Posted by: Bryan Jones on 02/13/2017

How to Transfer a House & Land

How to Transfer a House & Land

The transferring or conveying of a house or land is a fairly simple legal process.  Usually, a house is transferred to one owner to another owner in that same way that land is done.  The reason being is that a permitted structure that is built on land becomes part of the that property.  Therefore, when real estate is sold or given away so is any permanent structure (house, commercial building, shed and etc.)  that is erected on the property.  This is not the case when a mobile home is located on some property because in many jurisdictions a mobile home is not considered to be a permitted structure.

So how is the ownership in real estate transferred?   The legal principle known as that Statue of Frauds requires that the transferring or land must be in writing.  To satisfy the writing requirement transferring of the property is usually done through a deed.  A deed is a legal document contains the names of the old owener (the “grantor”) and new owners (the “grantee”) and a legal description of the property, and is signed by the grantor, the person transferring, the property. Then the document must be acknowledged before a notary public (notarized) or other official authorized by law to administer oaths. The notary public or other official then places a seal and marks the document accordingly to show that it was properly signed and acknowledged. The reason the document must be notarized is to provide evidence that the signature of the grantor is genuine as transaction documents are sometimes forged

There are two basic deeds used in most jurisdictions.

A quitclaim deed is a type of document by which the grantor disclaims any interest the grantor may have in a piece of real property and transfers that claim to the grantee.  With a quitclaim deed the grantor is not making any guarantees or warranties on the property her or she is transferring.  In fact, the grantor is not even guaranteeing that he is the owner of the property he is conveying.  The grantor is simply conveying any interest, if any, that is he may have in a certain piece of property. Quitclaim deeds are usually not used in a conveyance between a seller to a buyer. Quitclaim deeds are usually used for transfers between family members, gifts, placing personal property into a business entity, to eliminate clouds on title, or in other special or unusual circumstances. Another, common use for a quitclaim deed is a divorce in which one party is granting the other full rights to, and eliminating any interest in, a property in which both parties held

 Warranty deeds or grant deeds are normally used for real estate sales. Warranty and grant deeds contain warrantees from the grantor to the grantee that the title is clear or that the grantor has not placed certain kinds of encumbrances against the title. Although, they a very similar there is a distinct difference between a warranty deed and a grant deed.  A warranty deed transfer title to property with the guarantee that the grantor has legal rights on it and no other person has any rights on it unless stated on the deed. The guarantee is not limited to the time the grantor owned the property—it extends back to the property's origins.  On the other hand, a grant deed assures that the title has not been conveyed to any other individual except the buyer and that the grantor has not encumbered the property with any lien.  A warranty deed is the most preferred instrument in real estate sales.


Despite having these warranties, it is always important hire to someone to perform a title search to determine if there are defects that must be resolved before they purchase real property. The buyer can also purchase title insurance, which covers many types of losses that occur if problems are discovered later.

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