A deed is the standard document for transferring property title from the owner, or "grantor" to a new owner or "grantee." A deed can be used whether the transfer is by sale, gift or to place property in a living trust. In Tennessee, warranty deeds are used to give the grantee a guarantee that his title to the property is good.
Most grantors in Tennessee use a general warranty deed, according to the Real Estate Lawyers website. A special warranty deed offers a guarantee that the grantor has done nothing to impair the grantee's title, such as selling part of the property to someone else or not divulging a tax lien on the property. A general warranty offers more: The grantor not only accepts liability for his own actions, but guarantees that none of the previous owners have done anything to impair the title, either.
Under Tennessee law, a warranty deed offers the grantee four kinds of protection. The grantor guarantees that the grantee can enjoy the property free from title challenges; that there are no encumbrances such as a mortgage or other claim on the property that the grantee doesn't know about; that the grantor has the legal right to transfer title; and that the grantor will defend the title if it's challenged. In legal terms, those are warranties of seisin; freedom from encumbrances; right to convey and defense of title.
To meet Tennnesse law, deeds must include certain information in the document, Real Estate Lawyers states. That includes the amount the grantor receives for the property — which could, of course, equal zero if it's a gift; the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee; the legal description of the property, and the city and county it's located in and the signature of both grantee and grantor.
To make the Tennessee deed official, it must be signed in the presence of a notary, who will put her seal on the document. The deed must then be registered with the recorder's officer in whatever Tennesse county the property is located in.
The grantor must get the legal description of property right when drawing up a deed, according to Bankrate. If the deed misrepresents the property boundaries, the grantee may assume he has rights to what is actually the neighbor's property. Also, if the grantee decides to sell, the wrong description may make it legally tricky to determine what title he's actually offering.
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