Simple Bill of Sale Forms (18 Types)


A bill of sale is a document used to record the sale of property from one person to another. Like a receipt, the contract records the amount the item sold for, the contact info of the person that bought and sold it, and the date the sale occurred. Bill of sale forms are most commonly used when selling a motor vehicle, although they can be used for recording the sale of nearly any type of personal property.

Bill of Sale By State

By Type (18)

What is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale is a form that is used to prove that a buyer received an object through cash, trade, or gift from a seller. It does not need to be complex, nor does it need to contain long-winded clauses. When completing a bill of sale, ensure that the following questions are answered:

  • Who is selling, and who is buying?
  • How can I reach the buyer/seller?
  • What is being sold?
  • How much is it being sold for?
  • When is it being sold?

How to Sell an Item (5 Steps)

Follow these five (5) steps to prepare, advertise, and sell an item using a bill of sale.

Step 1 – Prepare 

The seller should make sure that the item for sale looks new and clean. Items for sale can be comparable to an investment. Putting in money to clean, fix, or update it can pay off in the long term. For example, minor repairs to a car can increase its value and make it more likely for buyers to purchase. Sellers should consider what is reasonable for them, as well as their bandwidth, to determine the time and energy that they want to put in.

Step 2 – List 

It is best practice to select an advertising platform based on the type of personal property that is for sale. When selling general, inexpensive items (e.g. furniture or video games) sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are the most fitting. On the other hand, when advertising larger and more expensive objects (e.g. boats and motor vehicles) use services that are specific to that item. For example, Boat Trader can be a great resource when selling a watercraft.

An item’s selling price also has an impact on the listing. If the price is too high, buyers will be turned off and look for other deals. However, if the price is too low, the seller will not receive all of the money that they should for their item. Researching and understanding the value of the property increases the overall profit, making the time spent worthwhile.

Step 3 – Advertise

After posting the listing, interested individuals may submit inquiries or reach out for tours. Flexible sellers who allow buyers to view the property make the best deals.  They have an advantage with a larger buying pool because it’s more likely to find someone willing to pay the asking price.

Sellers should also prepare for a negotiation with the buyer, as they must work strategically to strike a fair deal. While not everyone will try to lower the cost, it can be helpful to plan ahead of time for this type of scenario. An owner should have a range in mind and commit to their lowest asking price.

Step 4 – Draft Bill of Sale & Collect Payment

Once the buyer and seller come to an agreement, they should document all of the details in a bill of sale. They can write one from scratch or complete a template using a fillable or printable PDF.

The form should include:

  • Contact information: It should be clear how to get in touch with the buyer and seller.
  • Item description: All features of the personal property should be listed. If any repair work is required or recommended, it should also be included in the document. Being transparent protects the seller from legal charges if anything were to happen to the buyer or the item after the sale.
  • Payment: The template should have a section that explains how the transaction occurred. For example, include whether cash, check, or card was used, and write down the amount paid.

Step 5 – Sign Bill of Sale & Transfer Item(s)

Lastly, the seller signs the document, and through that action, the buyer officially has ownership. The new owner can then use this document to prove that they legally acquired the item. In the final step, the property transfers from one owner to the next through the mail or in person.