Deeds: How to Prepare a Real Estate Deed

Real estate deeds are legally binding contracts.

Real estate deeds are legally binding contracts.

Paperwork is essential to transferring a home. There are multiple deeds involved in legally moving property from one person to another, and it’s important to make sure the deeds you use are legal. You may have to pay a deed preparation fee, but you can also find templates for deeds of sale, deeds of warranty and quitclaim deeds online.

Prepare a Real Estate Deed

A real estate deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of a property from one party to another. Although you can prepare such a deed on your own, thanks to the many deed of sale sample letters available out there, it’s important to protect yourself by at least having a legal professional review it before you make it official. Even if you have to pay a deed preparation fee, it will be worth knowing that it will hold up in court.

There are multiple types of real estate deeds, including a quitclaim deed, a warranty deed, a grant deed, a correction deed and a transfer on death deed. To be legal, any real estate deed must state that it is a deed, must describe the property, must be executed by the grantor in front of witnesses and must be accepted by the grantee.

Deed of Sale Sample Letter

Also known as a contract of sale, a deed of sale of land rights legally documents that a property will be transferred from a seller to a buyer. If you use a real estate agent, you’ll be walked through this. If you’re buying or selling a house without an agent, you should have an attorney handle the official paperwork.

You can find deed of sale sample letters online, but generally speaking, it needs to describe the property and list the sale price, the date and the names of both the seller and buyer and basic contact information for each. Deeds of sale can range from complicated to simple, depending on your own preferences, but the important thing is that it outlines how much money will be exchanged and who will own the property at the end of the transaction.

Prepare a Deed of Warranty

There are two major types of warranty deeds: general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds. General warranty deeds provide the most protection, so if you’re required to pay a higher deed preparation fee for this type of document it’s well worth it. A general warranty deed clears the new owner of all prior claims against the property, stating that the property is free of all liens or encumbrances.

Another type of warranty deed is a special warranty deed. This type of deed guarantees that no issues arose while the seller was in the property, which offers less protection than a general warranty deed. When it comes to a deed of sale of land rights, a general warranty deed is the most essential document.

How to Prepare Quitclaim Deeds

One lesser-used deed of sale of land rights is called a quitclaim deed, which terminates a person’s interest in the property. This is called a nonwarranty deed since it doesn’t offer any warranties against defects. This is a good choice if there are no encumbrances against the title, so it’s typically used during situations like divorce, when one borrower simply wants out of the home so the other can stay.

A quitclaim deed includes the location of the property and contact information for both the grantor and grantee. The quitclaim deed will need to be signed and notarized, so it should include the state where that will be taken place, as well as the address of where the original recorded deed should be sent once ownership shifts.

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.

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About the Author

Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a ghostwriter for a credit card processing service and has ghostwritten about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, Ecommerce Insiders, GoBankingRates, and ThriveBy30.

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