How A Bill of Sale in Massachusetts Will Help You Document and Prove the Small and Big Property Sales
When was the last time you bought a used asset from someone you knew? Whether you bought a week-old phone, a dog, a laptop, or car, do you have any document to prove the purchase? Did the seller prepare formal documents to signify the transfer of ownership for the item in question to you?
As a law-abiding citizen, you may not have used the item in a manner contrary to the law, and you may not have been arrested. But, what happens when the seller denies selling that item to you? How do you prove the purchase? With your word against theirs, you will most likely lose the case, the item bought, and the money spent. But, that shouldn't be the case, especially if you know what a bill of sale is. Though created by the seller, this is the document that will protect your interests and ownership rights later on.
For your protection and that of the seller's (the seller needs to know that it's in their best interests to draft this document), we'll look at what this document is and the one you need to sign for proof of the purchase.
A bill of sale, also called a BOS refers to a document which outlines the legal exchange of ownership for an item from the person who's selling that personal item to its buyer. The document recognizes the seller and the buyer as the parties to the BOS.
In the state of Massachusetts, you don't have an obligation to notarize the document, but for use as proof of ownership or sale in the court of law, notarization is a recommended step. At the same time, it's important to use the bill as a proof sale even though you (the seller) don't have to prepare it. A BOS helps in resolving conflicts in the court of law.
This brings us to the juicy part, the types of BOS and how the seller (and the buyer) ensures that the document meets their needs.
The General BOS for personal property and household items in Massachusetts
Are you a seller who found someone interested in buying your laptop, television, furniture, or electronic accessories? How about downloading a free Massachusetts bill of sale form to get you started in the sale, officially? The form contains sections whose fields you need to populate.
The bill of sale and all the others applicable in Massachusetts are only valid if they have details of the buyer, seller, the item on sale, conditions of sale, type of transaction, and even disclosures by the seller. Being a general bill that proves the sale of a household item or a small piece of property that doesn't require registration at state offices, we shall divulge the information needed to make the document valid. The details in question include:
Names and addresses of the seller and the buyer, as well as the state identification numbers or the driver's license numbers of the two parties. Note that these details are important when you have to prove that you sold the item (s) if a dispute arises in future. The court will need the identity of the parties should the BOS make it in the evidence list. So, the names used should be full and legal. The addresses could be the physical or the mailing address.
Description of the item on sale: what is unique about your bed or laptop? List down those unique features of the item on sale in the BOS. The description includes the name of the item, its model, make, shape, year, size, color, and any other specific information. If the item on sale is a piece of electronic, mention it.
Purchase price: indicate the purchase price or the traded item and mention if the buyer is getting the item as a gift or not. When putting down the price, it's an acceptable standard to note down the price in words first then in digits.
Any conditions of sale
Seller's disclosure: if the property on sale has some defects, the law requires that you pinpoint them before the seller takes the item home. Scratches, nicks, and cracks are some of the flaws that should be mentioned. Why? If taken to court, you'll have proof that the buyer bought the item with full knowledge of the defect. Also, you need to mention that the sale is "as is" and there's no warranty or guarantee. It's also important to abide by the golden rule which expects you to sell an item in good condition: you don't want to buy a defective item unknowingly, and you'd expect full disclosure from a seller put on the other side of things, right?
The general BOS doesn't require notarization.
The BOS for Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts
Disposing that old car after nagging by your partner or even friends or do you need some extra cash? As long as it's in good condition, you could be selling a new car too; you should download our free bill of sale in Massachusetts to transfer ownership of the car. The buyer will use the BOS to register the car in their name. The downloaded form lets you input your personal information (full legal name, driver's license Number or the state ID number, and your physical location), as well as those of the buyer.
After the basic information for the two parties, you have to put down the details of the car on sale - the vehicle's identification number, model, make, year, and even the color. You also need the actual odometer reading in the BOS.
Other details include the purchase price, traded item for a trade, or an indication of whether the item on sale is given as a gift or not. Any other conditions of sale should be indicated.
Important dates in the BOS include the date the document comes to life, the agreed payment date, and the finalization date. For the sale of motor vehicles, the final date should be put down after both parties sign the document in the notary public. Notarization is important because the BOS for motor vehicles is necessary for the vehicle's registration.
BOS for the sale of a gun
After downloading the form, out down the gun's type, model, make, serial number, and its caliber.
Next, write down the details of the transaction especially because most of these transactions are trades. The description of the traded item is crucial especially if the traded item is another gun.
There you have it, some of the BOS documents to protect you from liability and for tax purposes (seller) and to prove ownership or help in asset registration (buyer). If interested, get one of our downloadable and free bill of sale forms online now.