How To Transfer The Title of a Home

Are you looking to transfer the title of your property? If you are reading this, I’m assuming the answer is yes. Many people assume property transfers are complicated and time-consuming, due largely in part to the high-dollar value associated with them. In reality, however, it’s a relatively easy and straightforward process that just about anyone can accomplish – and without the assistance of a real estate agent

General Warranty Deed

The first step in transferring the title of your home or property is to decide which type of deed is appropriate for the situation. There are several different deed types, each of which has its unique characteristics. While the method of transfer remains largely the same across these deed types, there are still subtle nuances that you need to be aware of.

The most common method of property transfer involves the use of a General Warranty deed. This provides the highest level of protection to the grantee because, as the name suggests, it involves certain warranties and covenants. When the buyer and seller are in the initial stages of negotiation, they may discuss certain warranties to include with the title. It’s really a win-win situation for both parties, as the seller benefits from a quick and easy transaction, and the buyer benefits from warranties included with the title.

Quit Claim Deeds

Of course, another option is to use a Quit Claim deed, which is used in situations in which the property is owned by two or more people, and one of these individuals wishes to sell his or her share. The key difference between it and a traditional Warranty Deed is that a Quit Claim does NOT provide the buyer/new owner with any guarantees. Some sellers and buyers may turn their heads at the thought of making such a large-scale transaction with no guarantee, but there are actually several benefits to using a Quit Claim deed.

One of the most notable advantages of using a Quit Claim deed is the ability for sellers to create or draft the form themselves. Warranty deeds require the assistance of a licensed and bar-certified lawyer to draft the deed, but pre-made Quit Claim deeds can be purchased and used without the assistance of a lawyer. This makes them an attractive choice for parties who are looking to sell – and sell fast.

Laws regarding Quit Claim deeds vary from state to state, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with your respective state’s laws before transferring the title of your property in this manner.

There are some state differences regarding transfer of after-acquired title.  Montana, Idaho, and Alaska allow transfer of after-acquired title using a Quit Claim Deed.  In most states, a Quit Claim deed only transfers the interest owned by the seller at the time they executed the deed.  Usually, any interest in the property acquired after the signing of the Quit Claim Deed does not pass to the buyer,” wrote the legal experts at RocketLawyer.com.

Other Types of Deeds

Here are some of the other types of property deeds:

  • Spacial warranty deed
  • Covenant of seisin
  • Covenant of quiet enjoyment
  • Bargain and sale deed
  • Deed of trust
  • Court order deed
  • Trustee’s deed
  • Reconveyance deed

Creating The Deed

Once you’ve obtained a blank deed template, you’ll need to fill in all of the information. This includes your name, address, phone number, social security number, address of the property being transferred, as well as the personal information of the receiving party (referred to as grantee or recipient). Double check this information to ensure it’s correct and free of errors, as even minor typos can cause significant delays in the transfer.

Depending on your state’s laws regarding property transfers, you’ll typically need to include a copy of both the current title and property description.

Terms and Conditions

Next, create the terms and conditions for your property title transfer. This is arguably the single most important step when transferring property to another individual or entity, so don’t rush through it. If you are selling the property as opposed to giving away – which is obviously common in property transfers – you’ll want to include the sale amount along with the tax on the deed. Quit Claim deeds, however, may or may not be transferred in exchange for monetary compensation. If the property is being given away via a Quit Claim deed, it will usually include wording along the lines of “with no consideration other than love and affection.”

Find a Notary

Regardless of which deed you intend to use with the property transfer, you’ll need to have it notarized by a commissioned and active notary public. In most cases of property transfers, both the seller and buyer will be required to sign three copies of the property deed while in the presence of a notary public as well as one other witness (note: the notary may act as one of the witnesses). The notary will verify your identity, at which point he or she will affix their seal to the document.

Once the deed has been completed and notarized, take it to the local county recorder’s office for filing. Most offices will charge a small fee, but this should be the last cost you’ll face when transferring the title of your property.

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