Deeds: How to Prepare a Real Estate Deed

Real estate deeds are legally binding contracts.

Real estate deeds are legally binding contracts.

A real estate deed transfers property ownership from one party to another. You can have an attorney write the deed or you can prepare it yourself. A warranty deed conveys full ownership of the property and guarantees the title is free and clear of all liens and encumbrances. It also guarantees that the owner has the right to sell the property. A quit claim deeds conveys ownership from one party to another and is often used between family members. It does not guarantee the title is free and clear.

Write the type of deed you are preparing at the top of the page. Start a new paragraph and write the date, the name and address of the grantor (the seller) and the grantee (the buyer) along with their marital statuses. For example, you could write: “This Warranty Deed is made this 1st day of June 1, 20XX, between the Grantor, John A. Doe, a single man, whose address is 111 Oak Street, His City, His State, His Zip Code, and the Grantee, Jane B. Doe, a single woman, whose address is 999 Elm Avenue, Her City, Her State, Her Zip Code.”

Start a new paragraph and write the property’s selling price. In the next paragraph, write the property’s physical address and the legal description. You can call the clerk of the court in the county where the property is located to get the legal description. For example, you could write: “For consideration in the amount of $10,000.00, the Grantor hereby conveys the property located at 555 Walnut Lane, This City, This State, This Zip Code, legally described as Walnut Grove Subdivision, Section 4, Lot 10, as recorded in the Public Records of ABC County, State."

Add any liens or encumbrances on the property in the next paragraph. Drop down two or three lines and make a separate signature line for the grantor and grantee. Type the names next to or underneath each signature line. Drop down two or three more lines and make a signature line for each witness. Type in the notary information underneath the witness signature lines. Leave enough room for the notary to affix the notary stamp.

Review the deed to ensure you have included the required legal elements: the grantor and grantee’s name and address, the property’s physical address and legal description, the sale amount and any liens or encumbrances. The signature blocks for the grantor, grantee and witnesses along with the notary information should be included at the end of the deed.

Tip

  • Record the deed in the public records in the county where the property is located.

Warning

  • The deed must contain the required legal elements to be enforceable in court.
 

About the Author

Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.

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