A Maryland Homebuyer's Legal Documents Checklist for Properties

A Maryland Homebuyer's Legal Documents Checklist for Properties

June 12th, 2024

For Marylanders, buying land or a house is an exciting prospect but the homebuying process can easily go wrong if the original title documents are missing or the purchase documents are not clear. The home-buying process can become a nightmare if any of the documents needed to purchase the property in question are incomplete, invalid, or missing. Both first-time homebuyers and seasoned veterans need to have the necessary documents.

What are the required documents for buying land or a house in Maryland?

Prospective buyers should consult a real estate attorney or an experienced real estate agent to know the list of original documents, digital copies, financial records, and/or mandatory disclosures you need, to make a house or land purchase.

Let us begin by compiling a list of documents needed by a potential purchaser for buying land or a home in the State of Maryland.

Original Title Documents

From experience, many Marylanders confuse the deed of a house with its title.

The legal rights to a property are called its title. The title indicates who has rights to the property in question. The deed is the document that records the titles or ownership of the property and any transfer of the titles between parties.

When you buy a house in Maryland like in the other 49 States, you hire a title company to search for the people who have the legal rights to the said property. The title company verifies if the seller is indeed the sole and rightful owner of the property and if anyone else may claim a right to it. The Title Company submits a preliminary title report that includes all its findings on the property's titles.

The preliminary title report includes information on the legal description of the property as per the county records, legal ownership of the property, previous occupants, encumbrances, if any, etc. This report is of great importance to current owners or sellers, buyers, real estate agents, title insurance companies, etc.

Purchase Agreement and Sale Deed

The purchase agreement is the most common sales contract for any property. It contains the details of the sale of the property with full contact information of both parties, the sale price, the purchase price, the legal address of the property, etc. This purchase contract includes the names, addresses, signatures, etc. of both parties, closing costs, closing date of the sale, etc.

This purchase agreement is the precursor to the sale deed. It promises the future transaction based on certain mutually agreed conditions. The sale deed confirms the agreement and concludes the sale.

While the purchase agreement can be on non-judicial stamp paper, a sale deed in the State of Maryland must be judicial paper and is valid only after the buyer pays the stamp duty, property registration charges, etc. the sale deed confirms the transfer of title between the seller and the buyer.

Seller's Affidavit

The seller's affidavit is also called the affidavit of title and goes by even other names in other states. This is a notarized document from the seller. It confirms that he is the legal owner of the property and also mentions any title defects like leases, outstanding contracts for sale, liens and work on the property creating liens, boundary line disputes, etc.

Transfer Tax Declarations

Many counties in Maryland require that the buyer and seller should sign a transfer tax declaration indicating the purchase price during the sale of a property. They calculate the transfer tax based on this price and also charge it as real property transfer taxes.

Loan Documents

If you are applying for a mortgage loan on a property in Maryland, you need a handful of the following documents to get the loan.

  • The note - This document describes the actual loan amount, loan terms, the prevailing interest rates for land loans or house loans, the mode of payment, etc.
  • Mortgage - This is the document that links your note to the collateral property or your new home. It states that if the note is not paid, the loan will be foreclosed, the property will be repossessed, and this note will be given to the new purchaser.
  • Loan application - This document contains all the information about the loan like the loan amount, property details, tenure of payment, etc. It is a loan request to the bank, financing institution, or mortgage lender seeking the loan.
  • Closing disclosure form - This document gives the final account of the loan amount, loan term, projected monthly payments, and closing costs.

Land Surveys

Mortgage lenders need a land survey before offering a loan. This survey gives a fair appraisal of the property outlining its boundaries, land measurements, etc. For agricultural land, farm surveying is done to amp out the area under cultivation. If the property is a plot of land under construction for apartment buildings, then a construction survey would be needed.,

Homeowners Insurance

Mortgage lenders need every buyer to have active homeowner's insurance until the monthly mortgage payments are completed and the mortgage is paid off. Ensure you have all the Homeowners' insurance records in proper shape.

Property Tax Receipts

Before you complete your land transaction or home sale, get hold of a copy of the receipts of property taxes paid by the previous owner. This will know if any pending dues exist as outstanding property taxes before the purchase.

Homebuying Assistance in Chestertown MD

Real estate transactions whether a new residential property, resale property, or farm property must be handled with care and attempted with caution. Potential buyers looking for a property in Chestertown or nearby areas can take the advice of a seasoned real estate broker or agent like Billy Sutton, Realtor at Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate before they get started.

Billy will help you put together all these documents of the above checklist before completing a home or land contract sale within your price range. Call Billy Sutton today at (443) 480-2447 or the office at (410) 778-0330 to discuss a sale or purchase of property on the Eastern Shore in Maryland.

Billy Sutton

Billy Sutton is a dynamic real estate professional at Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate in Chestertown, Maryland. With a deep-seated understanding of the local market, Billy has carved a niche in Kent and Queen Anne's counties, known for his exceptional negotiating skills, innovative marketing strategies, and problem-solving abilities. His expertise spans a wide range of properties, including residential homes, waterfront properties, and farmlands. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture, Billy brings a unique perspective to the agricultural real estate market. Outside of his professional life, he is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys outdoor activities. His deep roots in the community and commitment to his clients make him a reliable and trusted advisor in the real estate sector.


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Whether you’re selling or buying a home for the first time or the tenth time, we’re here to help the process go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Just let us know your Chestertown real estate goals and we’ll make them happen.

We’d be happy to discuss your estate for sale and answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes in Maryland. Drop us a line or fill out the contact form today – we look forward to getting to know you!