Purchasing a home involves signing a great deal of paperwork and documentation. Perhaps the most important document involved in the entire transfer is the deed. Deeds complete the transfer of ownership between the seller and the buyer. Depending on the terms of the sale, different types of deeds can be used to convey ownership. Texas recognizes warranty deeds to complete transfers between individuals.
Warranty deeds document the transfer of ownership between two parties. The language of the deed states that the seller, or grantor, conveys his ownership rights to the property to the buyer, or grantee, for a consideration. Almost all warranty deeds will list the sales price of the property as the consideration. Warranty deeds also provide an implied guarantee from the seller to the buyer that the seller holds a free-and-clear title. Additionally, if for some reason in the future a problem occurs the seller will aid the buyers to resolve the issue.
General Vs. Special Warranty Deed
Two types of warranty deeds can be used in Texas: the general warranty deed and the special warranty deed. The general warranty offers the greatest level of protection to the buyers. This deed implies that the seller will protect the buyers in the case of title defects that occurred both before and during his course of ownership. A special warranty deed only holds the seller responsible for title problems that occurred while he owned the property. These would include liens placed on the property because of unpaid taxes or quitclaiming the property to someone else without recording the deed. Although the deeds function differently in terms of guarantees from the seller, they both function to convey property ownership in the same way.
A Texas warranty deed is usually two to three pages in length. The document should include all of the seller’s and buyer’s full legal names. The address of the buyers needs to be included as well. This address is where the property tax bills will be mailed to when they are issued. Generally, only the grantors need to sign warranty deeds. All signatures must be original and acknowledged by a notary public. The notary should also sign the acknowledgment and stamp her seal. Finally, a complete legal description of the property in question must be included with or attached to the deed.
All warranty deeds should be filed on record with the county clerk. When a deed is presented, the clerk will review the deed to ensure that it meets recording requirements. Recording fees will be assessed at this time as well. These fees will vary among Texas counties. If the deed meets all of the requirements, it will be recorded and assigned a book and page or document number. The deed then becomes a part of public record and can be searched in the public records system in the future.