Transferring ownership of a house to another person can seem like a daunting task because of the frequent influence of banks, brokers, real estate professionals and lawyers. In fact, once you remove third parties from the transaction, transferring property to another person is not difficult at all. In fact, transferring title of a house to someone else only requires you to pass on one document -- a deed.
Prepare a valid deed. A deed is a legal instrument used to transfer property from one person to another. A proper deed will contain the legal names of the grantor and grantee, words indicating that the grantor wants to pass title to the grantee, a sufficient legal description of the property, and the signature of the grantor. If there is a current mortgage on the property then the bank will require you to pay off the mortgage before transferring the property. If you do not pay off the balance of your mortgage before transferring the title to your home then your bank may require you to pay off the balance of your mortgage all at once.
Execute the deed. A deed must be signed to be considered valid. Different counties may require additional signatures in addition to those of the grantor. For example, many states require witnesses to the signing of the deed. Some states additionally require that a notary public bear witness to the witness' signing of the deed. Be sure to familiarize yourself with local execution requirements to ensure that your deed, and your transfer of title, will be recognized by the county.
Deliver the original deed or a certified copy of the deed to the grantee and ensure that the deed is recorded in the county's grantor-grantee index. Placing the deed in the grantor-grantee index provides the grantor and the grantee with a publicly verifiable date of conveyance that may be useful if the deed is ever challenged.
Different counties may require the inclusion of additional components to the deed before considering it valid. In some counties, for example, a Parcel ID must be referenced on the deed. Consider consulting with a local real estate attorney to ensure that your deed meets all statutory requirements.
There are often taxes associated with transferring property from one person to another.
- Legal Information Institute: Deed
- Sam Houston State University: Transfer By Deed
- Stephens County Georgia: Warranty and Quitclaim Deeds
- Legal Information Institute: Grantor-Grantee Index
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Instructions for Preparation of Mortgage, Deed of Trust, or Security Deed
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