How to transfer a title deed

The title owner to a certain real property has the authority to transfer ownership rights to the property utilising a deed. Moreover, property titles can be encumbered by liens, easements or covenants that restrict the use of the property. However, the title owner may remove any encumbrances that can slow down the process of transferring the title.

Determine whether you are the exclusive owner of the property or whether you share ownership of the property with others. You can verify this information at the Recorder of Deeds Office in the county where the property is located. The county recorder maintains a list of realty instruments. If the title to your property has been properly filed and recorded with the county recorder, it will be indexed alphabetically by all granters and grantees of property. If you are not the sole owner of the property, then you probably share ownership with others as joint tenants, tenants in common, or tenants by the entirety. If you are the exclusive owner of the property, then you will be able transfer the title deed without obtaining consent from the other property co-tenants.

Verify whether there are any encumbrances attached to the property. Encumbrances are liens, mortgages, easements or anything that can impede the process of transferring title to the property. This information is included in your deed; moreover, if anyone has recorded a lien against the property, the Recorder’s Office will provide this information. If there are any encumbrances affecting the title to your property, such as a mortgage or tax lien, it is better to remove the encumbrance before attempting to transfer the title to the property. However, there are ways to transfer title to a property that is encumbered.

Utilise a deed as the method to transfer the title. The two types of deeds to transfer real property are warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. The two categories of warranty deeds are general warranty deed and special warranty deed. A general warranty deed contains six covenants, whereby the granter warrants that the property is free of any defects in title. With a special warranty deed, the granter promises that there have been no defects affecting the title during the course of his ownership of the title. It is better to use a warranty deed to transfer the property title when you have removed any defects or encumbrances concerning the title. Otherwise, if the title is encumbered, you may utilise a quitclaim deed to transfer the title. With a quitclaim deed, the granter does not warrant that there are no defects in the title; the grantee merely receives whatever ownership interest the granter had with the property title.

Ensure that the deed is valid and contains the essential components. The deed must be signed by the granter and contains words that express the granter's intention. The deed must also contain a description that identifies the property.

Deliver the deed to the grantee and the transfer will become effective. There are various methods to deliver the title deed, such as a physical transfer of the deed or recording of the deed. After you deliver the title deed, the grantee becomes the title owner.

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Things Needed

  • Property title
  • Deed

About the Author

Marie Huntington has been a legal and business writer since 2002 with articles appearing on various websites. She also provides travel-related content online and holds a Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School.

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