Bill of Sale

What is a bill of sale? A Bill of Sale is simply an agreement between two parties involving the sale of goods between the seller and the buyer. In most cases, it is duly signed and dated at a specific place which usually includes transfer of goods along with specific amount of money or a mutual exchange for another item of similar worth and value. As a legal document it should clearly outline the terms of sale. If the item is free and clear of any liens and outstanding monies owing it should also be inserted in the Bill of Sale. If the item is offered for sale with terms these must be clearly stated. It is also advisable to have the buyer sign a "Promissory Note" and/or a "Security Agreement" together with the Bill of Sale. Generally speaking, it isn't wise to use a simple document for realty or for corporation stock and/or acquisition of personal shares.

Why a Bill Of Sale Is Important

The bill of the sale is generally to do with the "buy and sell" of personal items, property or assets of little or of great value. In essence, a bill of sale is a legally valid document which comes into play, when the seller transfers all rights and ownership of his or her property to the buyer of the property. The bill of sale is essential for legally binding the transaction. This legal form reduces the chance of any misunderstandings occurring after the sale, and guarantees all rights and ownership to the buyer. It is a worthwhile document to use when it comes to securing legal protection for the buyer as well as the seller too.

The bill of sale is a crucial legal document because; it not only assists in protecting the interests of the seller but also that of the buyer as well. It's common and sadly, a frequent occurrence where a seller or the buyer comes to strive because of deliberate fraud in a sale transaction This is especially so when "no bill of sale" document was used at the point of sale. The bill of sale should include all of the basic details including personal information with regards to both the seller and the buyer. It should also clearly highlight information and details regarding the asset and/or the property in question that's being offered for sale. Legally speaking, the buyer and the seller will need to provide all essential information. For example: their name(s), street addresses and current contact numbers.

Avoiding Potential Risk & Problems

Providing a detailed description of the property that is being offered for sale is also a vital requirement. In the event the property includes more than say one item and/or an attachment like in the case of mechanical equipment, or perhaps a group of items or products, these too should be clearly documented in the bill of sale.

Bill Hardcopy
Bill Hardcopy

These additional items which are to form part of the sale need to be clearly itemized. By doing so will prevent any misunderstandings from arising and eliminate any possible confusion occurring between both parties.

In addition, it's a good thing to include all details and information concerning the terms and conditions directly relating to the sale of the property. However, if the sale of property was transacted based on a lien or mortgage or any other authority transfer, then it may be necessary to specify and address these issues as well in the document.

Equally as important, are various issues which need to be kept close in mind if you are the seller, and before you actually go ahead and duly date and sign the document. Keep in mind that the agreement is a binding legal document. So, it is vital for you to ensure that the property and/or the motor vehicle, boat, equipment, etc., are without question, legally owned by you.

Entering into a legal document and knowing that it incurs a lien and/or an outstanding mortgage (and not disclosing this information to the buyer in the document) is illegal and carries severe penalties under law. It is also wise to have the bill of sale witnessed by someone other than a friend or close relative.

Important Legal Provisions & Clauses

To avoid any misunderstandings and/or possible fraud taking place you should make certain that the document is duly signed and dated. Here are important clauses that you should insert in the legal document:

  No Representations. Neither party has made any representations nor promises, other than those contained in this Bill of Sale or in some further writing signed by the party making the representation or promise.

  Further Assurances. In connection with this Bill of Sale and the transactions contemplated hereby, each party to this Bill of Sale will execute and deliver any additional documents and perform any additional acts that may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate and perform its obligations under this Bill of Sale and the transactions contemplated hereby.

  As Is. The property being offered "for sale" is sold "as is" without any express or implied warranty as to condition or working order. There is no warranty for any defect and all repairs are the responsibility of the buyer unless the seller indicates any repairs for which he/she/they will pay and be responsible for. If any repairs are to be made by the seller they will be listed here.

By covering all aspects (involved in the sale) and reducing it in writing will provide you with a legally binding document. This will also signify that the transfer of "all rights and ownership of the property" has been completed as per the agreement of both parties. This in turn will provide you with a legal means of eliminating any possibility of seizure of personal assets and/or properties, in an illegal and fraudulent manner.

Your Ironclad Legal Record

The prime reason for using a "Bill of Sale" is to make a legal record of the sale and to guarantee in writing that the sale was entered into on a specific date, time and place. The terms of the document must be written in plain English, and clearly state the intention of both parties.

To make certain that the document is legal and binding there must be a clear offer and acceptance of the offer and it must include the most important aspect to ensure it is 100% legally binding. That legal aspect is the all important "consideration" which in simple terms is either payment or exchange of property of equal value and worth.

Putting it in writing in the form of a Bill of Sale form can provide the parties with legal protection and a clear record of the transaction. This can prevent misunderstandings arising from unforeseeable problems which could occur either during or after the sale. If a problem or dispute relating to the initial transaction ever does occur (and it does wind-up in a court of law) a clearly worded bill of sale document can diffuse the dispute and could save the parties a lot of unnecessary time, frustration and costs.

Product Identification & Trademarks

Three distinct areas of the signed and dated document:

1. The names of both parties in complete form. For example: If one party is John Smith, don't just write "John Smith" write or type the name in full as "John William Smith" etc. The same goes for the street address of both parties. You should make sure it includes the exact spelling, the city and the zip code. It's also a good idea to include all telephone numbers as well as the persons email address. Of course, you should also include a clear and precise statement that the seller is transferring all rights and ownership to the prospective buyer.

2. A clear and precise statement the item(s) being in the sale. It must include the manufacture or make, any model numbers, what type of color the item is, and any serial and/or government registration numbers. This is especially so when it comes to product identification trademarks or corporation logos, etc. This is essential in clearly identifying the sale item.

3. If there is no exchange of goods and the sale involves payment for said item being offered for sale then you must clearly state what currency the sale item is being paid for, and precisely how the payment will be made by either cash, credit card, direct debit, etc.

Straight Transaction or Conditional Transaction

Another thing to keep in mind is, a Bill of Sale can be written as "straight transaction" or it can be a "conditional transaction" which may include something of value to be used as security for the payment of the funds. A straight Bill of Sale is a completed transaction. However, a conditional Bill of Sale may allow the seller to hold or secure the sale item as collateral, and this generally is the case where an ongoing payment system is entered into. Once payment is made in full, the buyer owns the item. But if the buyer does default, then under the terms and conditions of the Bill of Sale the seller may legally assume ownership of the item. A standard bill of sale will save you much time and money. However, due to periodic changes in local, state and county laws it's wise to first seek the professional advice of a lawyer prior to using a free legal document. Thank you for visiting this website. We are happy to provide you with these state specific bill of sale forms and templates.

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