How to Write a Bill of Sale

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Write a bill of sale whenever you sell an item.

A bill of sale documents the transfer of ownership of an asset--a car, a boat or a television, for instance. When writing a bill of sale you must include the true identities of the seller and the buyer, as well as the purchase amount and date for the transaction. Also, a complete description and information concerning the condition of the item being sold must be noted on a bill of sale. Writing a bill of sale is important; it should be completed at the time of the sale---once the merchandise and money change hands. The document provides legal proof of the sale. Under no circumstances should a buyer pay for, or take possession of an asset without a proper bill of sale. The seller usually writes the bill of sale, but a buyer should also be ready to prepare the bill of sale, in case the seller does not know how.

Things You'll Need

  • Buyer
  • Seller
  • Sold item
  • Computer
  • Pen
  • Paper
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Instructions

    • 1

      Examine ownership documents--a department of motor vehicle pink slip, for instance--to be certain that the seller is listed as the true owner of the item being sold. Examine the identification of buyer and seller so that names and addresses will be listed accurately on the bill of sale.

    • 2

      Begin writing a bill of sale form, if you do not have a pre-printed form. The form can be handwritten, if necessary. A simple bill of sale will read as follows:

      I, (SELLER), in the County of (COUNTY), State of (STATE), in consideration of (DOLLAR AMOUNT IN WORDS) Dollars, (DOLLAR AMOUNT IN NUMERALS), to be paid by (BUYER), the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, do hereby grant, sell, transfer and deliver unto (BUYER) the following:

      [COMPLETE DESCRIPTION, INCLUDING SERIAL NUMBERS OR VIN NUMBERS, MILEAGE (REQUIRED FOR VEHICLE) AND ANY OTHER PERTINENT NOTES ON CONDITION OF THE ITEM BEING SOLD]

      To have and to hold the same to (BUYER) and his heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assign, to their use forever.

      And I hereby covenant with the grantee that I am the lawful owner of said goods; That they are free from all encumbrances; That I have good right to sell the same as aforesaid; And that I will warrant and defend the same against the lawful claims and demands of all persons.

      In witness, whereof, I (SELLER), hereunto set my hand, this (DAY OF MONTH) day of (MONTH), (YEAR).

      (SIGNATURE OF SELLER AND DATE) (SIGNATURE OF BUYER AND DATE)

    • 3

      Write the seller's full name and address in the blank space labeled "Seller."

    • 4

      Write the name of the county and state where the sale is taking place.

    • 5

      Write the purchase price of the item being sold. Write this out in words first, and then with numerals, in the appropriate spaces.

    • 6

      Write the full name and address of the buyer in the space after "to be paid by." Write the buyer's name again in the next blank space after "transfer and deliver unto."

    • 7

      Include a detailed description of the item being sold when writing a bill of sale. Include all pertinent serial numbers, vehicle identification numbers or other marks that may be used to identify the item being sold. For vehicles, also note the year, make, model and mileage and any odometer anomalies--"Odometer is inaccurate. Actual mileage is (true mileage)", for instance. Also note any special conditions or warranty placed on the sale--"Vehicle is sold As Is," for instance.

    • 8

      Note the buyer's name again and then the seller's name in the next two spaces.

    • 9

      Write the date of the sale in the space at the end of the bill of sale.

    • 10

      Sign the bill of sale and date your signature. Both seller and buyer should sign the bill of sale. The seller should retain a copy for his records. The buyer should take the bill of sale.

Tips & Warnings

  • A buyer should be suspicious of a seller who is unwilling to complete a bill of sale for any reason. Disreputable sellers may cite inconvenience or unpreparedness as reasons for not offering a bill of sale, but these are not valid excuses. A bill of sale form is easy to write, or a form can be quickly obtained online.

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References

  • Photo Credit Calculating the receipts image by painless from Fotolia.com

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