Buying and selling real estate deals with several different property deeds, or legal documents that represent the ownership of a property. There are many types of property deeds you may encounter in real estate transactions. One such type is a conveyance deed. In basic terms, a deed of conveyance is a legal document that serves as proof of the transference of a deed (or title) from one owner to another.
Here’s what you need to know about conveyance deeds.
Breaking Down the Conveyance Deed
People use conveyance deeds to show two or more parties have transferred a title or deed between/amongst them. If an issue arises regarding ownership, the conveyance deed is evidence that one party legally signed over ownership of the property to another. A conveyance deed must have certain elements to make it acceptable and binding in a court of law:
- Defined boundaries. A deed needs to describe the defined boundary lines of the property. Parties involved may need to order a land survey to accurately define and document the exact parameters of the property in question. It is important that the boundaries are accurate to avoid property line and ownership disputes down the road. The document should also clearly state the rights that come with ownership of the property.
- Conveyance. The deed must include clear language that conveys the property from one party to the other. The deed must transfer the chain of title, or all the legal rights of the property, from the owner to the buyer. The deed should also state how the grantor delivered the property to the buyer, as well as how the grantee received the property. If there are any terms or conditions that go along with the transfer, the deed should describe these as well.
- Signatures. All parties involved in the transfer – including the current owner of the property and the “new” owner – must sign the deed of conveyance for it to be valid. Upon signing a conveyance deed, the original owner transfers all legal rights, ownership, and authority over the property to the buyer. The seller signs away his or her rights to legally own, keep, or use a particular property.
- Seal. To qualify as a “deed,” the document must be in writing. Oral contracts are difficult or impossible to enforce in court, and are not technically deeds. The written deed will identify the names of the seller, or owner, of the home (the grantor) and the buyer (the grantee). The grantor must sign the deed in front of a notary, who will then seal the document.
- Registration. The grantee will need to register the deed of conveyance with the appropriate county. Presenting the signed and sealed deed of conveyance to the local registrar’s office can complete this action, with a registration fee. The transfer then becomes part of the public domain, searchable via the public records. The conveyance is complete, and the grantee becomes teh official, legal owner of the property.
Why a Conveyance Deed is Not the Same as a Sale Deed
A sale deed also legally transfers the title of a property from one person to another. However, the two deeds are not the same. A sale deed is appropriate for transferring a property from grantor to grantee during a sale; a conveyance deed transfers property in the case of a gift, lease, mortgage, or exchange.
A sale deed is also a legally binding contract. It establishes the new owner as the lawful one after both parties sign the deed. For a sale deed to transfer property, the first party must actually sell the title to the second party in return for money. There is no such requirement to transfer a title via a conveyance deed.
Is a Conveyance Deed Really That Important?
Say your father wants to give you a plot of land he owns so that you can build a house. He verbally tells you the property is yours, and you build a house. Years go by, and suddenly your father unexpectedly passes away. He did not leave behind a will or any other documents that give you ownership of the property where you’ve been living for years. Now, you must go through probate court and potentially risk losing ownership and rights to the property where you live, because there is no legal document stating that you own the property.
Organizing a deed of conveyance or another deed that transfers the title of the property can save you from serious legal battles like the one described above. It gives you full rights to the property – you can build upon it, charge rent, sell the property, etc. – without worrying about someone disputing your ownership in the future. A conveyance deed is an important legal document during the transference of a property, even between friends or family members.
Should You Transfer Your Property with a Deed of Conveyance?
There are numerous deeds available for the transfer of land titles. A deed of conveyance is just one option. There are also general warranties, special warranties, and quitclaim deeds. A general warranty is the most common. It transfers a land title to the grantee with the assurance that the property in question is free from liens and encumbrances.
These are types of debts against the property that could jeopardize its ownership. With a general warranty, no one can dispute the new owner’s rights to the property. It affirms an unbroken chain of title all the way back to the very first owner.
A special warranty is equivalent to a general warranty: it ensures the grantor’s right to dispose of the property. It also confirms that the property does not have any hidden liens or encumbrances. A special warranty does not, however, guarantee the clean state of the property’s title. That means that if issues arise with the title down the road, the new owner could face the consequences. A quitclaim deed s a less-formal solution for title transfers. It is appropriate if the land is staying between family members. Quitclaim deeds offer no assurances about the state of the title in question.
To find out if a conveyance deed is right for you, speak to a real estate agent.
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