A deed is a legal document which transfers home ownership rights, or rights to another piece of property, from the current owner to a new one. This may be referred to as deed of title, or title deed. There are many different types of deeds, each of which has its own requirements in order to be considered legally binding and sound.

The majority of deeds generally include the following information:

  • A detailed and accurate description identifying the property that is being transferred;
  • A description of the location of the property;
  • The names of all of the parties who are taking part in the deed transaction, generally the grantor and the grantee; and
  • The signature of the party who is transferring the deed, which must be notarized by a notary public.

A deed may be used to transfer ownership:

  • During the purchase or sale of a home;
  • When a person inherits property from a family member; or
  • Deeds can be used to transfer gifts, trust contents, and some rights, such as a sheriff’s deed or tax deed.

It is important to note that if you receive a property deed, you should record it with the local county recorder’s department in the county in which the property is located. Although recording a deed is not legally required, failing to record a deed can lead to serious consequences. An example of this would be facing difficulty when proving that you are truly the legal owner of the property.

As previously mentioned, there are many different types of deeds that could be used to transfer the ownership of property from one person to another. However, despite the type of deed, all deeds must be signed by the person who is transferring the property to the new owner. Additionally, all signatures must be notarized in order to prove that the ownership transfer is legally valid.

Generally speaking, the deed of title is classified as a general warranty deed. This is a specific type of deed in which the current owner guarantees that they hold a clear title to a specific piece of real estate. What this means is that they are guaranteeing that they received a clear title from the previous owner of the property, as well as that no other individuals retain any interest in the property.

A general warranty deed is used in most real estate deed transfers, because it provides the greatest amount of protection when compared to any other type of deed. Some states may refer to it as a grant deed. It is important to note that deeds of title should not be confused with a deed of trust. A deed of trust is what grants a lender or mortgage lender a lien on the property if a debt is owed.

What Is The Difference Between A Deed And A Title?

The actual deed itself, and having title to a piece of property, are two different concepts. A deed is the actual, physical legal instrument or written document that conveys the ownership of property from one person to another. When buying a home, you will be signing the deed to the home, which is what creates your right to claim ownership of that house.

Alternatively, a title refers to a legal relationship between a person and the land that they own. This creates a right to that specific piece of property. An example of this would be obtaining a loan from a bank in order to purchase a piece of property. The bank will hold title to the property until the loan has been paid off, in full. After this point, the bank will transfer the title to the property to the borrower.

What Is A Property Deed? What Is Required For A Valid Deed?

A property deed is a document providing ownership of a piece of land or real property. The ownership is referred to as “title,” while the actual document or evidence is referred to as the “deed.” To reiterate, deeds essentially provide proof that one person owns a particular plot of land. A property deed also gives them certain rights, such as the right to sell title to another person and the right to exclude others from using the land or building.

As previously mentioned, in order for a deed to be considered valid, it must accurately describe the property in question. What this means is that the property should be identifiable solely from the description in the deed, without the need to rely on outside sources. Additionally, once the deed is received by the recipient, it should be promptly recorded with the county recorder of deeds or similar office. Doing so will provide a record of the transfer of ownership.

What Are Trust Deeds?

When a person buys a home, they are either assigned a mortgage or a deed of trust. A deed of trust involves three primary parties:

  • The borrower, or, the party who is borrowing the money and is sometimes referred to as a trustor;
  • The beneficiary, otherwise known as the lender such as a bank or other financial institution; and
  • A designated trustee, who is generally a neutral third party who is responsible for holding the property until the loan has been paid in full.

During the repayment period, the borrower retains possession of the property and will be responsible for both its upkeep and maintenance. Borrowers should be careful, as a lender can legally foreclose on the property if/when a borrower defaults on the loan. When a borrower enters into a loan agreement, they must sign a promissory note. Once the loan has been repaid, the trustee will transfer title to the borrower through a deed of trust. Should the borrower miss a payment or violate the terms of the loan, the trustee will take total control of the property and begin the foreclosure process.

Deeds of trust and mortgages share many similarities. Both documents pledge an interest in real property, in order to secure a loan to purchase the property. Additionally, both allow a specific party to foreclose on the property if a borrower defaults on the loan.

However, there are some significant differences between the two that should be taken into consideration:

  • Mortgages: Once again, mortgages only involve two parties and include two separate documents. Additionally, the lender gives the title of the property directly to the borrower. Should the borrower defaulting on their loan, the mortgage lender will need to pursue judicial foreclosure through the court system.
  • Deeds Of Trust: Alternatively, a deed of trust involves three parties to the agreement and the property title is held by a third party. If the borrower defaults, the trustee will generally use a non-judicial foreclosure in order to recover the money that was borrowed to purchase the property.

Whether a deed of trust or mortgage is used will depend on the laws of the state. Some states allow for one or the other, while other states allow for both. However, mortgages are more common than deeds of trust.

An example of when a party may choose to use a trust deed would be if a grandparent wishes to transfer a property deed to their grandchild. They may choose to use a trust deed in order to hold the property in trust until the grandchild reaches a specified age. This is because trust deeds may help prevent certain types of disputes and miscommunications associated with deed transfers.

Do I Need An Attorney For Help With A Property Deed?

If you are involved in a property deed transaction, and have questions or are facing issues associated with the deed, you will need to consult with an experienced and local property lawyer.

An attorney can help you understand your state’s specific laws in terms of property deeds, and what your legal options are according to those laws. Additionally, a real estate attorney can also represent you in court, as needed.