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What Is a Deed?

A deed is a legal document, which typically, confirms that rights, property, or both have been passed to an individual. Deeds are usually associated with real property, such as transferring title to property.

Other deeds include:

Parts of a Deed

Reading a deed can often be a bit confusing due to the complex language, but, typically, a deed will have the following parts:

Grant clause: This section contains important information, such as:

Habendum clause: Means "to have and to hold." This section describes the type of property interest that is being transferred. If the property in this clause contradicts the grant clause, the property mentioned in the granting clause will prevail.
 
Warranty clause: Lists the type of title assurance provided by the grantor. If necessary, ask the real estate agent for help and try to push for full assurances that the grantor will clear any and all challenges to title at any time.

Execution clause: Displays the signature of the grantor and the date showing that the transfer is valid. Make sure the date is legible.

Acknowledgement clause/certificate: This may be notarized and contain the signatures of any other witnesses and the grantee.

Do I Need an Attorney to Review the Deed?

Deed language can be complicated and very intimidating. It is a good idea to have an attorney review the deed to confirm that all of the relevant parts are there and that the deed can be enforced by a court of law. 

Real estate agents are salespeople and often do not have the expertise to perform a thorough deed review and confirm that your deed will survive a challenge in court. An experienced real estate attorney can review the deed and check for encumbrances on the title, and possibly push for more rights and insurance from the real estate company.

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Last Modified: 03-05-2015 12:49 PM PST

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