Real estate deeds transfer rights of ownership of a property from one person to another. New deeds are needed when there is a change such as ownership or an addition or deletion that needs to be made. Deeds can be prepared by an attorney, real estate office or a title company. However, sole individuals may also prepare a deed. For a deed to be enforceable, it must fulfill a few requirements:
Contact the county office in which the property is located. Generally, a blank deed can be found online at the county website. Download and/or buy the form. These forms can also be found at a local office store or title company. Make sure it is the right deed as counties require specifics on the forms.
Calculate the deed taxes on the property. This will be a different calculation for every state. Some states do not require transfer taxes (RLT) on property, but it is important to find out which states do. Transfer tax is determined by the type of form required by the county as well as the tax rate area (TRA).
Duplicate the current deed to a new deed. This applies only if a current owner is transferring (transferer) to a new owner (trustee). Everything else will remain the same given all the information is correct and accurate. The deed will need the property description, assessor’s parcel number and grantor and grantee names.
Notarize the deed. A notary public will watch and witness the deed signing. The person transferring the property will do the signing. This confirms a signature is not forged. Notarization is done with signatures, the date and a stamp.
File and record the deed with the county. After full completion of the deed, it will now need to be recorded in the county where the property is located. This office may be called a register of deeds, a land registry office or a county recorders office; all usually are located at the county courthouse. There is a small fee for recording a new deed.
It is best to hire an attorney to ensure accurate information is recorded with a new deed. Mistakes on a deed could be costly.
Confirm with the county office that you have the correct tax amount.
In doing a transfer deed of property, contact the mortgage company to make sure there are no violations of the mortgage terms. The lender will need to provide written permission.
A new deed does not have to be recorded, but the former owner can continue getting mortgages, judgments and suits on your property because records in the courthouse would show he still owns it.
Michelle Hooper began writing professionally in 2006 as a Commercial Real Estate Reporter. She wrote for Crittenden Publishing, Inc. covering markets all over the United States, observing investment strategies of pension funds and financial advisers. In 2008 she published a book, “Online Investing: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply,” with Atlantic Publishing Company. Hooper has a bachelor's degree in communications from Mesa State.