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There’s more to transferring home ownership than some people may think. In addition to the fees inherently involved, giving or receiving a home, whether through inheritance or sale, involves a mountain of paperwork and a lot of legal maneuvers.

Due to the complexities involved, it’s no wonder that there are plenty of stories concerning land ownership disputes globally. Naturally, both parties, the grantor and grantee, want to have a smooth process when transferring the home’s title. One way of achieving this is to know the necessary steps to take when changing home ownership.

Couple signing papers on transferring home ownership. Determine the Type of Deed To Be Used

The first step to transfer home ownership/a title is knowing the type of deed to use. The deed to be used will depend on a lot of factors. For example, the original owner who wants to sell or donate a house must consider the amount of protection they want to give the receiver.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main types of deeds used when transferring home ownership.

Grant Deeds

Grant deeds basically serve as written proof that the property title is owned clear and free. Clear and free, in this context, means that the property doesn’t entail any liens or claims. Additionally, there will be no legal troubles if the new owner wishes to sell or transfer the property. A grant deed can also serve as a guarantee that the property isn’t owned or sold to anyone.

It’s worth noting that not all states or countries use grant deeds. Hence, make sure to be aware of the state laws.

Quitclaim Deeds

If the transfer of property doesn’t involve any money, quitclaims are commonly used. A quitclaim deed offers the lowest level of protection compared to other types of deeds. This means, unlike grant deeds, the guarantor isn’t giving any form of protection or warrant to the guarantee; hence, it’s not certain that the property is free and clear. The grantor is merely “quitting their claim,” as the name suggests, without monetary transactions or warranties involved.

Removing oneself from the title due to divorce, transferring a property into an LLC or a Trust, and gifting a real estate property to heirs or loved ones are common instances wherein quitclaim deeds are used.

Warranty Deeds

Warranty deeds offer the best protection for buyers, which is why a real estate attorney will advise homebuyers to opt for this type of deed. Unfortunately, warranty deeds aren’t offered in some states or countries, forcing buyers to go for grant deeds.

Thankfully, a warranty deed has the same benefits as a grant deed, and then more. Just like grant deeds, a warranty deed also guarantees that the property is clear of any claims. In addition to that, the grantor will also be held liable for third-party claims even after the transaction is finalized and the property is already passed to the new owner. Thus, if any part of the transaction process goes askew, the grantor may face legal consequences.

Person giving house keys to new owner.Hire a Real Estate Attorney To Transfer Home Ownership

As mentioned above, transferring home ownership involves a lot of legal jargon, which can be daunting for someone who’s not adept in the field. As a solution, consider hiring a real estate attorney.

Here are some benefits gained when hiring a real estate attorney to assist in the whole process of transferring home ownership:

  • Review necessary paperwork
  • Professional intermediary services
  • Correct filling of necessary papers

Sign the Deed

Once both parties are satisfied with the negotiations, along with the go-signal from a legal professional, the seller/s must now place their signature on the deed in front of a notary. The notary will confirm that the agreement is truly signed by the individual.

Take note that some state laws will require a witness during the signing process.

Resources from Home & Auto

Transferring home ownership is more than just giving away the house keys. Learn more by browsing through the collected content of Home & Auto Resources! Visit our website or call (888) 291-2366 today!


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