If you’ve recently decided to purchase or sell large assets, particularly land or other real property, then you are likely no stranger to the term “bill of sale”. A bill of sale is a legally binding document that serves as proof that a buyer and seller are in agreement about the beneficial transfer of some piece of property or asset. For many across the state of New York, drafting a template for your own bill of sale could be a great way to ensure that your sale meets the legal standards under New York state law. Depending on the assets in question, the regulations surrounding the sale may differ, and so it’s important to understand some of the steps in creating your own bill of sale template to ensure the sale of your assets is legally sound. Below we’ll break down the steps you should take to draft your own bill of sale template and provide an overview on why it’s important to consult an experienced business attorney throughout the process.

Choose a Template Style

The most important starting point to creating your own bill of sale template is to first decide which type of template you should use. For many bill of sale transfers, the most common choice is a blank document bill of sale - a simple and straightforward document that allows you to customize the template based on your specific sale agreement. For more complicated sales of large assets, including those involving land or other real property, some buyers may also opt for a statutory bill of sale, which is created in line with specific state regulations for sales of certain types of assets. Both forms of bill of sale may offer some legal protection in a sale, but it’s important to remember that for some transfers of land or real estate, you may be required to use a special form of bill of sale in compliance with New York statuary law.

Write a Description of the Sale

Once you’ve decided on which type of bill of sale template to use for your sale, the next step is to create a written description of the assets in question. This description should include a brief account of the essential elements of the sale, including the name of the buyer and seller, the item being sold and transferred, the amount of money exchanged, and any other unique or important details related to the sale. In many cases, the description of the sale will appear at the top portion of the bill of sale, right after any identifying details of the two parties, and may include a numbered list of the relevant details of the sale.

Include Specific Language

The next step in drafting your own bill of sale template is to formulate the language that outlines the terms of the sale. This portion of the sale should act as a sort of legal acknowledgment of the transfer, and should include the names of the buyer and seller, the amount of money exchanged, and other details specific to the sale. Crucially, this part of the bill of sale should also include a section mentioning considerations for the sale, which is a binding agreement that the buyer should have paid the full price of the sale, in addition to a clear representation of the condition of the asset or property. This part of the document should also contain a representation of the sale’s transfer of enjoyment or rights to the property, and should be written in compliance with New York state law.

Get Terminology Right

When drafting your own bill of sale template, it’s important that you use the exact language necessary to keep the bill of sale legally binding throughout the transfer. This includes including terms of warranty or limitations on the sale’s transfer, as well as particular agreements that may be clear to the two parties, but that should be written for reference and to ensure that the asset or property is being transferred without any strange conditions or limitations. In some cases, especially for sales of real estate or large assets, it may be beneficial for both the buyer and seller to include a list of particular definitions within the bill of sale document, outlining each of the terms used to describe the sale.

Include Supporting Documentation

In some cases, it may also be beneficial for the two parties to include additional forms to the bill of sale document, such as a lien release when selling a vehicle or other type of vehicle. This documentation should be added to the bill of sale for reference, as it can potentially act as a form of assurance for the seller, and to protect the buyer from any situations when they may require proof that a lien has been released.

Hire an Experienced Business Attorney

Creating an effective bill of sale template, particularly when it involves sales of large assets, can be an intimidating process without the help of an experienced business attorney. A skilled attorney has the experience and legal expertise to ensure that your bill of sale document is properly formatted and meets all the requirements under New York state law necessary to ensure that the sale is legally sound. They can also draft the document for you, provide advice on particular terms and conditions, as well as negotiate any additional special arrangements that could be beneficial for yourself and the other party.


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