What is a “bill of sale” and how is it different from a deed?

Updated March 13, 2023.

A “bill of sale” is the formal document that transfers ownership of personal property from the buyer to the seller and shows transfer of this ownership. That is, a deed transfers real property (i.e. land and the permanent buildings on the land) and a bill of sale transfers personal property that may be transferred with the land (i.e. refrigerator, washer, dryer, window treatments, etc.). Although a bill of sale may be recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, this is not usually done. Therefore, it is a good idea for a buyer to retain a bill of sale in a safe place in the event title to the personal property should ever be an issue.

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