How to change property ownership to another on a title

Transferring title to another person means giving that individual ownership of a home or other property and giving up one's own interest. Transferring title on a property is a legal process that should not be entered into lightly. It requires the right documents, an understanding of legal implications and an understanding of how title is held.

Verify the current ownership on a title using a title report or the current deed. For example, either document may state, "John Smith, an unmarried man."

Download a fill-in-the-blank deed from the Internet; many websites, such as title company Chicago Title (see References), offer online fill-in-the-blank forms for free. Generally a quitclaim deed is used to transfer title without guarantees while a grant deed guarantees that a property is free from liens and outside ownership claims.

Complete the information for the Grantor--the person who currently holds title. This should include the person's name and how the title is held according to the current deed. For example: "Bob Jones, a single man."

Fill in the information for the Grantee--the person the title is being transferred to. This should include the person's name and their marital status. Example: "Jane Smith, an unmarried woman."

Have the Grantor sign the deed in front of a notary public. The signature must be witnessed by a notary in order for the deed to be legal.

Take the signed and notarised deed to the County Recorder's office and have it recorded. This will legally change the ownership and title of the property.

Tip

For a small fee, most title and escrow companies will draw up a deed, provide a notary and record the document. This is usually the easiest way to transfer title as it ensures that the process will be completed correctly. They can even tell you the type of deed to use and how to take title (unmarried, single, etc.)

Warning

Failure to correctly complete a deed or the lack of a notary witness will cause the deed to be rejected by the County Recorder.

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Things Needed

  • Fill-in-the-blank grant deed or quitclaim deed
  • Notary public
  • Title report or original deed

About the Author

Kristen Leonard has a B.A. in English literature and more than six years' experience writing and editing real estate documents and resumes for young professionals. Her current focus is developing high school curricula for migrant education in the areas of literature, history and business. She has been published on Answerbag and eHow.

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