Real estate deeds transfer ownership of a property from one party to another. Depending on the person and the circumstances, you may need to use a warranty deed, a grant deed, or a quitclaim deed. Considering all of the variables, it’s no wonder that most people don’t understand how deeds work. To help, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions regarding real estate deeds:
The title of a deed is what gives the owner legal rights and control over a property. For instance, if you have a title for a house or a piece of land, then you are the one who owns that house or piece of land.
What’s the difference between joint tenants and tenants in common?
When two or more people are buying the same property, there are two ways you can take the title.
Joint tenants hold property in equal shares. If one of the tenants dies, then complete control of the property automatically goes to the remaining tenant.
Tenants in common, meanwhile, can hold property in unequal shares. If one of the tenants dies, then the one potential way the remaining tenant could get complete control of the property is if the deceased tenant said so in their will.
Does a deed have to be notarized?
Deeds always have to be notarized, and in many cases, they must be witnessed as well. You can take a deed to a notary public who will witness you sign the document, then sign it themselves and stamp it to verify its authenticity.
Does a deed have to be filed?
Yes. Filing, or recording, a deed is mandatory. Once your deed has been notarized, you will have to take it to the land records office. There, the clerk will date it and copy it for their records.
What is a trust deed?
Most deeds are either warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, or grant deeds. However, some are also trust deeds. These transfer property to a trust or a title company, which then holds the property as security for a loan. The loan must be paid off in full before the title is transferred to the borrower.