How long should you keep home sale documents?

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December 29th, 2016

How long should you keep home sale documents?

  Question: I purchased several townhouses in Glendale for investment purposes during the real estate “crash” in the late-2000’s (“the aughts”). I recently sold the last of these townhouses. How long do I have to keep the real estate documents relating to the sales of these townhouses?

  Answer: Arizona law requires that real estate brokers keep records of all real estate sales for at least five years, but there is no Arizona law requiring sellers to keep records of real estate sales.
A reasonable period of time for a seller to keep all of the home sale documents would not be longer than the five years required for real estate brokers. However, a seller of a home can generally be sued for up to six years for a breach of contract claim, so keeping the purchase contract documents for a period of six years after closing is preferred.

  Note: For tax purposes a seller should keep documents of real estate sales for at least three years, and many tax advisers recommend keeping these documents for at least seven years.

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