Any real estate transaction has the potential to be very complicated. Passing ownership of a piece of property is common among siblings and, thankfully, does not have to be very difficult. The simple fact that a relationship exists between the person passing the property, the grantor, and the person receiving the property, the grantee, goes a long way toward simplifying the transaction. In fact, signing over property to a sibling only requires one document, a deed.
Choose and prepare a proper deed. There several types of deeds and many types of ownership that you could convey to your sibling. Quitclaim deeds are a common and simple type of deed that many families use to pass property amongst themselves because language in the deed shields the grantor from some future liability. If the transaction between you and your sibling is more formal then you may wish to use a warranty deed. Language in a warranty deed states that the grantor warrants that the title on the property is marketable -- it does not pertain to property condition.
Sign the deed. The parties that must be present to sign the deed vary from state to state. The grantor always executes the document but the grantee is not always required to do so. If you own your property with another person then their signature may also be required on the deed. Some states require witnesses to every signature and others require the seal of a notary public. Familiarize yourself with your local statutes so that your deed may be properly received by your county government.
Record your properly prepared and properly executed deed with the county. Recording your deed is a public acknowledgement that the property has been passed on from you to your sibling. You and your sibling can verify that the deed has been appropriately recorded by checking the county government's grantor-grantee index. Also note that most counties impose a transfer tax that is due at the time of recording. The amount of the tax varies depending on the particular jurisdiction and the market value of the property.
- If there is a mortgage on your property then you must get permission from your lender before deeding your property to another person.
- Consult a local real property attorney if preparing a deed yourself becomes too difficult.
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