchase of a stolen car.

Benefits for the Buyer and Seller

The decision to use a bill of sale benefits both the buyer and the seller.

The sellers gain:

  • Easy tax reporting.
  • "As-is" protection.
  • Date of ownership transfer.

The buyers gain:

  • Proof of ownership.
  • Date of ownership.
  • Warranty information.

A bill of sale does not show proof of ownership. It only documents the transaction between the two parties. To prove ownership, you must complete a title transfer from the seller to the buyer. This is done through the state government where the transaction takes place.

Components of the Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is a fairly simple document that you can find online. Therefore, you don't need an attorney. When choosing a free bill of sale template, don't choose the document randomly. Whether you download or create your own bill of sale, the document should include the following components:

  • Property Location.
  • Seller(s) full name, address, and email.
  • Buyer(s) full name, address, and email.
  • Purchase price.
  • The form of payment that is clear and easily visible.
  • Sales tax, if applicable, that is clear and easily visible.
  • Property condition and warranty status (if there is one; otherwise, note that the product is being sold "as-is").
  • Witness name, address, and email (if being used as part of the sale).
  • Signature of the buyer(s), the seller(s), and a witness or notary (if being used as part of the sale).

Legal Considerations

A bill of sale acts like a contract. When written and executed properly, it is a legally binding agreement between the buyer and the seller. Both parties should review and complete the bill of sale carefully. Legal difficulties can appear if the sale price is overinflated or information is incomplete.

The seller must have the full legal capacity to sell the item(s) being sold. The buyer should ask for documentation showing proof of ownership. If the seller cannot produce such documentation, the buyer should reconsider the purchase to avoid buying stolen products inadvertently.

If a product is being donated, a donation request letter is recommended over a bill of sale.

Considerations When Selling and Buying a Car

The "as-is" clause indicates the buyer is purchasing the car in its current condition. The owner should also disclose any valid warranties that exist for the car. The buyer should inspect the car to confirm he or she wants to complete the purchase. The "as-is" clause should be listed on the bill of sale.

When interacting with potential buyers, the seller should:

  • Answer any questions asked via phone or email.
  • Offer test drives to serious buyers only.
  • Look for any signs of fraud.
  • Require the full name of any interested buyers.
  • State the acceptable forms of payment clearly.
  • Negotiate the sale, if needed.
  • Finalize the sale.

Once the deal is finalized, complete the following tasks:

  • Complete the bill of sale.
  • Sign the title over to the new owner.
  • Sign and submit a release of liability, if required.
  • Provide maintenance record copies with personal information blacked out.
  • Provide any other paperwork required by your state.
  • Supply keys and any copies that exist.

The bill of sale is beneficial to both the seller and buyer and should be completed prior to the sale of products.

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