There are many circumstances in which the deed to a home or property may need to be transferred. You might think it seems straightforward enough that you can do it on your own without the help of a real estate lawyer, but with such an important document, it’s a good idea to hire a deed attorney to ensure that everything is done properly to avoid problems in the future.
What Is a Deed?
A deed is a written document that transfers ownership (title) of a home, land, or other property from one person to another. The previous owner is known as the seller or grantor, while the new owner is the buyer or grantee. Deeds must be filed publicly in the county clerk’s office. Once filed, the transfer is official and the new owner has title to the property, assuming that there are no other claims against it after the deed is recorded.
Types of Deeds
There are many different types of deeds that transfer ownership of property from one party to another. The three most common deeds are:
- General Warranty Deeds – These are commonly used when buying or selling a home or property. They transfer ownership while also guaranteeing that the grantor owns the property free of liens and encumbrances.
- Quitclaim Deeds – A quitclaim deed is often used when a property transfer does not involve money, like when a house is placed in a trust or passed from a parent to a child. Quitclaim deeds grants title to the property, but contains no warranties.
- Bargain and Sale Deeds – This type of deed is often used by estate executors, foreclosing banks, and in other transfers in which the grantor has not lived on the property and cannot guarantee full title because there may be encumbrances, liens, and easements that the grantor is not aware of.
When to Transfer a Real Estate Deed
Whenever real estate changes hands from one owner to another, the deed must be transferred. This includes situations where one owner’s name needs to be removed from the property title, or for changing names on house deeds. Attorneys can help with a property title transfer when:
- A property is being transferred between relatives
- A property is being transferred to a trust
- A co-owner has passed away
- A property has been sold to a new owner
- A property is being transferred to a business
- The division of property after a divorce grants one spouse ownership of the marital home
How an Attorney Can Help You Transfer a Deed
Deed attorneys can help you decide which type of deed is right for your situation. Filing the wrong type of deed can be a costly mistake. Our real estate attorneys prepare the deed, which includes establishing the legal description of your property and ensuring that there are no previous owners with claim to the property by conducting a property deed search. They will also let you know when additional documentation is needed, as is often the case when transferring property to a trust or business.
Once the deed is prepared, you will sign it and our team will file it with the county recorder’s office. The filing and recording process can take up to eight weeks, but when it is complete, your real estate deed will be mailed to you by the court.
Learn More About Real Estate Deeds
If you’re searching for a real estate attorney to assist you with transferring a deed, contact us at 512-505-0053 to schedule a consultation. When you need help making sure your real estate transactions are seamless, We Get It Done.