Document Checklist for Buying a Resale Property

Document Checklist for Buying a Resale Property

After we wrote a post on new versus resale property last month, one of our readers wanted a list of the documents needed when buying a resale property. In this post, we list some of the most important documents you need before signing on the dotted lines.

Sale deed

After paying the initial booking amount as agreed upon by both the parties, the seller’s lawyers will draw up a sale deed. 

A sale deed is one of the most important documents that a buyer should ask for when buying a resale property. It records the actual transfer of ownership of the property and acts as a proof of sale. 

Encumbrance certificate

An encumbrance certificate proves that the property is free from any monetary or legal liabilities and has a clear title. It can be obtained from the sub-registrar’s office where the property has been registered.

Occupancy certificate

Issued by the civic authority of the city, this indicates that the construction of the project has been done in compliance with the approved plan and building by-laws. Only after receiving the occupancy certificate is a building deemed fit for habitation.  

Completion certificate 

A completion certificate is issued by the municipal authorities stating that the project has been constructed as per the required norms and regulations. Both occupancy and completion certificates are required while applying for a home loan for a resale property. 

Document Checklist for Buying a Resale Property

Possession certificate

In case of a residential project, the builder issues a possession certificate to the first owner. You must ask for it from the seller as it is not re-issued at the time of resale. 


From the bank: If the property was on loan, check the debt status. To ensure that all the pending dues have been cleared, ask for a no-objection certificate from the concerned bank. 

From other authorities: You must also check for NOCs from the competent authorities, including water board, electricity department, safety, etc.

Title deed

Check for the original title deed. The document gives the owner evidence of his hold over a property. To ensure that your title is clear of defects, do a ‘title search’ on the registration websites of government websites.

Utility bills and tax receipts 

A resale property might have some outstanding dues. Thus, ask for previous tax paid receipts. Also, ask for utility bill including water, electricity, gas, etc. 

Sale agreement 

There could be two possible scenarios while buying a resale property:

  • The property is already registered
  • The registration has not been completed

Case I: Documents for registered property

  • Sale agreement between the developer and the first owner of the property
  • Sale deed
  • If the ownership is changed in between, do take the supporting documents for the same
  • Encumbrance certificate 
  • All the tax receipts
  • Copy of the title deed provided by the builder to the first registered owner
  • Occupancy and completion certificates

Case II: Documents for unregistered property

  • The sale and construction agreement between the builder and the buyer
  • Assignment deed that is duly signed by the seller, buyer, and the builder confirming acceptance of the transfer
  • Statement of account from the builder confirming that no dues are pending
  • If there are dues pending, exact details of the same
  • If the property is registered directly from the builder, the original sale deed should also be taken

As said and done, it is always important to get all the documents scrutinised by a legal expert to ensure clarity and transparency. 

One comment

  1. I appreciated it when you shared that it is important to do a title search in order to ensure that the property is all yours when you have bought it. My uncle just mentioned the other day that he is planning to buy a house and he wants to ensure that it is not owned by anyone else. I will suggest to him working with a reliable service that can conduct a title search for the property.

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