Here is a brief glossary of terms found in real property deeds:
Alienation: A transfer of title or property from the former owner to the new owner.
Consideration: The money or other value given to the seller by the buyer in exchange for the transfer of property.
Defective Title: A title to a parcel of real estate that is clouded, has mortgage claims, tax liens, title claims, judgments, or mechanic’s liens against it, or is subject to litigation. A parcel of real property that is transferred with a defective title can jeopardize the grantee’s right to ownership.
Fee Simple or Fee: Rights in a parcel of real property that can be inherited by the owner’s heirs and give the owner the most extensive rights one can have in land. These are commonly thought of as simply ownership of the parcel of real property.
Good Title: The parcel of real property is free of any mortgage claims, tax liens, title claims, judgments, mechanic’s liens, or other encumbrances against it.
Grantee: A person who receives title to the property after a grantor executes the deed transferring the property. It is usually the buyer.
Grantor: A person who originally holds title to the property and executes the deed transferring the property to another person. It is normally the seller.
Legal Description: A description of the land based on surveys of the property stating the exact boundaries of the entire parcel of real property.
In Common, Joint Tenants, or Tenants by Entirety: Types of ownership where there is more than one owner possessing the property at the same time as joint owners.
Words of Conveyance: Words that show intent to transfer the title to a parcel of real property. The words are typically required by law, but the exact words required may vary by jurisdiction.