Posted by Sponsored Post Posted on 8 June 2024

Common Bill of Sale Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Proper documentation is always critical when transferring your legal property to someone else. Knowing the types of bills of sale, for example, lets you put together an airtight document by choosing the right one. If you make even the smallest mistake, you risk the bill being completely void.


The Importance of an Ironclad Bill of Sale


To expand, your bill of sale is proof of a transaction, whether you’re the buyer or seller. Any error could lead to a dispute over the property’s current ownership. If the document doesn’t hold up in court, either party could end up spending a lot on legal costs. To guarantee an effective sale, you need to check your bill over and make sure it’s in order.


Here are five common errors that you should always watch out for:


  1. Wrong Bill Type


One of the most common mistakes is choosing a bill format that doesn’t match the property. For example, a livestock bill and a horse bill are entirely separate. If you try to sell a horse using the former, there can be confusion over who has breeding rights. Always investigate to see if there’s a specific bill template for your property.


Selecting the right type makes it easier to cover all bases. Similarly, an ‘as-is’ bill is generally the best choice when selling older items. Otherwise, the buyer may take legal action if the item fails soon after the purchase. While a general bill of sale might be enough in most cases, being more specific will give you more security.


  1. Vague Descriptions


You must be specific in every description across the bill of sale. Describing your item as ‘in good condition’ is rarely sufficient. If the buyer disagrees with your assessment, they could dispute the entire bill. Explain any defects that your item has in clear terms. If the item is a gun, for example, mention if it has any fouling or cosmetic issues.


Being direct about your property will help this bill stand up in court and show there is no possible way of misinterpreting it. Your honesty can even highlight that you’re a professional, transparent seller, which makes the overall transaction much easier. Failing to give full details might also be a red flag for buyers interested in your item.


  1. No Clear Identification


Use the full legal name of every party, up to and including any agents involved in mediating the sale. This avoids misunderstandings about the buyer or seller’s identity. A court can only uphold these documents if the information is clear and accurate. If there are any doubts about a buyer’s identity, for example, the sale might not be legally sound.


Full identification also makes the bill consistent with other important documents — which in turn prevents any problems with taxation further down the line. Adding your contact details alongside your name isn’t a legal requirement, but it may be useful. If there’s an issue with the sale, a buyer can simply discuss this with the seller and possibly reach a compromise.


  1. Incomplete Signatures


Neglecting to double and triple-check the bill’s signatures can void the entire sale. If you conduct this sale entirely online, it helps to use an advanced or qualified e-signature. These are far more secure and have stronger authorization measures, which makes them especially useful for large transactions. No matter the type of signature you use, always check the final document.


Generally speaking, a witness isn’t necessary for a bill of sale. However, their presence can give you peace of mind; they could even directly verify that these signatures are in order. Similarly, a notary public’s approval protects both the buyer and seller from the possibility of fraud. This can add an extra fee, but the certainty it offers is effectively priceless.


  1. Ignoring Any Errors


People sometimes notice a problem with the bill and don’t try to correct it, mostly due to a desire to close the transaction. Once the sale is complete, you lose the opportunity to fix any mistakes without possibly creating a costly legal issue. A dishonest seller may even use this to render the purchase invalid and get the item back.


If you notice any red flags with a sale, follow up on them before you finish and sign the bill. The problem may turn out to be an honest mistake by the other party, and your diligence might save the purchase. Even if both sides act in good faith, ignoring an error could lead to many problems with ownership later on.




Your bill of sale is invaluable in any major purchase or transfer of ownership, but even one minor error can cause calamity. Online templates could reduce some of these risks, though you should always double-check the bill before you finalize a purchase, either as a buyer or seller.

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